Celebrate Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day Oct. 3
Most kids love to hop on their bikes for a ride. The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) would like the adults in their lives to make it a mountain bike ride Saturday, Oct. 3.
Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day is meant to encourage communities in the United States and around the world to join together and ride mountain bikes with kids. Last year over 15,000 kids and family members participated in more than 150 community events in the U.S.
Check out the map at the bottom of this page for events taking place in Michigan. If there’s not an event near you, make your own!
But where should you go? The IMBA offers these tips for choosing the perfect location to ride:
- Pick a location where there are smooth natural surface trails, if possible.
- Beginner level trails or smooth bike paths are suggested for kids and adults that may not have riding experience.
- A trailhead, open space or park with multi-use trails suited to all abilities is best. This type of location allows groups to split up based on ability level.
- If you don’t have any trails near your neighborhood or town, pick a school, bike path, quiet dirt road, ball field, yard or park that is bike-friendly.
If you’d like to organize a small group event, the IMBA recommends setting up a skills area with cones, flags or other markers at a field or quiet parking lot. Mountain bike “obstacles” can be created by laying 2′ x 6′ boards flat on the ground, simulating “bumps”. Use your imagination but keep safety in mind. Encourage the kids to participate fully and look for experiences to stretch, learn and grow.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has a mountain bike trail locator here if you’re thinking about packing up your kids and their bikes this Saturday.
The DNR notes that mountain bike trails are different from bike paths in that they’re more rugged, narrower and often have changing slopes and gradients. The DNR advises that you stay on marked mountain bike trails when riding bikes and to observe standard trail courtesy.
Fall in Michigan is the perfect time of year to get outside. Make Saturday, Oct. 3 all about enjoying the gorgeous natural scenery on a bike with your kids. Tell us your favorite places to ride in the comments.
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Photo credit: Brad Allen