On Saturday at Bagi Mechanical Office Park, just north of Boulder, a recently formed organization called Cyclists 4 Jametown staged a fundraiser for one of the towns hardest hit by recent flooding -- and raised more than $110,000 in the process. And the co-organizer of the gathering, which is featured in photos and videos on view below, says group members are just getting started.
Russell Chandler, president of Enterprise Visibility Group, a management consulting firm that works with tech companies, got involved with the effort in part because he wanted to bridge the divide between Boulder and Jamestown.
"My co-chair, Rob Andrew, and I organize a regular business networking bike ride on Wednesday mornings throughout the summer -- it's called Wednesday Morning Velo," Chandler says. "We usually go to Jamestown every third or fourth ride, and on the day the flood started, we had a planned ride there -- and three of the guys actually did the ride before everything got really bad.
"Then, a week later, when we got back together, everybody was still in shock about what had happened. Somebody said, 'We're not going to be able to ride to Jamestown or Ward or any of these places until next year.' But then we got to thinking, well, that's bad for us, but these people can't even get to their homes. They had to be airlifted out.
"We take advantage of those roads all the time, and sometimes we actually annoy the locals who are just going to work when we show up with our $10,000 bikes and our $1,000 bike kits," he acknowledges. "It's a real clash of cultures, and sometimes we don't show enough appreciation. And we thought, we could really help here."
Before long, Chandler and Andrew had pulled together a disparate collection of folks ranging from business execs to professional cyclists like Chris Baldwin, in addition to connecting with Jonathan Bartsch, coordinator of the Rebuild Jamestown fund.
"Jonathan is tasked with trying to raise matching funds to capture the full amount of estimated repairs from FEMA -- which is $35 million just for the town limits of Jamestown, so people can inhabit the town again," Chandler notes.
Thanks to online donations -- click here to give -- and assorted auction items, including an autographed jersey from professional cyclist Tejay van Garderen that fetched $1,000, plus the beneficence of cycling teams such as GS Boulder, which gave $3,500, Cyclists 4 Jamestown has raised just over $110,000 to date.
And Saturday's get-together -- attended by Jamestown mayor Tara Shoedinger and Rainbow Shultz of the Jamestown Mercantile (aka, the "Merc"), whose previous owner, Joey Howlett, died in the flood -- isn't envisioned as a one-shot. Commemorative jerseys and other merchandise are still available, with proceeds going to Jamestown; click here to learn more. And additional events are on the way, including a weekend flood relief benefit and bike sale sponsored by Community Cycles and another fundraiser planned for Hapa Sushi on November 4.
Cyclists 4 Jamestown is also coordinating volunteer efforts in Jamestown; click here to learn how you can pitch in. Says Chandler, "We're going to keep this up, because they need so much."
Here are photos from Saturday's fundraiser, followed by two videos.
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More from our Photos archive circa September: "Photos of the Day: Shocking flooding damage in Boulder and Larimer counties."