After 5 years, Wacky Bike Ride just keeps getting better
HIGHLANDS RANCH – This Sunday at sunrise the fifth annual Wacky Bike Ride will begin. Last year the highly successful fundraiser for the Douglas County Educational Foundation (DCEF) outfitted more than 500 of Douglas County’s less fortunate students for school. This year the ride is on track to help even more students.
Susie Wargin, known for her sports reporting on 9NEWS, and her brother Ted launched the ride in 2011. The one-day cycling event encourages fitness and fun.
Wargin says her favorite moment every year is at exactly 6:39 a.m., when they send off the first wave of riders.
“The sun comes up at Rocky Heights Middle School and we have the music going with the DJ and we send off our 100 mile riders, you think to yourself, ‘alright, a year of planning has come to fruition,’” Wargin said.
Riders have the option of 4 courses:
6 mile - perfect for kids of all ages or anyone looking for a fun ride on the trail systems.
45 mile - offers some climbing, flats and beautiful terrain, taking riders through the major cities of Douglas County.
62 mile - same as the 45, but with beautiful scenery rolling out and back along Highway 105 to reach a metric century.
100 mile - same as the 62, but with MORE beautiful scenery including Spruce Mountain Road and Larkspur.
The six-mile ride winds through Highlands Ranch and is perfect for families. The longer rides highlight the beauty of Douglas County.
“The comment we get a lot from people outside of Douglas County is ‘I had no idea how pretty it is out on Highway 105’ or ‘I’ve never been to Larkspur. It is beautiful and the people out there were great,” Wargin said.
Regardless of which ride is chosen, money from each registration benefits Douglas County Schools, helping to buy new school supplies for less fortunate students through the Kits for Kidz program. The set amount is $10 for the 45, 62, and 100-mile distances and $5 for every 6-mile registration. Riders have the ability to give a bigger donation too.
The Wargins say the decision to support the schools was easy.
“We both have kids, we both live in Douglas County, we thought Douglas County Schools would be a natural fit, and it has been,” Wargin said.
In 2014, the Wacky Bike Ride raised $10,000 for school supplies.
“We are so grateful that Susie and Ted have done this,” said DCEF Executive Director Jason Christensen. “This is one less thing for these families to worry about. The kids can go to school and he or she is ready to go. There is no worrying about whether they have the stuff they will need.”
Last year, the Wargins were recognized by DCEF as the Community Partners of the Year, during the 2015 Apple Awards.
READ MORE: 2015 Apple Award Winners
When Susie and Ted started the ride five years ago, they had no idea what they were getting themselves into.
“My brother Ted and I always thought it would be fun to put on a bike ride. We didn’t think it would be that hard to do,” Wargin said with a laugh. “I learned so much. I had no idea all of the logistics that go into permitting. I remember the first year, I sat in a room with a representative from every city that we go through, as well as Douglas County, and we went road-by-road, street-by-street.”
Over the years, the Wargins have worked to incorporate all of their favorite things from bike rides into their own, including a spacious staging area and stocked aid stations. Then everything culminates on the football field at Rocky Heights with great post-ride food, an amazing expo and fun-filled goodie bags.
“We’d love to do our own ride, because it is all the fun things that we love about a ride – all together,” Wargin said. “It just is logically not possible. My phone would be blowing up the whole time.”
Instead Wargin enjoys living vicariously through the riders. She loves it when they come up to her afterwards to share their stories.
“Something that we thought could be fun to do has made a huge impact on some individual’s lives,” Wargin said. It is neat when people come up and say, ‘this is the first time I’ve done 100 miles’ or ‘I trained all summer long for this and lost 50 pounds.’ There are really cool stories that come out of it.”
It is not too late to register!
On Saturday September 12, riders can register from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the Tokyo Joes at Lincoln & Quebec in Highlands Ranch
Registrations will also be taken before the ride at Rocky Heights Middle School on Sunday September 13th.