It was a beautiful Saturday morning for the first ever Virtual Rodman Ride for Kids. 

Typically, hundreds of riders would gather together in one central location to participate in the Rodman Ride For Kids, an annual bike ride supporting local youth programs in Massachusetts. In order to keep its annual tradition running, the Rodman Ride shifted to an all-virtual event this year – a move that actually resulted in increased participation. 

While transitioning the Rodman Ride to a virtual event meant there would be no finish line parties this year, it also meant riders had no location limitations. This gave supporters unlimited opportunities to participate creatively. For many Team BPIE riders, including Boston Partners staff, it was an opportunity to come together for the first time in almost seven months. 

“Obviously this year’s ride looked quite different due to the pandemic, but we still managed to put together a fun ride, and more importantly raise funds to help support Boston Partners in Education and their critical work with BPS” – Bill, Team BPIE rider

Thanks to the efforts of 16 riders, Team BPIE has raised over $8,000 in support of online mentoring so far. Donations to the ride campaign will be accepted until November 1st.

Team BPIE gathers for a socially-distanced group ride.

Different Landscape, Same Mission

To participate in this year’s ride, participants were able to complete the traditional 25 or 50-mile bike ride from a location of their choice, or meet up with Team Boston Partners for a 15-mile (socially-distanced) group ride through Boston. Team BPIE met at the BlueBike Station near the Ruggles MBTA stop and cycled the bike paths through Forest Hills and Franklin Park. The team made a pit stop at the first public high school in America: The English High School in Jamaica Plain, and took a brief break to admire the view at Peter’s Rock overlooking the city. 

“I see all these people through the screen, so to see them in person after so many months was refreshing – it made it an even better event!” – Beth Manson, BPIE staff

Whether participants set their own route or joined our team ride, the virtual platform made it easy to participate. Supporters had the ability to pick the distance they wanted to ride and set their own fundraising goal. Team BPIE was able to see where all of our supporters were riding by using #RideWithBPIE! 

Chris Cotrone joined Team BPIE from South Carolina.

Team BPIE welcomed riders from Maine all the way to South Carolina. Longtime Boston Partners supporter Pamela Civins participated in this year’s event from Cape Cod, where she rode 25 miles. “Great Rodman Ride For Kids this morning in support of Boston Partners. Like everything else this year, it was unique.”

A true silver lining from the virtual event was that riders around Boston who did not have a personal bike were still able to participate with the help of Bluebikes. Beth Manson, Development Associate at Boston Partners in Education, completed 15 miles on her rented Bluebike on Saturday morning. “We could not have asked for a better day and a better group to do it with. It was the first time I was on a bike in a decade!”

Beth Manson uses a Bluebike for the 2020 Rodman Ride.

Virtual Ride, Virtual Mentoring

All Rodman Ride funds raised for Team Boston Partners support the growth of our virtual mentoring programs, which will provide Boston Public Schools students with online mentors during their remote learning this school year.

For the duration of the 2020-21 school year, all Boston Partners mentoring programs will operate remotely – regardless of whether Boston Public Schools students return to physical classrooms. Despite the transition to an online setting, the foundation of Boston Partners’ mentoring programs will remain unchanged. Online programs will adhere to the same core principles as our in-class offerings: meeting students where they are and providing flexibility for volunteers.

Your support will make a difference for Boston Public Schools students this year!

To make a donation to Team BPIE’s Rodman Ride campaign before November 1st, please click here