For 33 years, the Ride the Rockies cycling tour has lured thousands of cyclists and spectators globally to Colorado for 445 miles of strenuous biking that benefits area communities. This year, the June 9–15 tour will further its charitable impact by supporting organizations such as the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s.
The charitable support is through the tour’s new Two Wheels for Change effort, which gives cyclists a chance to back nonprofit organizations that aim to make cycling accessible. Created by the Denver Post Community Foundation, the campaign also connects members of cycling communities.
Ride the Rockies organizers created crowdfunding pages for the roughly 2,000 participants in the tour. Team DPF, the Davis Phinney Foundation’s grassroots fundraising arm, will represent the Louisville, Colorado-based organization. Since 2012, the Ride the Rockies team has raised more than $625,000 for innovative Parkinson’s programs and patient advocacy and education.
”Last year was my first year as a participant,” Kevin Schmid, a Montana resident and Parkinson’s patient, said in a press release. “The whole week was amazing. We came together as a team. Everyone cheered each other on and pushed us through it.”
The riding adventure will feature the communities of Crested Butte, Gunnison, Buena Vista, Snowmass, Carbondale, Hotchkiss and Mt. Crested Butte. The top three fundraising teams will be eligible for prizes. There will be awards for individuals, too.
Each year, the event provides $5,000 community grants to local nonprofits, and generally spreads goodwill wherever the tour stops. The grant program funds nonprofit organizations that provide services for low-income youths through community programs that support recreation or youth education. To date, more than $585,000 has been granted to Colorado towns. Different communities are spotlighted annually.
The Davis Phinney Foundation was established in 2004 by Olympic cyclist Davis Phinney to Help Parkinson’s patients live well. In 2000, Phinney was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s Disease. Team DPF supports the foundation through participation in a variety of athletic events, including those involving cycling.
Parkinson’s affects more than one million individuals in the United States.