The Simon’s Cycles team was very aware of the Black’s Cycles Century Ride for YANA, and when it was not held in 2011, we felt it was a great loss to the community and to the YANA cause. I mentioned this to the YANA executive director one day, simply stating that if there was a desire to get the event going again, Simon’s Cycles would love to join in and get bikes on the street and bucks into the YANA bank. We were delighted when the YANA organization came forward with the offer to partner on a new version of the ride. The rest is history so they say.
The August 2013 Simon’s Cycles YANA Ride completely exceeded our expectations. A committee was formed that was professional, creative and full of fun. Our committee goal was to raise $10,000 and we raised $28,000. The day was amazing and my personal highlight was simply feeling the wonderful energy throughout the event that was generated by all ages and all cycling abilities.
Supporting the ride was an easy, exciting choice for us at Simon’s Cycles. We love seeing people on bikes. We believe that cycling has positive impacts on community, health and the environment. Being able to combine these benefits with raising funds for YANA and having a fun family event was a perfect fit. Months before the Ride Day, we began offering pre-rides to help and encourage riders to prepare for the distance. With seasoned elite riders, weekend warriors and newbies showing up for these pre rides, all became better riders, more confident, fit, faster and friendships were made too.
When the big day finally arrived, the weather was ideal, the turnout was beyond our expectations, the energy was positive, and the YANA love spread far and wide. Certainly for me it was the family ride that stole the show, the little people on bikes with grandma and grandpa, mom and dad. Seeing the smiles of gratification on those new riders who challenged the distance was also immensely gratifying. But above all it was YANA spirit that captured one and all, that really made the day. Exceeding our fundraising goal by nearly three times was a thrill!
The Simon’s Cycles YANA ride helped build awareness and a deeper understanding of YANA for the participants and volunteers. Simon’s Cycles feels fortunate to have this new YANA partnership. We are excited to expand our support for future Rides, growing the love for YANA and for bicycles.