An admitted shoe geek waxes philosophical about running, triathlon, and life in general.
Comments welcome!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The future of cycling is being shaped now. And needs your help.

I didn't discover bike racing until well into my adult life (okay, I was about 28).

Until that time, I'd been a runner, and then triathlete. Racing on a bicycle was very different than the individual sports in which I'd been immersed to that point -- not only were the tactics a whole new world, but the on/off nature of the race taxed me in ways I'd never known before. Being involved with a team made the transition much easier, and provided a social aspect that was sorely lacking in other areas of my life.

How might my life have differed had I found opportunities to race on a bicycle earlier in life?

While I'll never truly know the answer to that question, I can take some guesses -- I would have been more outgoing, self-confident, and would have learned bike mechanics much earlier. I can see issues with high-school level athletics dealing with the myriad logistics of road bike racing, especially road closures, traffic control, and insurance coverage. Mountain bikes can make most of those issues go away.

Okay, mountain bikes hadn't really even been invented when I was in high school... But in any case, if I'd had the opportunity, I think I would have dived right in head first.

The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) is out to change that lack of opportunity. Already they've started leagues in 12 states, and their goal is to have leagues in every state of the nation by 2020. They provide coaching, scholarships, and helps shape the future of cycling and cyclists.

But that takes money.

Dick's Sporting Goods and Sports Matter have a funding campaign in place to raise the moneys needed to continue the spread of these leagues into more states. This campaign has a goal to hit $75000 by May 23rd, and if they hit that goal they get matching funds from Sports Matter. The dark side -- if they don't hit the goal, they don't get the money.

I'd ask that anyone with the means consider donating to this campaign, help the spread of cycling into our nations youth.

Click here to donate.


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