AP NEWS

Longmont’s Can’d Aid Foundation Raffling Off Custom Racing Bike to Support Bikes for Underprivileged Youth

September 13, 2018

If you go

What: Neko Mulally bike raffle

Cost: $20 per ticket

Enter: bit.ly/2CQQ1tC

What: Neko Mulally bike clinic

Who: For kids ages 8 to 14

When: Oct. 19

Where: Valmont bike park, 3160 Airport Road, Boulder

The Can’d Aid foundation is offering people the chance to win a one-of-a-kind racing bike in a new fundraiser for their Treads + Trails program, which builds bicycles for low-income elementary school students.

Can’d Aid is an independent national nonprofit organization based in Longmont that came about after the 2013 flood that ravaged Boulder County.

“Monday we were just part of the event commemorating the five-year anniversary of the flood in Lyons,” said Diana Ralston, executive director of the Can’d Aid Foundation. “We were able to share some numbers of the work we’ve done since the flood. It started as an immediate response to that and morphed into all these other programs.”

The Can’d Aid Foundation gave away 83 new bikes and helmets to Indian Peaks Elementary students in May as part of the Treads + Trails program. Treads + Trails primarily serves students at Title I schools with a high proportion of low-income students.

“We rally communities to build the bicycles then surprise the students with new bikes and helmets,” Ralston said in a Can’d Aid Foundation news release. “For many of the kids, this bike is the first new item they have ever received.”

Ralston said the idea to donate the custom bike came from Neko Mulally, a professional downhill bike racer based in Asheville, N.C. and sponsored by Oskar Blues Brewery and Young Talent Industries, a company that builds bikes for professional sports.

“We were meeting with Neko in July and talking about other things we can do and how we can use his celebrity and sponsors to raise more money and to get more kids riding,” Ralston said. “He said, ‘Well I get these really cool custom bikes made for me and the I ride them once in a race and they just sit somewhere.’”

In the case of the CF Pro Race Bicycle with a custom paint job, Mulally didn’t even race the one-of-a-kind bike once.

YT Industries built the bike so Mulally could compete on it in the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, held Sept. 4-6 in Switzerland. Unfortunately, a broken hand kept him out of the race.

“Can I buy some tickets to win this bike back?” Mulally joked in the Can’d Aid Foundation news release. “The artwork on my Mob Edition bike is so cool. It’s an honor to have YT go above and beyond to make this special bike to race. ... It’s awesome to see all the hard work of my sponsors go to benefit such a good cause as Can’d Aid. I’m proud to be able to help out.”

Raffle tickets are $20 each and available at bit.ly/2CQQ1tC. The second-place prize in the raffle is Mulally’s custom Fox Flexair Team USA jersey and pants and the third-place prize is his custom Dale’s Pale Ale racing helmet.

Ralston said the bike is being shipped from Switzerland to the Oskar Blues Brewery in Brevard, N.C., where it will be on display through the end of September. Then, it will be shipped to Boulder and will be on display at the Oskar Blues Taproom on Pearl Street and the Tasty Weasel Taproom in Longmont until the raffle on Nov. 9.

Ralston added that the Brevard brewery is in a mountainous area and away from the coast, so staff are hoping it will be safe from incoming Hurricane Florence, which is expected to pummel the Carolinas Thursday and Friday.

As Oskar Blues and The Can’d Aid Foundation have done in the past, Ralston said they have 22,000 cases of clean canned drinking water arriving in North Carolina on Friday to help those affected by the hurricane.

In addition to donating his bike and gear to benefit Can’d Aid, Mulally also is giving his time. He will hold a bike clinic for kids ages 8 to 14 at the Valmont Bike Park in Boulder on Oct. 19.

Karen Antonacci: 303-684-5226, antonaccik@times-call.com or twitter.com/ktonacci