2022 - A Year in Review
A New Year and A Renewed Anticipation for the 2022 Riding Season !
The timing couldn't have been better for the WR4 Zoom Ride Party announcement on1/24/22 for the member-only July 3-day ride event. After almost a month of a steady diet of Zwift, the membership needed something to look forward to--- So, they were all over getting on the zoom call to learn about the July event. John Genell, WR4's Chief Ambassador, laid out the 3-day ride, from South Fork to Iola on the Blue Mesa Reservoir and back to South Fork with the route winding its way through four of Colorado's most scenic and least populated counties and views of some of the tallest peaks in the state. WR4's Executive Director, Sharon Madison, introduced the members to Zach Ostrander of Summit Cycle Solutions and Bill Plock of 303 Endurance, who plan the yearly event with John and Sharon. Sharon also introduced Jon Pasquini, Executive Director for Lucky to Ride, our new non-profit we will be riding 4 this coming year. Dave Edwards from Primal was introduced as well. The presentation was such a hit that the trip sold out with a waiting list before the night was over. Yes, there will be 50 WR4 members heading to South Fork, where the 3-day loop will begin! Nobody seemed frightened away by the climb up Slumgullion Pass (11,530 feet) heading into Lake City on Day 1. Instead, the members on the waiting list hope they may get a chance to join the lucky 50 who will be sporting the pink and blue.
We Ride 4 Joins the Primal Audi Team for the Bike MS Colorado 2022 Event!
Bike MS Colorado will be hosting its yearly fundraising bike event on June 25-26, 2022. Teams have already started to come together to begin their fundraising efforts for this great cause—- to live in a world free of MS! The Colorado Primal-Audi team has been one of the top 5 fundraising teams for this annual event. Because of the enthusiasm the WR4 members have brought to their teams in past years, they invited WR4 to officially join them this year with the team's new name being PRIMAL - Audi Denver - We Ride 4 for the 2022 event and beyond. Several WR4 members are on the roster and are busy fundraising to meet the team's goal of $75,000! There is no fee to join this team. Instead, each participant commits to raising $400 minimum, and Primal will give each registrant a complimentary team jersey to wear.
The PRIMAL - Audi Denver - We Ride 4 team each year welcomes all level riders who want to join in the fun of being on an awesome team. That's right, no one has to join the We Ride 4 club to partake in the fun leading up to the ride and the ride itself. Instead, everyone is welcome to join in on the training rides and share in the weekend's camaraderie with your 50+ teammates.
WR4 Educates Members on the Value of Corporate Giving Programs
The WR4 membership is one of the most generous groups for giving donations to fund WR4 operations and support the local non-profits we ride 4. So, WR4 re-introduced the value of corporate giving programs so those members who have access and have not already taken advantage can double and maybe even triple their donations. Contributions of any amount help We Ride 4 get more children involved in healthy, outdoor activities who otherwise might not have these opportunities.
What is a Corporate Giving Program?
These programs are a form of corporate philanthropy that makes charitable donations to non-profit causes. Companies match donations their employees make to eligible non-profits.
The General Process Looks Like This:
- An individual makes a donation to a non-profit.
- The individual checks with their company to see if they have a matching gift program and if their donation is eligible for a matching gift.
- The individual submits a matching gift request to their company. (The receipts are sent when a member joins, renews, becomes a sponsor, or makes a donation during the year.)
- The company reviews their request and verifies the donation with the non-profit.
- The company matches the donation.
Better than a Santa Claus kind of day, and you wonder, "How can that be?" Let us explain:
Our chief-in-charge had something up her sleeve, so she got busy and reached out to Alan, a Pueblo Warrior Cycling club student member. Alan loved hearing Sharon's idea and was thrilled to take on the role of "elf" so Sharon's "secret" could become a reality. Teamwork at its finest—- From there, Sharon reached out to Ernesto Somoza, letting him know Dave Edwards of Primal was in town and wanted to drop by his cycling class at Pueblo HS while in Tucson.
Once the date was set for Sharon to introduce Dave to Ernesto, she let Alan know so he could fill in the other student members what was up! To say the least, the students were beaming with excitement about meeting their cycling class visitor but also knowing about the (shhh!) surprise. Finally, April 19th rolled around, which meant the surprise would be unveiled. Sharon passed off "the surprise" to David and Isac before going into the classroom with the out-of-town guest as well as a local celebrity, TJ Juskiewicz, Executive Director of El Tour de Tucson. Ernesto had no clue what was about to occur during his class period. But, he was starting to figure out it wasn't going to be a typical day. Sharon quickly said she'd like to talk to the whole class so could he join the audience.
Sharon started the event with remarks explaining what We Ride 4 is all about by sharing the club's mission--- We Ride to Give. That was the cue for David and Isac to enter the classroom with the surprise! They carried in a huge check for $10,000 (literally and figuratively), and Ernesto was stunned!
As the WR4 team moved to more outdoor team rides and less zwifting, it was time to re-visit all that’s involved with getting the outdoor season off to another successful one. First up, an informative document on Group Ride Etiquette was sent to the membership. It was a great reminder of the club’s expectations so that we continue to have fun, safe rides. Since the club is 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. After earning 5 points, a member can trade in for a tee-shirt or hat or save points for the 10-point jersey reward or 20-point free membership (minus jersey) award. A ride ambassador introduces new members their first time out to everyone on the ride and rides along with them. Ride leaders volunteer by getting a route together, putting it in Team Snap, and leading the ride. Ride ambassadors, leaders, and any other club members who get a new member to sign up earn incentive points. All these pieces have helped to guarantee a fabulous outdoor season.
Time for WR4 to Strut Our Winter Training Gains
'Tis the season to show off the winter's gains from zwifting and high-wind spring workouts! And the WR4 members did not disappoint. To strut their bike prowess, 75+ members participated in the last Elephant Rock 1-day event on one of the three road courses—-45, 62, or 100 miles. Of course, the WR4 tent was staked in the ground with drinks, beer, and snacks waiting for the riders' return to the fairgrounds. The afterparty gave everyone a chance to share their war stories from out on the road. And, for some of the members, this event was a great warm-up event for the upcoming Ride The Rockies (RTR) and the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) multi-day, organized events!
35 members met up at Copper Mountain, where the 2022 Ride the Rockies would commence. It was a blessing in disguise there was so much "wind" training in the spring. Why? The riders were given an extra challenge of being blown around in the already challenging week ahead, with approximately 475 miles and 30,000 feet of elevation facing the riders over the 6 days. But, we all know that our membership is a tough bunch. Many newer members joined the RTR regulars, and by the end of the week, there was no distinction. Instead, strong bonds were made between all of the WR4 riders.
Of course, the WR4 members are always clamoring for more challenges, so up next was the MS 2-day ride event. Our members' performance did not disappoint! 37 WR4 members, representing us on the Primal-Audi Denver-We Ride 4 team, were not only prepping for the 2-day ride but were tasked with fundraising for the ride's beneficiary: MS Society, whose funds continued research to END MS FOREVER. Boy, did our teammates blow it out of the water with fundraising efforts. The team raised over 120,000k, with WR4 and its friends raising over 41k of the pot of gold! And our very own John Pitek, Lisa Byington, and Brann Granger raised more than 2.5k, making them VIPs in next year's event. Just like the RTR event, a strong bond was created among the teammates during the weekend!
By Riding to Give, pedaling to complete the daily courses, sharing meals, and rallying around each other's efforts, WR4 did what it's known best for--- creating an inclusive community on wheels where all members, new and old, felt part of something bigger than themselves.