September 03, 2005 (PRLEAP.COM) Sports News
BOULDER, CO, Sept. 3, 2005…About 1,500 cyclists and 250 volunteers will participate in the TIAA-CREF Buffalo Bicycle Classic (www.buffalobicycleclassic.com) Sept. 11 in hopes of raising $150,000 in scholarships for arts and sciences students at the University of Colorado at Boulder. The third annual fund-raiser will be held from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pledge-ride routes of 35, 65 and 100 miles will each begin and end near Folsom Field on the CU-Boulder campus.
Cyclists must pay a $38 advance registration fee and raise at least $40 in pledges. Registration on the day of the event is $48. Participants must wear an approved helmet and be at least 12 years old.
Proceeds raised by bikers will support student scholarships. This academic year, 50 students are being supported by Buffalo Bicycle Classic funds, making it the largest single source of scholarships at the College of Arts and Sciences.
More than 25 teams of riders have already registered to ride Sept. 11, representing many campus departments, organizations and area businesses.
Bikers will pedal routes along city and county roads as far north as Masonville near Horsetooth Reservoir in Larimer County. Six aid stations will offer riders food, drink, restrooms and free mechanical support. Shuttles will be available to take riders to aid stations if necessary. Authorities will be present to assist with the ride but no roads will be closed to traffic during the event.
CU-Boulder staff, the university's cycling team, riders, volunteers and rider families will be welcomed at a post-ride celebration on campus featuring entertainment and recognition of riders and sponsors. Post-ride massages will be offered free courtesy of the Boulder College of Massage Therapy. A pasta bar and food and outdoor product vendors also will be part of the post-ride festivities.
The event has generated increasing sponsorship interest from the Boulder business community. TIAA-CREF, the university's retirement program partner and a sponsor of major cycling events and a national cycling team, has joined the College of Arts and Sciences as the event's title sponsor.
TIAA-CREF and about two dozen Front Range corporations and businesses have covered all event expenses so that 100 percent of rider contributions can be allocated for student scholarships.
"Town and gown support for this event has been remarkable," said Todd Gleeson, dean of the CU-Boulder College of Arts and Sciences and the event's founder. "Sponsorship has allowed us to exceed our projections and support many more students than we had originally anticipated."
After two years, the event generated more than $150,000 for scholarships at the CU-Boulder College of Arts and Sciences. Organizers are trying to raise $150,000 from the 2005 event, which would fund 75 $2,000 scholarships.
Aid stations along the route are sponsored by CU's Office of the President, the CU-Boulder Arts and Sciences Dean's Office, Department of Integrative Physiology, Office of Community Affairs, Department of Mathematics, the CU Foundation and the Residential Academic Programs Council.
The event was conceived by Gleeson, an avid cyclist. It took off in 2003 with the help of developer and 1962 CU alumnus Woody Eaton, 1972 alumnus Frank Banta of Banta Construction and Gail Mock of Mock Realty. The event planning committee is all volunteer, which saves tens of thousands of dollars in professional
event-planning fees.
Gleeson bikes his 20-mile round-trip commute to CU-Boulder on most workdays during the summer and one to three days a week during the school year, weather permitting. Though the dean and biology professor joked that he'd never be mistaken for Lance Armstrong, he will join the field on Sept. 11. "I'll be riding either the 65- or the 100-mile route, depending upon whether or not I am needed at the finish line before sunset."
For more information about the Buffalo Bicycle Classic, including registration materials and route maps, visit http://www.buffalobicycleclassic.com/.