Most nonprofit organizations have spent months having to reinvent their annual events and fundraisers, and Columbia Pike’s own Phoenix Bikes is no different. For the past six years, the organization has hosted its annual Kennan Garvey Memorial Ride to support its mission of educating youth, promoting bicycling, and building community. In the past, cyclists joined together to ride a set course of up to 100 miles long, but, in the wake of the pandemic, things had to be done a little differently.

On August 1 & 2, Phoenix Bikes hosted the re-branded “Raise + Ride” and encouraged participants to dream up their own course – one that was safe and socially distanced while still challenging the rider and providing a connection to the cycling community. The adapted event paid off in a BIG way. The ride drew in over twice the number of participants than the previous year with riders from the National Mall to Skyline Drive and as far afield as Alaska and the Florida Keys. Together the 115 participants raised $71,000 — nearly triple the fundraising goal — making it the most successful fundraiser in the organization’s history. See the event’s photo album.

Riders were also awarded prizes — sponsored by Arlington Community Federal Credit Union — in various categories such as “Top Team Fundraiser”, “Longest Ride”, “Most Scenic Ride”, and “Best Youth Ride.” Amazon also supported the event as the Lunch Sponsor, providing Whole Foods gift cards to 100 registered riders. See the list of prize winners.

If you’re interested in participating in an upcoming Phoenix Bikes, be sure to follow them on Facebook to be the first to know about their upcoming, family-friendly scavenger hunt that is currently being planned for late September.