Along with pros, this Missouri-based team gets kids on bikes
As Gateway Devo enters their 10th year cultivating amateur road riders into pros, their mission is growing.
Since inception in St. Louis, Missouri, Gateway has become one of the most prominent teams on the U.S. circuit. Gateway Devo hosts top class talent like collegiate national champions and U.S. national championship top finishers on its team. Gateway graduated 15 of its riders into the pros in the last decade.
All photos from David Mullis.
Team founders Chris and Rene Creed were thinking big when they got this team off the ground, and now, they’re starting to dream small. Think pint-sized cyclists.
Alongside the devo team, they founded a nonprofit called Living Life on Two Wheels. With this newer organization, their mission is to bring their love of bikes to kids.
It started with a Strider camp for kids with Down Syndrome under eight years old.
“We spent an extremely challenging week with 17 kids, but it was so worth it,” Chris said. “One kid wouldn’t even look at the bike on the first day but by last day he rode it away from camp and all the way to his car.”
Now, their expanded work brings bikes to hundreds of kids in their county with a program that gives bikes to kindergarten and first grade physical education programs. This year, they will reach youth in 37 schools.
“We provide schools 22 bikes, helmets, curriculum, and a five-year follow up program. It’s super exciting,” Chris said. He and his wife Rene decided to go all in on cycling after two unexpected deaths of people close to them led them to re-examine what is important. Chris and Rene felt inspired by all of the benefits that competitive and recreational cycling provides, and decided to center their life around that moving forward.
“We want to spend our time developing people into team-oriented, hard working and healthy individuals,” Chris said.
The Gateway Devo team and their kid-focused nonprofit often do work separately, but they merge when riders take time to visit school kids. They talk to youth about how fun it is to ride bikes and how to do it safely.
“We need to tell the story about how fun road racing is,” Chris said. “It’s the teamwork that goes into it. We might win a race, but it’s not about one racer. You can’t do it without your teammates. Everyone has a job to do. Somebody has to pull for a long time so the GC rider has a chance at the end. You might barely cross the finish line, but you left it all out there for your teammate. It’s exhilarating.”
When it comes to selecting their next Gateway team members, Chris said character ranks even higher that results. They want riders who don’t think twice about washing out the coolers after they win a race, and create an atmosphere where everyone has fun.