Tell us about your organization, your mission, and your community.
The U Create Macon Bike Team is a very unique program. U Create Macon houses several cycling programs that maximize our opportunities to give our youth the best opportunity to have outdoor adventures. We are the only youth chapter of the Major Taylor Association (Major Taylor – Middle Georgia Chapter), The Middle Georgia Composite Team (Mountain Biking), Trips for Kids (Trips for Kids Middle Georgia), soon we will be a Free Bikes for Kids program (Summer 2020). We are looking at bringing Little Bellas by 2021. Our goal is to continue to cultivate a relationship with US Cycling and Velodrome organizations to round out our programs.
Before the pandemic, what were your major goals, events, or initiatives for 2020?
Our major goal is to get more kids on bikes. Our strategic plan for 2020 is to have more kids on bikes (safely as possible) in the history of Macon and Middle Georgia. COVID-19 has changed our approach but the mission is still the same. We use the Georgia Bikes pocket guides
and our Bike Rodeo with Georgia Bikes and OCMA Dream Team was the largest ever in Middle Georgia. It was a catalyst for our program. Without that youth bike rodeo, there would be no program like we have today.
How have you adapted your plans to continue amid the pandemic?
We have incorporated more virtual opportunities and because so many races have been canceled, we are creating some local outdoor adventures. Working with Dublin OCMA Dream Team, Coach Chris is spearheading a youth-only, six-day event. We are grateful to our U Create Macon core adult volunteers — Coach Lisa Doughtery, Coach Janet Grier, Coach Sam Macfie, Coach Tommy Neaves, Coach Fred Simonelli, Coach Brian Robertson, Coach Diane Fowler, Coach Nathan Robertson, Coach Wesley Altram, Coach Chris Johnson, Coach Daylon Martin, Coach Tom Glover, Coach “in training” Michael Robinson, Victor Chatfield and Ms. Gigi Weaver — for keeping our programs moving forward.
How has your community changed during the pandemic? Do you see more people biking, walking, and rolling for recreation and transportation?
COVID-19 has changed our community forever but I do see more people walking, biking, and practicing self-care. Macon has a high number of preventable diseases (obesity, diabetes, etc.) and we are hoping that U Create Macon can be a community partner to help our community get healthier. Our program is award winning. We just won the Safe Routes to School Friend Partner of the Year
for the East/Central Georgia region.
— Charise Stephens, U Create Macon Founder