A local business owner is helping set the wheels in motion to bring competitive cycling opportunities to Collingwood.
Bruce Zigman, owner of Summit Social House, is one of nine business owners that have sponsored a new youth-led cycling project called Collingwood Collective. The team will focus on competitive cycling, a sport that Zigman said is missing from the area.
“We have a big hockey scene and a big ski scene here. We have a massive bike scene, but there’s an absent competitive bike scene in Collingwood,” said Zigman. “I wanted to really put an effort in to try to bring that back.”
“I grew up racing bikes and it taught me a lot over those years. I had a lot of incredible experiences with the people I raced with,” he said.
The focus of the Collingwood Collective will be on youth mountain bike and cyclocross racing, but racers of all ages and disciplines would be welcome for the first few seasons.
“We’re hoping (the older participants) will do so as more of a mentorship role to develop the team in that sense,” he said.
Cycling kits, race fees and coaching will be provided by sponsors, as will training rides and mentorship. The majority of the funding will be allocated toward the youth members.
Summit Social House is a full-service, bike-friendly café that caters to both the cycling community in Collingwood and coffee lovers.
Zigman says since opening his shop nine months ago, it was always part of his plan to have a bike team associated with the café.
“As time went on, the idea shifted from having a café-based race team to more of a community-based race team with the café as one of the sponsors,” he said. “It’s about gathering people together with a common passion and seeing where their athleticism, drive and skills take them in the sport.”
Zigman says there are between eight to 10 spots available on the team this year, and they’d like to fill two-thirds of them with youth racers.
“We’d like to recruit some racers with a bit of experience and we’d like to get this going. It’s the sponsors who are making this possible,” he said.
If you’re interested in joining the Collingwood Collective, send your race CV to [email protected].