Bryan on Scouting

The trail to Cycling merit badge just got a bit rougher

But that’s a good thing. At least, it is for Scouts who love to mountain bike.

The BSA has approved a mountain biking option for Cycling, a merit badge mainstay since 1911. So for the first time, Scouts who prefer fat tires instead of thin can earn the badge.

The news comes in advance of next summer’s opening of the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia, where mountain biking will play a big role in the high-adventure fun.

Here’s what else I know about the change:

In fact, commenters on Bryan on Scouting have championed mountain biking for a long time. Commenter Gregory Gamache wrote, “Why not a Mountain Bike Merit Badge? Mountain Biking has become a separate sport from road cycling. It has its own equipment and skills. However, the cycling merit badge is all about road cycling.”

Commenter Sian Barranco added, “Could simply be a Track B with separate riding requirements. Change the distances; keep the safety; adapt the mechanical requirements. Not a really difficult adaptation. We live in eastern TN and mountain ride a lot. The Scouts are more interested in mountain than road riding.”

Well, Gregory and Sian, ask and you shall receive!

About Cycling merit badge

Cycling, first introduced as a merit badge in 1911, is an option for the Eagle Scout rank. Scouts can choose among Cycling, Hiking, or Swimming.

See the current Cycling merit badge requirements.

Keep up with merit badge updates

At the New Merit Badges guide, right here on Bryan on Scouting.

What do you think?

Will this change mean more Scouts earn Cycling merit badge? Leave your thought below.


Photo by Roger Morgan/BSA