Rainy Riding & Paying it Forward to Kids

Okay, so this post was totally supposed to go up last week, but if you follow me on twitter than you know I was pounding away at two trade shows, on in OKC then back in Austin. So needless to say life was crazy. I’ll post about this weekend later.

Anyway, I was in need of a mental health day so I got the chance to slip away with some of my Austin Cycle Camp peeps for a ride. The route was to take us from our normal south meeting spot (the Coffee Bean) up part of 360 then out Bee Caves and hit a little hill on the way back. I was excited because being a north-sider, I had only driving down Bee Caves and it looked like a fun bunch of rollers. Today was a special ride for a couple of reasons though. First it had stopped (kinda) raining. It’s been more like Seattle lately than Austin so we were all very excited to be outside and not get soaked. Also, our Team Austin Cycle Camp kits had finally arrived! We would be the first group who actually got to roll out sporting our new goods!back of the AC2 jersey

The jerseys are pretty sweet if I do say so myself. The back is full of our rocking sponsors like Grease Monkey Wipes and of course Coffee Bean.getting ready to roll out in the AC2 kits Anyway we roll out and endure the cold hard winds in our face on the way out. I was right about Bee Caves, it does have some nice rollers. It was also fun having riders like Alexis along who are like rabbits that slingshot out and then you get to play catch up coming back down the hills. We make our turn around point and regroup for a few minutes. The return route was awesome, the wind on the back, some extra downhill decent, it was just great! After we returned I felt invigorated. We climbed over 2,000 feet in 30 miles. That was the total climbing for the LiveStrong Challenge I did in October and thought I might die. It would appear that the group rides I’m suffering through with AC2, and the hill repeats on my own seem to be paying off. We did end up finding some water towards the end of the route. But what’s more fun than breaking in a new jersey with a little mud?!?

That afternoon I got the privilege to be a part of something very cool. A local elementary school had decided to participate in a program called Freikers (FREquent bIKER, rhymes with biker). waiting in line for free helmets & fittingThey are the first school in the state of Texas to take up this program. Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo with the kidsThere’s a tower mounted at the school run off of a solar panel. Each kid gets a RFID inside their helmet to check-in each time they ride. The can earn prizes for most number of rides, etc. The school will also receive recognition for number or rides against other schools. A combination of efforts from the Austin Cycling Association, Social Cycling ATX, Trek Bikes, Bicycle Sport Shop, and the Texas Bicycling Coalition really put together an awesome kickoff. There was a bike rodeo where Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo rode with the kids and a bike tune-up & repair stand. In addition to that over 300 helmets were donated and properly fitted for the kids! It was very humbling to be a little part of this great event. Props to everyone involved! I really hope that after other schools in the area see the success of this program that it will spread like a wildfire. Such a great concept! There’s already so many kids that ride their bikes to school, why not reward it and encourage others to do the same? Not to mention properly fitting their helmets and teaching about bike safety. You can see more pictures and read about the Statesman’s coverage here.

  1. February 15th, 2010

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