The Kids Wanna Ride!

January 27, 2016

“Not only do bicycles give someone independence and autonomy, but I know from personal experience that when I start riding, I feel this acute sense of calm and confidence that I don’t often experience in my daily life: that somehow the world is both more manageable and beautiful than I realized, and that when I step off my bike I am a changed, and better person.”

                                               - 2016 scholarship applicant

 

Three years ago, you asked Adventure Cycling to create more bike travel opportunities for young people. So with your financial help and handful of generous gear sponsors, we did. We created the Young Adult Bike Travel Scholarship. Fast forward three years to December 31, 2015: We closed the scholarship application period with 82 applicants vying for 4 positions. In comparison, the first year brought in 10 applicants, the second year, 52.

This year we decided to expand the program not only by adding two more scholarships, but by creating two separate tracks:

  • a beginner track for those new to bike travel
  • and a leadership track for seasoned cyclists ready to incorporate bike travel into their careers.

 

A few statistics for 2016:

  • 2,500: Dollars pledged by a single donor to support the program
  • 52: Intro to Touring applicants
  • 30: Outdoor Leadership applicants
  • 11: Tour options for Outdoor Leadership winners to choose from, including Hawaii Big Island and Denali Adventure
  • 6: Companies donating gear to make the program possible
  • 2: International applicants (South Korea and Finland)
  • 1: Marrakesh bike for the each of the Intro to Touring winners, donated by Salsa Cycles

 

We’ll contact winners by March 1, 2016. But until then, here are a few great quotes from the 2016 applications:

“Riding a road is a story in creation: a raw sunrise, a leisurely landscape, road-blocks, detours, that dramatic peak and the view from the top, then a denouement.”

After biking across America, I realized that bike touring is in my blood.”

Biking is what I love to do not just in my free time, but is also my career aspiration.”

“I’ve spent over 1,000 nights in a tent, love just about every possible activities outdoors, and continue to learn with each and every adventure.”

“I biked from Virginia to Oregon this summer with Bike and Build. On our ‘prom’ night, I was voted king and queen.”

“Through my experience biking to and from work in Australia (on a borrowed bike) and training for the 150 mile charity bike ride (also on a borrowed bike), I have fallen in love with road biking!”

“My friends call me the Biking Viking. Until one month ago I did not own a car, so I commuted to work via bicycle (I still do, even with a car, because I enjoy it).”

 

 

Help get more young people on the road by donating. Learn about our past winners and their work to promote bike travel: Adam Balfour, Jocelyn Munoz, Alice Viana and John Nguyen.

Photo 1 Tom Bol | Photo 2 Ruth Miller | Photo 3 Ron McClure

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The Thomas Stevens Fan Club is brought to you by the development team, Annette and April. They share an office with a classic Parisian Metropole bicycle. Want to know more about how you can support Adventure Cycling and all the amazing work they do? Call them at 406-532-2760 or email them at development@adventurecycling.org

 

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