In the first months of this year we’ve taken a step back here at Triangle Bikeworks to complete a review of our communications. With it we’ve realized we haven’t taken the time to stop and listen to you. We will do better
As a trusted partner you’ve placed a lot of faith in Triangle Bikeworks. We recognize you. For those of you who are open to the question, we ask, “What is your reason for giving to the youth of Triangle Bikeworks?”
Pleas, Projects, and Progress
The simplest explanation for why I give to the youth of Triangle Bikeworks can be summed up in the 3 P’s: Pleas, Projects, and Progress.
Triangle Bikeworks has grown and continues to impact, empower and inspire children’s lives. The contribution it has on their development, wellbeing and hope for the future will continue to have my support.
I was apart of the organization in the early days
My name is Christopher Dargan. I have been involved with Triangle Bikeworks (TBW) in some capacity, on and off, for the last 12 years. I’m currently a Board Member and Chair of the Board
I was apart of the organization in the early days, we were basically the test subjects to see how to run a minority youth cycling group. Throughout the years and many more test subjects later, Triangle Bikeworks continues to reach their goal “to strengthen the power of youth who are Black, Latine, Asian, Indigenous, and People of Color to overcome challenges, achieve audacious goals, and discover their true selves”.
Chris in 2011 after completing the first tour of the Triangle Bikeworks program, Spoke’n Revolutions. In 30 days they cycled The Underground Railroad from Mobile, AL to Niagara Falls, NY
A Vital Part Of My Formative Years
Triangle Bikeworks was a vital part of my formative years. Many weekends were spent on the seat of an old, donated bike with just enough character to look cool. Most of the repairs and adjustments done to my bike I learned through workshops instructed by Triangle Bikeworks, or other community cycling organizations, which I still have relationships with to this day. Having that basic knowledge of simple repairs and troubleshooting is useful. I’ll go on leisure rides with my friend or family and when something goes wrong with their bike most of the time, I’m able to fix it.
I was able to travel around the US from a different perspective than most people. I’ve been to and through many states, towns, and cities all from the seat of my bike. These experiences help me feel more connected to my community and country, because although media and news can often highlight negativity, I’ve experience hospitality, and graciousness from complete strangers all over the country, and here in our local community.
Triangle Bikeworks helped me discover a love for being outdoors and helping youth. Years later, I still find myself seeking out opportunities that allow me to do both of those things. A couple summers ago I was a part of AmeriCorps, during my service I lived in Vermont and built trails throughout the woods and served as a camp counselor. The time I spent on the road with TBW helped prepare me for that role.
TBW has contributed to my identity as a young adult. Being able to share my experiences with others has made me a more cultured well rounded young man. These experiences are rare for any young person, let alone someone with my specific background and socioeconomic up bringing. It makes me more dynamic, and credible in certain circles. I love being a part of the subculture of young minority cyclist.
TBW Contributed To My Identity As A Young Adult
I keep in touch with many of the Triangle Bikeworks alumni. Everyone seems to be doing well, and a portion of our success is owed to our time in the Triangle Bikeworks organization. The culture that is in place and the core values that are practiced each day within the organization are something I will always appreciate. I look forward to helping the organization grow and continuing to make an impact on youth moving forward.
Practices are going well for the TYMBR Wolves. They’re building skills and looking good.
A favorite game is the “Foot Down” which is exactly how it sounds. You have to be the last person to put their foot down while riding in a circle. It’s giving them a lot of joy during practices.
We have just under a month left before the first race of the season. Itza’s ready, the boys are ready, and I’m almost ready.
Let me tell you something; I thought I was being clever to have them play a little game of “keep up with Kevin” as we made laps around Martin Luther King, Jr. park in Carrboro. We rode on the grass to simulate the trails and add just a little more difficulty to the ride. Well, two laps in and I look behind and they’re right there on my six!
I think they were talking to each other. I don’t remember. I was gassed! What I do remember was hearing the cadence of my heavy breathing. Oh boy, this is so much different than road cycling!
We are at the start of the SnR Spring Excursion recruiting and training. What makes it challenging is the overlap in programming during the spring season. Itza and I have adjusted our schedules to ensure we continue to have a positive experience for the youth, but we could really use some more coaches.
If you’re up for the challenge you’re welcome to join us. We’d love to have you.
Let’s Do This!
For those of you who follow Triangle Bikeworks on Facebook, thank you for helping me reach my pledge goal which allowed us to get the bike trailer for the youth’s TYMBR Wolves Team. Your contribution took a very large chunk out of the stinging $4,600 price tag. I’m so appreciative of you for making your gift.
My wife and I celebrated my birthday quietly at home with the traditional cake and ice cream. Yes, I still enjoy indulging in the sweets every now and then. Mainly on my birthday.
I didn’t blow out the candles (we’d have to call the fire department if I lit that many) but I did make a wish; that all of you will be as blessed as I am with friends and family, such as you, who will give so generously in support of a modest birthday wish.
Thanks for reading this far. My goal is to keep these newsletters short enough to give you an update via email about what’s going on at Triangle Bikeworks and sometimes a little more. And today, it was a little more.
KEVIN HICKS – P/T EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Our three pathways to strengthen youth is unique. The combination of biking, history, and environmental awareness and advocacy is unlike any youth organization we know of. We use the bike to physically challenge and explore Untold History in an environmentally friendly way. Singularly, the Spoke’n Revolutions Summer Experience of traveling 700 plus miles by bike is, in itself, a rite of passage. I’ll share more on that next month.
Right now, I’ll share with you a dream I’ve only shared with a select audience; our long term vision. The long term vision is the compass that guides us while using several strategies to reach it. This is something that was only possible after hiring our first full time staff member in August of 2019.
We envision holding a space where our year-round after school programming can thrive. That space will include open spaces and areas to hold youth bike mechanic classes and bike educational classes. With access to our tools, parts, and enough storage space for our fleet of bikes. This will be headquarters for Triangle Bikeworks and a destination for youth participation throughout the Triangle. AND BIKE TRIPS! Yes, bike trips that are community wide, state wide, and nation wide. Eventually, having programs in other cities across the state.
Our Let’s Ride! Community Events are very much a part of that vision. We want to be more accessible to you and the community at-large. Helping people repair damaged bikes or get replacements for bikes too unsafe to ride.
To realize this shared vision we need to increase our capacity to serve. Yes, some of this can be accomplished through volunteers. And that’s where you can lean in and provide the expertise and/or physical strength (volunteering) to this effort. But ultimately, we need to bring the Executive Director to a full-time position, promote Itza to Program Director and hire her replacement.
I hope you share this more detailed vision and maintain your support for the youth of Triangle Bikeworks. It is well said above by Alexia Williams and Chris Dargan and I’ll paraphrase: As we continue to grow, not only can we envision how many more lives will be transformed, we have the power to make it happen. One revolution at a time.
Thank you for letting us join your trusted circle of causes that support your values and you hold dear.
We invite you to join our Circle of Friends and pledge your last contribution monthly.