Krista Houghton
Latest posts by Krista Houghton (see all)


Outride: The Power of Two Wheels

The mission of Outride is simple: Bikes have the power to make kids better and they have the science to prove it. They are harnessing the power of cycling to help children stay focused, active, and engaged. I’m married to a man who plainly states that bikes saved his life growing up; I believe him and now, Outride is proving why. 

Outride was started by Specialized Bicycles Founder and CEO, Mike Sinyard in 2012, in partnership with RTSG Neuroscience Consultants. Having suffered the symptoms of ADHD himself, and the sobering fact that 1 in 9 schoolchildren are diagnosed with the disorder, Sinyard set off on a mission to prove cycling could help. He was right; the results from a one-month study of 47 students aged 11-14 were indisputable. They clearly demonstrated that even after just one ride, riding bikes increased attention span, boosted moods, and positively altered brain activity.

Encouraged by these impressive results, Sinyard launched the Specialized Foundation in 2015. In 2019 the Specialized Foundation separated from Specialized and became Outride, a 501c3 nonprofit organization. The goal is still the same: They are committed to breaking down the barriers so that all kids have access to bicycles and safe places to ride. 

Outride’s primary activities focus on three areas: scientific research, school-based cycling programs, and the creation and support of cycling communities. Their main program “Riding for Focus” has been implemented in nearly 200 schools across the nation and provides cycling education and access to bikes (generously supplied by Specialized) to 50,000 students annually. Outride also primarily serves and focuses on low-income communities, where the need for bikes and cycling education is highest. 

Locally, Riding for Focus has been set up in dozens of in-need schools across California. They are currently working with the Community Bike Collective, located in Watsonville and partner organization Bike Santa Cruz County to design and implement life-changing bike programs for Watsonville youth. In addition, Outride partnered with Dr. Allen Reiss and his team at Stanford Medical School. Over the past few years, they have launched a research study to better understand the effects of cycling on brain function and cognition in children with ADHD. 

“During the pandemic people began to (re)discover the joy of cycling, for many reasons: getting off screen, experiencing nature, being able to safely exercise with family or friends on group rides. We also saw the biggest increase in applications for our programs, far beyond our capacity to fulfill. Every dollar that we receive and all in-kind equipment donations go directly to our school and community partners, enabling us to increase access and support thriving and inclusive cycling communities,” explains Skye DeLano, Outride Executive Director.

Please consider a donation this Holiday season, as our children need it. The power to change lives from the seat of a bike is just a click away.

Outride, boy on bike


The power to change lives from the seat of a bike is just a click away.