Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Hark! Cadence Cycling Foundation Has Joined the Bicycle Coalition

Two bicycle-oriented nonprofits, sittin' in a tree..
As Wash Cycle Laundry put it, we're getting hitched to the Cadence Cycling Foundation!

The Cadence Cycling Foundation has joined the Bicycle Coalition. This makes us the biggest, boldest, baddest bicycling nonprofit, in terms of urban educational impact, in the country.

Yeah, wow.

This is an important moment for bicycling in the Greater Philadelphia Region. This will strengthen our ability to make bicycling in our region better, in ways and with a speed we could not achieve otherwise.

So, what is the Cadence Cycling Foundation? 
Cadence Cycling Foundation's Shoemaker team, from 2013
For the unfamiliar, the Cadence Cycling Foundation (CCF), founded in 2007 by Ryan Oelkers and Jay Snider, uses cycling as a tool to help underserved youth gain the skills and education needed to break the cycle of poverty. Its cycling teams are organized out of schools and housing projects in Philadelphia and Camden, and its athletes are typically between the ages of 9 and 18. Cadence's deep and transformative work with its young athletes produces incredible stories of personal growth and achievement, and we are excited to share those stories with you in the upcoming weeks.

Why are they joining us?
Because we're both total catches.

Besides that, a tremendous amount of thought and deliberation went into this decision. We've long admired the work of CCF and Ryan Oelkers, its co-founder. So the opportunity to bring CCF, Ryan, and the CCF board under the same roof is a great opportunity.

Cadence Cycling Foundation is an effective and stable bicycling nonprofit committed to the transformative power of the bicycle. Their strengths and capabilities complement our own. While our Safe Routes Philly program focuses on broad reach through schools, CCF works at a much deeper and more personal level with a smaller group of athletes. So, depth and breadth on the educational front (basically, we're doing the whole vertical integration thing, like bicycling hero Andrew Carnegie).

And the steel magnates of yesteryear, to whom nonprofit bicycle organizations owe so much, would also approve of the operational efficiencies we will reap by combining our organizations, allowing us to better grow and invigorate our work.

How will this change the Bicycle Coalition?
Cadence Foundation co-founder Ryan Oelkers, right, at the end of year race in 2012
Our mission remains the same, as does our name and location. Alex Doty remains our Executive Director, and CCF co-founder Ryan Oelkers (above) is joining us as our Director of Youth Education. We are combining the strengths of both boards into a new board of directors, chaired by our current chair Leslye Abrutyn.

What comes next?
Hooray! Also, who is
Andrew Carnegie?
Keep an eye on our blog and Cyclegram newsletter in the upcoming weeks for more information about CCF and its terrific work. We will begin a new strategic planning process in December to create a refined vision for the Bicycle Coalition's future. Both organizations will maintain their separate websites until a new, unified site is ready to launch by year's end (oh lordy, we cannot wait for that). This nonprofit marriage, however, is effective immediately.

So sorry, hon, we're off the market.