BURLINGAME, Calif., June 22, 2017– Ryan’s Ride has long been considered part of the great fabric of Peninsula summer traditions. The ritual continues in 2017 with 600 youth expected to hop on their bikes and trikes for the 14th consecutive year at the Ryan Phua Memorial Kids’ Ride at the 31st Annual Burlingame Criterium on Sunday, June 25.
“It’s our 14th year, and our community has raised nearly $750,000 for Bay Area cancer programs and Burlingame schools through Ryan’s Ride,” said Michele Phua, mother of Ryan and Matthew, Ryan’s twin. “It speaks to the heart and soul of the kids and families, and it’s so gratifying that Ryan’s Ride has become a tradition the community looks forward to each year.”
Ryan's Ride began in 2004 as an event to honor the memory of Ryan Phua, one of John and Michele Phua’s twin sons born after John’s successful recovery from cancer. At the age of two, Ryan passed away from Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood. John and Michele created Ryan’s Ride to celebrate his life, with event proceeds supporting Bay Area cancer survivorship programs through the LIVESTRONG Foundation in recognition of John beating the disease.
“Ryan’s Ride is not only in memory of the child we lost, it’s about the families and kids who have made this event their own,” said Phua. “It’s about a community that models for its children and citizens that giving back makes a difference in people’s lives. We can’t really imagine a more fitting tribute to a son and a brother.”
This year’s Master of Ceremonies and special guest is four-time cancer survivor Mike Thompson, a Community Engagement Liaison for the LIVESTRONG Foundation. Thompson travels nationwide on a quest to connect with those affected by cancer and to share the LIVESTRONG mission. Thompson was first diagnosed with cancer at age 10, and has endured more than 75 surgeries, including a 12 ½-hour facial reconstruction. Now 31, doctors predicted he wouldn’t survive past age 18.
Sign-ups are brisk as usual, and organizers are anticipating nearly 600 children to pedal in this unique, non-competitive ride for kids 12 and under. Ryan’s Ride is thought to be the largest cycling event of its kind in the country. Proceeds benefit the LIVESTRONG Foundation, Bay Area cancer survivorship programs, and the Burlingame Community for Education Foundation. In 2016, Ryan’s Ride brought in $70,000 for its charitable recipients, and the event has raised around $750,000 for Ryan’s Fund in 13 years.
Each year, festive race activities and free entertainment fill the quaint streets, restaurants and shops of downtown Burlingame with thousands of competitive cyclists, children, volunteers and spectators. Adding to the excitement of Ryan’s Ride, the day’s multiple races culminate in separate Men’s and Women’s pro cycling events.
The Burlingame Criterium provides the local community with the thrill of amateur and professional cycling in a challenging, fast, 0.7-mile circuit of downtown Burlingame, while Ryan’s Ride offers kids aged 18 months to 12 years an opportunity to pedal on the same course as the pros.
“We look forward to Ryan’s Ride each June,” said Burlingame Mayor Ricardo Ortiz. “Our City has hosted the Burlingame Criterium for three decades, and Ryan’s Ride is all about young families coming out for a fantastic day to celebrate Ryan’s life and give back to the community.” The City works closely with the Phua family and Criterium race organizers to create a joyful atmosphere and a fun, safe course for all cyclists.
Ryan's Ride starts at 10:30 a.m., and participation is free. Each participant is a winner in the 4 years and under, 5-8 years and 9-12 years categories. Top fundraisers receive gift certificates to a local toy store or a brand new bike. Event check-in starts as early as 8:30 a.m. at the corner of Lorton and California Avenues in downtown Burlingame. For more information and to register, click here. The event’s success depends on volunteers and donations – please visit ryansride.org to support the event.
The Burlingame Criterium is a series of races, divided by age, gender and ability level categories. All racers must be USA-Cycling licensed racers and ranked category 4 or above. Cash and prizes are awarded to top finishers in each race category. For most racers, the true reward in racing in Burlingame is the chance to showcase their technical skills in front of thousands of friends, family and spectators in attendance.
The Burlingame Criterium has been produced by the Peninsula Velo Cycling Club since 1974. Ryan’s Ride is collaboration between Peninsula Velo and the Ryan Phua Memorial Fund.
The 2017 event is title-sponsored by Parnassus Investments and presented by the Hillsdale Shopping Center. Criterium Race category sponsors include Summit Bicycles, Clif Bar, Vocker-Kristofferson CPAs, Ritchey, Rudy Project, and U.S. Venture Partners.
Ryan's Ride sponsors include Franklin Templeton, Sony Interactive Entertainment, PreciseQ, Shimano, Pacful, Curious Hat, FrutStix, ABC 7 (KGO-TV), KCBS All News 740, Talbots Toyland, Poketti, The San Mateo Daily Journal and Cyclocross Magazine.
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For more information, contact:
Travis Ma, email@example.com (sponsorship and race inquiries)
Julie Wellik, 415-505-5764, firstname.lastname@example.org (media inquiries)