Cadence Youth Cycling was founded on paper in 2007 by Ryan Oelkers and Jay Snider. The duo first envisioned Cadence Youth Cycling as a junior cycling team organized out of Jay’s Cadence Cycling and Multisport complex and a means to introduce more youth to the sport of cycling. Around this time, Ryan became exposed to the particular needs of urban students through his wife Erin’s job as a public school teacher in North Philadelphia. He also read Bill Strickland’s book, “Ten Points,” a story about how cycling saved the author from a life of abuse and neglect.
Learning more about the challenges underserved youth face on a daily basis, reading a story of how cycling empowered one young man to break his family’s cycle of addictions and abuse, and Ryan’s own experience with cycling, together shaped a new purpose for CCF. Instead of creating simply a junior cycling program, Ryan shifted his focus to using cycling as a tool to help underserved youth gain the skills and education needed to break the cycle of poverty. Cadence Youth Cycling as it is known today was born.
In 2013, CCF joined the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, becoming one of the Bicycle Coalition’s educational programs. Ryan Oelkers remains as a Cadence program adviser.