On Sunday, riders of all levels showed up at 6 a.m. with friends, family and warm clothes for the fourth annual Rams Bike Classic. Supporters watched as riders lined up every hour between 7:30 a.m. and 10 a.m.
For the past four years, the ride has taken place in the spring, but this year the committee moved it to the fall in consideration of competing rides and unpredictable weather in the spring.
This year’s participants included 450 riders and more than 100 volunteers.
The riders chose from four different routes through Larimer County, which ranged from 100 miles to 11 miles long. The ride started and ended at the intersection of Meridian Avenue and Plum Street.
The longest routes looped through Masonville and Carter Lake, which made for a large time commitment on the part of the riders.
“I would estimate [that it takes] seven hours on average for the 100 mile ride,” co-director of the Ram Bicycling Classic Sylvia Cranmer said. “Each rider has a different level of fitness that determines when we will see the riders return.”
Volunteers from local bike shops, the community, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and Global, Social, Sustainability, Enterprise (GSSE) students set up tents and registration for the arriving riders.
“Through the GSSE program, students learn entrepreneurial skills and apply then apply them the real world,” Director of Recruiting Sandy Dahlberg said.
At multiple aid stations, the volunteers provided riders with water, food and medical support.
Shannon Scott, a first year GSSE student, wanted to give back as a volunteer for her first Ram Bicycle Classic. Scott put in in 80 hours in the last month and 45 this past week. She plans on heading the volunteer chair again next year and she begins to look for student organizations for support.
“Fort Collins is a great location for this ride because of the mountains and for the majority of cars that respect bicyclists,” Scott said.
The League of American Cyclists ranked the City of Fort Collins as Gold, the second highest level of bicycle safety, and Colorado State University at Silver.
“It’s the little things that we need to cover next year. We need more volunteers to help make next year even better,” Scott said.
Next year co-director Sylvia Cranmer expects a total of 200 more riders for walk-ins.
Collegian writer Haleigh Hamblin can be reached at email@example.com.