MARQUETTE - Almost every kid in America has known the freedom that comes with learning how to ride a bike.
Those two little wheels ensure kids can go farther and faster than they ever had before. But very few know how to maintain those bikes, or fix them when they break.
That's where Revolutions, an up-and-coming bike and ski program for youth, pedals in.
Co-founders Lindsay Bean and Mark Hall are hoping to provide a positive outlet to area kids with too much time on their hands by offering them free training in the maintenance and repair of bikes and skis.
"Basically, we really want kids to become bike enthusiasts, and ski and winter enthusiasts" Bean said. "We're not looking to train mountain bikers. We're not looking to train ski racers."
The multi-year program would be open to kids age 11 to 18. Kids involved in the bike program would meet twice a week during the summer to learn about how to safely ride bikes through town and to learn bike maintenance and repair.
Kids in their second year would then have the option to work in the Revolutions shop, repairing bikes used for public bike rental. The public rentals would act as a source of income for the organization, which Bean said would hopefully function off of grant funding.
The students would earn a stipend for their work or could accrue hours to be used toward the purchase of a bike.
"There's a lot of similar bike programs for kids around the country," Bean said. "They're all a little different and they all do things a little differently, but it's kind of a common thing."
The ski program would mirror the bike program, but would take place during winter months.
Bean said she's hoping to have Revolutions' public bike rental up and running by May and the youth program ready in June.
Bean and Hall are holding an informational meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Marquette Commons for anyone interested in getting involved - either as participants or through partnerships.
Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.