Archive for the ‘Including Norristown area youth in club rides. aka- Tom's Vision’ Category

Developing comraderie between club cyclists and Norristown youth

June 21, 2009

My personal feeling is that we should steer away from intimate one-on-one meetings early on. i think getting a group of 3 men and 3 women ( six adults)   to work with a group of  6 youth might work best. This will give the youth a chance to meet others from their own area who are also interested in cycling. They will develop some friendships and comaraderie, similar to what we experience as cyclists.

I’ll talk to some of the guys at COS and see what I can do.   Tom Madle

Breakaway Cafe’, Bikeworks, and various comments

June 21, 2009

Unfortunately I’ll be out of town next week so I won’t be able to attend the meeting, so I’ll put in my 2 cents here.  I would like to volunteer my time towards whatever program takes shape.

 Now my comments:

   Teaching the local youth to ride and getting them out on the trail is great, but one of the limits to the appeal of such a program is the availability of bikes.  

   I take it that the initial thrust will be to obtain donated bikes in working order from COS/SCU/BCP riders.  This is a good start but won’t sustain the program for long.

  Does anyone know if a Neighborhood Bike Works or similar program has been tried in Norristown?  It would seem to be a promising environment for an integrated program like NBW, which involves training in riding and mechanics, then allows kids to earn a bike by fixing it up and learning to ride safely (http://www.neighborhoodbikeworks.org/about/index.html).  Along with volunteer time, such a program would require some facilities for storing and working on bikes.  Someone at the Norristown meeting mentioned interest from the Norristown director of recreation.  Perhaps he can help?   Another (short term) option might be to see if the owner of the former “Breakaway Cafe” building (Bike Path Professional Building) is willing to lend it out while he looks for a tennant, as the building is empty now.

* I like the idea of getting the teens out for ride from COS, but that may not be appropriate for younger riders.  Have you thought about what to do with them?

 Thanks for volunteering to lead this!  Please let me know how I can help.

 Mike Lonetto

Tom’s Vision

June 19, 2009

The COS bike group will be involved with the understanding that we (the COS riders) , as a group, will teach the kids cycling skills. We will eventually  take them out with us (i.e. off the SRT)  on some of our Monday evening COS rides. I feel initially we will teach them on the SRT with some treks up to Betzwood or Lower Perkiomen Valley Park. Only after  we have taught them cycling skills we will take them out with us on our COS rides provided we have their parents/guardians sign the appropriate liability waiver forms that all riders sign before they do the COS group rides.. This initiative may also involve transporting the youth to COS and back to Norristown after the rides are over (unless they can get transportation  on their own). My own feelings are that I would like all who want to be involved with this initiative to also envision this as sort of a “Big Brothers/ Big Sisters” cycling program where you get to know the kids on a personal basis and develop a relationship with them via cycling.