It’s a dream job in many ways. Organizing dozens of bike rides across the country, Chris Aronhalt gets to visit beautiful places. Topping the list of his favorite ones, though, is the inaugural LOWVELO bike ride Nov. 1-2 in Charleston as riders will get to sample some of the most scenic spots in the Lowcountry.
“This ride is going to be, first and foremost, one of the top rides across the country based on its world-class hospitality experience, and the cause to support the Hollings Cancer Center, so the combination of an incredible ride experience with an incredible cause is a win-win for the Charleston community,” says Aronhalt, managing partner of Medalist Sports. He says he’s excited to announce the three routes.
The ride, held Nov. 2, will feature 25-, 50- and 100-mile routes. Every rider-raised dollar goes to advance cancer research at the Medical University of South Carolina’s Hollings Cancer Center, the state’s only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center.
“It’s a bucket list of experiences for riders,” says Aronhalt. “We're fortunate to be part of special events across the country, but nothing honestly as special as LOWVELO here in Charleston. We expect to have riders from more than 30 states to participate in this inaugural ride. It’s a chance to come to Charleston in November to not only ride their bikes, but to be immersed in this area’s beauty and scenery.”
Janet Bolin, the ride’s executive director, says it was designed to be accessible so anyone can participate. There’s even a category for virtual riders.
"LOWVELO is the perfect ride for all fitness levels, providing three magnificent ride options, each providing lasting images of the beauty and tranquility of the Lowcountry. As a special treat, riders fundraising to ride 50- or 100- miles will travel over the legendary Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, through our beautiful beach communities and into the Francis Marion National Forest.”
Bolin says riders register for different reasons. Many have been touched by cancer either personally or through friends and family. “Most importantly, everyone visiting Charleston on Nov. 1-2 will be part of exclusive memorable moments with those whom they’ve been riding with and for."
The following describes the special features of each route. All three will start at Riverfront Park, set on the banks of the Cooper River, the site of the opening ceremony held Friday night, Nov. 1.
The 25-mile route suits all fitness levels and begins at Riverfront Park. From there, riders will travel south toward downtown Charleston. The route loops around the historic Hampton Park before reaching a rest stop at one of the most memorable landmarks in Charleston, The Citadel, where cadets will help refresh riders for the final leg of their ride. Riders will finish back where they started at Riverfront Park to the fanfare of supporters along the roadways and a big finale meal provided by Swig & Swine.
For those wanting more time in the saddle, LOWVELO’s 50-mile ride is a point-to-point route that includes going over “The Big Hill”, also known as the iconic Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, with its sweeping views of the harbor, downtown historic Charleston and Fort Sumter. Riders travel through the Old Village in Mount Pleasant and then cross the Ben Sawyer Bridge to visit the island communities of Sullivan’s and Isle of Palms to enjoy marsh and beach views. Crossing the Isle of Palms Connector, an almost 4-mile long fixed span bridge, riders come back into Mount Pleasant to embark on the final leg of the journey. This part enters the pine-scented landscape of the Francis Marion National Forest, home to a variety of wildlife, including the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker, before looping back to Shipyard Park for a finale meal provided by Swig & Swine.
The Century route (100-miles) will follow the same pattern as the 50-mile route, beginning in Riverfront Park and ending at Shipyard Park, but will extend farther into the forests of Francis Marion National Forest. Century riders will bike through North Charleston, Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Sullivan’s Island, Isle of Palms, Cordesville and Berkeley County before coming to a well-deserved rest at the end at Shipyard Park to feast on a big finale meal provided by Swig & Swine.
Aronhalt says the ride features safety first and foremost. All routes will have Support and Gear (SAG) vehicles providing roadside assistance and MUSC Health will be providing first aid and emergency services for any health issues that may arise.
“The routes are fully supported and were created with the novice to the truly experienced cyclist in mind,” he says. “We are going to have cyclists from across the country, of all different skill levels, ride together as one.”
To learn more, visit LOWVELO.org.
Founded in 1824 in Charleston, MUSC is the oldest medical school in the South, as well as the state’s only integrated, academic health sciences center with a unique charge to serve the state through education, research and patient care. Each year, MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and 700 residents in six colleges: Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. The state’s leader in obtaining biomedical research funds, in fiscal year 2018, MUSC set a new high, bringing in more than $276.5 million.For information on academic programs, visithttp://musc.edu.
As the clinical health system of the Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC Health is dedicated to delivering the highest quality patient care available, while training generations of competent, compassionate health care providers to serve the people of South Carolina and beyond. Comprising some 1,600 beds, more than 100 outreach sites, the MUSC College of Medicine, the physicians’ practice plan, and nearly 275 telehealth locations, MUSC Health owns and operates eight hospitals situated in Charleston, Chester, Florence, Lancaster and Marion counties. In 2018, for the fourth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the No. 1 hospital in South Carolina. To learn more about clinical patient services, visithttp://muschealth.org.
MUSC and its affiliates have collective annual budgets of $3 billion. The more than 17,000 MUSC team members include world-class faculty, physicians, specialty providers and scientists who deliver groundbreaking education, research, technology and patient care.
FOR MEDIA: Lowvelo19 official bike routes press kit