Bikefest promoters help law enforcement reach visitors before th -, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Bikefest promoters help law enforcement reach visitors before they arrive

. - MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - After a recent story with a Bikefest promoter, Myrtle Beach police reached out to WMBF News Anchor Christel Bell to meet him.

In April, Alex A., of Bike Week Expo, a group that hosts different Bikefest activities, spoke to WMBF News. Soon after the story aired, Lt. Joey Crosby with Myrtle Beach Police expressed interest in meeting Alex.

About a week ago, the two were able to meet, and from there formed a partnership to spread the word about the operational and safety plans for this year's event.

Initially when WMBF News met with Alex A., he was concerned about the safety of bikers traveling the the traffic loop, and he felt the plans that are in place for Memorial Day were not being communicated to the people who will be visiting the Grand Strand next week.

Alex A. said, "Nobody wants to go somewhere and be surprised and then anxiety sets in and you're like 'oh my gosh' what do we do?"

So when he heard that the Myrtle Beach Police Department wanted his help to spread the word, he was more than willing to extend his resources and talk with them about how they can work together.

The goal is tell people about the changes before they arrive. Lt. Joey Crosby and Alex met last week.

Alex added, "I told him to go on our Facebook page and post feel free to put up any information that's going to be helpful, not only to me and my friends, but to all the bikers that's coming in town."

Crosby and Alex said they met and were able to talk about the safety and the concerns of the traffic loop. Alex said it took education about the loop for him to understand. He's now working to help others understand as well, he said the more people know, the safer it will be on the highways.

"People don't like changes and I'm the same way, I don't like changes, but once I talked with the lieutenant and Myrtle Beach Police, then I was able to understand what they were saying and what their purpose is, and I feel a lot better now," explained the event coordinator.

Alex has even pulled other promoters, that too, were concerned about the information and resources that were limited to those outside of Horry County.

Myrtle West Cycles in Longs specializes is custom bike work, parts, and accessories. They love to ride motorcycles, but they love fixing them up even more.

Jonathan Martin is the owner of the bike shop that has clients from as far as Puerto Rico.

"Being the powerhouse, we have a lot contacts with not only customers and dealers, but we use a lot our resources here at the shop to let everybody know what's going during Bike Week," said Martin.

Martin said his shop has been working non-stop to get custom motorcycle bike work done for many of the customers that will be visiting the Grand Strand next weekend.

Martin explains the event is a big bike show, and everyone wants to come together to have fun and show off all the work they have put into their bikes, but he said safety is always a priority, and it's why he too is doing what he can to inform those bikers about the changes this year.

"It's been really good, giving them the literature to actually know what's happening down here, what's expected when they get here. I mean, it gives them forewarning," said Martin.

Lt. Joey Crosby said the department is still working to drive Bikefest plans through all their social media platforms. He told WMBF News working with the promoters of the event is a great example of the community working together with police.

Martin said he would like to see more efforts with law enforcement and the biker community working together; he feels that is the only way Bikefest will become a positive event.

"If everyone would come together with the county, the businesses, and just push it in the direction it needs to go, we need to have organized events and destinations for people to go and display their bikes," stressed Martin.

Alex said once this year's event is over, it will be time to come together to plan 2016.

"I think we should do after Bike Week, every month let's have a meeting, put everything on the table because 2016 will be here before you know it," he said.

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