Bicycling (South Africa)



THE BICYCLING COALITION YOUTH CYCLING programme makes cycling accessible to students, predominan­tly youths of colour, who would otherwise probably not have access to the sport. These teens then use bikes as tools to explore the world outside their neighbourh­ood, gain new skills, and develop confidence and healthy habits that carry into their lives as they push themselves physically, mentally, and emotionall­y on the bike. In the past two years, nine out of the 10 BCYC graduates went on to accredited universiti­es, and six earned scholarshi­ps from the programme. Taylor Kuyk-White, 30, Bicycle Coalition’s Youth Cycling programme manager “Cycling can help you advocate for the world you want to live in, and I have seen the power of cycling in our youth. They face structural barriers to success, within and outside their communitie­s. But from travelling to Europe to race to being a first-generation varsity graduate on a full-ride scholarshi­p, we’ve seen our athletes succeed – in part because of their involvemen­t in cycling. I’m not saying it’s all rainbows and unicorns, but in our athlete and alumni community, cycling is the thing that keeps us fighting and keeps us together.” Krystal Philson, 19, BCYC graduate and student “Bike racing is great. It hurts, but knowing you can push yourself to get stronger and go faster and do better is such a confidence­booster. Cycling is very European, so seeing youth of colour doing it is a head-turner. It’s nice that people notice you. It’s made me more outgoing and given me amazing leadership opportunit­ies, like speaking at cycling galas and working with members of city council to make the streets safer for riding.” Devante Bivins, 17, Bicycle Coalition’s Youth Cycling Race Team Captain “I used to have a lot of anger problems, but I have found cycling is a way to channel those angerwatts and get it out of my system by training hard. I’m passionate about cycling, and it’s also helped me focus.” [Editor's note: Devante plans to go to business school after he graduates in 2019.] Mya Miller, 18, BCYC graduate and student “I like the bonding you get when you’re riding at a casual pace and talking for a few hours day after day. I’ve been able to travel to the National Bike Summit and learn leadership skills that I can bring back to others in our programme.”

 ??  ?? Clockwise from top left: Mya Miller, Krystal Philson, Taylor Kuyk-White, Devante Bivins.
Clockwise from top left: Mya Miller, Krystal Philson, Taylor Kuyk-White, Devante Bivins.

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