Buff Classic Changed Bridget’s Life and Pursuing Public Health

Buffalo Bicycle Classic Rides on For Scholarships This Month

This weekend should have been the 18th Annual Buffalo Bicycle Classic charity bicycle ride in support of a scholarship fund for the University of Colorado at Boulder. Even though the in-person event could not happen due to Covid-19, it is not stopping riders from taking on their own “DIY Buff Classic” to carry on the legacy of the event and contribute to the scholarship fund through September 20. Since it started in 2003, the ride has raised over $3.3 million dollars and benefitted 425 Colorado high school graduates who would otherwise not be able to afford college.

“My parents were not able to assist me financially in any way when I decided to go to college, so the BBC scholarship has made all the difference in the world. If it wasn’t for the BCC scholarship and other financial aid, I would not be able to afford a college degree,” said Bridget Nelson, a recipient of the Buffalo Bicycle Classic Scholarship.  “I’m so grateful that I’ve been given the opportunity to pursue my academic career, because it’s inspired me to push further within academia and attain my masters after I graduate.”

Because of riders and donors support, Bridget has been able to find focus and intention in her studies. 

“Attending CU has been life changing for me. When I came to CU, my intention was to follow a pre-med track. I switched after taking a Women and Gender Studies course that gave me the tools I needed to examine my privilege, my power and my place within our current political and social climate. It also led me to pursuing Public Health, the course I intend to follow for my graduate degree,” said Nelson. “Through CU, I have found my community – more than just my group of friends, but an entire culture of people that encourage me to think critically about the world around me, inspire me to own my privilege and power, and determine how and in what ways I can affect change.”

The Buffalo Bicycle Classic organizers were in the midst of planning this year’s event when COVID-19 hit in March. Students’ lives were turned upside down as classes went entirely online, businesses closed and jobs became uncertain. 

“COVID-19 has made everything uncertain. Especially as a Public Health student, it’s difficult to strike a balance between being safe and being able to do all of the things I need to do in order to graduate – work, go to school/class, socially distance, etc. That’s why I’m so grateful for the Buffalo Bicycle Classic scholarship, because it’s been the difference between being able to afford to go to school this year so that I can graduate on time, and not. It’s been a huge relief for me, given how difficult and precarious our current predicament is,” said Nelson. 

And for the event itself, “As the threat posed by COVID-19 has evolved, it became clear to us that it would be very difficult to host a large in-person ride that would be safe for our riders, volunteers, and the community, so we made the difficult decision to move to a do-it-yourself format this year,” says Jenny Anderson, Buffalo Bicycle Classic Ride Manager. “Without our signature event this year, we face an unprecedented challenge in fundraising to support our scholars.”

In shifting to a Do-It-Yourself event, riders are being encouraged to explore the event’s modified routes. Instead of the traditional side of the road aid stations, the Buffalo Bicycle Classic has partnered with some stores and coffee shops along the routes that will have complimentary products for the registered riders. To learn more about supporting the Buffalo Bicycle Classic, visit: https://www.buffalobicycleclassic.com/

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