Giving Tuesday

Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Giving Tuesday! 

In the holiday spirit of giving, won’t you consider making a holiday donation to one of the many athletic-inspired organizations? Here are a few you may not have thought of.

Junior Development

tshirt 10-22-13

Support the up and coming by sporting this sweet shirt!

JB and I had the luck to park next to the next world champions of cyclocross when we at Trek Cup earlier this season. We had no idea who they were, but the red utility van stood out in a way that made us take notice. It was filled with juniors–both boys and girls ranging in age from 14 to 17, maybe, and the coaches were directing them in a fairly serious tone that made us take note. Turns out we parked next to Red Zone, the up-and-coming juniors development team. One of their juniors beat the crap out of me in the W4 race.

On this team is one of the most talented juniors of cyclocross, Josey Weik. It was incredible to watch this junior from Minnesota (who lives and helps work on his family’s farm) absolutely kill it in the the Mens P/1 race. He and a fellow teammate took off for Belgium to see just where they fall into the “big picture” and to see how far they can actually go.

You can track Josey’s path to awesome on his blog and you can support his travel to Europe with this fun (orange = Belgium) t-shirt. I have one and might purchase more as Christmas gifts. So worth it!

** I checked recently and sizes xsmall, xlarge, and xxlarge are sold out.

Women’s Cycling

This past summer, right about the time that the Tour de France was about to start, a group of female professional cyclists got together to do something about advancing women’s cycling. They were tired of being second-class citizens when it came to visibility, comercialbility, and  publicity. They came together to form the Women’s Cycling Association, a “membership organization for women cyclists and supporters committed to developing and advancing the state of women’s cycling in the United States.”

With a power-house board including Jade Wilcoxson of Optum presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies, Laura Van Guilder of Mellow Mushroom, and Robin Farina of NOW and Novartis for MS, they are just starting to get things done!

Membership is only $35 for a USAC license holder.


Keeping it Local

Many cities have local bike or athlete related non-profit organizations. Here in Chicago, the two that are front of mind are West Town Bikes and Blackstone Bicycle Works. Both have fantastic neighborhood programs for youth, teens, and even adults.

JB has been taking up a cycling clothing collection for West Town Bikes. Many of the people that come into their shop don’t have the means to purchase expensive (or even sale priced) clothing items. Hopefully the donations of five or six bags of gently used or brand new clothing will help. I’m sure they would appreciate your support in any form.

I first found out about Blackstone Bicycle Works through a friend and cyclocross competitor. Not only do they offer programs for youth and teens interested in cycling, they also provide tutoring and college prep programs! These kids are tearing up the cyclocross scene and it warms my heart to think of all they are doing for the youth of south-side Chicago. Have a bike you don’t use or looking to upgrade away from your first, entry-level, rig? Donate it!

Challenged Athletes

Saving the largest for last, the Challenged Athletes Foundation supports athletes with physical disabilities so that they can maintain active lifestyles either through competition or every day physical fitness.

You’ve likely seen their large, blue and yellow, CAF logo on many an athlete participating in highly visible marathons, Ironmans, and cycling events. They do good things, people!

You can make a gift outright, register for an event and raise money as CAF advocate or team, or volunteer your time at one of their many organized events.