Thank YouTop Supporters
- $76.33 Elizabeth and Caroline
Adirondack Empowerment OutRide Program: Biking toward teen self-empowerment
OUTRIDE has set out to prove cycling benefits your brain! Through our research, cycling programs, and grant-giving activities, we provide evidence-based cycling interventions to improve social, emotional, and cognitive health.
About Riding for Focus:
It’s a pretty simple formula: kids + bikes = happier, more attentive students in the classroom, and for the past few years, Outride has been helping this happen. We’re dedicated to giving both schools and children the tools to achieve academic, health, and social success, and we want to encourage more schools to get involved. Outride’s Riding for Focus program has been helping this happen. We’re dedicated to giving both schools and children the tools to achieve academic, health, and social success, and we want to encourage more schools to get involved. Now, with the creation of the Outride Fund, we want to help you grow the local support and dollars to provide new opportunities to get the youth of your community riding.
What will you Outride:
Check out these great video links about our Riding For Focus School Program , and Outride .
Join the movement and signup for our newsletter: https://outridebike.org
What inspired me to do this?
Biking changed me, By Traci Marie Wagner, General Manager, Adirondack Health Medical
Like most, I learned how to bike when I was a little girl, but I didn't start to really bike until I was an adult. In my early twenties, like many, I was dealing with insecurities and feeling like I had lost my sense of self. I wanted to get back to me who was confident in all her imperfections but didn't know how to get there.
Then one day I was invited to go mountain biking and I will never forget it. When looking back that day changed everything for me. It was the first time in my life where while biking every nagging internal thought was gone. It was the first time in my life where it was just me again, just me the bike and the trail. I didn’t have time to think about any of those meaningless insecurities. You might think I’m going to say from that moment on I never stopped biking. Not true. I tried to get a mountain bike that year, and the years following, but it never happened. Other priorities kept coming up that put the hefty expense of a bike on the back burner.
Fast forward two years and I started to train for my first Ironman 70.3. This is when biking really started to do its magic on me. I remember being so insecure about even going into the bike shop to get a bike. I felt like I was going to stand out like a sore thumb, and likely I did, because what I left with was the completely wrong bike. I didn't know any better and was determined and excited nonetheless. I rode all summer on a cross-bike! I loved the way it made me feel; it was liberating. One summer later and it was time to get my race bike and I’ll never forget the day I clipped into that bike and tipped over. I was so nervous, completely out of my comfort zone and from that moment on, biking made me confront all those little parts of myself that I hadn’t been able to before. It is biking that took me on the journey of teaching myself to be confident and strong, love myself for exactly who I am, and to not care what others think. It is what taught me discipline and focus; it empowered me in ways I could have never found anywhere else.
To this day I continue to learn about myself and grow with biking. I continue to challenge myself on the bike and off the bike. I now gravel bike, road bike, and mountain bike. To be honest, road biking is where all the work started, but mountain biking is what woke me up, and still, when I am on a mountain bike those are the moments in life where I truly feel at one with myself.
About three years ago I started to realize just how much biking had an impact on me turning into the strong-willed confident woman I am today. It was the true catalyst of growth for me, not only physical but mental. I then started to remember back to when I was a teen. I realized prior to 6th grade, I was a boss in every possible way. Insecurity was not a word that existed in my life. Then suddenly as I continued forward into the world as a teen, there it was, all these insecurities. I thought to myself, “man, teens have it hard, and I can’t imagine being a teen now in this day and age”. This is what brought me to the realization of how biking changed me and just how great a biking program for teens would be. A program that would give kids the opportunity to feel empowered instead of insecure at such a vital age. Giving teens the opportunity to learn to mountain bike could be that one thing that changes them forever. The one thing that teaches her to think about herself confidently. To show her she is strong and can do something all on her own. To teach him that just because he can’t focus during class and he wonders what is wrong with him, that nothing is wrong with him and he can focus, he just hasn’t found the right tools yet.
Many families can't afford to buy their kids mountain bikes. This program will give every child the chance to feel empowered on a bike right here in their own back yard in the Adirondacks.
This has been a dream of mine for three years now. Developing a program like this for our community and I'm beyond thrilled to finally be able to do it. Thank you for supporting this dream and the power of biking in our community!