NYC Youth Bike Summit Focuses on Empowering Youth

February 16, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

NEW YORK—Bicyclists from all over the country met at the three-day Youth Bike Summit 2014 held at the New School. The summit’s aim was to expand bicycling options for today’s youth, and empower them with the mobility afforded by a bicycle.

Attendees, some from as away far as Santa Barbara, participated in workshops Saturday. A visioning session followed on Sunday to discuss education and how bicycling can be made safe for the younger generation.

Akram Abed, Camden’s regional manager for Rails to Trails, gave a talk at the summit about how the focus of his program had shifted. It grew from teaching children how to ride bikes safely to teaching them how to get to places that they wanted to be, places that were interesting and purposeful.

“It’s really awesome for the kids to experience—to pedal on their own to the Liberty Bell, whereas before they had to take a bus maybe once a year as a school trip,” Abed said.

The summit activities aimed to give youth and other groups the tools needed not only to cycle, but tips on fundraising, working with the city, learning how to advocate, and what causes to advocate for.

Over 30 workshops, round tables, and talks were held Saturday, with film screenings and a youth bike fashion show in the evening.