The Gearing Up program is designed to meet the physical, emotional and social needs of women involved, while teaching the practical skills necessary to integrate biking into their lifestyle. To remain in the program, women must meet expectations including remaining drug and alcohol free, consistent attendance, following rules of the road, and maintaining respect for program rules. Gearing Up staff and volunteers provide positive reinforcement for progressive change exhibited by women in the program. Following up on the commitment to ride at a scheduled time, persisting to make it up a hill, or getting back on the bike after a hard ride are some of the lessons learned while riding a bike with Gearing Up. These lessons can be transferred into skills used to become self-sufficient by sustaining sobriety, maintaining job responsibilities and creating a healthy and safe community.
The Program: Gearing UpThe end goal of the program is for women to transition to the next phase of their recovery and re-entry as independent individuals and bicycle owners.
After earning her own bicycle, a woman is eligible for the Shifting Gears Program. By demonstrating leadership within her community, cycling competence, and applying for the position, a woman may be accepted into the program as an Ambassador. The Shifting Gears program will partner an Ambassador with a volunteer so that they can go on more in-depth one-on-one rides that works within their schedules. Ambassadors will serve as leaders and mentors to new riders as well as support for the Team Leader at each program. Through this program, women will also be eligible for referrals to local agencies who will work with them on banking, financial assistance, housing, literacy, employment, and continued care.
Indoor Cycling Program: Gearing up offers 3 weekly indoor cycling sessions for women incarcerated in Philadelphia County Women’s Prison, Riverside Correctional Facility. Women who complete 18 sessions are considered "Spin Sisters," receive a certificate of completion, and are invited to continue with Gearing Up for the duration of their incarceration as well as join Gearing Up beyond the walls and enroll in our outdoor biking program.