Bicycles Change Lives (2)

john.png

We came across this awesome, inspiring video yesterday about the East Side Riders Bike Club, "a volunteer organization in South Central Los Angeles with a mission to improve Watts through community service, charity work, and bike programs aimed at keeping local youth out of gang activity."

This all-volunteer, grassroots group teaches kids how to bike safely, provides helmets, teaches bike repair, and leads weekly rides. Please take a minute to watch the video, and show it to your kids. Their Facebook page is full of videos of their Friday night rides, bike repair classes and more. Consider a donation or purchasing some of their cool swag to support their critical work. 

Bicycles Change Lives

GBP-WBR-Zambia2014-1243-768x511.jpg

World Bicycle Relief is an organization which supports folks in the developing world through the transformative power of the bicycle. Click here to read more about them, and to watch the moving video about Tamara, a 12-year-old orphan who received a bicycle so she could complete her education. Consider a donation by clicking the red button at the top of their homepage. 

Ready for Summer?

 Camp pup, Everett, is ready for summer!

Camp pup, Everett, is ready for summer!

With all of this sunny weather, it's hard to believe it's still winter, and even harder to believe that summer 2018 is just around the corner. 

Sign up by April 15 to grab our Early Bird rate of $435 per week here

During the last couple of years, we've had to turn away campers after selling out several weeks, so don't delay!

We are looking forward to seeing old friends and to making new friends. 

As always, feel free to contact us with any questions.

See you on the trail!

 

Win 1 Week of Camp + Support Kids

We are proud to be YES Business Partners and donors to the online auction again this year (in addition to the 4 weeks of camp we have donated elsewhere this year).

YES supports funding for arts programming (among other things) in the Ross Valley School District, which we are proud to stand behind. We believe art, music and PE are critical aspects of education for all children.

Go here to bid on your child's week of camp.

International High School Mountain Bikers

 FXCC campers and counselors on the trail.

FXCC campers and counselors on the trail.

Check out this heart warming story about a boys' high school mountain bike team whose members were all born overseas. These boys have very few advantages, but have built their own bikes and are learning to ride, race and have fun as part of a team. 

Vote for Satchel!

images.jpg

Pink Bike is tallying votes for the 2016 photo of the year, and our very own former counselor, Satchel Cronk, has a photo in the running! If you never had the pleasure of riding with Satchel, you still know his work from our website. He took most of the pictures you see, as well as our small film. He's a very talented photog and an all-around great guy.

Click here to check out the contest. 

Vote for Satchel!

Satchel's Humboldt MTB Film

We were delighted to watch former FXCC counselor Satchel Cronk's video over on Pink Bike's site yesterday (click here). He did a great job on our video, and it looks like his film skills are only getting better. Added bonus? We've got some roots up in Humboldt, running and mountain biking on those same trails. It was fun to see them featured in all of their muddy, drippy goodness.

We're Thankful for You

Dear FXCC Community,

 A cherished thank you from a camper

A cherished thank you from a camper

As we reflect on the upcoming holidays and the closing of 2016, we feel grateful for all of you. Riding mountain bikes on the trails with kids, mentoring our counselors, getting to know you parents - it's all good. At a time when goodness can seem to be in short supply, we cherish the sun-filled memories of summer 2016.

We wish you a holiday filled with loved ones, connections, warmth, calm, cheer, and plenty of time out in nature.

We hope to see many of you next summer. 'Till then, see you on the trails!

Warmly,

Mitch, Eileen, JJ, Matt and Jason

How to make the roads safer for bikes

 Fairfax Festival Parade 2015

Fairfax Festival Parade 2015

If you're like us, and ride at all on the roads, you've had more than your fair share of close calls with cars who are out to teach you a lesson, or just not paying attention. This is so very scary, and reminds us that, in addition to getting more kids on bikes and getting safer bike lanes built, we need to change the way drivers think about cyclists. 
We came across this blog today, and think it sounds like a great strategy to get drivers on board with driving safely around cyclists. What do you think?

Mythology storytelling festival

 Photo by James Cacciatore.

Photo by James Cacciatore.

We are filling up as summer draws nearer, so if you're still on the fence, here are a few things to consider while you're making summer plans. One of the things which sets us apart from other camps, is that we are owned and run by local school teachers. Though we're not about to add a mythology storytelling festival to camp, we thought some of you (who aren't familiar with Manor School) might be interested to see what our owner and founder does for a day job!Here's a link to a great write-up of what goes on in Mr. Brown's class during the school year. 
This got us thinking, maybe we should expand Crazy Outfit Friday to include coming as your favorite figure from mythology? What do you say? Rest assured, our campers get the benefit of the thoughtful attention of educators who plan and run each day, start to finish. And if you haven't seen it yet, check out our video about a day at camp here.

Walk and Bike to School Day a Success

 Manor School Walk and Bike Day 2007.

Manor School Walk and Bike Day 2007.

Last week was International Walk and Bike to School day. What a pleasant surprise to find myself stuck in my car while hundreds of Manor School students and parents rolled on down Sir Francis Drake with a Police and Fire escort. This brought up many fond memories.

The first Walk and Bike to School Day we participated in was a revelation. How wonderful to live in a community which cares so much about the environment, children's health, and safe routes for kids to bike and walk to school. What about your community?

At FXCC, we teach kids how to ride safely on the roads and in a pack as we make our way to the trails.

 Both kids will be working at camp this summer. My how they've grown!

Both kids will be working at camp this summer. My how they've grown!

Fairfax is a town with the enthusiasm to bike and walk, but our infrastructure is not particularly suited to sharing the road. Hopefully, over time, enough engaged and active parents and kids can change this.

Meantime, check out the National Safe Routes to Schools Bike and Roll page to learn how to start a group in your community here. And, if you're a local, next time you see Mayor Renee Goddard, be sure to thank her for her years of work and dedication to making the roads safer for all.

 

 

Kudos, Fairfax PD for Catching Bike Thieves!

In a show of sneaky and high quality police work, Fairfax PD has been snagging bike thieves. Thank you, officers! The Marin County Bicycle Coalition's Facebook page reports the following: 

"ALERT: The Fairfax Police Department has received 23 reports of stolen bicycles since January 1. Some are high end bicycles, taken from the downtown area, in which they were locked to bicycle racks or locked on vehicle racks. Others were taken from residential neighborhood homes, driveways, carports or front yards, usually not locked. 

Usually the thefts of high end (locked) bicycles are the work of thieves who are targeting these bicycles for profit. Their thefts are quick and brazen. The lower end bicycles are usually not the work of these more organized thieves, and are not for profit. They are more random and spur of the moment. 

In an effort to catch either type of thief, my officers randomly put out "bait" bicycles (usually worth $1000 or more) in various areas. We then monitor the bicycle (stakeout) in hopes of catching the thief. While labor intensive, we have had success in the past."

To read more, click here to be directed to the Marin County Bike Coalition Facebook page.

Giving back to our kids and YES!

We are grateful to live in this community which values children and strives to provide them with a quality education, including the arts, PE and libraries. As such, we have donated several weeks of camp to local educational foundations and schools. Currently, the YES online auction is happening. Bid on one week of camp here and help support our schools while you get your child signed up for a screen-free week of summer! We are also proud to have donated one full week of camp to Manor School's Winter Faire, offered special promotions as a YES business partner, supported Corte Madera's SPARK foundation, Marin Waldorf, and Marin Country Day Schools. We encourage you to give what you can to support your child's school. Giving is good!

 

 

Check out the film "Screenagers"

Have you seen the new film, Screenagers? It was produced by two local moms, and takes on the proliferation of screens in our children's lives, which has happened so quickly, many of us parents have been uncertain how to handle it. The film is thought provoking and good for parents and kids alike. Among the suggestions in the film is to start a weekly "Tech Talk Tuesday,"  to talk about screen usage as a family every Tuesday at dinner. Parents are also encouraged to self reflect and honestly share their own struggles with screen usage. Anything that gets kids and parents thinking and talking together more is a good thing! Check the schedule here

Last summer, JJ coined the term, "XBox Detox" to sum up part of what we do at camp. Phones are in pockets at camp, and our campers are on their bikes, playing games, and otherwise spending time face to face with nature and others. Consider giving your child the gift of a week of good old fashioned summer fun at Fairfax Cycling Camp - it's good for body, mind and heart!

Check Out Our Awesome New Video

We feel fortunate and proud to be able to work with some great people. Among them, is Satchel Cronk. Satchel has been a counselor and adult leader who agreed to share his photography skills with us - you may remember seeing him and his photo gear?

In addition to the fabulous still shots you see on our site (including the one on the right) and Instagram account, Satchel has created the above video. We think he captured the story of a day at Fairfax Cycling Camp with skill, finesse and beauty. Can you spot yourself? Check it out and be sure to share with your friends.

Thanks, Satchel! If you want to follow Satchel on Instagram to see his other photos and videos, click here

If watching this video makes you yearn for hot summer days on the bike, you're in luck! Summer camp registration is now open, so grab your spot while we've still got 'em.

See you on the trails!

Stop at Stop Signs & Why We Need to Legalize the "Idaho Stop"

 Let's protect them and keep them safe!! 

Let's protect them and keep them safe!! 

It's getting increasingly contentious out there on the roads of  Marin County between cyclists and motorists, which is ironic, given this area's long history of mountain and road biking! It can be annoying when cyclists ride erratically, unpredictably and unsafely, but as a driver, I have never felt my life was endangered by a cyclist. On the other hand, it seems like every time I get on my bike in Marin, I'm risking death or injury. That's not ok. Cyclists (especially kids!!) deserve to be safe and protected while using public infrastructure. Read on to learn more about the "Idaho Stop" and what other communities are doing to address these issues.

At camp, we teach our campers how to ride safely in a pack and be predictable. We also, with local police permission, use our radios to clear intersections and roll through stop signs as a group. This is much safer for the kids, and much faster and more efficient for drivers. Can you imagine if each one of our kids stopped and put a foot down at each stop sign? The traffic backup would be a nightmare! Well, that is just what happened back in July when cyclists in San Francisco staged a protest.

 hug a cyclist! show 'em some love! 

hug a cyclist! show 'em some love! 

After the SFPD announced a crackdown on cyclists rolling through stop signs, hundreds of riders showed up at The Wiggle and followed the letter of the law. Irate drivers and traffic backups ensued.  Read more about it here, and watch the video. According to SF Weekly,

"Cyclists, along with a growing number of organizations and local politicians, believe bike riders shouldn't be legally treated like cars, but rather treated as what they are — bikers. There's been a growing call for the city and California to adopt what is known as the "Idaho Stop" law. Since 1982, Idaho has permitted cyclists to treat stop signs as yields and red lights as stop signs, which allows bikers to conserve energy, clear intersections faster, and become more visible (and thus safer) by getting in front of traffic."

Learn more about the Idaho Stop, which many bike activists say we need in California & San Francisco (and Marin??). But for now, please remind your cyclist/student to stop at stop signs and follow all the rules. Let's keep it safe and get along out there!

 

Thank You For Another Great Summer...And, Stop at Those Stop Signs!

 Representin' at the Fairfax Festival Parade. L to R: JJ, Mitch, Eileen & Matt

Representin' at the Fairfax Festival Parade. L to R: JJ, Mitch, Eileen & Matt

Though our sixth, and most successful, summer of mountain bike camp is becoming memory, we still find a few "fruity snacks" lingering in our packs. We'd like to share a few highlights with you and thank you for your continued support and interest before the summer's fruities are all gone!

 Improving balance and gettin' rad on the teeter totter.

Improving balance and gettin' rad on the teeter totter.

This summer, we: got 100+ local kids out in nature, exercising and away from screens; gave away 7 full weeks of camp to local schools and non-profits; partnered with YES; provided 10 full and partial scholarships to kids in need; ran our first girls only group; played games which strengthened campers' connections to others; increased campers' skills and coordination by biking on structures built by our leaders (teeter totters, bridges, etc.), and by playing games which enforce crossing the midline and brain/body integration; & trained, mentored and employed 10 local bike racers. It was an awesome undertaking, and we couldn't have done it without you!

Thank you all for another wonderful summer. We are honored to have been entrusted with your child/ren!

And, finally, remind your camper to stop at those stop signs on their way to and from school! :)

See you on the trails!