Breaking the “cycle” of hunger


Ask a cycling enthusiast why they do what they do, and you’ll get a dozen answers.

The wind in your face. The burn in your quads. The post-ride coffee and bagels.

The members of C510 cycling team share it all — in addition to most being parents of students at Oakland’s Crocker Elementary.

Whether road or mountain, cyclocross or triathlon, C510 cyclists participate in virtually any race they can involving bicycles. However, when it came time to host their first public event — an adventure-style ride called a “Super Cat” — they wanted to do more than simply throw a fun party on two wheels.

“Philanthropy is an important part of our growth,” said C510’s Alex Peterson, a longtime Food Bank supporter. “We talked about doing something for the community, and decided to support an effective organization that helps people where they need it the most.”

Super Cats have few rules. Cyclists must cross a handful of checkpoints on their way to the finish line, but the path they use is completely up to them.

And in this case, they were encouraged to donate to C510’s Virtual Food Drive to support Alameda County Community Food Bank.

Call it the entry fee.

“The online nature (of the VFD) is wonderful,” said Alex. “People can appeal to their friends and families. And it makes fundraising easy since the funds go straight to the Food Bank (instead of us collecting them).”

Participants were asked to raise a minimum of $50; however, many couldn’t help but turn the VFD into a second race, so to speak: “It really appealed to our team’s competitive side,” said Alex.

It was likely more than just their competitive natures. As parents of school-age children, they chose the Food Bank because we’re helping families meet a basic need.
In fact, children make up by far the largest group of people we serve.

Whatever the motivation, it worked. The group raised $9,901.75 — enough to provide nearly 10,000 meals!

By successfully completing the 60-mile journey, participants were awarded with a BBQ lunch. The winner received a limited edition cycling jersey; the top fundraiser, a case of craft beer.

All this, of course, was secondary to the ultimate prize: children in our community had healthy food.

C510 is riding on the Super Cat’s tremendous momentum and making it an annual event. “We’re hoping to make it even bigger (this September) — more participants, more challenging, and more money raised,” said Alex. In fact, he encourages anyone who’s interested to check for information on this year’s event!

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