Building community through bicycling in Alamosa
At the beginning of May, Bicycle Colorado educators Jace and James took a road trip to Alamosa to kick off our new Train the Trainer initiative and help host a bike rodeo for the Alamosa community. Read on to learn about how the trip went and what it means for bike education across Colorado.
On Friday, the education team met up with members of the Alamosa Bicycle Coalition (ABC), a small nonprofit geared toward providing the space, tools and guidance needed to get more folks on bikes and create a safer and more comfortable bike culture in Alamosa. Members of the Boys and Girls Club of the San Luis Valley, along with several bike advocates living in the community, also joined the team for a four-hour Train the Trainer session inside the Colorado Welcome Center at Alamosa. The BC team spent the afternoon chatting through all the elements of a bike rodeo, from setup to execution, including how to teach people of all ages how to start pedaling. The goal of the program was to provide ABC with all of the information and resources they would need to conduct a successful bike rodeo in their community.
Saturday morning kicked off with a community bike rodeo at the welcome center. Using the strategies and techniques they learned the previous day, ABC set up a fantastic skills course in the parking lot. Kids were challenged to maneuver their bikes through cones, ride tight corners and complete a series of obstacles. Later in the day, the teams packed up and headed over to a local housing community to set up another rodeo for some of the neighborhood kids. James noted that with just four hours of training on Friday afternoon, ABC put together two of the best bike rodeos he has ever seen!
“This is what Train the Trainer is all about,” said James. Our education team works in true small-but-mighty fashion, despite the often limited bandwidth to host the broad range of programming we offer, such as bike rodeos, Learn to Ride sessions and other educational courses. Train the Trainer is an excellent way to connect with partners from around the state and provide them with the resources they need to conduct their own events and grow the bicycle movement. “This is an amazing first step into this type of advocacy work.”
Grantley Showalter, Program Director at ABC says the coalition and partners had a fun and engaging Train the Trainer experience. “We learned a ton—and we were able to see it in action as well, as they helped us host a rodeo at a housing complex. I’m stoked about how these new skills can bring more bike programming to our community in the future.”
After a successful weekend of training, riding and connecting with the Alamosa community, the BC team left feeling confident that ABC and other partners in Alamosa are now equipped with the tools needed to continue helping people of all ages learn and love to ride through educational programming.
Thanks to a recent gift from generous donors, our education team will soon be expanding the Train the Trainer program to help other bike education and advocacy partners start their own Learn to Ride and bike rodeo programs. We are grateful and excited for this opportunity to help grow the network of bike educators in Colorado.