Saturday April 8 2017
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Earlier this year, 300 youth bicycle riders from all over the country converged in Pittsburgh for an event called Next Generation Jam.

The hundreds of riders have nationally sponsored BMX riders Lukas and Nathan Halahan to thank – and, indirectly, the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School.

“It’s because of PA Cyber that the boys are able to excel at the sport they love, and give back to it as well,” said their mother, Jen Halahan.

“PA Cyber has been amazing for us,” said Mike Halahan, the boys’ father and de facto manager. “The boys are doing well in school, and their riding and industry involvement continues to progress. PA Cyber affords them the free time to meet their demanding schedule of travel and performances.”

The Halahan family hosted Next Generation Jam, a bike riding event for kids of all ages, last month at The Wheel Mill in the East End District.

“BMX freestyle is creative, with as much time spent up in the air as on the ground. Jams are fun events where there are no winners or losers,” Mike said. “You go and ride your bike. There might be a best trick competition, or fastest around the track.”

Lukas, 13, and Nathan, 11, are freestyle bike riders who travel extensively, riding BMX and mountain bikes. They are also involved in the testing and development of new youth-specific high-end bicycle frames, components and safety gear, their father explained.

“They have several industry sponsors that support their riding and travel,” Mike said. “In turn, the boys provide their sponsors with photo and video media and marketing content, along with product feedback. They also compete in freestyle and racing competitions…all the while having fun while they ride their bicycles in new places.”

In 2010, Lukas and Nathan were nationally ranked on the BMX racing circuit. To compete on the national level requires extensive travel time. For a weekend meet the family often leaves on a Wednesday and doesn’t get back until Monday. Their parents realized attending a classroom school was not going to work.

“I didn’t want to do the whole mom-school thing,” Jen said. “I looked at a couple of others before deciding on PA Cyber.”

She said having a regional PA Cyber office not far away at Wexford, Pa., helped her make the choice.

“I wanted to know there is somebody nearby to help if I needed it,” she said.

Working with sponsors who are leading providers of bicycle components, clothing and protective gear has taught the boys a lot in addition to giving them the opportunity to travel to events around the country.

“I’ve asked them a couple of times if they miss regular school,” Jen said. “They don’t.”