While my moments on the trail can’t fix the systemic inequalities that women face, or the uphill climb many of us are facing during and after the pandemic, these moments on the trail can help me rebuild my resilience. And they are—as often as I can create them.
The latest connection on the West Papio Trail brings with it the latest additions to a community-wide effort to spread public art along the Omaha-area trail system. Both can be found beneath a bridge that crosses heavily trafficked Harrison Street.
It’s a heartwarming sight, watching a new rider roll down the trail, a slow grin spreading across his or her face—experiencing that sweet mixture of freedom, independence and pride. It’s an image that Donny Green, director of a youth bike camp in Rhode Island, has seen many times.
Sometimes it can be hard to imagine how to plan a successful adventure for your family with special needs. But when the trips are successful, the exercise and shared enjoyment that trails offer can be incredibly powerful and restorative! Here are a few tips on how to ensure people of all abilities are having a great time out on the trail.
On April 27 at Holy Name School in Camden, New Jersey, eight fifth- through eighth-graders enthusiastically greeted their new Fuji hybrid bikes as part of the Rutger-Camden IGNITE afterschool cycling program.
As a culmination of our summer youth programming in the Greater Philadelphia Area, RTC brought 23 young people together this August for our second annual Youth Sojourn—a five-day bike ride over 170 miles of Circuit Trails in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Led by RTC Youth Engagement Coordinator Jolie Chylack and several Youth Leaders, the sojourn capped off a great summer of watershed health education programming.
During Memorial Day weekend, RTC’s Youth Leaders in the Philadelphia/Camden area attended the Youth Bike Summit at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. Jaymere Copeland, Paul Jewell and Allen Williams joined young people from across the country to learn and share ideas focused on using cycling as a tool to improve communities.
Many are familiar with the League of American Bicyclists’ List of Bike Friendly Businesses. Another category the League ranks is Bicycle Friendly Universities (BFUs). This list has only been active for four years, but the last round of designations graduated to a new level with a record-breaking number of top-performing colleges.
A formidable group of young women travels the streets of Columbus. Helmet clad, they roll through town on their bikes, searching for sidewalks and bike lanes and assessing street lighting. They know the names of the city council members who represent them, and you may find them behind a microphone at a town hall meeting advocating for the local bicycling movement. They also help cyclists themselves; they can fix a flat bike tire without giving it a second thought.
They are an impressive group. Oh, and they’re in middle school!
Freewheelin' Community Bikes is a nonprofit that uses bicycles to “bring out the best in people and their community.” It’s eight weeks of commitment for kids ages 10 to 16, with a big pay off at the other end: a set of wheels, and the knowledge and confidence that comes from knowing how to repair a bicycle.