Cross Youth Leaders With Bicycles - This Is What You Get
Council Members Lot (top right), Joshua (bottom left), and Job (bottom right) collaborate with Maris (top right) a youth mountain biker from Independence Youth Cycling, Maris
Age is just a number? That is something that Council members Lot, Joshua, and Job will stand by once again, in reference to leadership, as they lead their peers in the Philadelphia region into fun bicycle activities this year.
Independence Youth Cycling along with two other organizations partnered with the National Youth Bike Council to host Spring Things. Spring Things is a flexible game that the Council members made to engage with different bicycle clubs, groups, and programs that adds an additional layer of fun to the program or pre-season activity by rewarding youth participation or leadership. Spring Things is all about having fun on your bicycle and getting rewarded for it - Maris will tell you!
Maris, a youth mountain biker with Independence Youth Cycling, is leading Spring Things in the Greater Philadelphia area with the Council. Maris alongside a few of her peers have worked to launch a Mountain Bike Bingo board (below) that has a list of activities that encourage each other to ride before the season officially starts. You can "ride a bicycle with a friend" or "ride to school or work" for starters. Riders have had access to the board since April 5th and will have the opportunity to submit completed board items until about the first week of May.
While putting the board together, Maris stated a few of her hopes for the outcome of Spring Things. "Off-season training and fun, hoping to have more interaction between members during off season times and away from race-related activities." She firmly believes that "there are a lot of really helpful and great people in the bicycle community. The cycling community is amazing." It's clear that she is the embodiment of leadership and carries the bonus of having made this event possible for her peers, making her a great youth leader on her team.
The photo above is the group getting together to help finalize the event before it launched in April. We are excited to see what comes out in May!
As the planners, we used Discord to coordinate the event, a chat that you can join right here to watch others ride along and complete the challenges. Maris mentioned that she "loved seeing [the] council interact within the discord platform. Specifically, the casual conversations evolved around non-council activities."
Above, you can see the prizes that come along with participation - ranging from a brand new National Youth Bike Council Jersey to some wrist bands and stickers!! The most rewarding of all is getting out and getting on your bicycle!
National Youth Bike Council is a youth-led non-profit organization established in 2017 with a mission to provide an active learning space for young cyclists to boost youth voice in the bicycle industry through peer leadership.