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LOWVELO23: One for the books

couple with dogs in baskets cross finish line
Jamie and Kathy McKee finish LOWVELO with their pups Willie and Harley in tow.
Riders signed the "Why I Ride" wall to honor loved ones lost and celebrate cancer survivors.
Kristin Lee | November 15, 2023

Ride day started with a chill in the air, but as the sun rose, creating a pink sky over LOWVELO Village, and the excitement built, everything started to heat up. And it was one for the books.

This year’s LOWVELO, which raises funds for lifesaving cancer research at MUSC Hollings Cancer Center, was the most successful in the event’s five-year history with more riders, teams, volunteers, sponsors and community involvement than any other year. More than 1,250 riders took part in the event on Saturday, Nov. 4, and that number is continuing to rise with post-ride day satellite events scheduled over the next several weeks.

sunrise over finish line
The sunrise created pink clouds over the starting line at LOWVELO23.

The biggest team

For the second straight year, the Training Wheels, a team made up of students from the MUSC College of Health Professions, was the biggest team with 40 riders. The Charleston Beer Riders rolled into ride day with 37 team members, followed closely by Team Tobacco Free and the Killer T’s, which each had 34 riders on the course.

group of riders crossing finish
Training Wheels team captain, Bridget Horgan, leads her team across the finish line at LOWVELO23.
cyclists crossing finish line
Hollings researchers Ben Toll, Ph.D. and Matt Carpenter, Ph.D. from Team Tobacco Free dressed as Mario and Luigi.

The team of retirees

Not all participants in this year’s event were spandex-clad and ready to ride from the start line on Nov. 4. A very special group of retirees got a lot of attention this year. The South Bay at Mount Pleasant team, made up of 20 residents from the retirement community east of the Cooper, set a goal of raising $2,500 for lifesaving research at MUSC Hollings Cancer Center. And then they blew that goal out of the water and raised nearly $17,000. Each team member set a fitness goal in the months leading up to ride day – some walked, some swam, some water walked, but they all proved there’s no age limit on fitness. The team celebrated with a party the week after the ride with special guest, Hollings director Raymond DuBois, M.D., Ph.D. The team is already preparing for LOWVELO24.

The South Bay at Mount Pleasant team celebrated raising nearly $17k with Hollings director, Raymond DuBois, M.D., Ph.D. and the LOWVELO team.

The volunteers

Nearly 285 volunteers gave their time over LOWVELO weekend, with the biggest group coming out on ride day and taking roles doing everything from rider check-in, to cheering along the routes, to handing out cold drinks to riders celebrating at the finish.

medical team
Medical volunteers pose for a photo at the Finish Line Festival.
group of volunteers at the finish
Volunteer cheerleaders welcomed all riders to the finish on Isle of Palms.

The post-ride day satellite events

LOWVELO is more than just a one-day event this year. Several satellite events will continue over the next month, like the Daniel Island Club’s Pedal for a Cure Stationary Ride that took place on Sunday, Nov. 12. More than 40 riders got in the saddle for a series of stationary cycling classes at the Daniel Island Fitness Center. To date, the team has raised more than $26,000.

stationary cyclists
Stationary riders from Team PeDIcure at the Daniel Island Club have raised more than $26,000 for LOWVELO23.
man high fives stationary cyclist
Hollings researcher John O'Bryan high-fives riders at the Daniel Island Club.

The LOWVELO23 Jerry Zucker Awards Ceremony has been set for Thursday, Feb. 29, at the Harbour Club at WestEdge. All riders and volunteers will be getting an invitation soon.

Fundraising continues through the end of the year, but early totals are already tracking ahead of previous years. LOWVELO23 will be a record-breaking event on many levels.

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