2020 STC Season Finale

We are all accepting the fact that 2020 is just a bizarre year.

In February, our board had our whole season planned out. Indoor training, trail workdays, practice times and locations, races, etc. We had new team member interviews scheduled. We were more organized than ever before. That all fell apart pretty quickly.

By April, we made the call to suspend the season, and if things looked better by July 1st, we would pull together an 8 week season. We got our wish! The state announced that we could gather outdoors in groups smaller than 10, so we started planning all over again.

Covid safety plans, temperature checks, symptom checks, masks, gallons of hand sanitizer, separate groups that stayed together the whole season… It was exhausting but we made a safe plan and stuck to it!

Then we ran into the issue of getting bikes for new kids. Apparently during quarantine, every person in the US decided that they wanted to pick up the sport of mountain biking (awesome!). We could not find a single bike under $700, let alone 15 of them! Same with helmets, hydration packs, tools, etc. Everything was on back order or sold out. So, we applied for grants and reached out to sponsors. This year was going to be a lot more expensive, but we weren’t going to back down! With school and sports being cancelled, these kids (and us) needed Start The Cycle. We needed to be outside and involved in our community more than ever.

We found bikes. We paid 3x more than in previous years. But our awesome local bike shops helped us get everything together. Quick Stop Bike Shop got all of our returning kids’ bikes fixed up and they ordered our gear and supplies for the season.

When the first practice started, it felt weird. You couldn’t see the smiles under the new kids’ masks when they saw their new bikes and got to ride them for the first time. But, you could tell by their eyes that they were so happy! Our amazing mentors and kids really pulled it together and followed the safety plan to make sure everyone would stay safe. Out on the trails things felt almost normal! Covid-19 couldn’t stop us from biking with our friends!

We are so grateful that we were able to have a season. Our 2020 summer team consisted of:

15 new participants

16 returning participants including 3 junior mentors

29 mentors

9 board members

and dozens of other volunteers!

We want to thank all of our sponsors and donors for stepping up this year:

Swick, Incredible Bank, Oberstar, State Farm- Rod Lizak, Fox Marquette, IDI, Blackrocks, Advanced Center for Orthopedic Surgery, Quick Stop Bike Shop, Sportsrack, Ore To Shore, Peninsula Solar, Rod and Deann Auton, Suzanne Petschke Look Realty, Ishpeming Elks, Carolyn McDonald, Scott Ciullo. Michael Ross Lynch, Joseph Boogren- Forsyth Township Planner, Carolyn Myers, West End Ski & Trail, Downwind Sports