Outreach Effort Aims To Introduce Youth To Cycling
Professional cyclists, Olympic and world-class athletes were in Providence for the three-day Cyclo-cross Festival held at Roger Williams Park from October 3-5, 2014. These cycling athletes, committed to youth outreach, visited Mount Pleasant High School on Friday, October 3 to talk to students about their sport.
Professional cyclists participating in the Providence Cyclo-cross event visit the office at Mt. Pleasant High School before speaking to students.
“The world of cycling involves physics, geography, training, nutrition, metallurgy, foreign languages, hydration and, after all that, a little bit of fitness,” says Event Coordinator Richard Fries.
Cyclo-cross is a form of bicycle racing where riders complete several laps over a course that may include wooded trails, steep hills and obstacles requiring the rider to dismount while navigating obstructions and remount to resume riding. Races are usually held in the fall and winter seasons.
Several outreach activities were offered to Providence youth throughout the weekend by the Divine Youth initiative, a partnership between the festival, the YMCA and the International Mountain Bicycling Association’s (IMBA) “Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day.”
Divine Youth aims to introduce children to cycling, introduce cyclists to youth in Rhode Island and engage families in a healthy outdoor lifestyle. Weekend outreach activities included school visits by professional cyclists, a youth cycling clinic at Roger Williams Park and the11th annual “Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day” at the pump track at Diamond Hill Park in Cumberland, both held on October 4.
Divine Tech worked with students in one of two bicycle mechanic vocational programs in Providence at the Met School and Recycle-A-Bike. Each pro team adopted a student mechanic for the weekend to experience firsthand work on the racing circuit.
The Providence Cyclo-cross Festival is a three-day event combining cyclo-cross racing, an industry expo, food court and fun events for children and families. Riders participated from the United States, Canada, Europe, New Zealand and Australia. For the last several years, the event has received the highest grade from the United Cycliste Internationale, the governing body for sports cycling. For more information, go to http://www.kmccrossfest.com.
One of the riders speaks to Mt. Pleasant students about cyclo-cross bicycling as part of the festival’s outreach program.
Mt. Pleasant staff presented Providence Cyclo-cross riders with a gift from the school.