A few weeks ago, we announced the launch of this newest event, and just like us, you were all extremely excited…the response was amazing. The goal of the Gran Fondo Hincapie Gravel was to have cyclists from all levels (and all over) be able to explore some of the most amazing views our beautiful home state has to offer, while enjoying the sport we love most. And throughout our planning process, we had been working closely with the Department of Natural Resources to make sure that while we enjoy those views, we leave the roads as pristine as they were when we arrived. It’s that attention to detail from our team that gave the DNR the confidence to approve our permit, and with DNR’s permission gave us the confidence to announce the event to you.
As requested by the SC-DNR, we met last week with local residents in the area to talk through some of the details of the event. This meeting was set up as a chance to share our excitement with them, and maybe even make some new friends. However, when we arrived it turned out they weren’t as excited as we were. Despite approval from the DNR and every effort to calm the concerns of the residents in the area, we were instead met with overwhelming resistance to the Gran Fondo Hincapie Gravel, and this caused us and the DNR officials to reconsider the event. We tried our best, but the audience at this meeting made it clear the Gran Fondo Hincapie Gravel could not take place at this time. In the end, the happiness and safety of our riders is most important, and by the end of that meeting it seemed like neither of those things could be guaranteed.
Like most of you, we are saddened and disappointed. Alas, while March 6 is no longer happening, we do have overwhelming support from state and local officials, and will keep working with them to find another time and place which allows us to make the Gran Fondo Hincapie Gravel an event we can all get excited about. In the meantime, we hope to see you at our Fondo in Greenville on October 24, and the others that follow. More than anything, just get out there and keep on riding because life is more fun on a bike.
Rich and George