THE OUTRIDE INVESTMENT:
44 New Riding for Focus Grants &
$10M from Specialized
to get more kids on bikes
The team at Outride is excited to announce 44 new middle school grant recipients of the 2020-21 Riding for Focus School Program and a commitment of $10M from Specialized over the next three years to get even more kids on bikes. You can say we believe in the transformative of power bikes to empower the next generation of riders and are collectively pedaling toward a better planet.
Our Riding for Focus school-based program uses cycling as a tool for students to achieve academic, health, and social success. Over the past 5 years, Outride has provided 185 middle schools across the US and Canada with everything they need to get their 6-8th grade students riding including bikes, helmets, maintenance equipment, cycling curriculum, and teacher training. That’s over 40,000 students whose lives are improved through riding bikes.
The Outride Fund empowers communities to launch youth cycling programs nationwide in support of Trail Building, Youth Cycling Education and Youth Rider Development. Since its inception last fall, the Outride Fund has issued 43 matching grants across 22 states, committing over $250,000 toward supporting youth cycling in local communities.
The Mission of Outride is to improve the social, emotional and cognitive health of youth through evidence based cycling programs. We recognize that all kids can benefit from the transformative power of the bicycle, and each has unique challenges that the bike can help them Outride. However, from our inception, we at Outride recognize that some kids face bigger challenges, and in that way, cycling has an even greater positive impact. Poverty, discrimination, learning differences, traumatic experiences, physical disabilities, just to name a few.
One of our goals is to serve communities with the most need. In the 2019-20 school year, over 50% of our Riding for Focus students received free or reduced lunches and nearly 40% identified as non-white.
In total, Outride is providing $1.5 Million in grants this year, and with the additional funding from Specialized, we will be able to double our reach. Outride has always prioritized organizations and projects that benefit underserved or underrepresented youth and communities. We will use these incremental dollars to accelerate this work as a means of addressing the inequality amongst children and inherent lack of diversity within cycling.
We are committed to breaking down barriers so that all kids have access to bicycles and safe places to ride, but we need your help to spread the word. Tell your communities about Riding for Focus and the Outride Fund and encourage them to apply. Through our research and programming, we have seen firsthand that cycling improves the lives of youth. Together, we can pedal the planet forward.
Due to the challenges of COVID-19, this year’s teacher training for our newest school champions, as well as the Fourth Annual Outride Research Summit at Stanford University, will be conducted virtually in July. Challenges, though, bring opportunities and we are confident that the resilience of our school champions will shine through as they adapt to this new format. The timing of the program announcement not only emphasizes the challenges of the current shelter-in-place orders, but also how essential exercising outdoors is for promoting both physical and mental health benefits.