ROCKY RIVER, Ohio - Lindsey Bower loves to cycle and her passion paid off Thursday night as she won a new bike for her submission to video contest.
“I just love riding my bike and I love sharing it with everyone,” she said.
Tracey Bradnan of Century Cycles in introducing Bower's winning video, described it as a “love letter to Cleveland."
Bower and her fiancé, Dan, organize Cleveland social rides under the Crank-Set rides banner and Dan didn’t ride until he met her. Not a native Clevelander, Bower was able to meet people in her adopted city and learn her way around thanks to cycling.
During a visit to Cleveland last May by an executive from Raleigh Bicycles, Cleveland’s cycling spirit took him by surprise. Sure there are communities with much larger numbers of cyclists but Cleveland’s core and camaraderie seemed special.
Century’s Bike To School Challenge, which won a national award from Bikes Belong at this year’s Interbike convention in Las Vegas, was also a reason Raleigh chose Cleveland as the pilot program for the video contest.
Raleigh decided to help Cleveland and, along with Bike Cleveland and Century Cycles, they came up with a video essay contest called “Reasons to Ride.”
"We heard stories of people losing weight, people getting on a bike because they may have fighting disease, for a friend who might need help losing weight and just to meet people,” said Matt Millen, Raleigh Bicycles marketing and communications.
Millen flew in from Raleigh’s Seattle headquarters to make the awards at Century’s Rocky River location.
Another challenge from Raleigh offered Bike Cleveland, a local cycling advocacy group, a $5,000 award if 50 people submitted videos, 62 cyclists entered. Jacob VanSickle and Christopher Alvarado of Bike Cleveland were on hand to accept the award.
Of the 62 submissions, Bower and three others were chosen as finalists. Bower and the other finalists Jerry Layne, Shelli Snyder and Benjamin Stewart, are no strangers to Cleveland cyclists, another testament to the tight bonds riders in our area share.
The contest was just in the Cleveland area and the success of this year’s effort has all but insured another next year and possible further expansion.
“It’s inspired us to kind of think outside Cleveland and go to other markets,” said Millen.
Bower’s old bike is her favorite, but her new Raleigh will be kept as a special bike to share with visitors to their Cleveland home as a way to entice others to share her passion.
“That bike is going to be for anyone to use that comes to our house that doesn’t have one and maybe it will inspire them to buy one,” she said.
Click here to see Bower’s video.
Click here for a link to all 62 videos
Bike the Vote
Bike Cleveland will cycle en masse to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections for anyone interested in voting Tuesday, Oct., 9. Cyclists will meet by the Free Stamp east of Cleveland City Hall at 6:30 p.m.
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