Teenagers bike 700 miles in life-changing trip
Eleven local teenagers will have quite a story to tell when they return to high school in the next few weeks. They recently completed a 700-mile bike ride as part of the “Bikes, Water and Soul Tour” organized by the nonprofit Triangle Bikeworks.
“I knew it was hard. I mean everyone told me you would get like cramps and stuff, but it was a lot harder than I thought,” said 15-year old Hser Wei.
The purpose of the trip was to introduce young people, most of them teenagers of color, to the world of cycling. It’s a sport that is often unavailable because of the cost of the equipment.
“It’s to kind of level the playing field. Bikes, quality bikes, cost a lot of money,” said Kevin Hicks, executive director of Triangle Bikeworks.
The bikes used on the tour were all older models tuned up by local bike shops at no cost to the group. The trip was made possible through donations of time and money.
The 700 miles took the teens from Chapel Hill all the way to the coast and back. Along the way they stopped at specific places for educational lessons.
“We learned about some slave history, some American history,” said 17-year old Abeo Hicks.
They also learned about the future and what is possible with a little hard work and practice. Each person on the tour started training by riding five miles, then gradually built up the stamina needed to complete the 12-day tour.
“I am able to do more than I expect from myself and some challenges aren’t as scary as they really are,” said 17-year old Cindy Chen.
The tour is a yearly event for Triangle Bikeworks. If you would like to donate, or join the ride, visit their website at Trianglebikeworks.org.