“IYC has made a tremendous positive impact on our daughter. She loves riding with the SoMont team and it has improved her self-confidence on and off the bike. You can tell that the coaches love being out on the trails with the kids and are always encouraging them to do their best and celebrate their accomplishments. It’s a fantastic organization.” – quote from a team parent in our annual survey
Most folks can’t help but smile when they see a kid outside having fun riding a bike. Now picture the smile you’d have if you saw 70 kids — boys and girls, sixth to twelfth grade — coming together to ride bikes, enjoy the outdoors, and grow in character. That’s the environment Independence Youth Cycling (IYC) cultivates each week.
“Bikes are magic,” one of our volunteer coaches is fond of saying. We agree wholeheartedly!
IYC is on a mission to create diverse communities through youth-focused, bicycle-centric activities, enriching the lives of students, families, and the broader community. As a grassroots, 100% volunteer-driven Philadelphia-area 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, we rely on community support to help us get #morekidsonbikes.
Back in 2016 when IYC started with just 10 kids as SoMont Youth Mountain Bike Team it was hard to imagine the impact we’d have not just on area boys and girls, but on entire families and the broader community… and even the environment. Over the past eight years we’ve inspired hundreds of middle- and high-school kids to become their best selves and develop confidence, character, and community through accomplishment both on and off the bike.
This year alone, the six teams in our program have served more than 70 student athletes from 30 area schools and 11 school districts. Our nearly 70 NICA-accredited adult coaches, plus additional program volunteers, have donated countless hours of their time to mentoring these kids. Because we believe in giving back to the environment, students and coaches also spent almost 600 hours this year building and maintaining biking and hiking trails in local parks, including Pennypack, Cresheim, Wissahickon, Twining Valley, and others. And with 65% of our parents saying they “bike more often because of my child’s involvement with IYC,” we don’t just get #morekidsonbikes, we also get more adults on bikes!
For the coming 2024 year, IYC plans to expand our bike-related youth programming to bring the “bike magic” to more communities in the Philadelphia area. We will offer basic mountain biking skills classes to kids and adults in partnership with local community groups, townships, Scout troops, etc. Our bike loaner fleet, significantly expanded this year, now allows us to serve people who may not have access to a quality bike.
If you agree that “bikes are magic,” we invite you to partner with us to keep that magic happening! Because IYC is 100% volunteer-run, your individual donation goes directly to support our quality programs. Please make your tax-deductible contribution using our secure online form through TruMark Bank.
(Or, visit this link to TruMark Financial – https://app.autobooks.co/pay/independence-youth-cycling)
We also value our community business sponsors and would love to talk with you about that if you are interested. And we’re always looking for volunteers to help with all aspects of the program (you don’t even need to know how to ride a bike).