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STATEMENT OF VOICE

W ELCO ME TO

PEDAL WASHINGTON I’ll admit it: I cried the first time I was ever part of a youth bicycle education class. The weekend after starting at nonprofit Bike New York in 2011 as the Marketing & Communications Director, I visited one of the bicycle education classes put on by the organization. I can falsely blame the stress of uprooting my Denver life after seven years and moving to an unknown NYC… but it was honestly seeing the pure happiness and sense of accomplishment the kids had when they were learning how to bike that brought me to tears. Seeing their confidence grow and smiles on their faces was contagious. During my time at Bike New York, I had the privilege to see the impact bicycling had on youth. Bike New York has a tremendous education program that reaches 20,000 youth annually, and it continues to grow. In 2012, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Youth Bike Summit in NYC, truly understanding the impact of the bicycle and how it can be a catalyst for positive social change. (You may remember the Youth Bike Summit when it was held in Seattle in 2015.) I saw the Youth Bike Summit empower youth to lead and embrace a diverse, multi-cultural and equitable movement. I learned about groups and organizations across the U.S. that fostered youth leadership, community building and positive social change through biking. It was then when I first started to learn about Cascade Bicycle Club. My career led me to Cascade, in part because of the wonderful work we do with youth. This year is the 10th anniversary of our Major Taylor Project (MTP). Using the bicycle as a tool for transformation to empower and enrich the lives of youth, MTP started from humble beginnings… as a sketch on a napkin. As you’ll read in one of our feature articles in this issue, MTP truly embodies Cascade’s vision of Bicycling For All. I was taking photos at last year’s STP when the huge group of MTP students and volunteers came biking in. I was there to witness these students conquering the 200+ mile challenge… and every single one of them had a smile on their face. I had the privilege to photograph the faces and reactions that showed the overwhelming sense of accomplishment, camaraderie and empowerment. And I admit it. I cried. Each year, the MTP community grows. As we continue to deepen relationships in communities across our region and statewide, we have the opportunity to positively impact even more young lives. I’m excited to see where MTP is — and how many young lives we’ve impacted — when it hits its 20th anniversary. Pedal on,

Brent Tongco, Senior Director of Communications & Marketing

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Profile for Cascade Bicycle Club

July 2017 Pedal Washington  

July 2017 Pedal Washington  

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