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Community Outreach

Fall 2015 Cycling in Camden Results

The afterschool Cycling classes conducted this fall at two locations: Rutgers IGNITE at Cooper's Poynt Family School and EducationWorks at Mastery East Camden Middle School. In both instances, Summit Cycling was a major contributor to the success of both programs. Some students did some serious riding and learning this fall - and the students had a blast. George thanks the club for the support given the programs - and he hopes the support will continue this spring!!

The Rutgers IGNITE program:  riding classes began on Tuesday, Sept. 22 and concluded on Thursday, Oct 29, 2015.  Eighteen students registered to participate; thirteen attended more than one class.   The students were primarily 7th and 8th grades, and a few of these youngsters had been with the program in previous years. The average class size was 8 students.

Classes were scheduled each Tuesday and Thursday from 3:10 pm to 5:30 pm.  The season had the usual interruptions of School Night, Service Days, Rain Days and one cancellation for the Pope visit.  Even so, the class was able to meet for eight sessions.

Fitness intervals were done primarily on secluded sections of Camden where the students could safely increase their speed for specific stretches.  The intervals were for the riders who chose to participate on that day.  For those, the individual goal was to improve riding strength to an 18-22 mph sustained speed for an interval of 600 – 800 meters.  For the group, the observable result of the fitness work was the capability of the class to handle long distances by the end of the season. 

The East Camden Middle School Program: The riding classes began on Wednesday, Sept. 16 and concluded on Wednesday, Nov 18, 2015.  Twenty one students registered to participate; seventeen attended more than one class.   The students were primarily 7th and 8th grades, and a few of these youngsters had been with the program in previous years.  The average class had 9.8 students.

The class was able to increase individual fitness levels, going from 5 miles to averaging 12 per session at a pace of 9-12 mph rolling speed.  In this group, by the end of the season, the strongest rider was a seventh grade girl and the next two were boys – one with a low-level congenital disorder and the other an asthmatic.  As always, medical issues are known and accommodated to make sure no additional risk comes to the safety of the students.  

The season was interrupted by the Pope visit, which closed schools for an unplanned period of time.  This required that the class repeat the “First day” lesson in October to make sure everyone remembered the crucial bedrock of safety covered in the first lesson.  Fitness levels, predictably, trailed other years for this reason.

2015 Education Works Spring Cycling Recap

EducationWorks is a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of children, youth, and families by providing educational programs and services in communities confronting high rates of poverty and other barriers to educational achievement.    

George Wood is the lead instructor for C.Y.C.L.E. (Camden Youth Cycling, Learning and Exercise) which is in its fifth year offering youngsters of Camden, NJ the opportunity to learn to ride bicycles safely in an urban, suburban and trail environment.  George is involved in not only teaching the kids how to ride, they also learn about the regional watershed, proper nutrition, and stewardship of the parks and bike trails of Camden and the region.  

The riding classes began on Wednesday, April 1 and concluded on Monday, June 8.  Twenty three students registered to participate; nineteen attended more than one class.   The students were primarily 7th and 8th grades, and several of these youngsters had been with the program in previous years.  The average class had 8 students.    

The Cycling program at ECMS had notable successes.  In summary, these are:

  • Achieved measurable levels of fitness increase
  • Learned observable levels of group cycling knowledge
  • Participated in 30 mile “Pedal for Promise” Charity ride
  • Continued to engage South Jersey Cycling clubs
  • Added High School Students from Woodrow Wilson High School
FITNESS:    The class was able to emphasize fitness, meaning the group could handle a stronger pace and frequently (on isolated locations) could safely ramp up their pedaling speed to 18-22 mph.  As an example, during the season when the 7th and 8th graders were in good physical condition, a five-person group of upperclassmen from WWHS joined up on one particular ride.  Only one of the 10th and 11th grade students from High School were able to keep up with the very fit younger group.  The ECMS students were very proud of themselves after that particular ride.    

CYCLING KNOWLEDGE:    Certain individuals learned the responsibilities of specific positions within the group.   For example, learning "the gate" gave the students clear insight as to why specific techniques are emphasized in group riding.  This escalated the safety of the group to the point where they were able to safely negotiate moderately travelled streets with uncomplicated intersections on their own.  In other words, they successfully cooperated among themselves to the point where the instructors were able to ride 25-50 yards behind.  These youngsters were adept at traffic laws, pacing, spacing, signaling, communications, and predictability - and demonstrated correct group cycling etiquette in an urban, suburban and rural environment.   I've never been able to bring a class of middle-school students this far in group riding. 

CHARITY RIDE: The third significant accomplishment was to participate in the "Pedal for Promise" Charity ride, organized by and for the benefit of Urban Promise Charter Academy, Camden, New Jersey.  We loaded a yellow school bus with students and bicycles at 6:30 AM on a Saturday morning.  The youngsters completed a 30 mile loop through Tabernacle and Shamong.  Aided by mentors from Summit Cycling Club and EPS/Riptide Racing, we rode among  500 other cyclists who commented frequently on how well this group conducted itself.  It is notable that this EducationWorks / ECMS group was the first ever Camden City Public School to participate in this annual ride.  

S.J. CYCLING CLUBS: The fourth significant accomplishment, previously alluded to, is the financial support offered by two South Jersey Cycling Clubs - Summit Cycling Club and Mambo Kings Racing.  These two groups paid for the student admissions and fees to the Pedal for Promise ride.  In the past, these two clubs plus EPS/Riptide have donated equipment and time to support the program.  Indeed, during the training leading up to the ride, the group split into "Summit" and "the Mambos", by wearing the club jerseys which proved to be a fine motivating force.    

WOODROW WILSON HIGH SCHOOL PARTICIPATION:  The fifth significant accomplishment was bringing in the High School Students from Woodrow Wilson into the program.  It has been a goal to establish a "next step" for students aging out of middle school by establishing a foothold in the High Schools they will graduate to.  Although combining the groups was a trial this season, it is hoped it can be continued with classes in each location.





Ride with C.Y.C.L.E. - November 5th, 2014


Once again, there will be a season ending RIDE WITH THE C.Y.C.L.E.  Class, on Wednesday, Nov. 5.   I’d like to invite any available Summit members (we will be joined by the Mambos and PSR).  We are planning on two laps around the Cooper River, meeting at Hatch Family School, Camden NJ at 3:15 pm and/or the Boathouse at 3:40 pm.  Please wear your full racing kit and bring your road bike. 

Just like last spring, these young cyclists would be thrilled to ride with the SJ clubs!

Please let me know if you can attend - either on FB or email to: wood_solutions@yahoo.com



Camden Youth Cycling, Learning & Exercising Event - June 3, 2014


Ride with the C.Y.C.L.E.  class!  On June 3, I’d like to invite any and all Summit, Mambo, and PSR riders to join us for two – three laps around the Cooper River loop.  We will meet at Hatch Family School, Camden NJ at 3:40 pm and/or the Boathouse at 4:00 pm.  Please wear your full racing kit and bring your road bike. 


As you know, these youngsters have been “earning” the Mambo Red, PSR White and Summit Blue Jerseys all spring for accomplishments while riding.  They would be thrilled to ride with the SJ clubs!

Please let me know if you can attend - either on FB or email to: wood_Solutions@yahoo.com



George Wood - Article in American Bicyclist Publication

George Wood's work with the Hatch Program in Camden has been published in the April 2014 League of American Bicyclists – they are the leading advocacy organization for all things cycling in the US.  http://issuu.com/bikeleague/docs/march-april2014-final-1/1?e=1335002/7322150


 




UrbanPromise - Pedal for Promise


The UrbanPromise cycling event will be held on May 3, 2014 this year.  The Pedal for Promise raises funds to support the UrbanPromise programs benefit the youth in Camden.  Contact Trisha for more information on how you can help: frantzp@comcast.net  Please visit the web site for information: http://www.urbanpromiseusa.org/pedal


Hatch Cycling Program - Camden Kids


Daily Jerseys are becoming quite the motivator at the Hatch Family School CYCLE program. Christian retains the Summit Blue for Most Miles to date; Hudhaifa earned the Mambo Kings Red for Most Miles last class, and Trevonnie snatched the PSR Racing White for Most Improved. These seventh graders are going to be in good shape when we hit the streets in mid-March!  If you are on Facebook, please 'like' the CYCLE page to support the cycling program benefiting the children in Camden. 

Camden Kids - Cycling Programs

George Wood has conducted two afterschool programs in Camden this fall:  at Hatch Family School and East Camden Middle School.  In the works is a winter program at Hatch which would combine routine maintenance and a fitness/spinning component.  Also, the Camden B.O.E. has purchased an additional fifty Specialized mountain bikes for use in PE classes and the afterschool programs in spring, 2014.  This means there may be four afterschool classes in Camden this spring reaching up to 100 enthusiastic riders


Team in Training, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Seeking Coaches


Monica Kristen, Campaign Coordinator for Team in Training spoke with Summit Members on November 4th, 2013 to introduce The Team in Training program for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of New Jersey.  They are seeking members to become coaches for their participants to aid them in training folks who are new to cycling who will participate in the charity rides such as the NJ Grand Fondo and Lake Tahoe cycling event.  The folks participating in the charity rides do the fundraising, over 75% of the funds raised go toward patient care and research for blood cancers.

"Team in Training is a sports endurance training program dedicated to finding a cure for blood cancers.  Their mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life of our patients and their families.  They provide training to athletes who’d like to complete an endurance event, in exchange for fundraising.  78.1% of the funds go directly to the mission, and the fundraising encompasses race entry, flight, cycle gear, and coaching.  The next cycle event is America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride, a 100 mile ride that circumnavigates Lake Tahoe.  Completing this ride will not only be a personal accomplishment, but your participation will change lives."

The coaching role would be to train novice cyclists to get them up to snuff for doing the rides.  While Team in Training has a presence in North Jersey, they are seeking partners within our local cycling scene, there is a lot of potential for growing this area and they need coaches who would prepare routes, cue sheets, teach riders how to ride on the road.  Generally, the rider would be between late 30's to 50's and new to cycling.  

Team In Training (TNT) requires their Coaches to be certified and will pay for certification.  Coaches would need CPR and First Aid certification. Basic bike maintenance, e.g., how to change a flat is also part of fostering these folks along to get them conditioned for the road and able to respond if puncture their tire(s). http://www.teamintraining.org/nj/


Monica would be happy to come back if Summit is interested and do a more formal information session that covers a bit more about their program. If anyone has ay questions about the program, please do not hesitate to reach out to Monica by email:  mailto:Monica.Kristen@lls.org or through her personal phone number: 908-956-6620.  A PDF flyer is provided here with more details about the Tahoe Event : Cycle One Sheeter Summer FY14.pdf


C.Y.C.L.E. School is Back in Session


George Wood is back on his bicycle and back to the classroom, so-to-speak. The second C.Y.C.L.E. school is riding! October 9th was the initial fall ride for the after-school cycling program at East Camden Middle School, Camden, NJ. We’re learning to ride in an urban environment - on the streets, in the parks, and especially on the growing network of bike trails in the city. Twelve youngsters are on the bikes - when combined with the fourteen students at Hatch Family School, twenty six are now learning for themselves the enjoyment (and freedom) of riding a bike.



Neighborhood Bike Works Summer Cycling Camp


This summer 72 youths will participate in Neighborhood Bike Works' 12th Annual Summer Cycling Day Camp.  They will learn about safe riding, mechanics, fitness, health, and resources in their community. And they will earn their very own bike, helmet, and lock.  


The program director, Liz Pisarcyk has approached us for supporting their program.  From Liz:  

I’m writing to ask for your support. "Having worked the past two years with summer camp, I have witnessed just how critical the experience is for the youth who attend. Past participants have told us they leave camp feeling much more comfortable riding their bikes in the city. Other youth, like Amir, say camp teaches them how to solve and address problems on their own."

"I liked my instructor because instead of fixing my bike [for me], he made me think about the problems and I fixed it myself."        -   Amir, age 14 

We strive to make our camp accessible to all interested youth, regardless of family income. This year we need to raise at least $12,000 for scholarship recipients. Will you donate online today to help us reach our goal?

Here are some concrete ways your contribution will help:     

  • $550 sponsors one child’s camp scholarship at our West Philly site.     
  • $200 sponsors one child at our North Philly site.       
  • $75 pays for one camper’s field trips for an entire camp session.       
  • $25 pays for one helmet and lock for a child’s graduation
If you would like to learn about making a contribution visit the link above.  To learn more about NBW's program here.


URBAN PROMISE - Pedal for Promise


Training and planning has already begun for this year's Urban Promise "Pedal for Promise" charity bicycle ride on Saturday, May 4th, 2012.  This bicycle ride is part of the Urban Trekkers program which provides hands-on learning and journey-based experiences to around 50 kids from Camden each year.  The goal this year is to grow this ride into an 'event' that appeals to riders of all levels.  Registration is $45 with the suggestion of a $200 fund raising goal.


There is a group of kids from the The Urban Promise Academy, located in Camden who are part of The Elite Team and they have started training by participating in spin classes twice a week.  In March they will ride the trails in Camden and in April they will progress to riding on the road from the Fellowship Alliance Church in Medford.  

Right now the following is needed:

1. The younger kids need smaller sized bicycle shorts,  

Contact fellow Summiteer, Trish Frantz at: frantzp@comcast.net. 

Once the kids get to the road to prepare for the Pedal for Promise ride, volunteers may be needed to assist with training Camden youth bicycle handling skills and participate in training rides, for information regarding volunteer opportunities, contact John C. Bahm, Mobile 609.410.1912 jcbahm@yahoo.com


http://www.urbanpromiseusa.org/pedal


CADENCE CYCLING FOUNDATION NEEDS SUMMIT CYCLING!!!

 As you may know, Summit was contacted by the Cadence Cycling Foundation last fall concerning mentoring a cycling team for the youth of Camden, NJ.   CCF – Camden will be starting the Camden team on Monday, May 9th, 2011.  The new team will practice with their coach from 4:30-6:30pm on Mondays and Wednesdays. 

Initially, CCF would like Summit Cycling to become mentors to the team, and organize a 30 minute to an hour group ride with the kids around Cooper River once or twice a month.  CCF is very open to other ideas for Summit on how to become more involved in this collaboration.

You may also be aware of the recent article in Bicycling Magazine: 

http://www.bicycling.com/news/featured-stories/urban-legend-0

CCF would like to bring Camden as far along as the Philadelphia teams – and needs volunteers from Summit Cycling to make it happen!

L.A.B. INSTRUCTOR CERTIFICATION

 Glenn Page and George Wood completed the League Certified Instructor program presented by the League of American Bicyclists on March 27, 2011 and are now League Cycling Instructors.   Certified Instructors are trained to teach the various League instructional programs to kids, adults, and groups with the goal of promoting safe cycling within the community.  Summit now has three LCI’s in it’s membership – Tony, Glenn and George - a rarity for any club!

For information contact:  George Wood, Community Outreach Coordinator,  email to:  george@bicyclecoalition.org      

 

George Wood

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