More than a bike ride: RBC GranFondo Silicon Valley raises money for youth charities


RBC GrandFondo racers line up

RBC GranFondo Silicon Valley

On a recent summer morning, more than 450 cyclists took off on a 71-mile bike race through some of Silicon Valley’s most iconic ­– and physically taxing – cycling terrain. But this was more than just a bike ride – it was also an opportunity to give back and support youth in surrounding communities.

Called the RBC GranFondo Silicon Valley, the race was created in 2018 as an expansion of the RBC GranFondo in Whistler, British Columbia, which has been taking place close to a decade. It was a natural expansion into Silicon Valley’s Santa Cruz hills, which are home to some of the best cycling roads in the country.

Riding for a cause

A collaboration between RBC and City National Bank, the RBC GranFondo Silicon Valley raises money for youth-focused nonprofits in California and beyond. This year, the race raised $100,000, which was divided evenly among three charities that focus on helping young people gain skills and tools necessary to reach their full potential.

  • Positive Coaching Alliance (San Francisco Bay Area Chapter) is committed to transforming youth sports culture into a positive, character-building experience for young athletes.
  • Tipping Point Community works to fight poverty and reduce homelessness in the San Francisco Bay Area by providing grants to organizations that educate, employ, and shelter those in need in the Bay Area.
  • Specialized Foundation uses cycling as a tool for children to achieve academic, health and social success through school-based cycling programs.

RBC GranFondo race finishers on stage

RBC GranFondo Silicon Valley


Of the 454 cyclists that participated in the GranFondo and the shorter 47-mile Medio race, 103 were from RBC or City National Bank, including Richard Schaefer, director of RBC Wealth Management’s Tucson, Ariz., branch, who rode with two of his clients; and Kirk High, director of RBC Wealth Management’s Fort Worth, Texas branch.

“This was the most physically challenging race I have competed in because of the terrain,” Schaefer says, “but so rewarding to race for an important cause alongside two of my clients.”

The 71-mile loop started in the heart of Silicon Valley, where riders tackled leg-testing climbs, to more than 7,000 feet above sea level, before descending to the coastline and heading back downtown to the finish line. Schaefer had ridden the trail once before, but it was High’s first time experiencing the terrain. Despite that challenge, he says, “it was an outstanding event for a great cause.”

“It was a great race,” Schaefer adds. “I am already signed up to ride again next year.”


Investment and insurance products offered through RBC Wealth Management are not insured by the FDIC or any other federal government agency, are not deposits or other obligations of, or guaranteed by, a bank or any bank affiliate, and are subject to investment risks, including possible loss of the principal amount invested.

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