Cycling Smarts

Cycling as Alternative Physical Education in NYC Public High Schools

Cycling Smarts is offered as an elective physical education class at 4 different NYC public high schools in the fall and spring semesters. Training rides range from 15-70 miles after school and on weekends during warm months. Students spend the winter months building their strength through our unique resistance training program. They also conceive one project to encourage healthy activities in their communities.

Cycling Smarts is a sports-based youth development program that takes high school physical education out of the gym and onto the streets of New York City! Our classes in the Lower East Side, Washington Heights, Brooklyn, and the South Bronx offer students the opportunity to ride throughout all 5 boroughs, maintain their bike, gain cycling skills, develop their strength and endurance, set goals, and grow their knowledge of nutrition and physiology. Every semester ends with a culminating challenge that all Cycling Smarts students take part in together.


We believe determination is a muscle that every individual can train and strengthen. Students spend each semester setting and tracking cycling, fitness, and leadership goals. Our growth mindset-based curriculum encourages students to see obstacles and set-backs as steps on the road to success. Each semester of Cycling Smarts accumulates into an ultimate challege: the Active Design Summit and the 100-Mile Century Ride.


January 13th, 2018 was the 2nd Annual Active Design Summit. Our Cycling Smarts teams spent the fall learning, researching, and developing a project plan to answer one question: How can we make students at our school live more healthy and active lives? Each team is challenged to identify a way that they can make a positive change at their school. This event is our students’ opportunity to share their project plans and get constructive feedback from experts in the urban design and community activism fields.


On June 3rd, 2018 I Challenge Myself held our 13th annual Century Ride! Over 100 students, coaches, and volunteers ventured out on a 1-day, 100-mile ride from the Bronx to upstate, New York and back to the finish line celebration in Manhattan. For 13 years I Challenge Myself has offered the only youth century ride in the United States!