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Free BikeStart programs to be offered at four locations this summer

Learning how to ride a bike has been a milestone in the lives of so many and is an age old tradition in families everywhere. With the speed at which the world is traveling at these days, youth bicycling has been suffered. Safety is a priority for every parent and caregiver, but the benefits of slow travel methods such as bicycling has helped maintain its place in our society. 

On June 29th at Metz Recreation Center, 2407 Canterbury Street, Ghisallo Cycling Initiative will conduct the first of four Citywide Learn to Ride Events. These events are a result of a partnership with the City of Austin and People For Bikes through the Big Jump Project.

At these events, all ages are welcome to come to learn to ride a bicycle, but three age groups will be created: Kindergarten through 2nd grade, 3rd grade through 5th grade, and middle school to adult. Pre-registration is requested in order to get a head count on the group size as class sizes are limited. A parent clinic is also offered for parents of minors who attend so they will best be able to support their new bicycle rider. Participants may pre-register at each site.

The BikeStart method of teaching basic bicycle skills begins with learning to trust ones’ self and to learn balance. Bicycle safety such as communication through verbal and physical signaling, helmet instruction, personal space (ie: “riding in a bubble”), and scanning the environment is also part of the program.

DATES, TIMES & LOCATIONS:

Saturday, June 29th from 9:30AM – 12:30PM at Metz Recreation Center

Saturday, July 20th from 9:30AM – 12:30PM at Dittmar Recreation Center

Saturday, August 17th from 9AM – 12PM location TBD

Saturday, August 31st from 9AM – 12PM location TBD

For more information about these events, how to register, or to volunteer, please email info@ghisallo.org. You may also go to our website, www.ghisallo.org , or find us on Facebook or Instagram.

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About Ghisallo Cycling Initative: Ghisallo Cycling Initiative (GCI) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 2011 and based in Austin, Texas. Our mission is to enable traditionally underserved populations to access their interests by bicycle. Our primary work is enabling youth to develop into self-sufficient and confident riders who have the skills and knowledge to use their bicycles for transportation. With a focus on exploration, navigation, and transportation, we create the opportunity for youth to explore and connect with their communities, to learn to navigate and access the city, and to use their bikes for transportation to the park, the pool, their friend’s house, and school. 

We work predominantly with underserved 3rd-8th grade students and provide semester-long, after-school Bike Clubs, a free Youth Bike Shop and Earn-A-Bike program, Bicycle Skill Challenge programs, and maintenance and safety clinics. From 2013 through 2019, we have served more than 21,000 youth participants via Bike Clubs and Earn-A-Bike programs and another 13,000+ through Bicycle Skills Challenge programs at over 30 sites across Austin. In the Fall of 2018, we began providing programming to even more kids in Central Texas by expanding to San Antonio to provide core bicycle riding, safety, and injury prevention education to youth and their families, as well as to the general public. 

In the spring of 2016 we launched our older adult and senior tricycle program, Golden Rollers, after having piloted it the previous fall. It has grown to 7 locations serving participants from 9 sites across Austin. In the spring of 2019 we provided close to 100 classes to 186 riders resulting in 750 participants thanks to a generous grant from Saint David’s Foundation. The City of Austin Cultural Arts Division funded a short documentary about the program, just under nine minutes in length, which won SXSW’s 2017 Faces of Austin Film Festival and is available for viewing online.