Buff Bike Classic canceled, but cause continues

Committee hopes registrant refunds might be directed to students in need
By Staff

The Elevations Credit Union Buffalo Bicycle Classic (BBC) will not be rescheduled this fall, the event's organizing committee announced this week.

Organizers of the event, which benefits scholarships in the University of Colorado at Boulder College of Arts and Sciences, had previously agreed not to hold the event on its scheduled date, Sept. 12. That decision was made at the request of Boulder County officials in response to the Fourmile Fire, the worst in county history.

Both the county and event organizers were concerned about the potential for riders to impede the access of emergency crews to the fire and about air quality for riders. They also were concerned about already overtaxed law-enforcement officials who would be asked to monitor the event.

Because the ride generates so much needed scholarship support, the classic's organizers strove to find a way to reschedule the event this fall.

But the logistical hurdles of rescheduling included navigating local permitting processes, reorganizing hundreds of volunteers and facing the possibility of poor weather. Those factors carried the risk of reducing available funds for scholarships.

Since the Buffalo Bicycle Classic's founding in 2003, the event has raised more than $1.2 million in scholarships for good students who have demonstrated financial need. So far, 448 scholarships have been awarded. The BBC is the largest single source of scholarships in arts and sciences, the largest college at the university.

In view of the extraordinary circumstances this year, the BBC's all-volunteer organizing committee has agreed to waive the event's no-refund policy for those registrants who request refunds.

However, the committee asks riders to dedicate their registration fees to their charitable purpose: supporting students such as Shervin Rahimpour, whose family fled religious persecution in Iran when he was 5 years old.

As Rahimpour said recently, "The BBC scholarship helped give me and my family the support I needed to pursue my education with an ease of mind. As a result, I have been able to focus on my studies both during college and even now in (CU's) medical school."

Those who choose to donate their registration fees will still be able to receive T-shirts and water bottles by mail.

In addition, riders who donate their registration fees will be publicly recognized and invited to the annual Buffalo Bicycle Classic scholarship awards ceremony, where scholarship winners are formally announced and celebrated.

The event's sponsors are doing their part to maintain a stable level of scholarship funding. Elevations Credit Union, the BBC's title sponsor, has pledged an additional $25,000 to support the scholarship fund and to encourage riders to donate their registrations instead of seeking refunds. Other sponsors have followed Elevation's lead and expressed a willingness to leave their support intact.

Sponsors and donors of food products–including Clif Bar, Everlast Sports Nutrition, Powerade and Glacéau vitaminwater–have made similar gestures. Food that would have been used on ride day was donated to firefighters.

Those who seek a refund may make the request via e-mail to . A form that must be completed under state fiscal guidelines will be e-mailed back to each requester. Those who request a refund will be refunded the registration cost minus a $10 administrative fee. Refund requests will be accepted through Sept. 20.

More information about the decision and its implications–along with a list of frequently asked questions and answers–is posted on the Buffalo Bicycle Classic's website. See

The BBC regrets the inconvenience, appreciates the continuing support of riders and sponsors and pledges to return next year.