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  • Annual NEOCycle Urban Youth Initiative Bike Build Set for Friday

    It’s time to get out the elbow grease for a great cause at what has become an annual NEOCycle tradition for the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission.

    The Sports Commission staff and members of the organization’s Associate Board will join students from MC2 STEM High School and volunteers from GE Lighting Friday morning to build 120 youth bikes for the NEOCycle Urban Youth Initiative at GE Lighting’s Nela Park campus. The bikes will be distributed to kids from the City of Cleveland recreation centers who complete the Initiative’s NEOCycle program.

    NEOCycle Home Page  |  Urban Youth Initiative

    “Our Urban Youth Initiative continues the Sports Commission’s long history of creating community programming that expand the impact and reach of its events,” said Rachael Stentz-Baugher, Senior Director of Outreach & Development. “Specifically, our efforts around NEOCycle have grown significantly in the past three years and have brought the many benefits of bicycling to hundreds of area youth.”

    The program will begin on June 27 when 10 kids from each City of Cleveland Recreation Center will participate in kick-off event at Nela Park. The youth will compete and track two weeks of health, bike safety and education activities and benchmarks. The top finishers in the program will receive one of the new bikes being built Friday along with a helmet and lock on August 1. As many as 150 youth will qualify to earn a new bike.

    By the end of this summer, the NEOCycle Urban Youth Initiative will have impacted the lives of nearly 800 Cleveland youth through programming, bike fix-a-thon events and bike safety rodeos in its three years of existence. The program will have distributed 400 new bikes, helmets and locks in that time.

    The Sports Commission’s Urban Youth Initiative provides Cleveland’s underserved youth with experiences that illustrate how sports empower and prepare people for success in life. The program is made possible by support from University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, the City of Cleveland and the Cleveland Foundation. GE Lighting is providing specific support for NEOCycle programs of the Urban Youth Initiative.

    NEOCycle is the nation’s first and biggest urban cycling festival. The event consists of six unique rides and races, music festival and bicycle and outdoor lifestyle festival. The event has grown to include more than 3,000 registered cyclists each year and over 10,000 spectators and festival attendees. The third edition of the event will take place Sept. 9-11 and is centrally held at Edgewater Park in the Cleveland Metroparks Lakefront Reservation.