Training camp bike riding tradition returns
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Green and gold fans made their way to Titletown Wednesday morning for the first day of the 77th Packers training camp. But before the players arrived on the practice field they took part in a beloved tradition with the fan.
It felt like game day at Lambeau Field, where hundreds of people waited outside to take part in a tradition that started in the 1950s. But this day was extra special because the tradition was returned to its former glory.
Dozens of young Packers fans held on to their bikes outside the stadium, eagerly waiting for the start of the American Family Insurance Dreamdrive. Like any big celebration, a ribbon-cutting was in order.
Packers players picked their bikes to pedal to Ray Nitschke Field for the first day of practice. The kids sharing their wheels carried the players’ helmets while chatting all the way, while those in the crowd reached for high fives.
One dad brought his children in tow with an agenda.
“I’m trying to teach them the ways of the Packers and get them to develop their own love of the team that I had as a kid,” Tim Rumpff Jr. said.
He’s one of the fans happy this tradition is back in full swing after being limited since 2020 because of the pandemic.
“I love it. It’s very personable how they bike out here and fans get to stand out there with high fives and autographs. I love it,” Packers fan Lucas DeWitt said.
A spokesperson with the Packers tells me kids don’t even have to sign up to bring their bikes. They just show up and get it done.
“It returns some simple, happy moments to people, and sports have such a great convening power of bringing people together -- certainly at games, practices and even at something as simple as this -- it’s a breath of fresh air,” Packers Director of Public Affairs Aaron Popkey said.
I’m told well over 100 kids brought their bikes for the Packers to ride Wednesday.
Tanner Chrisler was one of the lucky kids grateful to be part of a beloved tradition to kick off the NFL season in Titletown.
”I’m still kind of shaken up. It was really cool. It was a cool experience carrying the helmet and talking to them. It’s just an awesome experience,” Tanner said.
He told us he loves to play football, so this experience was more than just fun, it was inspiring.
”It’s inspiring to be there at the moment, you know. Like, you kind of want to be the person that chooses the bike. It makes someone’s day,” Tanner said.
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