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New biking program available to area youth

Contributed photo Young people who are interested in biking are encouraged to attend an organization meeting of a new bike "venture crew" that is being formed in Alexandria. It will take place Monday, June 29 at The Bike and Fitness Company near the Central Lakes Trail.

Attention area youth:

Do you like to bike or would like to give different styles of biking a try?

If you're between the ages of 14 and 21, here's your chance.

Andes Tower Hills and The Bike and Fitness Company have teamed up to offer a new program to boys and girls from ages 14 to 21.

This new "venture crew" will focus on all types of biking and the different aspects of the sport, including mountain biking, road racing, trail riding, and the possibility of BMX. Participants can choose the type of biking that interests them.

All those interested are invited to bring their bikes to The Bike and Fitness Company (next to the Central Lakes Trail on North Nokomis) on Monday, June 29 at 6:30 p.m. to have a free safety inspection done.

There will be a short gathering to talk about the crew and the opportunity to sign up. Parents are also welcome to attend and learn more about the venture crew program.

George Odio from The Bike and Fitness Company said he is excited about the opportunity for young people to get out of doors and be active while having a lot of fun.

"Here in the middle of Minnesota we don't often think of mountain biking as a sport available to us," Odio said. "With Andes Tower Hills teaming up and making their facility available we can get the training and experience to go to more difficult terrain."

Jim Stratton, district executive for the venturing program in the Alexandria area, hopes the new biking venture will be just as popular as a canoeing venture crew, which led to area youth building canoes that will be on display at the Minnesota Lakes Maritime Museum in Alexandria.

"If you are interested in having some fun, come and find out what the crew is up to," Stratton said. "It will be fun filled with enough adventure to keep you coming back."