The Purpose and Power of Cycling in Childhood Well-Being

Cycling has always held a special place in the hearts of many at Rite of Passage, especially for the youth involved in Rite of Passage cycling programs led by Greg Townsend. For over 40 years, cycling has been more than just a physical activity for us—it has been a powerful tool for experiential learning and personal growth. This year, we are thrilled to keep making cycling memories with an experience of a lifetime: a cross-country ride starting in California and ending in Florida. The mission: to inspire kids to ride their bikes and to promote healing through biking.


We are excited to announce the launch of the Tour de Youth this summer! This epic journey will take 10 youth from Rite of Passage programs across the country with the goal of riding from California to Florida by the end of fall. Along the way, these young riders will visit numerous sites and locations and areas rich in history providing them with normalized childhood experiences and a deeper connection to all of the wonderful sites the US has to offer. During this trip, students will be immersed in educational experiences and therapeutic experiences. They will also have opportunities to connect with community, other kids, and wonderful mentors.


Cycling offers more than just physical benefits; it fosters mental and emotional well-being. For many of the youth in our programs, biking serves as a therapeutic outlet, helping them build confidence, resilience, and a sense of freedom. The Tour de Youth is not just about getting through the miles; it’s about the journey of self-discovery and healing that happens along the way. While athletics has always been a part of ROP’s programming, cycling holds a special place in our hearts because of the benefit we have seen in the kids who have been on our cycling teams.


As part of our cross-country adventure, we are thrilled to celebrate the release of the Hard Miles movie at various locations across the United States. We will hold showings for local communities that support our programs, hosting events for kids, staff, and community members. These celebrations will not only honor the achievements of our team but also encourage more programs to embrace the joy and benefits of cycling.


One of the most exciting aspects of the Tour de Youth is the opportunity to engage with different communities across the country. We look forward to having teams from each of the programs we visit join us for segments of the ride. There is something magical about feeling the breeze through your hair as you pedal down the open road, and we want as many kids as possible to experience this joy


As we embark on this incredible journey, we are filled with anticipation and excitement. The Tour de Youth represents more than just a physical challenge; it embodies our commitment to fostering well-being and personal growth through cycling. We invite you to follow our journey, support our mission, and perhaps even get on a bike yourself. Together, we can inspire the next generation to embrace the power of cycling and the endless possibilities it brings.

Stay tuned on our Instagram and Facebook for updates on our adventure and join us in celebrating the remarkable impact of cycling on childhood well-being.