The Kiwanis Alpine Challenge VisionThe Alpine Challenge is a charity bike ride. All proceeds from the event benefit the Alpine Challenge Scholarship Fund. Because the event's committee and ride day personnel are all volunteers, 100 percent of the proceeds are retained.
Alpine is located in the rural foothills just 30 miles East of San Diego where it's always "A Good Day for Japatul". In our scenic mountain town where crowds are non-existent, our hills will surely bring pleasure and satisfaction in just completing the ride. The entire route will be very well supported with SAG stops and roving support vehicles.
Our goal for the participants is to provide fun, and for those seeking a challenge, to provide one. The 50 mile Descanso Ride is designed for serious bicycle enthusiasts. It is well known for its 5,318 feet of vertical gain. Our 62 mile Pine Valley Ride was designed for even stronger riders who felt our Descanso Ride was so enjoyable that they just wanted a little extra riding time. It follows the same route as the Descanso Ride but it adds an additional 1,080 feet of climbing. It also adds some beautiful mountain scenery through the town of Pine Valley.
Then there is the 100 mile Mount Laguna Ride. When you enter the town of Pine Valley on Old Hwy 80 and the Pine Valley riders turn into town, you continue on Old Hwy 80 to Sunrise Highway. You will go into the Cleveland National Forest and ride for 13 miles until you reach the Penny Pines Turnout. At that point you turn around and retrace your route down to Old Hwy 80 and into Pine Valley. This extension adds 35 miles to the ride with a total elevation gain of 10,150 feet.
Finally, we offer the 25 Mile Alpine Ride for the seasoned rider. This ride has 2,013 feet of climbing. If you're a "weekend warrior" looking to go to the next level, this challenge is for you. Like the other three rides, it includes our signature climb, Dehesa Road, a 5 mile grade with just over 1,000 feet of vertical gain. It will surely promote camaraderie and significant accomplishment for the weekend rider and for newer members of our riding community.
Kelsey Neuenswander and Ashly Jackson
BackgroundThe Alpine Challenge began in 2001 as a means for the Kiwanis Club of Alpine, our founder and host, to provide mentoring and scholarship to encourage high school students in Alpine to complete school and continue their education. Many high school teens drop out of school even though they are mentally capable of continuing their education but for various reasons don't.
Each year the accumulated funds from the event will help finance two years of college or continuing education for at least two local students. These students must meet these main requirements: pledge to live a drug/crime free life, graduate from high school in their scheduled year, and meet admission requirements for post-secondary education. With recommendations from teachers, three Kiwanis members select two sophomores to receive the scholarships. During the rest of high school, the students will have not only high school counselors available to provide mentoring; they will also have a Kiwanis mentor to help them reach their goals. When the students reach their senior year they are given a laptop computer in recognition of their accomplishments and to encourage continued success.
We hope to create a ripple effect; by helping kids continue their education, it is expected to increase the likelihood that they, in turn, will become active service-minded members of the community.
TodayIn 16 years, the Alpine Challenge has raised over $200,000. Our goal is to establish a perpetual fund for a minimum of sending 2 kids to college every year. The money raised during this year's event will once again have 2 beneficiaries. To date, 28 students have committed themselves to "The Alpine Challenge." Upon completion of their scholastic commitment, they will receive the guaranteed benefit promised from the Alpine Challenge Scholarship Fund. We now have 21 students who graduated from high school and continued their education; all due to the Alpine Challenge. We expect to award 2 more students this year and we plan to continue to expand the program with the goal of encouraging more teens to finish their schooling on time and continue their education.
Our event has been quite successful. We had just 70 riders in July 2001, our first year. We now have over 400 riders participating in the event from across the state, across the country and even outside the United States. We've had riders from Alaska, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, North Dakota, Michigan, Connecticut, Maryland, Florida, Canada, Mexico, and Italy. The reputation of our event is spreading and we expect to go nowhere but up from here!
We expect to increase participation again this year. Our success can be attributed to a community that is committed to serving others; we have tremendous community involvement. Many business owners and individuals provided financial support and volunteer their time. Your participation is not only appreciated, it is essential to our continued growth.
Finally, a word from our Event Director Ed Paul. "It is so gratifying to see the Alpine Challenge grow. We continually strive to provide the best ride in Southern California and based on our growth and the high percentage of returning riders, we are doing something right. We take the quality of our ride very seriously. Our goal is to make sure our participants have a good time successfully completing their chosen ride and that they recommend the Alpine Challenge to others. Our event is very much a grass roots, home grown event. We are very proud of our success. We were pleased with how we did this year but nothing would make me happier than to provide an even better experience in 2018. Try our ride - you won't be disappointed."