Exploring Paths, is a mentorship program with the mission of providing youths with an outlet to have fun living healthy, active lives while simultaneously exploring their own paths of development through biking, mentorship and nature.
Our program aims to improve the overall health and wellbeing of youths living within urban environments while also setting them up for future success. Urban environments like New York City offer a plethora of amazing opportunities, and we want to ensure that those opportunities are actualized by youth everywhere.
We believe that exercise and goal setting are key to overall well-being and future success, and our goal is to share these fun positive experiences with as many youths as possible.
Exploring Paths is the vision of its founder Katherine Long, who discovered a true love for cycling while an exchange student in Germany. She loved the freedom bicycling brought with it as she explored all the small towns near her host family. As much as she enjoyed bicycling, it became a somewhat absent part of her life until her move to New York City in 2010.
New York can be a very hectic and demanding place to live. Soon, city life started to take its toll and in a quest to find an escape from the hustle and bustle, Katherine stumbled back into biking. She started out renting bikes and ultimately invested in a road bike. Katherine loved the experiences of exploring ‘off the beaten’ paths that she was given. They unlocked another world for her and she quickly realized that the fun, the freedom and access to the outdoors that she had experienced years ago in Germany was still achievable from the concrete confines of New York City.
Ultimately, it was through those off-the-beaten path rides, a friend’s gift of a cycling journal, experiences in mentoring youths in NYC, a co-worker’s nudge, and amazing support from friends and family that led her to start Exploring Paths.
The idea is simple: combine consistent access to the active lifestyle of cycling, with mentorship, journaling and exploring nature and destinations, and you allow a child to step back, have fun, stay fit and explore where they might want their own life paths to lead.