Pushing pedals and blazing new trails in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

906 Adventure Team’s youth bike club gearing up for a fifth summer of fun

More youths and families will be leaving their mark in Michigan this summer with tire treads instead of sandals.

Starting in June, groups of budding mountain bikers in the Michigan counties of Marquette, Delta and Gogebic will embark on a summer of fun and challenge through programs put on by 906 Adventure Team.

Two days a week, participants in the Adventure Bike Club (ABC) meet up for guided trail rides through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for the evening.

“I tell parents it’s work disguised as fun,” says Todd Poquette, Director of Adventure at 906 Adventure Team, who started the organization in 2014 as a way to welcome kids and families to the cycling community.

“The kids are so busy having fun they don’t realize all the work they’re doing—which builds resiliency, durability and a clear connection between effort and reward.”

Next year, the 315 (and counting) program participants for 2019 will have even more to look forward to than new skills and friends—they’ll soon have a full-fledged home base.

“This bike playground will be the perfect place for kids to start practicing and refining skills that they will need out on the trail rides,” says Poquette.

Bridges, dirt, rollers and wooden structures will populate a 1.5-acre property in the heart of Marquette County, where riders can prepare for their next excursion.

“At the heart of this is all about development,” says Poquette. “People improve significantly through mountain biking, whether it’s through their health, self-confidence, social development, or general proficiency as a biker—not to mention that it’s a lifelong activity.”

In 2018, Enbridge supported 906 Adventure Team with a donation towards its bike club program. This year, Enbridge gave $10,000 to help fund the bike playground in Marquette County as part of our ongoing commitment to support quality of life in neighboring communities.

This year—the fifth summer of 906 Adventure Club—registration in Marquette County filled up within 20 minutes of going online. Gogebic and Delta County filled up within two days.

Part of the popularity is the program’s non-competitive adventure focus. This experience teaches kids—and leaders, too—to focus their effort on personal development and skills improvement, while supporting others to do the same.

“In addition to partners such as Enbridge, we run three successful events throughout the year that help to fund our operations,” says Poquette. “This ensures we have scholarships for kids who are in financial need and equipment for those who need it.”

Plans for growth depend entirely on the number of volunteer leaders and coaches available, since the demand from participants does not appear to be letting up.

“From the start to the end of the summer, you can see a real change in the kids. They lose weight, improve fitness, develop socially, and feel like they’re part of a much bigger picture,” says Poquette.

“Given our increasing focus on the digital world, it’s more important than ever for kids to have a place, and a group, where they feel they belong.”