Great things are done by a series of small things brought together. ~Vincent van Gogh.
Sometimes it’s nice to know you aren’t alone. It’s easy to get in the silo of day-to-day operations; grant writing, social media management, bike mechanics and program coordination and forget that we are actually part of a larger network of organizations that are trying to get kids out on bikes.
Trips for Kids was started in 1986 by Marilyn Price in Marin County California, with the idea that urban kids needed more opportunities to get outside, be physically active and learn life skills. Since then, Trips for Kids Chapters, of which Two Wheel View is one, have sprouted up in many US states and across Canada with a few chapters overseas.
Building on the strength that comes from learning from one another, Trips for Kids recently held a conference in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. I was fortunate to represent TWV and was thrilled to meet representatives from chapters in California, Colorado, Tennessee, North Carolina, Nova Scotia, Illinois and Arizona.
The diversity of programs was incredible, some are just starting out, and others have been in operation for close to 20 years. Some chapters run bike shops to support their activities and others don’t. Some have a focus on mountain biking while programs like ours prefer cycle touring. Some groups work with the same 20 kids for an year while others are providing two bike rides a day for the entire summer to different groups of youth.
Through the different approaches you can still see one common thread. Each group is passionate about using bicycles to make a difference in the lives of young people. Challenging them to see their world in a new way, encouraging them to be physically active and learning new skills. In the words of TFK founder Marilyn “we toss out pebbles and the ripples spread. Guess people love what we do as much as love doing it.”
It’s nice to know that there are other passionate individuals out there who are riding in the same direction as us.