2012 Bicycles for the Tour
This past weekend I swept the dirt and leaves from my garage and built a bike rack to keep the youth cyclists’ bikes out of the elements. We have seen an unprecedented donation of quality bicycles: Cannondale, Kona, Fuji just to name a few. This year we have 13 cyclists taking a journey of a Lifetime and making a commitment to themselves and their future. That’s an increase of five from 2011.
But it’s not all about riding bikes for the teens, that’s just the hook. This is a youth leadership program that changes lives and moves teens in a different and for some, a more positive direction.
As an example, at the beginning of the almost 1800 mile 2011 Underground Railroad tour, one cyclist never thought he could go a day without television. Another gained a greater appreciation of the efforts those who came before us made. All of the cyclists walked away from the experience more educated than they were before they began. The National Park Brice’s Crossroads visit just off the Natchez Trace Parkway made an exceptional impression on the Youth Cyclists as they were told of the 55th and 59th USCT US Colored Troops’ bold defense of the retreating Union Army. (http://www.nps.gov/brcr/the-battle.htm)
We’re not just grooming the next generation of cyclists and critical thinkers we’re also building appreciation for history and great outdoor activities.
Quoting Milton Chen, a senior fellow and executive director emeritus at Edutopia, “This is project-based learning at its best, combining travel to powerful places with authentic experience of history and geography, collaboration towards a common goal, and intense physical activity. And using the Internet to document the trip…”. The blogs of the Youth Cyclists can be read here https://spokenrevolutions.wordpress.com/category/ugrr/
Since the spring of 2010, SnR youth cyclists have contributed hundreds of community service hours locally, regionally, and nationally. Engaging them in community service builds self-efficacy and in turn they recognize that they can make a difference. The program promotes strong relationships between youth and adults – creating confidence and knowledge that people care about them. The SnR Leadership Program empowers participants to take leadership roles in their schools and communities. Several of the current members serve on local town boards, community boards, and are peer mentors for younger students.
We begin this summer’s westward tour following the Buffalo Soldiers’ 1896 bicycle route and the Lewis & Clark Trail on June 22, 2012. At this time we can use all the help we can get. Will you stand with us in support of youth leadership and development by making a contribution now?
Your support of $5 or more will go to buy tents, or hydration packs, healthy snacks or much needed fuel to power the vehicle that will follow them along the way. Your help is needed.