Getting Kids on Bikes

Posted by Admin on May 8, 2018

906 Adventure Team: Shaping youth one pedal stroke at a time

Few things embody childhood, independence, and the drive to reach beyond our current capabilities more than riding a bike. In a sense, bikes have always been a catalyst in shaping many of us as individuals as we experienced our first taste of freedom in choosing which roads or trails to take.

Building upon this youthful love of cycling and the desire to shape kids into healthier and more balanced individuals, 906 Adventure Team, a nonprofit cycling organization, has brought together an entire community of passionate cycling enthusiasts wanting more for not just their own kids – but all kids.

From its inception as a small group of like-minded individuals looking for cycling opportunities for individuals at all skill levels, 906 Adventure Team has grown into an orchestrated assembly of volunteer leadership, coaches, and families shaping 300 plus youth across Marquette County and beyond.  The 2018 Governor’s Fitness Awards Extraordinary Organization of the Year, 906 Adventure Team has set its sights on expanding its programs throughout the entire Upper Peninsula in the years to come.

Today, through a series of after-school mountain bike clubs, summertime Adventure Bike Club, family night rides and high school racing teams, the organization is working to get kids moving and build the camaraderie so many kids are lacking. Add to that chances for kids to challenge themselves on an individual and team level, access to nutrition education and activities instilling values of trail and environmental stewardship as well as opportunities for community involvement, these kids are finding balance both on and off the bike.

“All of this work would not be possible without the tremendous support of all of the volunteer leadership, coaches, families, youth and supporting organizations that have helped to make what we do possible,” said Todd Poquette, President of 906 Adventure Team. “The number of kids we’re able to reach is directly impacted by the support we receive. We are grateful for the tremendous community support we’ve received and hope that we can continue to grow this program throughout the entire Upper Peninsula. We want to see every kid that wants to (or needs to) get moving has access to these opportunities.”

As the success of the 906 Adventure Team program continues to grow, so does the number of inquiries into the organization asking for help for individual kids (needing a bike or mentor) as well as entire communities seeking to develop their own youth programs. To support its mission, the organization has been applying for grants, outlining new opportunities for individuals and businesses to support youth programs, as well has hosting several unique races that draw locals as well as tourists out to the trails. The organization hosts several intense races –Marji Gesick (an extreme 50- and 100-mile race/run), 906 Polar Roll (part of the Great Lakes Fat Bike Series), and HAMR (a hybrid gravel ride and adventure race). Each of these events helps support trail management as well as 906 Adventure Team youth activities through a portion of race proceeds.

Whether they are putting together one of their limit-challenging endurance races or teaching a kid how to fix his or her chain, 906 Adventure Team is helping the U.P. keep pedaling in the right direction. And, through mutually beneficial partnerships with many key organizations including the Range Area Mountain Bike Association (RAMBA) and Noquemanon Trail Network (NTN), they are utilizing valuable resources and making sure the community as a whole benefits.  If you want to help support youth programs or seek opportunities to challenge your own capabilities, 906 Adventure Team has something for you. To learn more, visit www.906adventureteam.com

(article submitted by the 906 Adventure Team)