CYCLISTS WITH A MISSION
Rollfast is a 501(c)(3) organization with a mission to enhance wellness by promoting bicycling as a means to good mental and physical health by producing events that also create opportunities for the youth of Indiana. They are our reasons why.
What is the need?
Recreational and competitive cycling is among the top five fastest growing sports, according to the blog The Glide Slope. In a December 2015 post, the author estimated the global cycling industry will grow to $65 million by 2019, due largely to changes in commuter behavior and the increasing preference of cycling for fitness and recreation. The American business and technology news website calls cycling "the new golf" in an article published on February 20, 2016. In just 10 years, USA Cycling saw a 76 percent increase in the number of people taking out licenses and the number of cycling clubs has nearly doubled in that time.
Yet there is an opportunity gap for many young cyclists to make the transition from a recreational rider to a competitive cyclist. Equipment is expensive. Training regimens are specialized and not well understood by high school coaches. High school teams and clubs are rare in the United States. In fact, there are only 23 high school clubs registered with USA Cycling in the entire country. There are none in Indiana.
Rollfast makes a difference
Fortunately, a homegrown Hoosier organization is stepping in to fill this opportunity gap. Rollfast Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to enhance wellness by promoting bicycling as a means to good mental and physical health through events that also create opportunities for the youth of Indiana. Our vision is to create a cycling legacy in Indiana. What started as a hobby creating cycling-inspired t-shirts quickly led to a cycling club and then to one of the top-rated cycling events in the United States, the Rollfast Gran Fondo.
With this momentum, we have been able to accelerate the development of many young cyclists. Most recently, we introduced Zionsville, Indiana, junior cyclist Spencer Miller to American pro cyclist Tom Danielson. Danielson has competed in the legendary Tour de France, Giro d'Italia, and Tour of California, and won the Tour of Utah in 2013 and 2014. He runs Cinch Cycling Camp, a training and development program, and met Miller through Rollfast CEO Matt Tanner. Danielson was so impressed with Miller that he personally trained him for an additional four weeks after the conclusion of the camp. Miller will compete as a junior cyclist in 2016, with an eye toward a pro contract.
No longer are there only scholarships for football, basketball and baseball. Rollfast is closing the mainstream sports gap by offering scholarships to youth age 15-18 to further their cycling dreams. Grants and financial donations provide the resources for the scholarship fund, as do proceeds from the Rollfast Gran Fondo.
In 2016, our start-up year, our goal is to provide two junior cyclists with training and development opportunities.