Cycling enthusiasts bring sport to youth

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EAST HARTFORD - With the warmer weather, many are dusting off their bicycles, and pumping the pedals for some exercise.  For some, it's a little more competitve.

For the fourth year, the Connecticut Cycling Advancement Program (CCAP) held a 'Kermis;'  a local bicycle race with a fair-like atmosphere.  Using food, music, and racing, they promoted the sport of cycling.

Aiden Charles started CCAP with the purpose of giving kids access and exposure to competitive bicycling.  This week, at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, they held the ProjeCT 100 initiative, with the goal of supporting 100 young riders from across the state.

"Kids from all over Connecticut, it's part of the youth cycling teams program, that are in schools, in park and rec departments are coming together for  a youth bike race," says Charles.  "It's the perfect sport for kids.  It's accessible, there are teams all over the state they can be a part of."

Nick Davis is a senior at the New Horizons School in New Haven, and he is in the school's cycling club.

"I've been riding bikes all my life, but, competitive, it started this year," says Davis.  "School got me into it.  They asked me if I wanted to be part of the bike club.  I said yeah, my interest grew more and more.  I placed 10th in my first race, so that made me proud, it made me want to do it more."

Charles says the event, and his organization are about more than just racing bicycles.  He says the youth learn about hard work, dedication, discipline, and how to live a healthy lifestyle.

Robert Carmen, from Simsbury, competed in one of the men's races.

Carmen says, "Once you get into cycling, it's pretty much a lifetime thing."

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