We invite you to join us as we support a diverse, underserved group of young adult pioneers on their journey to becoming lifelong cyclists. Thank you for supporting this team and showing that the greater cycling community wants more inner city, young people of color participating and thriving in the sport of mountain biking.
-Emilio, Sergio, Lily, Jacob, Donovan, William, Lucas, Harrison, Alex, Sively, Enya, Stephanie, Fernando, Jalil, Hunter and all the coaches and families of Richmond Composite
Want to share our story, ride with us, join the team or become a sponsor? Get in touch via the website above.
THE REST OF THE STORY
There’s much more to our story. To learn more about our team, each rider and the adventure that is launching a high school mountain biking team in Richmond, California, head to our blog . There's more information below about some of the challenges we face, our goals, impacts riding with our team has had on students and more.
Poverty - The poverty rate in Richmond and neighboring city San Pablo hovers around 20%. This creates a myriad of deep and systemic barriers to young people trying something new and entering an expensive sport (bikes, equipment, race fees, transportation, maintenance, etc.). There are serious financial barriers at every level of participation in the sport.
Diversity - There is a major lack of diversity within cycling (white male dominated) and Richmond is a very diverse city (35% Latino, 25% White, 20% Black, 5% Asian). Inviting kids to participate in the sport takes more than offering them a bike and a trail map, it also means breaking down cultural barriers. It takes cultural competency, and the desire to support diverse people within the community to have a place in cycling and take on leadership roles within the team.
Funding - Our kids need lots of financial support to participate in this sport. From the big stuff like a bike and a team cycling kit to the small stuff like gloves and snacks, almost every one of our kids is in high need of full financial aid to participate in this sport and this team. Every dollar contributes greatly.
It’s working! Kids are getting involved and gaining more confidence, responsibility, skill, friendships, community, increasing health and fitness and so much more.
Feedback from parents, teachers, coaches and students themselves all back this up.
The cycling community wants to see us thrive. We’ve already received generous support from NICA , the NorCal League , Trips For Kids , community partners, individuals and more. We’re doing this together.
There is demand for this. Over 40 kids expressed interest in riding with us during a series of “Fun Rides”. Interest and participation will continue to grow.
In its first year our team currently includes fifteen (female and male) riders from seven schools.
Local mountain bikers volunteer with the team. Eight adult volunteers have assembled to dedicate their passion and time to building these youth up as coaches. More are interested in volunteering.
Our Team is Diverse, representative of the Richmond area
1. Create opportunities for Richmond area high school youth to have positive, fun, and safe learning experiences on mountain bikes.
2. Foster a sense of community through cycling.
3. Access and explore the area's many beautiful parks and trail systems.
4. Create a team of students and coaches that reflect the diversity of the greater Richmond area.
Here’s a window into the impacts riding with our team has already had on our group of eight riders in just the last two months!
“I feel like I can somehow train enough to become a professional rider in the future like the ones I see online as I really dig this sport and will try to give what it takes to get to the top even if it will take a long time and hard work to accomplish.” - Emilio (Team Rider)
“Our son was never the kind who met a challenge head on...now he is answering the challenge and his riding has improved incredibly - he's never done that before..." -(a rider’s father)
“I’d say mountain biking has already changed me by being more outgoing. I could see myself investing in my own bike in the future.” -Lily (Team Rider)
“I’ve grown a lot with biking. I could not imagine myself in the past doing half the stuff I’m doing now.” - Jacob (Team Rider)
“The most challenging part was just starting. I wasn’t used to riding bikes up any mountains. Now I’m starting to make progress. I was able to go up the mountain and just keep going, going, going. I’m starting to tell I’m making progress. I really feel that progress. I can see I’m starting to feel proud about myself. I can keep pushing. I’m definitely going to try and be good at this.” -Donovan (Team Rider)
While our mission isn’t to revolutionize the mountain bike industry, we believe that by starting in our community, one kid at a time we can make a difference. From the individual, family, and community levels to the sport of cycling at large, we believe that everyone will benefit from more minority and inner city youth getting involved in this great sport. Thank you for getting involved!