20 Years in the Making….the Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon Bike Ride
During the summer of ’94, three fearless, fresh off the couch, mountain bikers packed their Camelbaks™ for a day ride from Flagstaff. Armed only with trail snacks, water, a local map, credit card and a thirst for adventure, they were off to follow the original Moqui Stage Coach route to the Grand Canyon. Not realizing the magnitude of their endeavor, the riders miscalculated the ride duration and landed at the canyon cooked, ravenous, and too late to make the ride back.
Word quickly spread of the wonders and beauty of the ride, of course no mention of any pain or suffering. From this adventure, an annual ride was born, and over the next few years the number of riders participating in the event grew steadily. Close calls with lost riders, missing in action support vehicles, water shortages, and logistics of getting tired riders back from the canyon, sent into action a group of riding buddies, known as the DirtyGirls. Our founders, while spectacular in dirt, were not aspiring ride organizers.
In 1998, with less than two months to plan, (what were we thinking?) the DirtyGirls took over the organizational responsibilities. They quickly realized that cold cash was necessary to pay for all of the amenities required for a successful ride. Not wanting to make money from their friends, the DirtyGirls decided to make the ride a charitable event. The ride takes place in northern Arizona, so the Flagstaff chapter of the Toys for Tots organization was selected as the charity to receive the cash proceeds. In our inaugural fundraising year, rider entry fees covered all ride costs and left a surplus of $900 for donation. Since then, the event has grown increasingly in popularity. So much that it fills up within weeks of its announcement each year and has become one of the largest fundraising events for The Marine League Charities.
Each year we strive to raise more funds so that we can give to more of the children and families of Northern Arizona. The generosity of the riders and sponsors has always surprised us well beyond our expectations we’re looking forward to an amazing 2017!
As always, we could not do it without your support!