2021 - A Year in Review
So much love and kudos in the Tucson air!
Not one, not two, but three local Tucson publications gave kudos to our lovely ED, Sharon Madison, and to the generosity of the WR4 membership. Why? Well, Valentine's Day came a day early for the Pueblo Warriors when they received their team jerseys compliments of We Ride 4 Denver and We Ride 4 Tucson. Sharon and chief ambassador John Genell, and some of the members from both of the organization's chapters helped distribute jerseys plus fixed-up bikes to use on their first ride as an official team. The Pima County Health Department joined forces with WR4 and donated trainers and other gear so students can use Zwift at home and school too. TJ Juskeiwicz, El Tour de Tucson ED, didn't quite know that his introductions to WR4 and Pueblo Warriors would become an overnight sensation. Sharon sums it up, "It's making life better for everyone in this partnership!"
Oh, and to add to the fun, Ernesto Somoza, sponsor of the club, had 5 flat tires on the 30-mile ride on the virgin ride. Guess what happened then? Sharon got members to raise enough money to get the much-needed new tires for the kids' bikes and Mr. Somoza’s!
Luck be with you…The leprechauns were busy this month!
Somebody's got to change out the old tires for the new ones coming from WR4's generosity in February. Head Leprechauns' Kerstin and Marty Albe from Evergreen Bike Shop in Colorado, with their mechanic Cameron, spearheaded a bike-tuning event on 3/8 and 3/9 with many other WR4 volunteers in attendance. The students' bikes were tuned, and new tires and tubes were installed. Roger Kennedy and John Genell became known as "scrub masters" extraordinaire because the cassettes looked brand new when they were done scrubbing.
This month the Pueblo Warriors have committed to training for the El Tour de Tucson in November. Right now, the students have set their sights on a mock El Tour in May. Junior student Isaac is showing the world what he's all about—— yes, he was the last student standing on the March endurance ride. A newer cyclist and he rode over 50 miles. We were thrilled to see such strides from this young man. The other students tasted the thrill that comes from "going for it" on the bike. We loved seeing their smiles too. We must keep the momentum going now that we don't have to deal with too many flats.
Back in Denver, WR4 coordinated with Tim Baker and Dave Edwards from Primal Wear, Inc., where Primal donated hats, t-shirts, and socks to the Pueblo Warrior students. Ernesto will use these gifts as incentives to keep the kids rolling! TJ Juskiewicz put the "frosting on the cake" by donating medals to be given out to the students as they show improvement.
Don't you think that the "luck be with you" is with all of us in this beautiful partnership?
Finally, Less Zwift, More Outdoor Rides for the Denver Chapter!
What happens when more of us are vaccinated and CDC has stopped requiring masks outdoors? Of course, WR4 added outdoor rides into the Team Snap calendar for the upcoming season with great anticipation to show off our pink and blue colors on our team rides and events. As a bonus for the season's first rides, pals were seen giving the long-awaited hugs since so many of us had been vaccinated, and CDC had lifted the mask requirements for outdoors. Sharon was on it to get the WR4 tent and chairs ordered for the summer events—- and, yes, just like our jerseys, you can't miss the tent's pink and blue colors among the other tents at the large events.
Still not enough light and not enough warmth for the weeknight rides to startup—- so, our fearless Zwift leaders charged on with leading Zwift rides. Thanks to Gina Lotito, Sharon Madison, Matt Jonsen, and Jon Moore for keep on keeping on!
Happy 1st Anniversary to We Ride 4 and Happy Birthday to Sharon!
In just one year, WR4 has 300+ members. Because of our size and the generosity of our membership, we were able to give significant donations to our two non-profits: Cottonwood Institute in Denver and Pueblo Road Warriors in Tucson. We've also volunteered for both of these organizations so we can be part of the solution—- getting children outside, exercising, and connecting to things that motivate them.
Before our Executive Director and Chief Ambassador came back to Denver, they wanted to be sure to put a period on the wonderful partnership that had come to be over the winter months with the Pueblo Road Warriors. They decided to plan a mock Tour de Tucson for the students to motivate them to keep training for next November's event. They set up two routes— a 30 mile one and a 75 mile one. Isaac was up the challenge and made the entire 75 miles with support from some of the WR4 crew—- Gregg Spahn, Pamela Powell, Sharon Madison, and John Genell alongside Ernesto Somoza, coach of the Pueblo Road Warriors. The other kids were just as jazzed with their accomplishments. A big SHOUT OUT to Jeanne Spahn for setting up five aid stations with food and water along the course.
And, we can't forget the grand birthday celebration at Reynolds Landing parking lot when almost 80 of us broke into singing Happy birthday to our fearless leader, the one and only Sharon Madison. We lit up Deer Creek for sure with our colors and again lit up the Brewery, where we toasted a few beers for the birthday celebration.
Showing Off Our True Colors
How many cycling clubs in Colorado can say they had 70 members show up for the Elephant Rock,2021? That would be WR4! We spread out over the 45/60/100 mile routes. With 70 participants, we were everywhere, and we were noticed. More often than not, so many of us heard, "Hey, I like your kit! Who are you?" And, as a bonus, some lookers even asked who Cottonwood Institute was, and we got to put a plug in for them. Sharon is already working on getting us potential discounts since we proved that day we can make any event pop with our colors and enthusiasm. Sharon and John had the tent ready to go for all of us to come after the ride to say, "I did it!" A fun day was had by all because we had each other to cheer us on and support us as needed.
For most of the rest of June, members were busy training for the next big events coming up. Yes, the Ride the Rockies, the Triple Bypass, the WR4 3-day road trip in the Crested Butte area, and the Tour of Steamboat.
There were rumblings about needing silent and live auction items for the upcoming month's fundraising for Cottonwood. Stay tuned for the happenings in July!
Rides, Rides, and Fun-raising 4 Cottonwood Institute
The official start of the Cottonwood Institute Move-a-Thon event and silent auction were the headlines for the first of July. Many, many of us registered for the Move-A-Thon on Strava, so Cottonwood could track everyone's moves and tabulate who was moving the most at the end of the month! Pretty sure Cottonwood didn't know the true meaning of MOVING until they met us! We had members adding miles to their name by participating in weekend rides, including Jamestown, Squaw climbs, the Tour of Steamboat ride, weekly gravel and mountain bike extravaganzas, and the weekday road rides. Oh, and let's not forget some cyclists added miles by riding past Cody and Katie Bourne, who were getting married in Wash Park! (How many of you have had the pink and blue make an appearance at your wedding???)
To be sure Cottonwood's finale was successful, Sharon and John made it a point to wrap the WR4 trip around Cottonwood's closing festivities for the July fundraiser so the 25 members on the trip could party together Saturday night, 7/31, in Gunnison with drinks provided by CI. These club members, along with other members who hopped on zoom to participate in the live auction, showed their true colors (even without sporting the pink and blue) in support of the "4" in our mission. Sharon's goal was to raise $25k overall, with $10k in individual donations and $15k for auction items. Just like moving our bodies in the month-long Move-A-Thon more than anyone expected, we moved the needle past Sharon's $$$ goals. We raised a total of $27,580! Do you know what this hefty amount says about our community? We are as committed to supporting our non-profit as we are with the club's cycling events.