BOSS Ride rumbles through

Published 7:15 am Monday, July 25, 2011

Riders taking part in the 11th annual Bikers Of Student Success (BOSS) Ride head south on Highway 105 under sunny skies Saturday morning. -- Eric Johnson/

For 11 years the Riverland Community College Bikers Of Student Success (BOSS) Ride has raised money for student scholarships by doing what bikers enjoy: Taking a day’s worth of time on two wheels.

“It’s a good cause and a lot of fun,” said Rocky Schammel, a rider from Rose Creek who has been on a majority of the rides. “You meet people you don’t see that much.”

Whipp and Marlene Wipplinger pull up for this year's Bikers Of Student Success Ride outside Riverland Community College's east campus Saturday morning. This year was the 11th annual ride. - Eric Johnson/

At $25 a biker, 36 bikes and 56 participants combined to raise $3,400. The money goes to fund scholarships at each of the three RCC campuses in Austin, Albert Lea and Owatonna. The scholarships are worth $500 at each campus.

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The popularity for the ride has remained consistent over the years, though co-organizer Ron Wangen said the BOSS community was hoping for more bikers this year to raise even more money used to help students gain a college education.

“It stays about the same, between 50-70 riders, but this year we’re kind of hoping for 100,” Wangen said.

The efforts behind the ride strike a chord with those taking part.

“I remember what it was like,” Schammel said with a laugh.

In the past the ride would take riders to the scenic area along the southeastern border of Minnesota, but this year the ride took bikers south on a long loop through the open fields of Iowa.

But as it is with most bikers, a ride is a ride no matter where it is, which makes it pretty easy to ride for a goal like that which BOSS offers.

“It’s pretty neat,” said RJ Bergstrom, another rider who has taken part in most of the BOSS rides. “When you get a ‘thank-you’ letter from a student, that means a lot.”