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Rising to the occasion

If you’ve picked up a copy of the Washington Daily News in the past two weeks, chances are you have seen either an article or an editorial regarding the Cycle NC Coastal Ride that took place this past weekend.

The purpose behind this continued exposure was twofold. On the one hand, raising awareness for the event helped prepare local individuals and businesses to offer hospitality to the 2,000-plus guests coming to town. On the other, exposure helped promote safety for both cyclists and motorists.

Thanks to the efforts of all of Beaufort County, both of these purposes were accomplished.

Most important of all, the events of this past weekend passed without any major incidents or injuries involving participants or motorists.

This happy outcome can be attributed to months of planning and coordination on the part of agencies and organizations throughout Beaufort County. Every branch of emergency service knew what was happening and what role they would play this weekend. From police officers and sheriff’s deputies directing traffic to EMS and fire department first responders ready to answer the call, those who worked to ensure a safe event deserve a hearty ‘thank you.’

“From our standpoint, we were very pleased with the event all together,” Beaufort County Operations Chief of Fire and Emergency Management Chris Newkirk said. “In the weeks and months leading up to it, we had really good cooperation between our agencies across the county.”

While these groups worked to ensure safety on the roads, an equal ‘thank you’ is due to the many individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations who rolled out the red carpet and showed our visitors the best of Beaufort County hospitality.

According to Lynn Davis, director of the Beaufort County Tourism Development Authority, more than 100 volunteers gave of their time last weekend to host meals and organize rest stops along the routes. More still even opened up their homes to visitors, with proceeds from these short-term rentals benefiting local-nonprofit Sound Rivers. The end result was more than $6,000 raised over the weekend to help local cause.

“From the hospitality standpoint, we hit a home run,” Lynn Davis said. “The cyclists had nothing but positives to say about the people they encountered… the consistent comment I heard from the cyclists is ‘everyone here is so friendly.’”

Barring any changes to the routine, in three years time, many of these same cyclists will return to Beaufort County to participate in the same event in 2021. When they come back, they will remember the hospitality you offered them this year. When they think about places to retire, or move and start a family, they may well think of this place because of the seeds you helped plant this weekend.

Well done, Beaufort County. Way to show our guests what you’re made of.