Bikin' Dads Adventures: "Building Stronger Relationships One Adventure at a Time"
Jul 13, 2017 03:15PM ● Published by Melanie Heisinger
This program focuses on creating adventures for fathers and their children to encourage bonding, and most of these adventures are bike rides. Bikin' Dads also provides mentors and positive role model's for those with no father figure in their lives.
To keep afloat, this nonprofit lives solely off of sponsors and donations. They are currently amidst a fundraiser now and are hoping that the Cabarrus County community will rally to help them reach their goal of $45,000. This money goes directly into their program, into their mentor programs, as well as their educational programs.
Basically, it's a good cause all the way around!
Founder Mark Gordon took some time to answer a few questions we had about this inspiring nonprofit, as well as tell us more about their current fundraiser.
Tell us a little about Bikin' Dads Adventures. How did it get started?Bikin' Dads was founded in 2014 by myself and another Dad. We both shared some of the same passion for the outdoors and our kids. I came from a 15-year, distinguished career in law enforcement where I saw daily first-hand the negative effects of Dads who weren't there to enjoy their children's passion for adventure with them. However, I saw the need for positive role models outside of sports heroes, musicians and Hollywood stars. My belief is that society could change, no matter who's home.
We are always working with the local Charlotte Youth Cycling League as well as North Carolina's National Interscholastic Cycling Association that has brought both middle and high school mountain bike racing to the school systems in our state. This association is part of a national organization that has over 19 states and over 12,000 students racing their mountain bikes across the nation from all walks of life.
While all that is awesome, we are more than bikes! We are a program, a sports club, a group of Dads and their kids - we are here to encourage others and motivate those in physical activity, life encouragement and more.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What's your role within the group?
Lastly, I maintain our equipment, packing it up and hauling it around the state for the various programs were involved in.
A non-judgmental, friendly and encouraging "adventure", whatever it might be for that specific outing. We attempt to advertise the event specific to a skill set, be it a family green-way ride, an all day hiking trip in the mountains, or a bike race participation.
What can someone expect while attending one of Bikin' Dads' adventures?
Each event is usually clearly described beforehand.
Do you ever host any special events?On Fathers Day weekend we host our annual Fathers Fun Fest at Robby Gordon Motorsports, where there is a free community festival with local first responders and their tools on display. A lot of them are Dads too! There are also vendors, a car show, a stunt show by Robby Gordon and his Stadium Super Trucks, as well as live music and free food. However, we aim to always host one or two group events a month with various types of adventures.
What is your personal favorite aspect of the group and its mission?
Plus, we were able to knock out 14 casual miles on the bike, which of course is the physical activity that many of us need!
What's one of your most memorable moments while working there?
One I personally recall was last year when we were asked by the national program Interbike to host the Youth Bicycle Rodeo & Skills Clinic at Charlotte's inaugural Outerbike. There our program was exposed to over 20,000 people and, well, the best part was that hundreds of kids were able to come through our little course over a few days' time at the US Whitewater Center.
We are totally self funded and have operated of off donations since Bikin' Dads' inception. However, with the demands of our travels and the constant use of our equipment, the growth of the overall core group has taken various tolls both financially on myself and the gear we use. We reached out to the great group Red Basket Inc, a nonprofit organization that helps the "little guys" such as ours, seek assistance through their crowd funding programs. All donations are 100% tax deductible and our program receives 100% of the funds raised, unlike other concepts out there.
I heard there is a fundraiser happening right now! Can you tell us a little bit more about it?
While it's a great program, the application process is a doozy, but thankfully Red Basket has been supportive all the way.
The campaign was for 45 days, however were at day 13 remaining as I type this.
How can we help?Head to https://redbasket.org/1327 which is a direct link to the fundraising campaign. It's simple to use and for a great cause.
Also, we always searching for corporate sponsors. With an organization that focuses on getting outdoors and using plenty of gear, there are endless marketing and visibility opportunities as a sponsor.
We are also in dire need for a "adventure van"- a passenger van that we can use to uphold to "cool Dad" standards, yet strong enough to tow our trailer across the state while we haul the core group of Dads and their kids to events.
Anything else we should know about your events?We welcome all to our group. We attempt to describe the events in detail in all of our calendars, as well as on our website and social media. Keep an eye out for specific "skill" or age-appropriate events as some require more ability than others.
Be sure to look for us at the local park systems or national parks.
Later on, we're bringing our complete bike rodeo to assist at a fundraiser for Loaves & Fishes at a bicycle themed event titled, Tour De Turns, http://www.tourdeturns.org/ on August 26th.
We are also looking into a planned trip to Sliding Rock for hiking and waterfall exploration, so stay tuned and follow along on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram or our website, www.BikinDads.com.
What are you hoping for the future?We plan on taking our certifications and program to a somewhat different level - we are thinking about offering camp-like events or course teaching opportunities, be it skill clinics, and more.
Help Bikin' Dads keep up the good work by donating here.
Keep up to date with Bikin' Dads Adventures on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram or www.BikinDads.com.