The Magic of Mystic Cycle Getting Kids on Bikes
Ledyard Middle School, is located in Gales Ferry, Connecticut and is one of the newly granted Riding for Focus schools that formerly launched their program this fall. School Champion Kristen Gallagher applied for the grant last spring.
Kristen jubilantly shared…“What a great way to start the new school year. We now have 67 kids Riding for Focus! I am so energized to be able to bring cycling to so many children, especially those with learning, social and attention difficulties. This makes such a difference in kids' lives. I have a whole army out to help me so that in a few weeks I can have all kids ride at once and at every practice. I'm getting the bike shop to teach some adults and kids maintenance. This has become bigger than anything I could have possibly imagined. One of the PE teachers is taking kids riding every day at the end of the day as well. So much riding going on here in Ledyard”.
Mystic Cycle Centre serves as the Riding for Focus partner retailer on board to help build and maintain the bikes for the first year. The shop has been in business for over 20 years and is a community partner at best supporting local schools, coaching, offering local weekly rides and even sponsoring the 80 Plus Club recognizing riders in their golden years! The shop supports our veterans on bikes too, offering Team Red, White & Blue's local Groton chapter by hosting their Monday night rides out of the shop.
Ledyard students visited Mystic Cycle Centre when their new Riding for Focus bikes arrived and learned how to assemble them step by step giving the kids an opportunity to learn a lifetime skill. Owners Rob Kapell and Ricky Ely and shop manager and mechanic Sean Ellis have been onboard 100%. The shop team even leads Saturday morning The shop team even leads Saturday morning rides for kids at a local state park and they ride to the lowest ability rider so everyone is included.
“Mystic Cycle Centre is amazing, shared Kristen. We are so fortunate to have them as our Riding for Focus retail champion”.
“Riding for Focus has been good for everyone—the staff is extra enthusiastic and gives them a sense of purpose to support the kids. So many parents and siblings have visited the store so it’s been good for business too but most important it’s a better world when kids are not in front of computer or phone screen and are out riding. It’s a legitimate self-sustaining program”, shared store owners Rob Kapell and Ricky Ely.
And—the cycling momentum doesn’t stop as Kristen shared their principal wants to build a pump track next!