The 12th Annual Elevations Credit Union Buffalo Bicycle Classic will be held on Sunday, September 7th, with its start and finish on Colorado Avenue in Boulder. The event is a great way to contribute to local scholarships for CU students as well as get out on your bike for a fun ride. With six different courses of varied lengths, the Classic offers an option for everyone.
People’s motivations for riding the Buffalo Bicycle Classic range from philanthropy and fitness goals to the excitement of pedaling up Boulder Canyon—one lane is closed to cars just for the Buff Epic distance. You’ll see everyone from parents towing their kids in Burley trailers, to groups of friends in colorful bike jerseys or costumes, on up to super-fit 80-year-olds on their high-end bikes. Early September weather is generally perfect for cycling, and Boulder and Larimer counties are often at their most scenic.
The Little Buff, a 14-mile route that goes through Marshall and Cherryvale, is a fun option for families who want to get out for a Sunday jaunt. Other distances include 35, 50, 70 and 100 miles. For the hardiest of riders, the “Buff Epic” is 110 miles with a whopping 6,253 feet of elevation gain and the chance to ride up Boulder Canyon in a car-free lane.
Since its start in 2003, the Buffalo Bicycle Classic has raised $2.2 million and awarded 1,400 scholarships to Colorado residents with good grades and in need of financial support who have been accepted to the College of Arts and Sciences at CU Boulder. Recipients are supported for four years with $10,000 scholarships. The scholarship funds come directly from rider fundraising and registration fees. Normally, about 80 students are supported. The quid quo pro for being a Buffalo Bicycle Classic scholar is to volunteer on ride day. That way, riders will see the scholars that the event supports at the start or finish.
The number of riders has grown from 550 the first year to 2,200-2,500 in recent years. Most are from Colorado, but the event also attracts participants from all over the country, some of them CU alumni who couple the ride with a return visit to Boulder, and perhaps catch a football game.
The event is a ride, not a race. It’s been described as a rolling party from aid station to aid station and riders always rave about the food. The jersey design is so popular this year that organizers will likely have to order more! For people who like to know their “finish” time, though, the event is offering timing chips for those who want to compare their times to others or who wish to compete for the polka-dot jerseys awarded to those who ride up Boulder Canyon the fastest as part of the Buff Epic—all in good fun.
Check out more on the Buffalo Bicycle Classic and Little Buff and register at BuffaloBicycleClassic.com.