Community Connections: The Cycle Effect unlocks potential in Routt County
For the Steamboat Pilot & Today
In the heart of Routt County, a movement is gaining momentum. The Cycle Effect, a nonprofit organization, is making waves by providing young girls and nonbinary individuals ages 10-18 with the tools they need to thrive, overcome challenges and realize their full potential.
With a strong focus on serving 70% of participants who identify as Latina and/or BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color), The Cycle Effect is dedicated to fostering a brighter future for all.
Abigail’s story is a testament to the transformational power of The Cycle Effect. Born in Mexico, she arrived in the U.S. at the tender age of 2. Her family settled into a small trailer in Avon, filled with dreams of a better life for their four daughters.
However, their journey included navigating the complex immigration process, marked by annual trips to Denver to determine their fate. Throughout it all, Abigail’s parents instilled hope in her, reminding her that they had each other.
Fast forward to the eve of Abigail’s first day of high school. Nervous, as any freshman would be, she had her older sister by her side. Tragically, that night, her sister was struck by a car while crossing the road, and she didn’t survive the accident. The darkness that enveloped Abigail and her family led to her withdrawing from sports and friends, leaving her feeling angry and isolated.
Then came The Cycle Effect. Initially hesitant, Abigail was coaxed by a friend to join the program. Reluctantly, she attended sessions, but it was the unwavering support of her teammates that kept her coming back.
In Abigail’s own words, “After every bike ride, I felt better, happier. The climb is hard, just like life, but it’s how we react to it that reminds us of who we are and what we are capable of. The Cycle Effect was not just a sport for me; it was a support system that uplifted me and a community that accepted me.”
Her journey, filled with both struggles and triumphs, serves as a powerful reminder that mountain biking is more than just a sport within this organization. It fosters discipline, goal-setting, perseverance, a spirit of adventure, and provides a strong sense of community and support, both on and off the bike.
The Cycle Effect provides over 80 days of programming, all necessary equipment and gear (including bikes, helmets and practice uniforms), one-on-one mentorship and community engagement opportunities. Understanding that cost and accessibility is one of the biggest barriers to the sport and outdoor recreation, The Cycle Effect makes access to recreation possible without pushing families beyond their economic means by removing financial barriers.
While The Cycle Effect has made a significant impact in four counties across the Western Slope (Eagle, Mesa, Summit and Routt counties), it is still relatively new to Routt County. Your support can help sustain programming, fund growth and further invest in the future of our youth, especially within the Latina and BIPOC communities.
Through The Cycle Effect, girls have transformed into confident cyclists, grown as leaders, and become role models in their communities. As we continue this journey in Routt County, we are reminded of Abigail’s words: “Life is best behind the bars.”
The Cycle Effect is more than an organization; it’s a movement dedicated to empowering youth and reshaping the future. It’s about unlocking potential, one pedal stroke at a time.
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