Throughout the month of June, we’re highlighting organizations and initiatives that advocate for greater outdoor access among the LGBTQ+ community. Today’s feature is Fearless Flyers by Out Cycling, a New York City group that uses cycling to teach fitness and leadership to queer youth.
Bikes are a means of conveyance, but time and again they’ve also proven their values as tools for change. Building on this legacy is Fearless Flyers, a program run by Out Cycling, a popular LGBTQ+ social group in the greater New York City metro area. Fearless Flyers works to combat isolation and promote overall well-being via cycling for LGBTQ+ youth. Each group of young people (ages 16 to 25) participate in a 10-week training program designed to build cycling and leadership skills. There’s also a strong bike safety element in partnership with the New York Department of Transportation and Bike NY.
Program participants acquire the fitness and skills that help them advance from “never ever” to “let’s keep going”; the mentoring and community aspects also provide an important social support network to help combat isolation many LGBTQ+ youth feel.
Out Cycling also organizes group rides and events for adult LGBTQ+ cyclists. These events are categorized into easy rider, steady eddy, and speed freak, providing a space for all kinds of cyclists, and are central to raising funds to support Fearless Flyers.