In 2008, the Cottage 9 family formed the Boys and Girls Country Cycling Team. Teaching Dad Jim Stuckey partnered with community cycling teams and shops to provide the kids with bikes, gear, and coaching. The first year they spent every weekend traveling to mountain bike trails and rides all over Texas. “It was so amazing to see the kids enter a race and finish for the first time on their own,” says Jim. “All eight of my boys rode, and they were so proud of themselves.”
Since then we have had over 30 students participate in the program, and several have ridden in popular national races. This year the BGC Bike Team joined the Northwest Cycling Club. Five kids are registered to be on the race team and six other kids will participate in the ride program. In March our students will start training at Houston’s Alkek Velodrome for track racing. We are grateful to the NWCC coaches who agreed to help our kids train in the Velodrome and build a foundation for the team to learn to work together.
Jim observes that every kid who has cycled with the BGC program has gained self-confidence and willpower. “They learn self-determination because if they don’t put in the time to learn the sport, they only have themselves to blame.” He continues, “The key to self-discipline and self-satisfaction is doing something hard that few can do. Finishing a race is one of the hardest things a teen can do. The joy and satisfaction I see on a kid’s face are indescribable when I see them reach the finish line, no matter where he or she placed in the race.”
On March 3 many of our students will ride in the Pedal for a Purpose bike ride benefitting Boys and Girls Country. They can’t wait to see our loyal riders and new participants. We hope you will ride with us and get to know our kids.
We want to recognize Richard Lamb of Southern Elite for his advocacy and support and for donating track bikes to the kids. We are also incredibly thankful for Bill Sharp, Scott Schaefer and the Lakewood UMC Family Matters Class for supporting the bike team. And of course, thank you Northwest Cycling Club for welcoming our kids as new members!