Students cheer for bikers riding around St. Paul at 22nd annual Bike Classic

Teachers and student helpers work hard to organize volunteering event for SPA students.

This past Sunday, over 50 student volunteers and faculty lined up in neon orange jackets and lawn chairs with bagels and water bottled in hand, to cheer on bikers as they made their way around St. Paul in the 22nd annual Bike Classic.

Upper School English teacher Matthew Hoven, US Math teacher Dr. Dan O’loughlin, and US Biology teacher Ned Heckman coordinated the volunteers for the event. Three students also played a large role in organizing and coordinating this event: seniors Soph Lundberg, Maria Perkkio, and Emily Thissen.

“Planning was rather haphazard at times and involved many people, especially and most immediately Dr. O’Loughlin and my spouse Hannah Joyce-Hoven,” Hoven said.

I hung out with friends for four hours and screamed my head off, so that was pretty great.”

— Izzy Gisser

That morning, Dr. O’Loughlin and Joyce-Hoven rode around with Hoven  setting up caution tape, distributing T-shirts and construction vests, and bagels.

Students arrived around 6:30 to get spots, eat bagels, and prepare to cheer on waves of bikers as they passed.

“I hung out with friends for four hours and screamed my head off, so that was pretty great,” sophomore Isabel Gisser said about attending the Classic.

Many of the students who attended were sophomores, as these hours counted towards their sophomore community service hours requirement, but many who participated including Gisser give the experience positive reviews.

Sophomores Elizabeth Nowakowski, Kaia Larsen, and Kenzie Kaspricowicz-Giese get together after the Bike Classic.
Submitted by Kaia Larsen
Sophomores Elizabeth Nowakowski, Kaia Larsen, and Kenzie Kaspricowicz-Giese get together after the Bike Classic.

“It was amazing to see everyone’s reactions to us dancing around and being ridiculous, and that was probably my favorite part of the experience. I know it sounds super cheesy, but we all loved seeing everyone smile,” Gisser said.

Sophomores Jennie Verhey and Annie Bottern echo Gisser, both stating that their favorite part about the experience was cheering with their friends. 

Due to an unexpected Bruegger’s Bagel mix-up and some hectic planning, Hoven states that “I am already planning how to make next year’s event much smoother. Overall, however, I was blown away by the numbers and all the positive energy.”