The 2nd Annual CycleFest fundraiser kicked off the second season of the Colorado High School Cycling League on 14 May. The fundraising dinner and silent auction was hosted by Gary Fisher and raised over $25,000 to support the league.
Student athletes shared the experiences and accomplishments from the inaugural 2010 season, where roughly 200 student athletes represented 20 teams in the four race series.
The enthusiastic crowd of 130 supporters bid on silent auction items to help support the 2011 series where, executive director of the league, Kate Rau, anticipates nearly 300 racers will roll to the start line at the first race on 18 September in Nathrop, Colorado.
“My participation in the League helps me with my progression as a mountain bike racer and a student,” said Joe Christiansen, a high school league racer from Lyons, Colorado. “The discipline it takes to train is similar to the hard work necessary to get ahead in life.” He credits the League for delivering a premiere junior race series and introducing mountain bike racing to kids who have never tried it.
“It was all about us, junior mountain bike racers,” said Lindsay Dye, a senior from Broomfield, Colorado. “While taking in the screaming fans, the total support, and community I was hit with a realization: this is where dreams come true.”
As part of the dinner, mountain bike icon Gary Fisher offered his personal experiences as a young competitor back in 1962. He impressed the importance of innovation from youth programming, to cycling equipment, to land use-planning policies that effectively accommodate cycling.
"Gary Fisher provided a unique and personal vision of the past, present and future of cycling which is in the hands of our student athletes,” said Max Bradley, the Colorado League’s board president.
Denver Mayoral candidate, Chris Romer, attended the event for a second time and used it to reminded participants that, “Cycling is a healthy avenue for adolescents where prevention is much cheaper than intervention.”
Prominent industry sponsors and supporters from Yeti, Feedback Sports, Trek, SRAM, Wheat Ridge Cyclery, the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA), the Colorado Mountain Bike Alliance (COMBA) and Poudre Valley Health System experienced first hand the positive impacts of their sponsorship while mingling with the student athletes.
The weekend closed the following day with the Bácaro Venetian Taverna “Ride to Eat, Eat to Ride”. Despite pouring rain, dedicated cyclists rode with Gary Fisher before partaking in a gourmet Italian lunch prepared by Bácaro’s executive chef Fabio Flagiello.