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Branson, Mo. area mountain bike group is getting more kids on bicycles and teaching them life skills too

Published: Mar. 28, 2021 at 8:45 PM CDT
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Branson, Mo. (KY3) - Tri-Lakes NICA Mountain Bike team rider Maggie Sullivan says her favorite part of riding is the confidence it’s given her to never give up.

“I like going far and hanging out with everybody on the team because everybody else makes me feel really good when I ride because even if I mess up they don’t put me down they are just like you’re okay and they help me get back up,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan says despite never racing before, her encouraging team is what keeps her riding.

“After I started mountain biking now I’ve done a race and I feel confident going forward and I feel like it’s made riding a little easier and me a better rider overall,” Sullivan said.

Team Director Brad Ray said getting kids outside and doing activities to help them grow has been a common thread for families during the pandemic.

”It doesn’t have to be cycling, cycling is just the avenue we’ve chosen,” Ray said.

Ray said the program also gives riders a strong sense of community.

”If you go out and ride a trail, somebody has to work on that trail and fix it and being a part of community and helping out taking care of those outdoor opportunities that’s all part of building into our NICA athletes,” Ray said.

Coaches said they’ve seen riders step up into leadership roles through the program.

”We encourage that for sure but also those that maybe don’t have that leadership mentality or ways that they can still help serve and support and maybe actually step up into a role of leadership that they didn’t really expect,” Ray said.

Ray said if your child is interested in riding, next month the group will host a kids biking clinic through the Branson Parks and Recreation.

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