Professional cyclist Mike Friedman had been riding and racing bikes for 20 years before he realized there was one aspect of the sport he knew nothing about: teaching others how to do it.

Upon his retirement in 2014, Friedman decided that he could find a better way to share his passion for cycling. He found a niche in after-school enrichment programming, and since 2015, his Pedaling Minds has served nearly 250 kids in the Boulder Valley School District, teaching them how to ride, to become better and safer riders, and to learn a thing or two about bike mechanics.

“Bikes are the perfect tool for teaching an array of educational concepts because they allow kids to pair learning with something fun and stress-free,” says Friedman. Pedaling Minds’ programming consists of two parts: Bicycle Skills & Drills, and The Science of the Bicycle, both of which focus on problem solving, confidence-building, and perseverance.

The way Friedman sees it, Pedaling Minds uses bikes to engage kids’ curious minds and restless bodies, and the lessons they learn are plentiful and diverse. “Every time we set off on a ride, adventure awaits,” he says. He should know—the bike was his favorite teacher, too.

—Betsy Welch