Everyone knows the stereotype about triathletes and bikes - our handling skills could always use some work.
When I showed up at my first Tuesday night criterium at Rentschler Field in 2015, I knew next to nothing about the sport of cycling. Needless to say, I was intimidated and in awe of the A racers flying around the course, and the older juniors who seemed so at ease with the balance and handling drills we practiced in the pre-race junior clinic. All of the coaches from the Connecticut Cycling Advancement Program and teams affliated with the program were so warm and welcoming, by the end of the night I knew I was hooked. I still remember the first time I met Coach Dave Hoyle, one of the most genuine people I have ever met, and the true heart of the program. He taught me the value of trust and faith in the people surrounding you. It took me until we lost him last year to realized that this lesson applies far beyond the race course. Yes, it is important to trust the other people in the pack when we are whipping around a course in close proximity, but it is also important in life. Coach Dave (and so many other coaches and people of the cycling community who continue work to keep his legacy alive) was the embodiment of the CCAP's core mission: putting more kids on bikes and giving them the opportunity to reach their full potential.
I fell in love with the sport of cycling, and the deep feeling of community that comes with it.This weekend, in honor of the Breakaway Benefit, I challenged myself to do something that, before I starting riding through the CCAP, I never thought I could be capable of doing. I set out to complete a double century. 200 miles. For the finishing section of it, I chose to complete a smaller sub-challenge to ride to the Massachusetts border and back. I knew going into the start of the whole thing that the task would challenge me both physically and mentally, but if there is anything that being part of the cycling community has given me, it is grit. Without the support of my teammates on NYTT who rode the last 90 miles with me, friends made at CCAP races who sent me words of encouragement, and the drive instilled in me by my coaches, I could never have finished.
Riding through the CCAP for the past 5 years has given me confidence, perseverance, and countless life lessons. Please consider donating to the CCAP, so that they can continue putting more kids on bikes and helping young riders like me fall in love with a lifelong sport. Any amount helps, and your donations let this program help youth riders reach their potential.
The CCAP Breakaway Benefit Challenge
The CCAP Breakaway Benefit is a fundraising event for youth cycling programs in Connecticut's schools and towns. Your participation starts more youth teams, empowers more coaches to lead, and gets more kids on bikes! THANK YOU!
“What the difference is....in my opinion was the CCAP. Many of our kids have never been out of town, to a mountain bike area, etc.... Many can’t afford team sports or their behavior would not be tolerated in a team environment. Having a sport like cycling and being able to spend time with friends is important to these kids.” - Coach Bill Davis, Dag Hammarskjold Middle School, Wallingford
Breakaway Benefit Challenge Experiences:
In order to #RideItOut and get through COVID-19 together, the CCAP has transitioned Breakaway Benefit into a multiple day challenge that lets everyone stay apart but still ride together. Fundraising starts NOW but the events run from May 27th-31st, 2020. Check out our BikeReg Page for more specifics!
- Digital Engagement: This year, we'll be using the digital engagement platform, Zoom, to host our awards ceremony, as well as weekly interviews with special guests on a variety of levels, from winning national championships to ripping gravel and single track, to trail stewardship and bike building.
- Zwift Experience: The CCAP staff and Junior Travel Team will lead multiple Zwift meet-ups throughout the week. In addition to these virtual rides, we will select 4 total, well-established, races, and group rides to ride in and compete with our fellow fundraisers.
- Strava Challenges: Unable or unwilling to ride on Zwift or just want a little something extra? That's okay! We have created a list of Strava challenges that you won't want to miss and will keep you riding all week long!
- CCAP Swag: What more could you want? Swag? All riders who register will get a basic swag package with CCAP Merch. The catch is, the more you fundraise, the more you get! Stay tuned for specific items.
- Looking to volunteer? With the current COVID-19 healthy emergency, we will not be offering any in-person volunteer positions. Please consider fundraising as an alternative, everything helps!
The Connecticut Cycling Advancement Program's mission is to ensure that Connecticut's youth and their families have access and exposure to an organized state-wide youth cycling league. Additionally, youth and their parents should be able to see a clear avenue that allows them to develop as far as their ambition, skills, and abilities can take them. The sport of cycling teaches a child or young adult a wealth of values, social skills, and mindsets that help them become successful in every aspect of their life, and the CCAP is proud to provide kids across the state with the opportunity to participate in a safe and positive team-based environment.
Recognized nationally for its impact and leadership, the CCAP partners with communities and schools to grow youth cycling throughout Connecticut. More than 55 Connecticut school districts and towns have created CCAP-registered cycling programs or are in the process of establishing cycling clubs and teams. over 550 youth participate in these programs. In addition, 40 CCAP youth-specific events were held in 2019. With your help, the CCAP is just getting started!