Bike riders of all cycling levels are gearing up to ride in the 10th Annual Buffalo Bicycle Classic scheduled for Sept. 9, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. The bicycle classic raises scholarship funds for high-performing CU-Boulder students who qualify for financial aid.
Two weeks after professional cyclists raced through Boulder and up Boulder Canyon, some riders in the upcoming bicycle classic will follow much of the same route—the most mountainous section of Stage 6 of the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge.
Since 2003, the scholarship fundraiser has raised more than $1.6 million in scholarships and has funded more than 730 scholarships. The event is the single largest source of scholarships for the College of Arts and Sciences.
Scholarship recipients are selected based on grade point average and financial need. Students cannot apply for the scholarship and don’t know they are being considered until they learn they have won. All net proceeds go toward scholarships, and a portion of the registration fee is tax-deductible.
"Given the university’s fiscal straits, every scholarship dollar counts,” said Steven Leigh, dean of the CU-Boulder College of Arts and Sciences “The University of Colorado Boulder is rightly committed to keeping higher education as accessible as possible. 'Riding the Buffalo' helps us do just that."
The Elevations Credit Union Buffalo Bicycle Classic includes all of its five traditional courses: a flatter 100-mile ride, now called the Foothills Century, plus its 70-mile, 50-mile, and 35-mile routes, and the 14-mile Little Buff family-friendly community ride.
New this year is a 100-mile “century” route called the Buff Epic, which will start on campus, ascend Boulder Canyon to Nederland, follow the Peak to Peak Highway past Ward, descend St. Vrain Canyon to Lyons and then head east to Erie and back to Boulder.
For the Buff Epic, Boulder Canyon’s westbound lane will be closed to traffic from 7 to about 9:30 a.m. The fastest male and female climbers who ascend a 13.5-mile segment (from the base of Boulder Canyon to Barker Reservoir) will win polka-dot jerseys, signifying their climbing prowess. Times will be measured by individual riders’ GPS devices and recorded on Strava.com.
Ride organizers emphasize that while there is the canyon competition, the Buffalo Bicycle Classic is not a race but a ride for those of all strength and ability levels.
The 2012 Little Buff is co-sponsored by the Center for People with Disabilities,
is promoting the ride as a “fully inclusive community event.” The center is offering scholarships for disabled riders who can’t afford the registration fee, and it is offering to provide adaptive equipment for riders who need it.
“This year, more than ever, the Buffalo Bicycle Classic will accommodate riders of every ability,” Said Todd Gleeson, former dean of the CU-Boulder College of Arts and Sciences and one of the ride’s founders. Gleeson, a professor of integrative physiology, directs CU-Boulder’s new Health Professions Residential Academic Program.
To watch CU Cycling team members ride a time trial of the Boulder Canyon segment of the Buff Epic go to http://youtu.be/Pj1l_ihaA8w.
To see the fastest times so far on the Buffalo Bicycle Classic Boulder Canyon climb go to http://app.strava.com/segments/1822933.