This week, I’d like to share about Chapel Hill Cyclers, a new initiative from Chapel Hill UMC. Rev. Dave Buckner, a cycling enthusiast, launched the initiative as an opportunity for youth in the church’s west-side Indy neighborhood to engage with other youth and adults and learn more about cycling. The kids who live near the church may not have bikes and may be in need of additional adult influences in their lives. Every Tuesday evening at 6:00 pm, kids are welcome to gather at the church, pick out a bike and take a 5-mile ride through the neighborhood. Before each ride begins, kids are taught different elements of bicycle maintenance and during the ride, they are learning how to cycle safely in traffic. The rides typically have an adult at the lead and another in the back, with 2 to 3 other adults as well. So far, 12 kids have joined the club in the four weeks the program has been operational.
Pastor Dave was inspired to start the program by Bike Indianapolis, the city’s bicycle advocacy group, and Free-Wheelin Community Bikes, a non-profit based in the Mapleton-Fall Creek community that provides accessible bicycles and teaches youth life and leadership skills to improve their physical and mental well-being. Pastor Dave hopes that eventually Chapel Hill Cyclers could become a west-side franchise of Free Wheelin; but for now, he is focused on making room for donated bikes and helmets, and on making connections with the youth in the neighborhood.
Something he has taken from these months of COVID-19 closures and restrictions is that we as churches may need to reconsider our focus: that maybe Sunday morning worship shouldn’t be the focus, but rather focus should be on connecting in and with our communities.
Chapel Hill Cyclers is accepting gently-used and not-too-old bikes, as these will be best for teaching current cycle maintenance. Send email to to make a bike donation.
Thank you Pastor Dave and the folks at Chapel Hill UMC for showing children and youth in your community how much they matter!

Written by Metro Ministries>>