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The nation’s firefighters are spread thin right now with new fires flaring up frequently.
In Fort Collins, CO, the local cycling community came together to express their gratitude to the firefighters that have been protecting their homes, by organizing an event to help fund not only the current effort, but potential fires that may require funding through the long summer remaining.
Locals organized a grassroots-style short track race on the Fort Collins property belonging to Ronny and Aly Bush with the goal of raising about $2,000 and donating all proceeds to the Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department.
“After the High Park Fire really got going we started bouncing ideas off each other about what we could do to help out,” said one of the event organizers, Your Group Ride organizer Dan Porter.
The volunteers planned the event two weeks out and asked racers for a $10 suggested donation. They were able to give $4344.25 to the Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department, thanks to the race. “Rist Canyon is a favorite ride for people around here,” said Porter. “The fire department lost its firehouse, which is an iconic point along the climb.”
The race itself was as relaxed as can be and is a great opportunity for local mountain bikers to ride hard with others. “We didn’t really keep track of results. It mirrors what the regular mid-week races are like. They aren’t sanctioned, you race whatever category feels appropriate,” and people will hassle you if they thing you’re sandbagging, he explained.
The event offered free entry to firefighters and evacuees, though most were otherwise occupied. Porter recalled that one firefighter left his house, knowing it would likely burn down, in order to defend the elementary school.
The firefighters deserve a huge amount of gratitude and support for the work they are doing for the community. This event was an impressive way for the community to come together and share a few laughs during a tragedy and give back to those who are providing the greatest service of all.
The fire department is accepting donations here.
Emily spent her infancy in the back of a women’s team van while the team built wheels around her. She spent part of her pre-teen years in Europe following the major European mountain, road and gravity races and touring cycling product factories. College was the first time she lived in a home without a frame building shop in her garage or basement. Her favorite style of riding is getting lost in singletrack trail networks and taking her time finding her way back.