Bicycle Ambassador Program
As for many people here, the bicycle represents a critical means of transportation for people living within the north Fort Collins communities served by Vida Sana.
The University of Colorado Health program is a community coalition addressing health disparities among Hispanics, Latinos and low-income community members in north Fort Collins. Operating within the Coalition for Activity and Nutrition to Defeat Obesity (CanDo) and funded the state, Vida Sana helps connect residents in select Fort Collins communities with the resources they need to live a healthy and active lifestyle.
Using a Promotora model, Vida Sana employees establish positive and reciprocal relationships with the communities who are most affected by health equity issues and increase awareness and access to resources.
One barrier to the potential positive health benefits of cycling in these communities is bicycle safety education.
Without proper knowledge and skills for bicycling in Fort Collins’ variable conditions, individuals can be put in stressful situations when traveling by bike. Offering culturally appropriate bicycle education opportunities can provide a powerful model to break down barriers and empower individuals to use the bicycle safely and enjoyably, regardless of age, ability or background.
Through funding from Women Investing in Strategies for Health — an affiliate of the Poudre Valley Hospital and Medical Center of the Rockies Foundation — Vida Sana and the FC Bikes Bicycle Ambassador Program have come together to provide bicycle education opportunities for Fort Collins’ Hispanic/Latino community. Vida Sana’s Promotoras were trained to become bicycle ambassadors and offer cycling education in Spanish.
As part of the city’s Bike Winter initiative, Promotoras will teach Winter Cycling 101 in Spanish at the Northside Aztlan Community Center from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 4. In addition, they will help lead a guided winter ride on January 10 that will depart from the Aztlan Center at 10 a.m. Feb. 7.
These events are open to the public. Please RSVP to FC Bikes Bicycle Ambassador Program at firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-221-6987.
These Bike Winter events at the Aztlan Center are examples of how the partnership between Vida Sana and FC Bike’s Bicycle Ambassador Program is opening up new opportunities for all members of the community to have access to bicycling education.
Edgar Dominguez is the health equity coordinator at Vida Sana, UCHealth.