Third annual Baroudeur deemed a breakaway success

September 6, 2017

Cyclists ranging in age from 18 to 83 years and hailing from 14 states — plus Washington, D.C. and Ontario, Canada — rolled onto campus Aug. 19 for Wayne State’s third annual Baroudeur cycling event.

Almost half of riders (48 percent) were participating in their first Baroudeur, and 56 percent of all riders had no affiliation with the university.

“It’s clear the word is out that the Baroudeur is a great cycling event,” said WSU President M. Roy Wilson, who completed the 100-mile ride for the third time. “I’ve received nothing but positive feedback on our friendly volunteers, how nice campus looked, our police, the course, the post-ride party and the overall event organization.”

That backs up post-ride survey results, in which 94 percent of riders rated the event as “excellent” or “very good.”

When asked why they rode in the Baroudeur, the most common responses were:

  • See Detroit/urban route
  • Physical challenge/exercise
  • Fun event
  • Give back/support students

In addition to generating $10,500 for student scholarships and the HIGH Program, the Baroudeur also contributed $1 per rider to the League of Michigan Bicyclists to support bicycle education and advocacy. This year, riders were encouraged to form teams and raise money for specific scholarship funds. Team 128 raised more than $3,100 for the Colin Rose Memorial Scholarship, and a team of riders from the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences raised almost $2,500 for the college’s Diversity Scholarship Fund. 

The event is heavily reliant on close to 300 volunteers each year, who check in riders, pass out food and refreshments at rest stops, ensure riders stay on course, and cheer on riders, among other duties.  

“I can’t say enough great things about our volunteers, many of whom were on campus by 5:30 in the morning on a Saturday to make sure our participants had a great experience,” said Julie Hasse, assistant ride director.

Rob MacGregor, senior director of philanthropy in the Law School (pictured, right, with Wilson), was given the first Spirit of the Baroudeur Award at the event for his commitment. MacGregor helped line up sponsors, design the courses, organize weekly training rides and mark the course.

An avid cyclist, MacGregor also rode with President Wilson on his 428-mile Road Warrior Tour during the first week of August.

Plans for the 2018 Baroudeur and Road Warrior Tour are in the works.