Reno Bike Project (RBP) is a non-profit community bicycle shop and resource for the Truckee Meadows committed to creating a nationally recognized, cycling-friendly community through education, cooperation and advocacy.

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During Spring Break we partner up with two different groups, the Reno Housing Authority (RHA) & the Kids Kottage (KK). The first week of Spring Break (SB) was spent with the RHA. This was the first group I worked with in the Major Taylor Program, and I was happy to see some of the original crew back in the program. I really like working with Rosa and the RHA. The RHA buys a new bike for every participant. Our crew down at 4th st built ‘em up and we were ready to hit the road. The RHA likes to keep riding in traffic to a minimum so I planned our week with that in mind. Plus the bikes we got are MTBs, and the Reno Bike Project is starting a MTB youth team, AND since building up my very own MTB I haven’t MTBd on it yet, the mountains were calling.

We started the week at Steamboat Ditch. It is a really chill, mostly flat, cruise westward. This year my long time friend and collaborator, Mikey, rode along for every ride. At the Steamboat Ditch we all rode out to the Hole in the Wall, and the RHA chaperone led the kids on a small expedition into the hole. We collectively goofed off in the mountains. The Steamboat Ditch was dug out by Chinese laborers and it was completed in 1880. Crazy. The next day we went out to the Stead Airport (big up North Valleys). A Board Member and former helicopter pilot, Mike, is very connected around these parts and led the group on a ride out around the runways. He showed us the different ways pilots navigate to the runway, explained how they worked, took us to some crashed planes, talked story, and cruised us out to places that few will ever venture. Also, on Tuesday we all learned how to patch tubes, and fix flats. Wednesday we went south. The Carson River. This morning I was looking back at my notes from last spring and I found some notes from further back, before me, where the group went out here and said it was a total bust. HAHAHAHA. I’m glad I didn’t see that before we planned this place because we had a ton of fun out here. We cruised out to the “Mexican Dam”, had a lil snack by the riv. We looped around towards “Prison Hill”. We battled the wind for the first real time. There is a really cool part of the trail out there where it goes right through someone’s farm, there are cows everywhere, and it was kinda magical out there. Would recommend 10/10. That night a storm pushed in and saturated the Davis Creek which is where we had planned on going Thursday. Friday was supposed to be worse so we adjusted. Thursday we went to the Sierra Vista MTB Park. I have been here before, with Mikey, so we were ready to rip. And rip we did. Sending it, boosters, tight turns, spills, monster drops, climbs, single track, pump track, I think a GEO Tracker. Also, another person from RHA came for the ride and shredded the place to shreds. We have a lot of fun out there and it is really cool that places like that exist. Friday was the last day and a storm had pushed in. We had everyone meet at our 4th st. location. The 4th st. team had given all the bikes a tune up Thursday night so they would be ready to go home with the kids on Friday.

We showed the kids how to take their wheels off and put them back on, we did a nice tour of the facilities, we gathered up all their shwag (helmets, locks, shirts, jerseys, water bottles) and then we sent them home with their new bikes. A success to say the least. The next week we went to the KK. Speaking of places that are really cool that they exist. If you don’t know about KK you should look into them. They are doing amazing work everyday and you should know about them. With this group being situated in one of the worst cycling friendly neighborhoods we started off in their gym. We learned using the brakes, shifting gears, communicating through the group, and then we hit the streets. The group was slightly fractured because one of the kids had NEVER ridden a bike before. Mikey stayed inside with a couple kids and the KK chaperone, me and the other kids and other chaperone went out to loop the dead end side of Longley and get an idea of the door zone, and having cars pass by us while we are riding by parked cars, and paying ever close attention to what's brewing inside, in case that door pops open. After about an hour of road practice, we cruised back in. The kid who had never ridden was riding. Like pretty swervy, not using their brakes, but staying upright and was able to ride laps around the gym no sweat. It was amazing. The next day we rode to the river along the bike path on McCarren. It was super super windy and on the way back we took a bunch of wind breaks. Sometimes you get the chicken and sometimes you get the feathers. Weatherwise this week it was a DOWN pour. Do chickens have down, or is that just a goose thing? On Friday, it was snowing and hailing. So, me and Mikey set up an obstacle course/race track in the gym. Like a bike slalom with a hundred folding chairs. The scene looked super chaotic but once you were in the track there was a flow to it, and once we had 11 people circling the gym, laughing, yelling, crashing into chairs, it was really a sight to see.

It is really something to get to work with the KK and RHA. They do wonders for the community and being able to partner with them I think benefits the RBP and our staff in ways that are kinda immeasurable. The total miles we rode during Spring Break this year was 672. We used 5 band aids, gave away 10 bikes, successfully taught 1 person how to ride, and hopefully brought some fun and easy going vibes into the young people that came along.

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