The Venus de Milo, also known as the Aphrodite of Milos, is a Greek statue located in the Louvre– the famous art museum in Paris. Depicting the Greek goddess of love and beauty, it is only fitting that the largest all-women’s bike ride in Colorado uses a play on the name for their event.
The ninth annual Venus de Miles bike ride takes place August 27th in Longmont, with both the start and finish lines located in Prospect Park. A space chosen for its “cool vibe,” as described by Andrea Suponcic of Greenhouse Scholars, a non-profit that “provides comprehensive personal and financial support to high-performing, under-resourced college students;” this is also the company putting on the event.
“We feel like we’ve created more of a cycling culture for women here in Colorado,” said Suponcic, speaking of the benefits of the yearly ride. “And specifically in Boulder County.”
The ride is meant to be a celebration of women in an all-inclusive environment. There are no winners, no medals, and no times kept– just mileages set as goals, and then celebrated when met.
“We have women who have been professional riders that show up,” Suponcic said. “But they like this ride because it has a different vibe. It’s very low pressure.”
The ride has grown from around 300 riders to nearly 1,500 since its inception in 2008. And riders aren’t the only ones showing up; each year, Greenhouse Scholars attend to provide support from the sidelines, as well as to give back to the community for the education they are receiving thanks to the non-profit. Men are also welcome to cheer on the female riders and volunteer at the event.
“It’s pretty inspiring to see the two groups come together and celebrate each other’s goals and accomplishments,” Suponcic said.
There are three mileage options: 33, 64, and 100 mile rides. The century ride kicks off at 6:45 a.m., with the other two staggered after. This ensures the 33 mile group isn’t finishing long before anyone else and eating all the food at the festival after–a festival complete with grub, massages, and a variety of adult beverages including beers from Left Hand Brewing.
“A lot of women can ride the 100 mile course, but prefer to do the 30,” said Suponcic. “So they can get back to enjoy the amenities.”
For more information on the ride, and how to sign up, visit www.venusdemiles.com.