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Popular yoga, bike, bourbon triathlons return for third year

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One hour of yoga with Funky Buddha, a group bike ride led by The Spoke Folks, and brunch & bourbon at One Bourbon, all to benefit The Spoke Folks. They will be June 10, July 8, August 12, and September 9, 2018.
Funky Buddha Triathlon

Funky Buddha Triathlon /Courtesy of The Spoke Folks

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Yoga, bike, bourbon

Yoga, bike, bourbon /Courtesy of The Spoke Folks

One hour of yoga with Funky Buddha, a group bike ride led by The Spoke Folks, and brunch & bourbon at One Bourbon! All to benefit The Spoke Folks. The Funky Buddha Yoga Bikes Bourbon Triathlon series is back for its third year.

Dates for the 2018 Funky Buddha Triathlons are June 10, July 8, August 12, and September 9. They begin with yoga at Lincoln Park at 10 a.m., followed by a 10 mile bike ride ride through the West Side of Grand Rapids, and culminate with a celebration at One Bourbon. For those wanting to participate but don’t have a bike, The Spoke Folks will be renting them out for $20. Tickets are $49 per ride or $160 for the whole series, and in addition to yoga and a guided bike ride, they include a T-shirt, and a brunch entree at One Bourbon. Those signing up for the full series will be in the running to win a customized bike from The Spoke Folks at a $1000 value, one year of unlimited yoga at Funky Buddha, or free fried chicken for one year at One Bourbon.

Now in its third year, it’s something the staff of Funky Buddha and The Spoke Folks look forward to every year.

“The Funky Buddha Triathlon series is one of our favorite community events”, said Anna Baeten, Funky Buddha Executive Director. “It is so much fun. It is one of those events that is an instant camaraderie builder, it activates our parks & public spaces, supports local business, and raises funds for The Spoke Folks. What is not to love?”

The Spoke Folks has been a non profit partner from the beginning, through the yoga studio’s Community Program, a branch of The Funky Buddha that is specifically focused on investing in the greater Grand Rapids community and the work of the local non-profits.

“We strategically seek out organizations that align with our Core Values, are collaborative in their approach, and are working towards our shared community vision. The Spoke Folks are all of those things,” Baeten said. “We have enjoyed a collaborative relationship with The Spoke Folks for the past three years. They are an amazing organization dedicated to the wellness and equity of our community - plus they are just really cool people that love to think up fun and innovative ways to engage our community.”

The Spoke Folks’ mission is to increase and sustain bicycle ridership in Grand Rapids through affordable bicycles, bicycle mechanic services and educational support. The organization works to ensure that anyone wanting to ride a bicycle in Grand Rapids will have one that is safe and will feel empowered to ride.

“Even if it’s your first time riding we want to help you get on a bike you love riding and have a great time,” said Martel Posey, The Spoke Folks Executive Director. “We resell donated bikes, help people fix bikes, and educate people about bike culture and safety so they can venture out on their bikes with confidence.”

A large component of The Spoke Folks’ work is to help ensure that everyone in the community has access to a reliable bicycle, including those with limited financial means. Because they sell bikes at such a reduced rate, it is imperative to have strong community support from both individuals and business partners, Posey said.

“We have revenue that comes from bike and part sales, but we also rely on grants and community donors to help fund our work,” Posey said. “We have people who haven’t ridden in years who want to begin riding recreationally that come in and leave feeling empowered with a new-to-them bike. We also have people who ride their bikes for necessity to get to their jobs and it’s equally important that they have a bike that is safe and reliable, even if they can’t always afford the market rate for parts and repairs. Funky Buddha and Triathlon sponsors Griffin Properties and Hawk Racing Bicycles helps make it possible. They understand the importance of the work, and because of them we can get more butts on bikes.”

For anyone thinking a 10-mile bike ride might be too lofty of a goal for them, Posey said it’s mind over matter. “All you can do is try to prove yourself wrong,” he said. The Spoke Folks will be supporting riders the whole way and there is a no drop rule, meaning if a rider is not able to stay with the group, there will be a Spoke Folks staff member or volunteer who will ride with them.

“Sometimes people see the world "Triathlon" and get scared We really should call it a Fun-athalon” Baeten said. “For people that have never experienced a group ride before, this is the perfect entry point - enough physical activity to get your blood flowing, but specifically designed to be accessible and recreational.”   

Find more information about Funky Buddha and the Yoga Bikes Bourbon Triathlons here. Learn more about The Spoke Folks and how to support their work here and by following them on Facebook.

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