Monday, October 5, 2009
Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day
“Remember what I said about the paparazzi?”
Saturday morning was the IMBA Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day at Colonel Francis Beatty Park. Once again, we were up in the wee hours of the morning to make the 45 minute drive from our domicile to the park. Lunchbox, Little Miss Sunshine, and I were ready to work with our mountain bike club, the Tarheel Trailblazers, to make this event a memorable one. We loaded up my truck with Goose, Clark, and the still yet to be named KHS, and headed out.
It was a beautiful fall day in Matthews, North Carolina. A perfect day to be out riding bicycles. Originally there was supposed to be a chance of rain, but we were spared by Mother Nature. We arrived in the parking lot at around 8:30 a.m., and it was already starting to fill up. I parked the truck and unloaded the bikes. We were immediately greeted by some fellow Trailblazers, some Dirt Divas, and some people from REI. We set up the Tarheel Trailblazers tent and hung up our National Mountain Bike Patrol banner.
Little Miss Sunshine and I were there representing the Tarheel Trailblazers Bike Patrol, and we made sure the kids (and the adults) stayed safe and had fun. Lunchbox helped all the kids on the rides, and did a great job promoting the club. After the parking lot filled up, Paula from Trips for Kids Charlotte climbed atop someone’s truck and began speaking to the crowd with a megaphone.
We divided the kids and adults up into three groups, but we all knew that they would eventually divide up even further. There were so many kids with varied levels of riding ability, and we wanted to make sure they all had fun. Little Miss Sunshine and I rode with the slowest and less experienced group, which almost immediately split up into two groups. We thought that they would need the most help, and it would also provide us with a chance to sweep the trail for the other groups. Luckily, there were no major incidents or injuries. I only had to apply a few band-aids, some ice, and I fixed a broken derailleur. The ride was a success, and it really looked like everyone had a great time.
Lunchbox was a great ambassador to these kids.
Next on the agenda was the cookout. REI provided a ton of food, and some very eager volunteers provided the grilling expertise. The food was brought in from Earth Fare, whose specialty is organic and all-natural foods. They are based out of Asheville, NC. The food was good, and everyone enjoyed it. We even had one of our club members provide us with a special treat. Their family brought some churns, and made home-made ice cream for everyone. We couldn’t have asked for a better day.
Huge thanks to the Tarheel Trailblazers, the Dirt Divas, Trips for Kids Charlotte, and REI for a wonderful event. This was a great kid’s ride, and I hope we can make next year even better, if that’s possible. I am proud to have been a part of such a positive experience that helped get these kids and adults outside to enjoy riding bicycles.
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We had a great time. Thanks for such a wonderful day!
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