Chilly Challenge Information

Written by Mona Will - December 2017

Three Rivers Velo Sport begins their year-long celebration of beginning our 50th year as a cycling club starting January 1st at the Chilly Challenge. The start of a new year is full of excitement as goals are formulated, resolutions are being made and sometimes relief of a difficult year that is proclaimed to be left behind.


The Chilly Challenge is the beginning of a new year of riding. Mileage counting devices are zeroed out and restarted. The weather is never the same from one year to the next, but we can always count on riders of all ages, on all kinds of bikes, bundled up or not, to pull out of the parking lot in a undulating ribbon of colors as they make their way onto the city streets and trails that has become a very familiar route for many.

As with all years past to present, the ride makes its way to the St Joe River to stop and watch the Polar Bears take their annual dip in the always chilly St. Joe River before returning to the Psi Ote Barn. There, the riders find the infamous chili, prepared by our own club members lined up on tables, along with cornbread, and usually some really tasty treats that vary from year to year. Hot chocolate, lemonade and coffee are available to either warm you up or cool you down. All of the riding, camaraderie, chili, treats, and beverages are free of charge. Goodwill donations are definitely accepted.

There are rider disclaimer forms that must be completed by all riders before riding and there’s the factor of finding a parking spot and unloading the bikes, so allow yourself plenty time to arrive and get all of this completed before the official countdown begins just 10 seconds before the ride begins. Be sure to wear a helmet and bring a bike in good working order. The ride does not offer any kind of mechanical support.

This event is sponsored by the Ft Wayne Parks Department and Three Rivers Velo Sport and is run solely by volunteers. As always, there are duties that are needed before, during and after the event. We need about 4 people to help with set up which will start around 11A and will wrap up in time for the start of the ride. There are about 3 slots open for help in the kitchen throughout the entire day. These duties are simple but very integral to the riders’ experience once they return from the ride. These duties include keeping hot water in the coffee urn, lemonade mix always in the cups, heating water for coffee and boiling hot dogs, and washing utensils. Keeping the chili crockpots stirred and moving them out of the way when they are empty is also important. And finally, about 3-4 people to tear down tables and chairs and take out the trash. If you can take some extra time out of your day to help, please contact Mona Will (who will be eternally grateful for your time) via email at