Around 5:15 p.m. this past Friday, I was really sweating it. Where was everybody? Only two riders had arrived at Altitudes Bar and Grill (2 S. Beaver St.) and Habitat for Humanity staff was already set up to sell raffle tickets and talk about our raffle and auction items. Only two people had arrived so far and I wondered if a ride if an eight person ride, five of whom included my husband and two couples we know, would really count as a fun memorable ride. Angela, our very sensible Americorp student, reminded me that in Flagstaff everyone arrives on time and not a moment before. Oh, yeah, sure, I thought,hoping I wouldn’t have egg on my face and tears running down my cheeks.
Speaking of New Belgium, here is their Flagstaff Beer Ranger Grant Dunstan and Linda, one of the owners of Altitudes sitting at the bar mingling with their fellow riders. Both New Belgium and Altitudes were very excited to be a part of Habitat’s construction fundraiser, especially one with the velo connection. Altitudes is a favorite stomping ground for local bicyclists. New Belgium Brewing has a special devotion to biking, both awarding a new bike to employees at their first anniversary with the company and asking employees to bike to work at least one day a week.
Our ride leaders CJ and Kyle pedaled up at 5:30 as more riders continued to pour in. We decided to push back the ride 15 minutes later to allow riders to enjoy some refreshment before taking off. CJ ownes Revolution Bicycles, and as another early parnter, donated a reconditioned vintage bicycle to our auction. His roommate Kyle manages Single Track Bikes (575 W. Riordan Rd) and both guys generously agreed to act as ride leaders, which proved extremely helpful at traffic lights and stop signs on this very busy Friday night.
We stopped for a group photo op at the old telescope at Northern Arizona University Campus. A vintage telescope seemed appropriate for a Tweed Ride. I love this group photo because I think it really captures the spirit of the ride. The bicycles and the opportunity to dress up in something outrageous brought friends and strangers together.
Back on our bikes, soon we arrived at our next destination: The Historic Weatherford Hotel. Walking in, we immediately prompted questions from other customers. Were we in a play? Members of a marketing team? Time travelers seeking libation? Whatever the answer, it was clear that we were having fun and the period dress seemed to add to the enjoyment of everyone’s evening. As we left on our bikes to continue our ride, the patrons left on the Weatherford balcony waved and cheered us on.
Back to downtown Flagstaff and the Green Room. We took advantage of a Movie Night on Heritage Square to draw attention to ourselves (all for a good cause, mind you) to all ring our bike bells and call out “Tweed Ride!”. No problems caused since the movie had not yet started.
Bidding on the bikes was competitive to say the least. Here is CJ with his vintage Sears Free Spirit (circa 1970). The Free Spirit winning bid was for $120 and it was no sooner put up for auction again, and won for $100 for a total donation of $220 towards the next Habitat for Humanity home in Flagstaff.
Here I am posing with the 2010 Kona Lana’i mountain bike donated by Bryce Wright of AZ Bikes. Bryce is another one of our locals merchants who needed no persuading to partner with Habitat for Humanity Flagstaff and immediately suggested the $400 Kona for the auction. In a mountain town like Flagstaff, the Kona was a hot item and raised $200 as the final auction item for the evening.
I’ll have a second post about the Tweed Ride later this week, with more pictures and info about the local merchants who helped make the Tweed Ride Benefitting Habitat for Humanity Flagstaff possible.