Learn to Ride is a very special program at Cycles for Change. It is a class aimed at adult learners, with the goal of getting people up to speed on how to ride a bike safely in Minneapolis. With the support of some great staff and volunteers, the Learn to Ride program assisted in 100 people learning how to pedal this year!
Learning how to bike as an adult is daunting. Whether we are traumatized from falling while trying to learn when we were younger, or trying and failing to teach ourselves, or we have embarrassment or shame about not being able to ride, it takes a lot of courage to sign up for a class. We build our classes to be supportive, encouraging environments. We have staff and volunteers who are enthusiastic about biking and just want to help people achieve their goals of riding with their kids and partners, going to work, or for fun.
This year we hosted 19 learn to ride classes in Minneapolis and St. Paul from May through September, totaling 252 hours practicing with new riders. We went on group rides on neighborhood streets where we practiced spacing, controlled braking and shifting, signaling, scanning, and rules of the road. This program is a life-changing experience for many of our participants and extremely rewarding for volunteers.
2019 was especially wonderful for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) who were also FTW (Femme, Trans, Women). BIPOC FTW who learned how to bike were given a $400 voucher to buy a bike, lock, lights, and helmet from Cycles for Change. This was made possible by a Community Connectors grant from Our Streets Minneapolis, a local bike advocacy group. We were able to give these vouchers to new riders, allowing them to pick bikes that fit their bodies and tastes. We are so happy we were able to connect so many people with bikes after they worked hard for the skills to ride them.
Learn to Ride is an important program that impacts many lives, mostly Black/African American, over 75% as BIPOC, and almost as many FTW. Not to mention, how encouraging new riders affects the richness of our bike community. Please support this program specifically by donating $90 (which is the cost of teaching one adult to ride a bike in Learn to Ride) and help us continue changing people’s lives. Donate here.