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Biking into Team LACBC’s 4th Year of Climate Ride

For three years, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition has participated in Climate Ride California as Team LACBC to bike through scenic Northern California over five days and raise funds for LACBC and environmental causes. Now in our fourth year of participating in Climate Ride, we are looking to build a strong team for this May and build on the momentum of the past three years, where Team LACBC was the top fundraising team each year.

In 2012, LACBC member Stephen Svete sent along a link and a suggestion that LACBC should apply to be a beneficiary of Climate Ride. Climate Ride is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that organizes life-changing charitable events to raise awareness and support sustainability, active transportation, and environmental causes. Participants make an extraordinary contribution to a cause they care about through selecting a beneficiary. Beneficiaries are helping to provide much-needed financial support, raising awareness, engaging other humans, and helping to build a national network of supporters. Proceeds from the events benefit a collection of environmental and active transportation nonprofits. Participants can choose to direct grants to the nonprofit of their choice.

Stephen had participated in a previous Climate Ride and had a fabulous time. He provided the nomination letter, we were accepted, and board member Greg Laemmle offered to be the Captain of our Team LACBC posse of riders for our first year participating in 2013. Right away Greg came up with the great and generous idea to have a “Ride with Greg Laemmle” contest through the Laemmle Theatres’ website and social media channels to help boost the team. The Grand Prize winner was John Cork and Second prize was Michael Rippens.

Original Team LACBC from 2013 finishes in San Francisco: Lisa Liberati, Michael Rippens, Laurie Gelardi, Katherine Gelardi, Greg Laemmle, Marc Horwitz, Yvonne Ascher, Leonard Laub, and John Cork.

That first year they raised over $40,000, and Team Captain Greg raised $10,000 of that himself, to become the highest amount raised ever raised! He and Marc Horwitz were pumped and determined to come up with a bigger and badder team for 2014.

In 2014, our Development Committee was also inspired by the tales of the ride, the glory of being the highest earning team (after all, we are a Lakers town), and the enthusiasm of our intrepid Captain Greg and so we all put our heads together to come up with a plan to up the ante. First on the agenda, get staff to participate. We came up with this:

Who will be crowned King of Mountain (of fundraising) for Team LACBC at HQ? Planning & Policy Director Eric Bruins or Policy & Campaign Manager Alek Bartrosouf? ERIC!

Team LACBC was mighty indeed. HQ fueled their fundraising fire with incentives and a Team jersey designed by former Board President Alex Amerri. Greg Laemmle was Team Captain and the board was also represented through Board President Alex Amerri and Herbie Huff (future board member Patrick Pascal also participated). Laemmle Theatres’ “Ride with Greg Laemmle” contest winners that joined Team LACBC included Eddie Beres, Dalila Mendez, Aaron Ratliff, and Alan Bair.

Team LACBC readies for their Golden Gate departure: Alan Bair, Dalila Mendez, Aaron Ratliff, Patrick Pascal, Marc Horwitz, Erik Mar, Parisa Mirzahdehgan, Herbie Huff, Eric Bruins, Alek Bartrosouf, Alex Amerri, Eddie Beres, and Greg Laemmle.

At HQ we provided incentives to encourage team members to reach their fundraising goals. Team members came up with creative ideas. For example, Marc Horwitz, a.k.a “Fixie Marc,” was doing the ride for a SECOND time on a single speed, fixed gear bicycle! He sent out creative blog posts to his network with great tales and photos from training rides. He even convinced Parisa Mirzadehgan and her husband, Erik Mar, to do the ride on their fixies! And staff member Alek Bartrosouf promised postcards from the road to his donors. In fact, he successfully reached his $5,000 goal through a grip of $50 or less donations!

Fixie couple Erik and Parisa.

In 2014, Team LACBC was thirteen strong, riding over 300 miles on a new route through wine country and ending in Sacramento for a lobby day. They raised over $70,000! Greg outdid himself with over $16,000 raised, Marc Horwitz and Patrick Pascal each hit over $6,000 and Eric Bruins, Alek Bartrosouf and Alex Amerri all hit over $5,000. Really impressive.

Team Captain Greg, not content with resting on his laurels, determined that we could reach the $100,000 mark for the 2015 ride. He offered to do the “Ride With Greg” contest one last time. 2015’s winners were Grand Prize Winner Edmundo Rea.  Mike Andrick and Erik Adler tied for Second Place. Lani Anderson was Runner Up. Greg was able tocajole Fixie Mark to rub out his aching knees and do the returning Fortuna-to-San-Francisco route. The fixie couple came back (on geared bikes this time), along with Alan Bair. The team jersey was a collaboration between Development Director Kelly Martin and Marc Horwitz with a little help from Policy and Outreach Coordinator Hyeran Lee’s fiance Henry Pan. Team LACBC ended up being a mighty force of 21! Angel City Brewery generously provided their space for a fun afternoon fundraiser and raffle event for Team LACBC a few weeks before the start. Team LACBC had many training rides. In addition to board member Greg, from LACBC we had board member Carrie Ungerman and staff members Colin Bogart (Education Director) and Hyeran Lee (Policy & Outreach Coordinator), for whom we had to repeat an office battle:

Who will be crowned King/Queen of the LACBC Mountain in 2015? Why, Queen Hyeran Lee!

Team LACBC 2015 raised over $111,000! Yes, Greg outdid himself again and was the top fundraiser by almost doubling last year with $30,000 raised.

Team LACBC 2015 represents: Back Row: Erik Mar, Marc Horwitz, Greg Heining, Alek Bartrosouf, Nathan Lucero, Laurel Bybee, Parisa Mirzadeghan, Carrie Ungerman, and Lani Anderson. Front Row: Colin Bogart, Nora Hipolito, Eric Gardner, Hyeran Lee, Mike Andrick, Ezra Laemmle, Greg Laemmle, Harvey Slater, Israel Coutin, and Edmundo Rea.

We’re looking 2016 square in the face and we want YOU to join Team LACBC! Greg Laemmle (for the fourth time) and Nora Hipolito (for the 2nd ride) return this year as co-captains! HQ is looking to build a diverse team that better reflects our region. We are seeking sponsors to help offset the fundraising minimum and make the California Coast Ride of Climate Ride available to all community members. We are also looking for nominations of folks who are interested in Climate Change and biking 300 miles along the rugged North Coast of California, but may need help reaching that $2,800 fundraising minimum.

Save the date for Wednesday, February 3rd, for three Climate Ride Meet and Greets with Climate Ride Ride Director Blake Holiday. He will be on hand to discuss all the ins and outs of this year’s North Coast ride. Most likely a member of Team LACBC will be there to share experiences. On Wednesday, February 3rd, meet and greets will be held at the following times and locations:

Are you ready for a biking adventure with some amazing people through the Redwood forests, all while raising funds for Climate Ride and LACBC? Your biking adventure awaits you. Ride on, as part of Team LACBC!

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