Annual Ram Bike Classic this Sunday

Who knew a bike ride could change the world?

The Ram Bicycle Classic is an annual charity event in which cyclists pay to ride their bikes through Fort Collins in 11 to 100 mile increments.

The event, according to RBC’s co-director, Sylvia Cranmer, “…evolved from an effort to raise money for scholarships and student field work in developing countries for CSU’s Global, Social & Sustainable Enterprise (GSSE) MBA program in the College of Business.”

“The Global, Social and Sustainable Enterprise MBA seeks to provide sustainable and social enterprise solutions to some of the most stubborn issues of our time including poverty, disease, malnutrition and environmental degradation,” says their website.  “Our sustainable MBA graduates go on to create and operate for-profit and nonprofit startups, non-governmental organizations, and to work in multinational companies that champion social and environmental objectives while delivering solid returns on investment.”

“CU has the Buffalo Bicycle Classic, a fundraiser bike ride for the College of Arts and Sciences, which raises huge amounts of money,” Cranmer said in an email to the Collegian. “Carl Hammerdorfer, Director of CSU’s GSSE program saw the success CU had with their ride (now in its 10th year) and wanted to replicate it here in Fort Collins.”

Cranmer confirmed, “Once all of the expenses are paid for, 100 percent of the proceeds of the ride all go to the GSSE program, for scholarships and summer field work.”

That’s $50,000 to $60,000, according to Hammerdorfer, though Cranmer is hopeful that changes made for this year’s event will increase that.

“There are lots of changes to the RBC this year, the biggest change being the date. Several factors came into play to select the September date,” Cranmer said. “In May, the weather is very iffy, and then in late May we were either competing with another North Front Range ride, with CSU graduation or Poudre School District graduation.”

“September,” she continued, “allows for more training time for riders, typically more predictable weather — fingers crossed! — less competition with other organized rides, a whole summer of promotional opportunities and CSU is in session, so we can involve more students and CSU employees.”

Cranmer said, “We have lots of involvement from various bike groups, from a great group of volunteers, and some very excited cyclists who are chomping at the bit to do one last century ride for the season.”

Other things to look forward to include, “Great food catered by Taverna Greek Grill and live music.  And the weather forecast for Sunday is fabulous; around 80 degrees and — last time I checked — zero chance of precipitation,” Cranmer enthused.

“My favorite part is riding downhill,” Hammerdorfer said. “I usually ride the 35 or 65 mile routes. They’re actually completely new routes this year.”

However, this year Hammerdorfer will not be in attendance due to the same event launching for the first time in Kenya.  “I need to be there for that,” he said.

As an extra incentive, the RBC’s press release says, “All registered riders will be entered into a drawing for a $2000 Panda bamboo bike,” with an extra chance for those who “like” the page on Facebook.

For more information visit www.RamBicycleClassic.org.