Once again, Jeremy Wickenheiser shares about his experiences in the DSST-Green Valley Ranch Cycling program. Read on to hear about the inspiring growing that Trips for Kids Denver/Boulder is proud to be a part of!!
In the past month I have seen our students come so far! First, we were fortunate to be invited to participate in Slice of Pi, which is an annual DSST event that both celebrates and showcases the accomplishments of our schools and students. It was awesome to see our bike club students leading adults through simulated workouts, teaching them about nutrition and the Physics of cycling, and finally how to maintain a bicycle. It was wonderful observing adults deeply questioning the students about their experiences and I was particularly impressed watching Jose explain the Biology behind lactic acid build up in muscles during exercise and seeing Estefan teach at least 15-20 people how to change a bike tire. It is apparent that the experience these students have had has begun to create a ripple effect in our community.
We also have had the good fortune to participate in three additional mountain bike rides in the past month, both with Trips for Kids and with the Colorado Mountain Bike Association (COMBA), and I have seen our students get stronger and more confident on the bike with each trip. Students have completed rides up to 11 miles in length while climbing over 1,000 feet during the ride, all without giving up. This journey this year with bike club has been a profound and deeply enriching experience and I am constantly reminded of our school’s mission to teach not only academics, but also core values. Each time I see a student fail to conquer an obstacle on the trail but proceed to get back up and try it again I know that we are teaching students not only about academics, but also how to live their lives in the right way. It is apparent that bike club has become a vehicle for education in these core values and this is most evident on the mountain bike rides, as when people are pushed out of their comfort zone they are forced to truly rely on each other and have the courage to engage with new people and new experiences. On a ride a couple of weeks ago in Bergen Park there was a large rock in a trail that students could chosen to ride over or walk around. After having all of the students walk the trail to preview the feature each and every student tried to go down the rock and some tried multiple times until they were successful. It is this never give up attitude and a willingness to tackle new challenges that inspires me and gives me great hope for what our students will accomplish in the future.
Finally, last weekend we had the pleasure of working with COMBA out in Buffalo Creek to reroute 100 yards of trail on the Baldy Trail. It was hard work, but the students embraced this challenge and after we constructed the 100 yards of new trail we reclaimed the eroded older trail. This group of 10 students has left their legacy in the Buffalo Creek trail system and you could feel the pride and joy of the students after we were able to ride the newly constructed “DSST” portion of the Baldy Trail. These student will forever refer to this section of the trail as “their” trail and while leaving a legacy they have also learned an important lesson about stewardship and caring for the environment.
I have put together a couple of videos, so please enjoy these in addition to the attached images.
Video #1: This was a video that we presented at school a couple of weeks ago that give a longitudinal progression of our program this year: https://vimeo.com/41674330
Video #2: A video from our mountain bike ride in Bergen Park, Colorado: https://vimeo.com/41718992
I will also be putting up a video in the next couple of days that documents our trail build day in Buffalo Creek and we are planning an end of year road ride out in Green Valley Ranch for our students and supporters for which additional details with be communicated in the very near future.
Each and every day I am inspired by what the students accomplish and I am proud to be a part of this program. I can’t wait to see how each of them will serve as the catalyst for change in their community, as they truly are role models for their peers and adults alike.
Thanks for all of your continued support and please enjoy the images and video,