Gee…I imagine you’ve been thinking…with all Kate’s recent talk of half marathons and lousy training and dominating the basement of cyclocross standings, it’s been ages since she talked about riding bikes with her kid. Well, wait no longer.
Saturday, October 5, was designated by IMBA to be Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day. TAKMBD events were held all over the country, including locally here in St. Charles, MO. It’s never worked out for me to take Jacob (and he’s never shown any interest), but this year he miraculously had no sports scheduled for the day and was interested in going.
It was fun to pull up at the park and see lots of bike friends there volunteering or with their kids: Sarah and Luke, Jim and Wendy, Dave/Jim and his daughter Amber, Chris and her son…and whoever else I’m not thinking of now. The kids all got nice swag bags with a water bottle, a raffle ticket, some cool IMBA stickers, and a kids’ Clif bar, then there were mechanics to do a safety check on the bikes. Once that was done, the kids had a series of stations (manned by volunteers) where they could practice various handling skills.
Jacob wasn’t all that excited about the skills stations; he just wanted to do the trail ride.
|Weaving in and out of “trees” – no problem!|
The section below was “fun”. On his first try, he rode off the board and was near tears. I pointed out quietly that no one else was clearing it on their first try either and he eventually took another go at it with a longer start before hitting the board. He made it a little further before slipping off again. Finally on the third attempt he cleared the board, visibly proud and relieved.
Next up was riding over logs, and I guess I didn’t take a picture of that. It took him two tries to clear all three logs, and he opted to skip a series of larger logs.
The last station was the teeter totters. He wasn’t nervous about these at all because we built and practiced teeter totters in our back yard this summer.
|Teeter totter action|
Once we finished with the stations, we had a while to wait for the next trail ride, so Jacob went back and rerode the teeter totters a bunch of times. Talking to Steve, the volunteer at the teeter totters, I mentioned how nice it was to have people who knew what they were doing helping out the kids. “Well,” he replied, “[Jacob] told me you’d already told him everything I had to say.” =) So if nothing else, the day was confirmation to my child that I’m not completely clueless.
|Approaching a creek crossing|
|Took the turn a bit wide…the scenic route|
We walked uphills where we had to (and established that my idea of a little hill and his are very different). I kept him ahead of me for the majority of the time and talked him through what was coming next. We stopped before the dip below because he was nervous about it (and it looks scarier in person than in the picture). I offered to go through first and show him. He still wasn’t sure about it but gave it a try and sailed through like it was nothing.
“I want to come ride here again!” he told me as we rode. We both would have loved to ride more laps, but Jeff was waiting at the car so we could head off to Six Flags, so we finished off our lap and headed to the parking lot. Weather permitting, we’ve got another trail ride planned for Monday.
Huge thanks to all the organizers and volunteers! Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day was a great experience!