Monday, June 15, 2009

Thank You!

The 2009 Wisconsin Cycling Association State Criterium Championship bicycle races have come and gone; and by the accounts of the racers and fans, the event was a huge success. More than 215 racers, along with friends and families, visited Ripon Saturday and left with many good things to say about our hospitable community. That success would not have been possible without the help and support of a wide cast of characters, including the cooperation of the businesses and residents along the race route. Your flexibility is greatly appreciated.

I’d also like to acknowledge T.J. Rogers and Accurate Controls and Doug Brewer and Brewer Heating and Cooling. They deserve a big “thank you” for their financial sponsorship of the event. Additionally, I’d like to thank Rippin’ Good Cookies for providing cookies for the race winners. The sweet treats were a big hit amongst the riders.

Also, thanks to John and Carol Bartow and Fond du Lac and Oshkosh Cyclery for their ongoing support of the Ripon College cycling team and their contributions to the state championship race.

Thank you also to the City of Ripon, the Ripon Police Department and the Ripon Public Works department: first, for granting permission to use the city streets, and second, for making those streets as safe as possible. Your extra efforts did not go unnoticed.

And while there were a few scrapes and bruises (and one broken hip), I would like to thank Chris Schattschneider, Brian Azinger, Mark Sabel and the Ripon EMTs for the quick and attentive care they provided to the injured racers.

I would also like to recognize the work of Danelle Phillips of the Ripon Medical Center and Stefanie Ehle of the Ripon College Office of Community Engagement for the fabulous Free Wheelin’ Children’s Bicycle Safety Expo and Fun Race. The many children and their parents with big smiles on their faces added a great deal of fun to the day’s events.

Thank you, also, to the Ripon Chamber of Commerce and Ripon Main Street for their constant support and encouragement.

A special thank you to Heidi Mingesz and her crew of race officials for their hard work and dedication to the sport of cycling in Wisconsin. We wish Rich Weiss, who suffered a heart attack Saturday morning before the races began, a speedy recovery.

An extra large “thank you” to John Van Susteren and his teammates at LAPT Cycling Club and to all of the volunteers who assisted with set-up, registration, announcing, corner marshaling, take-down and all of the behind-the-scenes details that make a bike race safe and fun.

We hope to bring the race back next year and with the support of the Ripon community make it even better.

Be sure to take a look at for a video and photos from the event.

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