Spoke Talk: 24 Hour ‘Boat Cruise raises $22K for Integrated Community | SteamboatToday.com

Spoke Talk: 24 Hour ‘Boat Cruise raises $22K for Integrated Community

Laraine Martin
For Steamboat Pilot & Today

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Put your kickstands down and take a step back — another year of the 24 Hour ‘Boat Cruise ride is complete. This year marked the third annual ride with six groups of cruising enthusiasts forming teams to raise money and ride for Integrated Community, a local organization dedicated to proactively promoting and supporting successful integration of immigrant and local community members in Northwest Colorado through education, intercultural exchange and collaboration.

The Steamboat Springs community collectively raised approximately $22,000 overall throughout the event — topping their $20,000 goal — and riders posted on personal fundraising pages, asking friends and family to pitch in to support their efforts from near and far. In the words of rider Mara Rhodes, “In a world where we feel more divided than ever, we created the ‘24 Hour Boat Cruise’ to show our support to all those who come to Steamboat looking for a new start, a way to care for their families, a town to make their home.” 

From participant Paige Lasley’s perspective, “This past weekend was an amazing ride, encouraging Steamboat bike riders to come together, raise money and bike around town for hours on end. The cruiser ride was full of laughter, teamwork and encouragement.”

Bees, angels, parrots and skunks were scattered throughout town as teams competed for best costume, and families rode with grown-ups and toddlers alike. Participants cruised a 10.3-mile course on a mix of paved bike paths, dirt, gravel and some city roads and biked throughout the day and into the night, pausing only to refuel or catch a quick nap between cruises.

There were ups, there were downs, and there were straightaways.

“We were lucky to share parts of the trail with the Run Rabbit Run participants,” Lasley said. “And this was an opportunity to safely share Steamboat’s (Yampa River) Core Trail. There were a lot of people spread around town ensuring that riders were safe, fed and hydrated.”   

Cruisers ended at the World Fiesta, which was hosted by Integrated Community. The fiesta was decorated with brightly colored flags and included beautiful dances on display. The night was filled with tamales, enchiladas, pozole and other delicious traditional dishes. It was a great way to bring the cruiser riders together with Integrated Community in celebration.

By the time Saturday afternoon rolled around, cruisers were parked for the day, bike baskets were unloaded of caloric supplements and loose costume pieces and the fundraising teams were put to bed, with dreams of banana seats and coaster brakes in their heads. Congrats, 24 Hour ‘Boat Cruisers. ‘Til next year.

Laraine Martin is executive director of Routt County Riders.

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