In the past 7 days…

In the past 7 days I’ve…

Celebrated the success of this year’s Shaw Charity Classic.


In a challenging economy the Shaw Charity Classic raised over $5.2 million for youth charities in Alberta. This was Two Wheel View’s first year as a part of this fundraising event and we look forward to making an even bigger splash in 2017. Interested in helping us out? Contact me at laura.istead(a)


Witnessed incredible speakers at Rotary’s Make Dreams Real event.

This event shares the stories of the different programs and organizations that the Rotary Clubs of District 5360 puts their time, talent and funding towards. Two of our trip participants in 2016 were supported by the Rotary Club of Calgary- Heritage Park.


Connected with fellow non-profit organizations at The Calgary Foundation’s Vital City.


A highlight of our calendar every year, The Calgary Foundation brings together so many organizations, leaders and community builders to celebrate the impact we are all having on the city of Calgary and beyond. We are grateful to them not only for financially supporting some of our programs including our Full Cycle – First Nations Bike programs but believing in our way of making a difference in the community.


Danced my butt off at WE Day Alberta… for the fifth time!


WE Day is a movement. It brings to together youth from all over Alberta to celebrate the contributions they’ve made to making our province and world a better place to live. Each year they have incredible speakers (Chris Hadfield and Rick Hansen this year to name a few!), talented musicians and local changemakers to inspire and empower youth to make a difference. It’s hard not to leave this event feeling hopeful for the future!

Hosted TWV Team Night at the office.

Once a month we host a TWV Team Night at our office. This is a chance for staff and others in our office building to catch up, connect and build community. Last night we enjoyed soup from a small local company Lovin’ Ladles. We LOVE to support local business as much as we can!

Spent an evening with Alberta’s Lieutenant Governor and watched inspiring youth earn their Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.

Technically this one is still to come (tomorrow!) but it is definitely going to be a career highlight. At least one of our past participants will receive his Silver Award tomorrow night. It’s pretty awesome to be a small part of that achievement. This might be my first Silver ceremony but I’m pretty sure it won’t be my last!

My heart is full.




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3 things we are looking forward to this fall

I always feel that after a busy summer of organizing and doing bike trips, the fall should be be quieter. You’d think after working at TWV almost 6 years, I’d know by now that’s NEVER been the case. Here are a few things we are looking forward to this fall!

“The Adventurers” Speaker Seriesthe-adventurers-insta

This is the newest event of the TWV calendar and I couldn’t be more excited! One of the common threads of our organization is adventure. As a TWV staff, we make time for adventure regularly, whether its on or off the bike, in Canada or abroad. It seems that the people and organizations that find themselves connecting with Two Wheel View have often had amazing adventures of their own and understand the importance that adventure can play in the lives of young people. “The Adventurers” will explore this topic and bring together like-minded people who want to talk about how we can get more youth out adventuring. Our keynote speaker Ryan Correy, an adventure cyclist whose passion for adventure began after a series of cross-country bike trips with his dad at age 13, will talk about how that experience led him on a path beyond his wildest dreams. Don’t miss Ryan as he talks about taking on some of the world’s toughest cycling challenges, including an epic 25,000km tour from Alaska to Argentina.

Hosted in partnership with The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, this evening will also feature presentations from past TWV trip participants, live music and snacks.

November 18th, 2016 7pm at the Sunalta Community Hall. Tickets are now on sale for $10. Click here to purchase.


Bike Club Graduation

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One of the biggest perks of my job is getting to attend our Bike Club Graduations. Seeing those hard working young people ride away on their new-to-them bicycles completely fills my heart. For many of these students, this is the first bike they’ve ever owned. Most of us can probably remember our first bike (Mine was blue with a red basket that I carried my Fisher-Price tape recorder so I could sing while I biked) and the freedom and opportunities it gave us. We know from parents and teachers that our students are using these bikes to get to school more regularly, to part-time jobs or other after school programs. They are able to keep up with their friends and explore their community, which to many of our new immigrants, is an integral part of feeling welcome in their new home. This fall we’ll have five Bike Club graduations (the first of 17 we’ll have this year) with approximately 50 youth receiving bicycles. Thank you to the schools, community centres and libraries that host us and help to open a whole new world to these kids.

Volunteer Mechanics Nights


Our Volunteer Mechanics Nights have geared back up this fall!  Part education session, part chance to give back, our Volunteer Mechanics Nights go a long way to helping us fixed up donated bikes for youth in our Bike Clubs. VMN is currently held on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month from 6-9pm at Good Life Community Bike Shop (2100 4th Street SW). Each session is accompanied by a mechanics lesson from one of our experienced mechanics so you aren’t just giving back, you are improving your skills too. New volunteers are always welcome to take part. Contact our Program Director Madeleine for more information and to sign up for our volunteer newsletter. You can email her at m.hardy(a) See you there!


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Coming Full Cycle



The Full Cycle Initiative is a Two Wheel View program facilitated at the Morley Community School on the Stoney First Nation, west of Calgary. This program includes two components: a bike mechanics course (Bike Club) and a 5-day bike expedition through traditional Stoney-Nakoda land, focused on cultural and environmental education. This initiative is supported by the Government of Alberta, the Strachan Hartley Legacy Foundation and the Calgary Foundation.

Full Cycle encourages youth to attend school and to engage in positive activity that builds community and enhances youth resiliency. The aim of this program is to reduce risk factors facing First Nation’s youth and increase protective factors that will impact their long-term personal growth and positive development. img_8093

This spring we worked with Anne Miller of Constellation Consulting Group to evaluate this initiative. Participants were grouped into two groups: In-school session (ISS) participants and trip participants. Not all students from the ISS group were able to attend the trip but all trip participants had been a part of the ISS.

Increased self-esteem – 81% of ISS participants and 92% of trip participants identified feeling better about themselves because of the program.

Increased sense of adventure and desire to try new things- 81% of the ISS group and 85% of the trip group wanted to try more new things because of the program.

Positive peer interactions are fostered through the program – 88% of the ISS participants and 100% of bike trip participants interacted more with their friends in the positive program space created by Two Wheel View.

Increased physical activity and desire to live active lifestyles – 75% of the ISS group and 100% of the trip participants felt more active as a result of this program.

Increased environmental awareness and sustainable activities – 92% of bike trips participants increased their environmental awareness and 75% of in-school session learned how to recycle and repair things because of the program.


What participants said:

“[I liked] when we got together and got to know a little bit more about each other.”

“[I liked] feeling like a mechanic while fixing a bike.”

“[I liked] being with my friends more often” 

“I want to be outside more often” 

“I’ve tried to become a better leader” 

“This week (the bike trip) is probably the happiest I’ve been in a long time!” 

“My favourite part was being away from technology and phones. At home, everyone is always texting or looking at their phones.” 

“My favourite part was seeing the mountains up close for the first time.” 

We look forward to expanding this program in the 2016-2017 school year in the First Nation’s community of Eden Valley – southwest of Calgary. Thanks to all our teacher champions who make this program possible through their hard work and dedication to their students – you inspire us! Thank you to those who provide financial support for this program – you are changing kids’ lives from the seat of a bike.

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Appreciation Circle


Gratitude is the sign of noble souls. ~ Aesop

As Canadian Thanksgiving approaches, I’ve been thinking about the many things in my life that I am grateful for. Family easily tops the list but I’m also incredibly fortunate to work at an organization where I’ve had the chance to learn, grow and make an impact on our community for almost six years (anniversary blog post coming soon!). The team at Two Wheel View couldn’t do the work we do with the support of so many individuals and organizations. We have so much to be grateful for and these gratitudes are often shared at staff meetings during our ‘Appreciation Circle’. There are really not enough words to describe the impact you are having on youth in our community – I’m grateful to leave a visit to our Bike Club’s having seen smiles, laughter and accomplishment, with tears in my eyes and a full heart. If I could hug each and every one of our champions and donors I would! (Yup, I’m a hugger!)

In the spirit of giving thanks, I thought I would shout out to three organizations who’ve been supportive of us recently.


Canadian Tire – Jumpstart

Canadian Tire’s Jumpstart Charity has been providing us with the helmets and locks we need for our Bike Club programs for over a year now. We are grateful to Dan Kasperski, Regional Manager of Jumpstart for his assistance with the process. He’s got a BIG heart! Thanks also goes to Steve MacDonald, General Manager for the Canadian Tire Shawnessy, and his staff for making the pick up of the helmets an easy and awesome experience.


FCSS (Family and Community Support Services) and City of Calgary Council

In terms of our champions, we feel like we’ve won the lottery and there is no bigger champion than FCSS. Since TWV moved to Calgary over 10 years ago, FCSS has believed in our mission and our work with youth in Bike Club. They’ve supported our growth from 4 clubs a year to the 17 programs we’ll run in the 2016-2017 school year. They’ve seen us through capacity building projects and organizational growth from two staff members to a team of 12 who coordinate, promote and deliver high impact programs for youth. BIG things are on the horizon for Two Wheel View this year and we are so grateful to our city council and FCSS for helping us gear up and make a difference in the lives of more Calgary kids than ever before.

Baker Hughes 


In August I got a call from Wendy Coates with Baker Hughes, an oilfield service company with an office here in Calgary. She was putting together a Gran Fondo, a road bike race, in conjunction with a local industry conference and was wondering if they could donate to Two Wheel View. (The answer to this question is always YES!) Wendy and her team were a pleasure to work with and on September 25, almost 100 riders set off from Bragg Creek and circled southwestern Alberta with blue bird skies, bright yellow leaves and crisp air. In one afternoon they raised over $1000 for TWV programs. Thanks to Wendy, all the volunteers, the riders and everyone who contributed to making this an incredible Sunday!

From our TWV Family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!








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A peek into our world – Instagram

One of our goals for 2016 was to start an Instagram account- a place where we can share our adventures, give a glimpse into TWV office life and hang out with our awesome participants. It’s pretty much our favourite when participants post pictures of their experience and share it with us!

Here’s a look at some of the pictures on our feed. What do you think?

Got Instagram? Follow us @twowheelviewyyc!

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