Published: Aug. 5, 2020

The annual bicycle race that provides scholarships to arts and sciences students is moving to a do-it-yourself ride format due to COVID-19

The Buffalo Bicycle Classic (BBC) has always been more than just a bike ride; it is the largest scholarship fundraising ride in the state of Colorado.  Due to the many constraints posed by COVID-19, the BBC will move to a do-it-yourself virtual ride this year.

“As the threat posed by COVID-19 has evolved, it became clear to us that it would be very difficult to host a large in-person ride that would be safe for our riders, volunteers, and the community, so we made the difficult decision to move to a do-it-yourself format this year,” says Jenny Anderson, Buffalo Bicycle Classic Ride Manager. 

“Without our signature event this year, we face an unprecedented challenge in fundraising to support our scholars.”

The BBC was created in 2003 to raise scholarship funds for Colorado high school graduates to attend the University of Colorado Boulder. BBC Scholars are some of Colorado’s brightest, with each graduating with a 4.0+ high school GPA. These students have also demonstrated strong financial need in order to attend college. 

Without our signature event this year, we face an unprecedented challenge in fundraising to support our scholars."

Over the last 18 years, the BBC has raised over $3.3 million in direct support of student scholarships at CU Boulder and over 375 recipients have graduated from CU, including 17 this past spring semester.

“At this point, we are shifting focus towards our fundraising efforts for our scholars. Our scholars are among CU's best and have an incredible graduation rate of 95%. This year, more than ever, our scholars and their families need our support,” said Paul Beale, Faculty Director of the Buffalo Bicycle Classic.

Originally scheduled for Sunday, September 13, BBC riders are invited to explore the event’s modified routes. The planning committee is encouraging small groups of 10 or fewer to ride with their Buffalo Bicycle Classic merchandise or bib between Sept. 6 and Sept. 20. Riders will benefit from partnerships with stores, coffee shops and restaurants along the routes.

Through a new partnership between CU Boulder and the Colorado Department of Higher Education, donations and registration fees will be matched 1:1 by the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative doubling the impact of registration fees and additional donations.

“Because of the scholarship, I was able to utilize my time differently since I didn't have that financial burden,” said Jasmine Tran, Buffalo Bicycle Classic scholar and first-generation college student, graduated from CU Boulder this spring with degrees in integrated physiology and sociology. 

“I got to do a lot of community service work like tutor students throughout the Boulder community, attending and working at different hospitals, too. I was able to find my passion.”

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