Breakaway Cycling - a grassroots effort
One of the missions of Speed Hound is to come alongside and support groups whose mission it is to give back to their community. Today, we are highlighting Breakaway Cycling Team, a non profit 501 (C)3, based out of Fayetteville, Arkansas. Their name belies what they really are however. They are a competitive team, yes. But they are a team that grew out of mother’s quest to help her son achieve a goal, which has turned into a mission to create a life-long learning environment for kids and women through the sport of cycling.
The seed for Breakaway Cycling was planted nine years ago after Tiffany Dixon's son, Austin, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 11. Austin read Not Dead Yet about pro cyclist, Phil Sutherland, who survived and thrived despite having the challenging disease and decided that he wanted to be a cyclist like Phil. Over time, he didn't shake the bug that had been planted in his brain, and so his mom, Tiffany, went and purchased him a road bike. From there, she looked for a place in which he could ride, learn, and grow in the sport. She soon found that there wasn't really a place for a junior cyclist to thrive in her area. So, she decided to create an environment for him where he can learn, experiment, and be with his peers with similar interests. Tiffany learned all about the sport and got to know every team, bike store, and riding group in the area. She found individuals who would help, she learned about bikes, she encouraged other kids, and soon found herself with a new side gig.
Over time, she expanded her reach and the group became a more formal organization. The juniors grew in the sport, and started to become competitive. They traveled to races. She made sure they had kits, gear, bikes, and coaches by having the more experienced riders coach the new ones. They recruited a woman's team and therefore they then had more mentors for the junior females who had joined. Following that, there was an outreach to get more women in cycling, even as just a casual rider. They put on skills clinics, basic maintenance clinics, and even taught the juniors (and their parents) how to do a complete bike build!
Throughout all of this, Tiffany's goal has been to advocate, educate and stress the importance of teamwork. They advocate for their team, each other, for females, and for cyclists in general. They educate through their clinics and through outreach in their area. Finally, and most importantly, they stress teamwork. Working for and with each other for the greater good of the team, and as a result, becoming better people through that. Tiffany hopes that what the juniors, especially, get out of this is that they can succeed in anything. Powering up a tough hill requires the same mental fortitude as passing that challenging math course. The team believes in building inner confidence that these team members can apply to all aspects of their life.
Over the last few years, Tiffany and the Breakaway Cycling organization have been steadily building towards a vision of putting more kids and women on bikes, ensuring that they have the right environment and support to thrive in the support and in life. Breakaway Cycling Team is always looking for partners and sponsors to help them as they continue to grow their team's mission. Costs such as transportation to races, gear, and even food are always present. Tiffany also puts on the Pastry Tour, a bike rally in Fayetteville, Alabama that offers 3 distances for all levels of cyclists. All proceeds go to support Breakaway Cycling, but as a non profit, donations and monetary support is always needed and welcomed. If you'd like to help them in their mission, please contact Tiffany Dixon at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.breakawaycyclingteam.org to learn more.