As thousands of bikers get ready to “rev” up and ride in to the Grand Strand for the 69th Annual Cruisin’ the Coast Spring Bike Week, they face a less welcome reception than they have in the past. But there is one place that welcomes them.
When bikers enter the Speedway off Highway 501 in Horry County they have to ride right past the front stained-glass entrance of Grand Strand Baptist Church.
“More people will ride by my church in a matter of a few days than we would normally have happen in, maybe, all the weekends out of the other,” says Pastor Freddie Young.
Young says it was then, a light bulb went off. Young, staff, and members of the church will set up tents as part of a 2 week outreach effort.
“We’re gonna give free water because I’m satisfied that many will be appreciative after they have been sitting at the red light with the changes that will be taking place moving traffic in and out,” says Young.
Myrtle Beach City Council passed 15 ordinances and amendments last year, causing many changes to the bike rallies; including a mandatory helmet law, noise ordinances, alcohol restrictions and more. However, some bikers aren’t too worried about the changes because some of them saying most of the action happens outside of the city anyway. On the bike week website, www.mbbikeweeks.com, it reads “We Want Bikers, except the City of Myrtle Beach. So, while some people, in Myrtle Beach, may not see many bikers ride past their business or home, Grand Strand Baptist Church is ready for the crowd.
“This is giving us a chance for people to discover who we are in the middle of this particular community and I feel like it’s gonna work. Now, we could roll up sidewalk, shut everything down like a hurricane week, and just, ya know, nothing, or we could turn this thing around and use it for a great outreach and I believe that’s what’s gonna happen,” says Young.
This bike week event starts up Friday and runs through May 17.