Cyclopedia is a bicycling program that combines physical activity with collaborative online documentation for the purpose of empowering urban adolescents to become engaged and productive members of their communities by strengthening their connections with their physical and social environments.
The lack of habitual outdoor activity that is often referred to as "nature-deficit disorder" manifests as increasing rates of obesity, behavioral problems, teen pregnancy and other adverse health outcomes; Cyclopedia's objective is to prevent these problems from happening. Each ride has an explicitly local theme pertaining to the neighborhoods our riders live in. This website is the collaborative documentation of all the rides: we post photographs and writing, we map our routes and we combine the information into interactive "ride maps."
Cyclopedia was started by pediatric residents in the Pediatric Link to the Community (PLC) program at the University of Rochester in 2009. We partnered with the Rochester Boys and Girls Club to launch our inaugural season in 2010. Our first season saw 19 riders accumulating nearly 800 miles and over 70 hours of program time on 14 rides. We expanded to 50 riders in our second season. As our third season is getting underway we've created a sister program in the East Harlem neighborhood of New York City.