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Little Bellas returns to Rhinelander to help young girls gain confidence while learning to mountain bike


Little Bellas teaches girls ages 7 through 13 how to ride mountain bikes.

They develop braking, shifting, and turning skills through games and different activities. At the same, they’re learning how to get along with others, develop friendships, and build up their confidence.

Val Foley is the Little Bellas program lead in Rhinelander.

“There’s a lot of different girls in the group and pretty soon they’re friends with everybody and they’re very encouraging to each other. They can ride and have a great time. They laugh and enjoy themselves,” said Foley. “That’s the best part to me is watching them succeed. Because if we can teach them to succeed at little things in life that just helps them as they grow and they can be successful in other areas of life too.”

Little Bellas has chapters all over the U.S.

The one in Rhinelander started last year and is one of two in Wisconsin.

“It went really well. We were really excited about it. We have some excited mentors. They did a great job. They’re all coming back this year. We’re hoping for more girls. Last year we had 16. We can take, I believe, between 20 and maybe this year 25,” said Foley.

The program starts in August and runs for 8 weeks.

The group meets at the Washburn Trails.

There is a fee and bikes and helmets are required. But there is financial aid, and the program lends bikes to those that need one.

Foley stressed that lack of equipment or financial issues should not be the reason a girl doesn’t participate.

“There’s no reason anybody should be turned away. We’ll provide helmets for them. For some little girls this might be their opportunity to get out, get on trails, get together with other girls their age, and have fun and ride,” said Foley.

Registration is open now through July 23.

We have a link to learn more about the program and register on the Little Bellas website.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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