2022 - A Year in Review
A New Year and A Renewed Anticipation for the 2022 Riding Season !
The members were ready to up their fitness for 2022. For most, that meant Zwifting during the week and weekend outdoor rides. In order to create an incentive for everyone to start their training early, we announced the routes and dates for our 3-day road event in July. Within a couple hours following the announcement the event was sold out!
WR4 joins the Primal-Audi Denver Team for Bike MS Colorado 2022!
Because of the enthusiasm WR4 members have brought to their teams in past years, Primal-Audi Denver Team invited WR4 to officially join them this year with the team's new name being PRIMAL - Audi Denver - We Ride 4. WR4 members got started right away to help the team reach the ambitious goal of raising $100,000! While the Bike MS team was underway, several of our club members were toughing out the cold, snow and mud at the Old Man Winter Gravel event in Boulder which provided our Facebook page with some of the best photos of the year. Meanwhile, several members participated on teams at the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo mountain bike event in Tucson, affectionately referred to by the locals as “The Burning Man of Southern Arizona”!
WR4 Promotes the Value of Corporate Giving Programs
WR4 created a campaign to promote the value of leveraging corporate giving programs. As a result, members that work for organizations with matching programs were able to double, and in some cases, triple their donations to WR4. These contributions helped us get even more children involved in healthy, outdoor activities. For more details on how to tap into your company’s corporate giving program, reach out to Sharon. At the same time, with prime season well underway in Tucson, several members made the trek to Sierra Vista, AZ for the 3-day El Tour de Zona road event.
Better than a Santa Claus kind of day, and you wonder how that can be…
As we started to near the end of the prime season in Tucson, it was time to make an even bigger impact in our efforts to support the Pueblo Road Warriors program before our part-time AZ residents started heading North again for the spring. With the help of several of the students in the program, WR4 surprised them with a check for $10,000 which would go a long way toward providing them with jerseys, entry fees for events, new bikes and various parts and accessories they struggle to pay for every year. It was an unexpected contribution in our first full season with the newly established Tucson Chapter which made it even more special.
The Outdoor Season Finally Gets Underway in Colorado!
As the WR4 team moved more toward outdoor group rides in Colorado, the event season officially kicked off with a long list that included Wildhorse Gravel, Santa Fe Century and Gravel, Mad Gravel and Ironhorse. We even had 10 members participate in the Colfax Marathon, Colorado’s largest running event, where we have been providing the bike pacers for the past 7 events. And finally, with the club growing by leaps and bounds, a ride-level ambassador program and ride leader program was implemented with an incentive plan to reward those who volunteer for these programs. So, if you like free stuff and meeting new members, call Sharon and she’ll help you get started in the program.
Time for WR4 to Strut Our Winter Training Gains
Summer is officially here. Everyone is riding themselves into mid-season form just in time for some of our annual marquee events. More than 80 members participated in what would be the last official Elephant Rock event after 35 years; one of the state’s longest standing cycling annual traditions. This ride meant so much to so many of us. For many it was our 1st official event, our first metric century or full century. Many friendships were made here. We even had 2 members get engaged at one of the aide stations one year. For all of us, Elephant Rock will be missed. One week later, 35 members followed by Sharon in a private support vehicle gathered at Copper Mountain for the 6 days of Ride the Rockies with over 450 miles of riding and more than 27,000 ft of elevation gain. The route was one of the hardest in the history of the event, but everyone finished. After RTR, WR4 finished out the June event schedule with Bike MS where 37 club members rode 150 miles over 2 days while helping the PRIMAL-Audi Denver-WR4 team raise over $125,000 blowing through their ambitious $100,000 goal putting the team firmly into 2nd place for fundraising.
How the Power of Will and Determination Makes for Sunny Days!
Once again, 50 members from the club gathered in South Fork, CO including a brave few that drove up from Tucson, for the 3rd annual WR4 3-day road event. This year’s route followed Colorado’s historic Silver Thread Scenic Byway through the towns of Creede and Lake City, up and over Slumgullion Pass. For many, it was their first time riding over 11,500 ft on a bike. Not everyone knew all 50 participants when we started but everyone made new friends by the end. The weather was wet, cold and challenging at times, but stunningly gorgeous when we needed it most. It was hard, it was fun, and 50 people did it together as one group working together with the help from our good friends at Summit Cycle Solutions who provided road support and amazing photography every day.
The Power of the WR4 Constituency is Unconditional and Impactful.
August brought an unexpected phone call to WR4. One of our event partners and his wife were working with the young daughter of a good friend who was the victim of sexual abuse. They wanted to help her get her life back on track. The call was a request for a bike for the young girl to help her get back and forth to her college classes and her job. Not something that WR4 typically takes on. But thanks to one of our Board members, Rob Burton, we were able to find her a new bike and after several donations from other members we were also able to provide several other accessories to help with her commute. All accomplished in just a few days. The power of the WR4 constituency and commitment to help others is unconditional and truly amazing. Thanks to Rob and a few others, this young girl is back in school and back at her job.
Trinidad Becomes Our New Favorite Colorado Town.
Prior to September, Trinidad was just a town that passed by the window of our cars on the way to somewhere else. Maybe we stopped there for gas, or a quick food stop but most of us never thought about staying overnight or visiting the town. But on a sunny warm day in May, on their drive back to Denver for the summer, John and Sharon decided to stop and see what all the talk was about Trinidad becoming the Gravel Bike hub of Southern Colorado. Sharon still wasn’t back on the bike at the time following her February crash that fractured her pelvis. So, her and John drove all the routes for a day and a half. When it was over, they had everything they needed to organize 3 days of gravel rides 4 months later. Fast forward to September. The weather was perfect. The town was charming. And for 3 days, 30 WR4 members rode the remote scenic gravel roads on the outskirts of town and when it was over, everyone agreed we’d be back.
We Don’t Just Talk the Talk…
It literally takes months of hard work from a small army of people to put on a fundraising event that only lasts for a couple hours on one evening. But that doesn’t discourage the WR4 fundraising event team. Led by our ED, Sharon Madison, the team includes Prilla O’Connell, Wendy Miller and a few others from Lucky to Ride. Impressively, this team brought together 250 members and supporters at Audi Denver for the Tour de Lucky gala. When the night was over, the event raised over $100,000, with $85,000 of that coming from WR4 members. All proceeds from this event went to our Denver chapter nonprofit partner, Lucky to Ride, to support their programming aimed at getting more underserved kids outdoors and on bikes.
1 + 2 + 3 = A Growing WR4 Family
Every year when November comes around, WR4 members in Colorado are increasingly moving indoors onto their trainers. But for the Tucson Chapter, officially starting its 3rd season, things are starting to ramp up. For 39 years, El Tour de Tucson has been the iconic event that officially kicks off the winter season right before Thanksgiving. More than 7,000 riders register for this annual event. This year was very special for WR4 because 3 components of our organization joined forces to create a team of 50 participants. Nearly 30 members from Colorado made the 12 hour drive to join up with members from Tucson as well as students from the Pueblo HS Road Warriors. This made WR4 one of the largest nonprofit teams and as a result were rewarded with a $2,000 donation from the El Tour de Tucson organization.
Tis the Season for Giving, and We Did Not Disappoint!
Because of the members' generosity throughout the year, we were able to surprise Jeff McRae with a $10k check to support his work with World Bicycle Relief in December. Our generosity didn't stop there. We surprised Ernesto Somoza with a check for $1500 because of his endless hours of work helping the Pueblo Road Warrior students on and off the bike. WE RIDE TO GIVE!