Creating healthy homes and communities requires us to think about healthy, active ways to get from home to work or school and back. With a mini grant in July, the Alliance for Healthy Homes and Communities supported Cycles for Change’s effort to promote youth bicycle riding to and from school, work, and after-school activities through our Youth Riding Club.
Cycles for Change (C4C) launched its Youth Riding Club this summer; C4C facilitated weekly group rides that took youth on trips to schools, parks, and museums, providing youth with education on safe, responsible, confident cycling techniques. A summer highlight was C4C’s ride from St. Paul Central High School to the University Avenue Open Streets event, where University was closed to cars and fully opened to bikes and pedestrians for an afternoon in September. C4C wrapped up the riding club for the season with a Halloween ride to the Barebones Theatre production, held annually at Hidden Falls park.
Part of C4C’s focus is to support youth leadership to grow the bicycling movement. One unique success story has C4C beginning to partner with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota to empower two C4C youth leaders to speak publicly about the importance of expanding funding for Safe Routes to School to support more youth biking to and from school.