Eau Claire Youth Cycling looking for volunteers

Local News

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – Eau Claire Youth Cycling is looking for more volunteers so it can get more kids on bikes.

The group, which started in 2017, gives kids a chance to compete or just cycle for fun. First News at Nine’s Max Cotton spoke with the group’s leader and explains how it impacts kids and its plans to go to the next level.

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – Eau Claire Youth Cycling is looking for more volunteers so it can get more kids on bikes.

The group, which started in 2017, gives kids a chance to compete or just cycle for fun. First News at Nine’s Max Cotton spoke with the group’s leader and explains how it impacts kids and its plans to go to the next level.

Eau Claire Youth Cycling originally started as a competitive racing group for riders ages 12 to 17 but the team’s director, Tiffany Tibbitts, found Eau Claire kids wanted more.

“Our greatest area of need was riders who just wanted to get out, learn some skills, make some friends, have some time outside and children elementary ages, so ages five to 11,” said Tibbitts.

To expand her program, Tibbitts reached out to Todd Poquette, the director for the 906 Adventure Team in Marquette, Michigan. He started his team in 2014.

It operates similarly to Eau Claire Youth Cycling, with a racing team and an adventure team.

Poquette said, “They found what we found. They found that there are kids who want to race but if you’ve got a group of 100 kids, I’m going to say that 20 of the kids want to race, 80 want to adventure, ride with friends and just have a great experience.”

Poquette is now taking some of Eau Claire Youth Cycling’s administrative work off Tibbitts’ plate so she and the team’s volunteers can focus on making sure the kids have a good time and learn something, too.

“Developing relationships, working on things like setting goals individually, growth mindsets, and doing that in an atmosphere that is really supportive,” said Tibbitts.

That supportive atmosphere allows kids to take a lot more from the experience than improved cycling skills.

“Fun activities with other kids and other adults that are challenging. So, we’re actually helping teach kids, you know, you can do stuff that is hard and it’s still fun and, at the end of the day, it’s really rewarding because if you did it, you own that success,” said Poquette.

“That adventure team side is really about getting out, having fun in the woods,” said Tibbitts.

Also a teacher, Tibbitts says it’s a chance for kids to have fun while learning things that can’t necessarily be taught in the classroom.

In Eau Claire, Max Cotton, First News at Nine.

Registration for this summer’s cycling season opens May 1. Currently there are 125 spots available.

Tibbitts says she can increase the number of spots if more people volunteer to be coaches. She says coaches don’t need to be expert cyclers.

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