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#morekidsonbikes: New youth cycling group works with university to 'map' existing youth programs

Published April 4, 2017

BERKELEY, Calif. (BRAIN) — The Youth Cycling Alliance, which was formed last year following a meeting at Interbike, is working with UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business to map and assess existing youth cycling programs around the country.

The National Youth Cycling Research Initiative is funded by a research grant. It seeks to gain input from youth cycling organizations, map the national youth cycling network and understand the dynamics of youth cycling programs operating in the United States.

The YCA came out of a meeting last September that included 11 bike organizations, including Trips for Kids, People for Bikes, League of American Bicyclists, International Mountain Bicycling Association, National Interscholastic Cycling Association, Cycle Kids, Little Bella’s, Project Bike Tech, Professional Bicycle Mechanics Association and Planet Bike. Its aim is to promote youth cycling in the United States by providing data driven research and leadership to support the establishment, expansion and sustainable development of youth cycling organizations and programs.

"With leadership from NICA and Trips for Kids, the Youth Cycling Alliance was formed in order to address the dire need for a coordinated approach to strengthening and empowering the organizations across America that are effectively working to get more kids on bikes," said Austin McInerny, NICA's president. "While there are many great organizations across the country doing great work with youth, there has never been a focused effort to bring these groups together to share resources and create a unified approach to ensure that kids who ride and those that want to ride can continue to receive support and guidance as they grow into their teenage years."

The study will try to understand the dynamics of the estimated 12.5 million riders between the ages of 6 and 17 that participate in cycling each year in the United States.

Nat Lopes, the YCA's director of strategy, said, "This project is ultimately about getting more kids on bikes, getting more kids outside and getting more kids leading healthy active lifestyles. This is about the future of cycling in the United States and doing the work that needs to be done to move the needle from 24 percent participation to 100 percent."

More information on the YCA at facebook.com/youthcycingalliance.

People who work with kids and bikes can get on the study's database by completing the YCA Survey.

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