Yesterday was Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day, a national event supported by local communities. Our event, hosted by Bike Link at Oak Mountain State Park, drew thirty-something kids from age three to the tweens. MC3 and BUMP put on an hour-long skills clinic, with four basic skills stations that teach core riding skills — pedal position, cornering, controlled braking, and high-speed cornering. Then they were off for group rides on the Lake Trail. This year’s free event drew four times the attendance of last year, according to Chuck Lewis, of Bike Link, who hooked kids up with free water bottles, T-shirts, drinks, and snacks.
Kids are natural athletes, and they learn so quickly that a little instruction goes a long, long way. I’ve been delighted to see more and more families riding together on the new Lake and Family Trails, and I’ve spotted everything from 3-year-olds on balance bikes to parents towing wee ones in bike trailers. Big props to BUMP for building these new beginner-friendly trails, making mountain biking more accessible to the community.
And mucho credit goes to the local organizations and businesses who support events like these. I couldn’t say it better than Mark Muro, president of BUMP:
“It was a hit! A big thank you to Joe Wenning at Bike Link of Hoover for his dedication to bringing this awesome activity to youth. Specialized Bikes and IMBA also deserve much credit for their national support of Take a Kid MTB Day. I can’t imagine this event being such a success without BUMP’s efforts in offering a trail system to support such activities (aka Lake Trail). This is what it’s all about and why I do what I do. What a great event for the community and sport!”
Photos: Courtesy Mark Muro