There are moments that define all of our lives, that shape us, mold us, and make us who we are as adults. We can all point to those few moments in our childhood that were turning points for us, which put us on course for where we are today. South Atlanta Bike Shop will be making a moment like this available for 3 youth in South Atlanta, an economically struggling neighborhood just a few miles from Downtown Atlanta.
On November 10 & 11, three South Atlanta Bike Shop youth that we have been working with all year long will have the opportunity to go on this life changing trip and have a moment in their lives that they will never forget. We will be riding 168 miles from Leeds, AL back to Atlanta. This is no easy feat to accomplish even for those that are trained. Two days of riding through the small towns and mountains of Northeastern Alabama and Northwest Georgia, take a toll on your body and, for our young people, on their mind.
The challenges of the trip are what make it so powerful for our youth. The first year we rode, we had one young person ride with us. He is now an employee of our Bike Shop, has started his own recording studio business, become part of our neighborhood church, and become a mentor to the younger kids involved with the Bike Shop.
Last year, we had 5 kids ride with us, two of them have engaged in our neighborhood youth group and one has become an employee at the Marketplace & Community Grounds. For these 3 riders, the Cycle of Love was a seminal moment in their lives that pointed them in a positive direction.
What will happen in the lives of the 3 young people that are riding this year? We don’t know…but we do know that the opportunity is there for lives to be changed while riding 168 miles on a bike. The opportunity to minister & mentor may not be greater than when one is wiped out from a long day’s ride. For a youth, there may not be a greater sense of accomplishment than pushing one’s self to ride so far for so long.
The cost of the ride amounts to $1.50 a mile person, or $250 which covers food, travel, hotel, and supplies for the weekend. Additionally, the Cycle of Love serves as a fundraiser for the South Atlanta Bike Shop to keep its operations going all year long and to continue to empower and develop young people in South Atlanta. Any money raised above our cost of the event will go to support the ongoing operations and development of youth in our program.