This month, Deb Salls, the Executive Director of Bike Works was honored in the Superhero issue of ParentMap Magazine. Read the full article here.
Deb moved to Seattle just for Bike Works in 2011 and she truly embodies Bike Works’ mission- building sustainable communities by educating youth and promoting bicycling. Her whole career has been dedicated to youth empowerment & building community. Not only does Deb serve as the Executive Director of Bike Works, she volunteers her time and expertise on the boards of numerous Seattle organizations like the Rain City Rock Camp for Girls, which is dedicated to building positive self-esteem in girls and encouraging creative expression through music. She is a connector who strengthens our entire community.
In true Bike Works fashion, when Deb was invited to come in for a head shot for the Superheroes issue she immediately reached out to Youth Programs for inspiration. The Girls’ RIDES Club (Ride, Investigate, Discover, Environment, Society) came to the rescue with the same flair of creativity and leadership encouraged in all of our classes. The result landed these young women, decked out as bicycle superheroes, the cover of the magazine.
RIDES Club is a program designed to encourage youth from diverse backgrounds to get on their bikes and keep pedaling. This is an eight week program for youth who want to increase their road riding skills and get out and explore their communities. Youth explore the urban environment by bicycle and create their own maps of the city.
Bike Works youth programs foster leadership development and critical thinking by providing a safe environment for youth to plan and reflect upon their decisions. Girls’ RIDES Club created their own agenda, which included a hot-cocoa ride to independent coffee shops and a nature scavenger hunt around Seward Park. As a group they learn to ride safely, support one another, explore their surroundings, and have fun!
Bike Works is about building the skills and community so that youth (and adults!) can go out and feel empowered to ride on their own. In the instance of Girls’ RIDES club, two youth who observe Sabbath on Saturdays, Bike Works’ busy day for clubs and group rides, have started their own Girls Bike Club. For almost a year, they have been meeting and riding as a group of 6 on Sundays. These young leaders took initiative, tapped into the core of their community, and are using the bicycle as a vehicle for change. Bike Works is even looking into the feasibility of Sunday programming for 2017. It’s about youth doing it for themselves. It’s about building community & promoting cycling because we are our own superheroes, just like Deb.
To learn more about RIDES Club or to enroll in the next camp, check out the Youth Programs Page.