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Bicycle Ambassador Program

Start em’ Young to Foster a Life of Riding

What’s your first memory of bicycling? How old were you? What words describe how you felt

when you took off on two wheels?

I was exploring the attic in my Grandparent’s barn when I was about 5 or 6 years olds and came

upon an old rusty bike that had been abandoned there by one of my older cousins. I remember

how excited I was when Grandpa said I could have it and hauled it down to the ground floor for

me. With my Dad holding the back of the seat to help me balance, I learned how to ride that

bike in the farm’s half-moon shaped, gravel driveway. I also remember how proud and free I felt

pedaling around all by myself. Riding my bike remains my daily route to freedom. My commute

frees me from stress, the economic constraints of maintaining and fueling a motor vehicle, and

dieting to maintain a healthy weight. I’m so glad my family gave me the opportunity to discover

biking at a young age.

Children and youth in our community can experience it, too, by participating in organized, but

low-key, “races” of various kinds that will be held every Tuesday afternoon/evening throughout

the summer. The FoCo Kids Bike Challenge began May 7 and will culminate on August 24

when kids will get to race on the USA Pro Cycling Challenge course that is coming to town.

What a memory making event that will be!

Kids 2-18 years will be divided into race groups by age and ability. The youngest riders

(children 4 and under) are allowed to use balance bikes and tricycles. Participants can register

and ride in all of the races or just some of them, but everyone will be required to wear a properly

fitted helmet because doing so prevents or reduces head injuries associated with crashes.

Bicycle Ambassadors will be at each race to help make sure each child’s helmet is fit right.

(Bikes and helmets will be available to any child who needs them to race.)

The Challenge is a great example of northern Colorado’s collaborative spirit. It is a partnership

of many of its competitive cycling groups, plus other groups that advocate for health, safety

and active lifestyles, including the Ciclismo Youth Foundation, CSU Rams Cycling, Fort Collins

VeloPark Association, Northern Colorado Cycling Events, the City of Fort Collins Recreation

Department, University of Colorado Health Healthy Kids Club, Peloton Cycles, Your Group

Ride, Bicycle Pedestrian Education Coalition, Bicycle Ambassador Program, Safe Routes to

School, Safe Kids of Larimer County and Trips for Kids. More information about the FoCo Kids

Bike Challenge can be obtained by calling 970-224-6032.

Many other events are planned for the summer months that encourage safe cycling among

youth. The City of Fort Collins will host a Youth and Teen B.I.K.E. Camp. Trips for Kids

(, a local nonprofit, offers group mountain bike rides for children. The

City’s Safe Routes to School program can provide bike safety courses or “rodeos” at events

upon request. A calendar of bicycling activities for all ages and abilities can be found at

If you haven’t been on a bike since you were a kid or if you never had the opportunity to learn

how to ride, it’s not too late to make your own two-wheeled memories. The Bicycle Ambassador

Program provides bike riding and safety education for adults…who want to feel like kids. Come

on. Give it a try!

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