Altitude Supports Youth Cycling in the Mid-Atlantic Region

Gwen Shields


Last weekend was the 25th Annual Nicole Reinhart Memorial Tour de FCCC (Future Champions Cycling Classic)  held at the beautiful Rodale Institute in Maxatawny Township, PA. This is the 7th year that I have been co-director and we had our best turn out ever with over 110 young riders (ages 10-18) from 7 states.

The Tour de FCCC was renamed in honor of Nicole Reinhart in 2004 and is put on by the Lehigh Wheelmen Association, where I have served as the junior development coordinator for several years.  The event is sponsored by the Berks Lehigh Optimists Bicycling,  Altitude Marketing and of course the Rodale Institute. Altitude’s very own client, Kiwaii generously donated 20 case of pure New Zealand Spring Water to the event and received many rave reviews at the cycling event.

The Tour is always held in July in conjunction with the Tour de France, and is one of only a handful of stage races for juniors in North America.  The Tour de FCCC has three stages,–Time Trial, Road Race and Criterium–and the overall winner has to have the lowest combined times.  The race is also known as a premier race for the 10-12 year-old age group, who rarely have a opportunity to race such large fields.

Complete with our own “podium” girls, the event was full of festivities including the traditional Tour de France type podium ceremonies with stage winners and overall winners.

As part of the Lance Armstrong Junior Olympic Race Series (LAJORS), all of the 10-12 year-olds also received a participation medal, my favorite part of the weekend was to hand those out.  Lance Armstrong himself raced this course in 1989 as an 18 year old with the likes of George Hincape, Bobby Julich, Jonas Carney and Marty Nothstein…a story the kids never get tired of hearing me tell.

It was truly amazing to see all of the effort of dozens of volunteers, officials, coaches, families, clubs and service organizations that made this event the success it was and creating life long memories for these kids.

Gwen Shields

As Altitude’s COO, Gwen Shields oversees client-facing systems and processes to improve service and retention, ensuring production operations run smoothly and effectively. Her exceptional problem-solving skills and technical knowledge allow Gwen to understand and guide Altitude’s core base of technology-focused clients.
Gwen earned her bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and worked in information systems and tech sales before becoming a part of Team Altitude in 2008.