Put your best pedal forward

CYC teens work on assembling a bike.

CYC teens work on assembling a bike.

What do you do when your CPS-sponsored Ventra card is deactivated for the summer and you don’t have a car? CYC-Fellowship House teens are putting their best pedal forward and hopping on bicycles!

This summer, CYC partnered with West Town Bikes to bring an immersive hands-on lesson on how bikes work and biker safety to CYC teens. CYC youth worker Chance Brown said the club came about as they were looking for healthy activities for teens that would impact their daily lives.

First, West Town Bikes donated eight bikes for the club. Then the teens learned about how the bike functions and all of the various components that make up a bicycle. Finally, the teens learned about biker safety such as how a helmet should fit and how to make sure your bike is in a safe condition to ride.

A CYC TEEN SPRAY PAINTS HER BIKE.

A CYC TEEN SPRAY PAINTS HER BIKE.

Having been in two bike accidents himself, Chance was able to share his personal story with them.

“They were shocked,” Chance said. “They thought bikers always have the right of way, and can’t be touched. It was good to show them what can happen even if you’re being safe and how you can be prepared.”

After, the teens disassembled the bikes and learned how to put them back together, spray painting them to their tastes in the process.

Biking is a cost-efficient and healthy activity, Chance said. The club also pushed the teens to work on their critical thinking skills as they were mainly left to their own devices, aside from general coaching, when reassembling the bikes.

“It’s also a good way to get emotional control,” Chance said. “It can be a release, and a new form of coping with stressors in their life.”

At the end of it all, the teens got to take the bikes home. We can’t wait to hear about the adventures they’ll go on!

The biking fun does not stop there… West Monroe Partners is donating more than 20 tricycles to our Early Childhood students! We are so excited that they can grow their biking skills so early. Thank you so much for your support.