GETTING KIDS OUTSIDE, GETTING FAMILIES RIDING
906 Adventure team, as well as the events Marji Gesick, Crusher, and Polar Roll, all help feed and grow the cycling community in Marquette County, and help spread the message of building resilient youth doing hard yet fun things. The organization has created a positive influence on many people, both locally and all over the country. They did it all with the belief that traditional sports were taking away kids’ ability to be involved in teams where they could participate and grow and challenge themselves and not have to ride a bench because they were not as advanced as some other kids. And in this day and age, especially post-Covid, this message and mission the 906 Adventure team has been on are getting kids back outside, getting their families out riding, and volunteering to help build the program from a tiny location in Marquette, Michigan to almost a dozen locations in several states and growing.
"Begin with the end in mind." Stephen Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
As I sit here reflecting on the past ten years, it’s a little overwhelming to think about putting it into words. So instead, this page will highlight the thoughts and comments of people in the 906AT community—what better way to learn about us than from the people we’re impacting?
But first, I opened this page with a quote from Stephen Covey, and for those who know me, it probably sounds ironic coming from someone who walks around with “There is no finish line” on his shirts, but there are a couple of things worth sharing. I didn’t know the first thing about starting a non-profit, and it didn’t faze me. I’ll tell you why. We know who we are. We know what we want to be. We know how we want to do it. We’ve been fearless about being different because that’s what we want to help others be. We always have the end in mind; you should too.
Nothing holds you back when you have the end in mind – not problems, obstacles, setbacks, or what others think or do; because you’re on a path working toward your future, everything else is a stepping stone that helps get you there, challenges included. You are unique, in fact, one of a kind. There will never be another you. No one else will walk your path. You’ll be tempted to look at what others do, where they go, or how they get there. Don’t be afraid. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you get there – getting there (finishing what you start) is what counts. People can help you, but no one knows your path better. Embrace doing hard things and trust yourself.
Take this with you to Polar Roll, Crusher, Marji, mentoring youth, home with family, and life.
Director of Adventure, 906 Adventure Team
THE IDEA IS TO UNDERSTAND THAT DOING “HARD THINGS” IS… WELL… HARD
Todd and the rest of the 906 Team do outstanding work with youngsters to get them off their “devices” and out into the great outdoors on bikes. They teach and instill valuable life lessons that will be helpful as these kids grow and head out into the World to build a life for themselves. They also organize three of the biggest, baddest races in the State: Marji Gesick, The Crusher, and Polar Roll, all three incredibly challenging, and ask participants to do their absolute best and learn from the experience, no matter the outcome. The idea is to understand that doing “hard things” is…well…hard, but the important message is that “failure” is a part of life and that how we face defeat helps define what type of person we are or can become.
REDEFINING LOCAL, LEADING BY EXAMPLE
When I discovered bicycling- particularly mountain biking- as an adult, it changed my life. The mental and physical health benefits and community connections were transformative. In 2019, no official youth cycling organizations were in the Lansing area. A group of us sought to change that. We contacted several youth cycling organizations from other regions for advice. The 906 Adventure Team responded and sent us all the details, from how they run the Adventure Bike Club program to how they train leaders and run their non-profit. Every question received a prompt response, and they developed solutions to some of the most challenging parts of getting started – leader training and risk management.
THE PASSION IS EVIDENT, THE IMPACT IS REAL
Director of Adventure
Financier of Fun
Retired from Michigan Fitness Foundation, Director of Grant Operations
Owner, NorthCountry Health DPC
Pediatric Cardiologist – Michigan Medicine, University of Michigan
Pacer of Progress
Captain of Creative Solutions
Director of the CMU Center, Excellence in STEM Education
Arbitrator of Snack Time
Edward Jones-Financial Advisor
R&D – Fields, Forests and Fun
Business Development Manager, PESI, Inc
Pedaler of Positivity
Director of Adventure