What’s the best part of Fall–that crunch of many piled leaves under your bike tire, the cool crisp bite of wind blowing in your face, or that pumpkin spice latte you’re carrying in your water bottle cage? Whatever it is, don’t neglect one of the greatest seasons for riding your bike. Pull out your scarves and puffy jackets and hit the road for some awe-inspiring reds, oranges, and yellows along the bike routes.
For bike camp, Fall is the transition season where the magic happens. It’s the time of the year where we take all the information we’ve compiled, smiles included, and turn that gold into fuel to drive the next summer. We are happy to say that we all enjoyed yet another amazing summer of Bike Camp. We are impressed to witness, all over town, the post-camp cycling skills of campers; way to go everyone!
Some of the best experiences this summer were campers overcoming fears of speedy downhill descents and discovering the local quirks of our city, such as the famous goat family on Rodney.
Among our 670 camp participants this year, 67 were on scholarships, and 22 of those scholarship campers took bicycles home with them after camp. About 20 of our scholarship campers participate in the camps based out of our shop on Alberta and our partner shop in Sellwood, but other scholarship camps are offered through partner organizations in other neighborhoods. This summer, we offered scholarship camps in partnership with Hacienda Community Development Center, the Sharon 7th Day Adventist Church (which serves many immigrant and refugee families), and Shaver Middle School in the Parkrose school district (East Portland). As in years past, some of our scholarship camps have included nature-based education, thanks to support from Metro’s Nature in Neighborhoods grant program and thanks now to partnership from Gladys Ruiz Consulting. Other funders include the Nike Community Investment Fund, the Juan Young Trust, and the City of Portland.
There were also several Bike Camp partners who deserve a tip of the hat for making their spaces available to our campers. Sugar Wheel Works, Isla Bikes, and Ride with GPS, thank you for all your interactive activities and devotion to educating our young cyclists. Breadwinner and Vanilla, thank you for giving our campers the behind-the-scenes VIP tour of the wildly cool bicycles you are creating. Shemanski Farmers Market, thank you for connecting our food cart camps with local, fresh ingredients and sending us away with bike souvenirs! Thank you to Whitaker Ponds for teaching us about nature and thank you to Blaze of the Portland Blazers for riding along with us for a day! The Bike Camp experience is greatly enhanced by community participation and we are so delighted to connect our youth with the cycling community. A special thanks is due to the NE and Sellwood Portland communities for your continued patience, waves and smiles as we filled your streets with our child-sized pace lines, as we empower youth with bicycles on the streets of your community!
Keep your eyes out for community events throughout the holidays, and more news and insights on what happens behind the scenes at the Bike Camp Headquarters.