In October we told you about a cycling club, a Southern California social and racing club, that was doing something special by building structured on-road traffic safety training in to its members’ skill-set. That club was GS Andiamo, and it successfully hosted a Smart Cycling class for a dozen junior (plus a few adult) cyclists in November.
Well, GS Andiamo’s investment in Smart Cycling just paid dividends in an unexpected way. GS Andiamo (the Newport Beach branch goes by West Side Wheelmen) is a member of USA Cycling, which is the peak body for competitive bicycle racing in the United States. USA Cycling annually recognizes the Best New Club of the Year and this year that honor went to GS Andiamo. Among other reasons, USA Cycling listed the Smart Cycling program as a reason for the award.
Best New Club – GS Andiamo
GS Andiamo is a club on a mission. For the 2015 season, their first year as a fully recognized USA Cycling club, they recruited almost 100 juniors and adults into the club. By hosting group rides for both juniors and the parents, the club goes beyond a typical family ride and opens an opportunity for adults and juniors to learn cycling competencies and share experiences together. This includes going through the Smart Cycling program offered by the League of American Bicyclists. By involving the parents in the process, it creates a new dynamic for the junior program and elevated GS Andiamo to best new club.
We are very excited that the “meeting of minds” of the bicycle racing and traffic safety worlds has been recognized on its merits so soon. As the father of a West Side Wheelmen racer and the director of that program, I am very pleased. I hope other USA Cycling clubs and teams will be inspired to get formal, on-road traffic awareness training into their programs.
I also hope it inspires you and your family to come out and ride with us.