Nine13sports is a health & fitness nonprofit in Indianapolis focused on bringing the joy of bicycling to kids of all ages and abilities through their innovative “Kids Riding Bikes” traveling school program.
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Every sport has its own economic barriers of entry, but competitive cycling is in a lane of its own.
Entry fees. Custom-fitted bicycles. And replacing expensive metal pieces of equipment. These are just a few of the reasons why the sport is typically made up of only middle-to-upper class athletes.
In order to change this trend and combat the economic barriers of cycling, Tom Hanley founded Nine13sports in 2011.
Through the health and fitness nonprofit, Tom started a traveling, bike program called “Kids Riding Bikes.” Essentially, the program travels across Indiana to different school districts with an interactive indoor bicycling simulator.
The 8-person stationary setup utilizes technology that gamifies the experience of riding a bicycle. It also creates a safe environment for kids to enjoy cycling.
During each riding session, students in kindergarten through eighth-grade pedal multiple courses of varying lengths and difficulties. The best part about the Kids Riding Bikes program is that it all occurs in an environment where a bicycle hasn’t traditionally been found – their PE class.
On average, 150 kids participate in the Kids Riding Bikes program each day. Out of those students, Ninee13sports discovered around 10% were cycled for the first time in their lives.
For some of the kids, the biking program just felt like a big, interactive video game. For others, it was the very first time they ever got to experience the heart-racing thrill and freedom of riding a bike.
And for the staff at Nine13sports, these experiences are exactly what the Kids Riding Bikes program is all about.
To learn more about Nine13sports, visit nine13sports.org.