Why Mountain Biking?
Creating a Strong Personal Identity
During adolescence, young people are trying to find their identity and may latch onto a peer group or certain type of activity or lifestyle to define who they are. By offering adventure activities as an outlet for fun and self-expression, participants are afforded the opportunity to adopt positive behaviors and pastimes as part of their identity.
Strategic Risk-Taking and Natural Consequences
When mountain biking, the challenges presented are undeniably real and the consequences of actions both good and bad are immediate. Geerz youth make choices about risk and experience the outcome. They commit to something that pushes them to deal with their fears, beliefs, strengths, and weaknesses. Adventure activities help youth learn where to draw the line between how much risk is acceptable and how much is just plain unwise. For example, mountain biking allows riders to see immediate and indisputable results from their choices about risk. A good choice means a clean ride, while a poor choice may result in a bad spill.
A key feature of mountain biking on a difficult single track is the ability to remain calm and focused amidst chaos. Taking risks is unavoidable and the consequences should you make a mistake are immediate. Standing still is never an option for long and deciding how to address the terrain around you takes looking inside for what skills you have and what risk you can tolerate.
Teamwork and Relationship-Building
While mountain biking, the participants of Geerz are able to have fun together. At the same time, they are learning to work as a team, support and encourage one another, and build healthy relationships. During every ride, the riders are with people who are skilled, patient in teaching others, and serve as excellent role models of how to enjoy life in a healthy, positive way. Through these interactions, the youth begin to appreciate how it feels to be part of a positive community.
The Joy of Personal Accomplishment
Mountain biking is challenging to even the most courageous spirit. Mastering such difficult pursuits not only builds strength, poise, and balance but also self-confidence and a sense of personal power. This feeling of mastery over something as subtle and powerful as a single tack is a direct reward for determined and focused work – a trait with many benefits off the hills.
A Lifetime of Rewards
With the boundless terrain surrounding Ramat Beit Shemesh as their playground, Geerz participants have opportunities that few youth are fortunate enough to have. After just a couple of hours in the outdoors, riders can have significant life experiences, overcome physical and emotional challenges, and create lifelong memories and friendships.