MORGAN HILL, CA (BRAIN)—As part of its continuing effort to invest in the future of cycling through advocacy initiatives, Specialized Bicycle Components built on its partnership with IMBA and IMBA-affiliated clubs this year, helping support their 6th annual Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day.
"The success of IMBA's efforts through the past years and Specialized's energy and attention on local and youth-based advocacy efforts, getting our hands dirty in person this year was an obvious step in addition to providing support for events through dealers across the country," said Specialized USA partnerships manager Ian Dewar.
With 22 Specialized dealers holding their own Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day events, with POP, prizes and logistical support from both IMBA and Specialized, the events were a huge success, taking place over the weekend of Oct 2-3, according to a press release.
Action Wheels of Deptford, NJ, took youngsters on local trails that were easy enough that parents on hybrids and children on 16-inch wheel bikes could not only participate, but actually have the chance to experience the thrill and challenge of mountain biking.
In fact, their event was such a success, that they’re already planning for the future.
”I know for sure that this event will be bigger and better next year. It was so much fun and everyone (helpers included) can’t wait to do it again,” said owner Patty Woodworth. “We are already talking about running monthly family rides. There are so many people who already mountain bike and just need inspiration to get their kids into the woods.”
Specialized employees were also encouraged to participate in two Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day events in the Bay Area, each held in cooperation with local Specialized dealers.
Six employees took the challenge at the Toro Park event in Monterey, CA, led by the Monterey Off-road Cycling Association, attracting over 40 kids and their families. MORCA pulled out all the stops with its beautifully constructed skills park with challenging features for all ages kept the kids entertained until they got dragged home.
“We at Specialized did nothing to contain the bursting hyperactivity. We brought bikes to demo, water bottles and t-shirts to giveaway, a group of energetic volunteers. One of the most popular touches was the collector cards, printed on site and personalized for each kid,” said Specialized employee Simon Dunne, who participated in both days events.
Craig and Bob of Bobcat Bicycles were also crucial to the event’s success, making sure all the kids were riding bikes that were well tuned and safe. The Salinas, CA shop, which is well known for its active participation in the community, also donated a bicycle for raffle.
On Sunday, the fun started all over again, as 40 more kids and their parents flocked to at San Francisco’s McLaren Park for an event held by Mikes Bikes, the SF Urban Riders and the YMCA’s Y-Bike Program.
“It was an absolute pleasure to be involved so personally in both these events. Watching the looks on kids’ faces as they rode bikes—a rotation of intense concentration and unabashed joy—justified everything we’ve done to put more kids on bikes,” said Dan Schneider, board member and trails specialist with the SF Urban Riders.