How It Works
Cadence Youth Cycling is a program of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia fostering healthy habits, independence, and leadership, one ride at a time. High school students learn about teamwork, perseverance and goal-setting through the sport of cycling.
In 2017, Cadence Youth Cycling operates seven sites throughout Philadelphia:
W.B. Saul High School
Kipp Dubois Collegiate Academy
Neighborhood Bike Works
Mastery Charter Pickett
Mastery Charter Shoemaker
School Of The Future
Paul Robeson High School
Spring Season| During the spring season, which runs from mid-March until mid-June. Teams train twice a week in the after-school hours, with races and additional events on weekends.
Summer Season| Summer season runs from end of June until mid-August. Practice times vary by site, but are often held in the morning to avoid riding in the heat of the day.
Fall Season| Some of our programming continues during even the fall. Our teams focus on both racing and endurance skills, participating in rides, and engaging in leadership development opportunities.
Athletes that demonstrate responsibility, sportsmanship, and leadership are invited to join the All Stars. Every All Star member commits to additional weekly practices and 15 hours of community service per year.
On top of this commitment, All Star members also have a choice to join one or more of Special Teams. These special teams are:
The Race Team is a team of all-stars that want to push themselves further into the sport of cycling. They develop their strength, their teamwork, and their cycling skills by gaining exposure in local USA Cycling Events. Look for the Race team in local race events such as the Navy Yard Criterium Race, the Battle of Fort Washington, and the Arsenal Criterium.
The CYC Triathlon Team offers an opportunity for All-stars to reach personalized goals aligned with different Triathlon and Duathlon events. Some team members aim to complete their first Tri, while others have the goal to complete an ocean swim Tri. Practices are dedicated to improving their abilities in running and swimming and achieving personalized milestones. Look for the CYC Tri Team at local TriYOUTHalon events, the Atlantic City Tri, and the Wildwood Tri!
MS 150 Team
Circuit Team- The Circuit Team gives our CYC All-stars their first experience in bicycle touring. In partnership with Rails to Trails, the Circuit team explores the various sections of the Circuit, and learns lessons and issues affecting their local watershed.
The 2017 Cadence Youth Advisory Committee, consisting of four of our top youth leaders, has a critical role in Cadence youth programming. They provide the youth voice in the program planning process and lead the All Stars in community leadership projects.
Devante Bivins: A 15 year old sophomore at Boys Latin Charter School, Devante joined CYC in 2015 with our Shoemaker team. Over the two years that he has been riding with us he has earned the reputation as one of our most improved riders, quickly becoming one of our swiftest and most committed racers.
Tajae McMillan: A 17 year old junior at Charter High School for Architecture and Design (CHAD). Tajae joined CYC in 2016 with Team NBW, she is an All Star and Tour Team participant. “I am proud of the progress I have made on the bike, especially when it comes to hills!”
Mya Miller: A 17 year old junior at Mastery Charter Pickett Campus, Mya has been a part of CYC for two years and is one of our most dedicated team members. She has exhibited excellent leadership not just on the streets with and without team members, but in school too; Mya is also a part of the Inspiring Leaders Program run by Youth Action at the University of Pennsylvania.
Quyseam Rivera: A 14 year old freshman at Tech Friere Charter School. Quyseam joined CYC in 2015 on the Friere team and has since become an All Star, been on the Tour Team and the Race Team. He is more committed to that #BikeLyfe than most people we’ve met, having great accomplishments racing on the track and even building up his own mountain bike that he uses to shred some local trails.
During the summer of 2017, Marlina Hardy and Gabriel Dickens (athletes in the Cadence Youth Cycling program) sat down and took the time to to interview each other during the first CYC.Le Squad meeting. They chose to do their personal statements in the form of an interview rather than write them by themselves.
Here Marlina is interviewing Gabriel….
Gabe: I am Gabriel Dickens, I am 14 years old I will be going to Universal Audenried High School starting in the fall.
Marlina: When did you first join Cadence, and what was your first experience with CYC like?
Gabe: I joined through Neighborhood Bike Works. I had done Summer Cycling Day Camp with NBW in 2016. I always thought I was fast on the bike so when I found out about the Cadence Race Team I wanted to try to put it to use. I was very nervous at first but as time passed the relationships between him and other members of NBW blossomed and close bonds were formed as they all continues to ride with each other.
Marlina: What has been your greatest accomplishment in the program so far?
Gabe: My greatest accomplishment so far was beating my previous time in a time trial. My time trial accomplishment fit into my smart goal which was to increase my stamina and endurance. Also to become more efficient in riding. The time trial meant a lot to me because it showed me that I met my smart goal.
Marlina: Where do you see yourself in the program a year from now?
Gabe: I hope to join race team and learn strategies from the race team members that could help me rise in the ranks. In the meantime I have joined Tour Team so I can work on my long distance pacing and endurance.
Marlina: What is your favorite memory about being in CYC?
Gabe: My favorite memory so far is the All-star ceremony we had at Lemon Hill because I really felt like I was a part of the Cadence Team. It sunk in for me that I had passed the tests and I am really an All Star now. I felt accomplished. I was filled with joy and proud of myself because I finally became an all-star, meaning a new set of responsibilities and expectations, but also new opportunities
Marlina: Who do you look up to in the program?
Gabe: Coach Blake [Rubin] because he was the first to welcome him in the program. He helped him get settled, and gave him guidance throughout his time in the program.
Marlina: What made you want to join race team?
Gabe: I believe that I have potential as a rider/ racer that race team can help bring out of me. Also I’m inspired by the coaches and other athletes on race team and how they performed during races or other events.
Marlina: What does CYC mean to you?
Gabe: An escape away from school and other outside issues. Teammates, and coaches all come together and help support and push each other to do better.
Here is Gabriel interviewing Marlina….
Gabe: State your name, age and where you go to school.
Marlina: My name is Marlina Hardy, I’m 18 and I just graduated from Mastery Charter Pickett Campus. I will be attending the Community College of Philadelphia in the fall.
Gabe: When did you first join Cadence?
Marlina: I joined at my school, Mastery Pickett campus, by accident. Originally, a friend and I were looking for the choir at my school and walked into the wrong room. All I saw was bikes everywhere and we got trapped into a meeting. A member of the team explained why there were bikes everywhere and encouraged us to stay. We decided to give it a shot, and here we are 5-6 years later Krystal and I are graduates and Junior Coaches of CYC.
Gabe: What is a strong memory of your Cadence program?
Marlina: I am going to say my bike crashes. I had to force myself to crash to save my friend at an event. As a result of this I got a concussion.
Gabe: What has changed for you during your time in cadence?
Marlina: My coach has let me take charge of activities, and even lead practices. It’s not often that I would take the lead at practices because I was scared of taking charge, but recently that has changed a lot. The old me would have never seen myself taking a leadership position and giving guidance to others on my team, but it has made me look back and see how much I’ve grown, and I feel proud and more confident in myself.
Gabe: What does CYC mean to you?
Marlina: The program has become a safe haven for me from my problems, and given me many opportunities and room to grow.
Gabe: How is your relationship with Cadence?
Marlina: I’ve spent all my high school years in CYC and honestly it’s been the best. I don’t want my relationship with CYC to end because of graduation. The program has become a part of me. Before I knew it most of my free time has been spent with CYC.
Gabe: Do you plan on leaving Cadence behind when you go off to college?
Marlina: CYC has a bright future ahead of it, and so does the athletes involved. I want to be a part of that future. CYC has become a home, family, and a place where I can embrace that I am; I don’t plan to lose that part of me.
Each Cadence athlete is provided a bicycle, helmet, and riding kit to use during practice. As students demonstrate their commitment to the team through consistent practice attendance, responsibility, and teamwork, they earn cycling gear such as clipless pedals, cleats, sunglasses, additional kits, and more! Eventually, athletes can earn their bicycle and are allowed to take it home, thus allowing them to use it as a means of transportation and recreation outside of practice hours.
Click here to find out how you can donate your equipment to Cadence.