This weekend is the annual fundraiser and bike ride to eliminate Multiple Sclerosis, otherwise known as the Bike
MS NYC. The ride is Sunday, October 3rd and leaves and returns to Manhattan’s west side Pier 94.
I haven’t given much coverage to these big charity rides in the past but I recently found out about an awesome giveaway.
Eric and Bruce Bromberg are the restaurateurs behind the incredibly delicious Blue Ribbon restaurant chain. Oh yeah, and they’re partners on a cool bowling alley in Williamsburg too. They also have a big thing for bicycles and decided to donate a whole fleet of 160 Cannondales to a 200 member “top-tier” team of their employees who will be riding involved in the
MS ride. Now that’s my kind of boss. I got a chance to send them some questions about…why they did it.
What inspired you to get involved in the NYC MS Ride? How long have you been working with the organization?
My brothers and I have loved cycling ever since we were kids. We rode in the MS Societyâ€™s Northern California â€œWaves to Wine Rideâ€ in 1996. For Bike MS NYC 2009 we created the Blue Ribbon/Naked Nuggets team to include our employees, who are also very passionate about the sport.
What’s the story behind the amazing employee bike giveaway?
>Last year many of our employees told us they could not ride because they did not have bikes. This year we partnered with Cannondale to donate 160 Cannondale â€œQuickâ€ recreational bikes to anyone on our staff that wanted to take part in the charity ride.
How did Cannondale get on board?
We are long time friends with Leigh Sorrells from Bike Express 52 Division in Danbury Connecticut. It was through this relationship that we were able to partner with Cannondale. We have long admired Cannondale and the companyâ€™s small American roots. It was a dream to be able to do this with them.
What do you hope your employees will gain from this experience, at the ride and beyond?
We are hoping that the new bikes will inspire our employees to continue to lead active lifestyles. We are always looking for ways to promote more sustainable business practices, and this is a wonderful way to include everyone in that mission.
What have been your past experiences with this event? What have your employees experiences been?
Last year at 81 riders strong we raised over $30,000. It felt very rewarding to make a sizeable donation to such a worthwhile cause. This year at 200 plus members we are close to doubling that number. Seeing our employees get energized and inspired like this is incredible.
Why did you decide to form a team?
We sponsor an elite amateur team called Blue Ribbon Cycling, as well as professional rider Rob Morlock, in Race Across America, a coast-to-coast endurance race. Creating a team for our employees, whom we consider members of our family, felt like a natural next step.
How did the event go at Brooklyn Bowl?
It was awesome! Everyone received a brand-new beautiful bike, helmet, and safety instructions. A fundraiser party and silent auction followed the event, and everyone bowled with their families.
What are your future bike plans?
We are in the process of developing a television series called Tour de Food where we will combine our passion for cycling, being active, and culinary exploration.
What do you wish people asked you about why you do events like this?
Blue Ribbon participates in events like Bike MS NYC, because in our business there are things that are more important that the bottom-line. Raising money for a worthwhile cause and seeing what we can accomplish as a team are the ultimate motivations for doing an event like this.
The team is also being sponsored by Naked Nuggets.
Now, if working for amazingly tasty place like Blue Ribbon weren’t inspiration enough, their employees now have new bicycles to get to work. I couldn’t help but do some math on this…let’s see 160 bikes, 200 members on the team? Do 40 people have their own bikes or is their going to be some of this going on?