ORANGE, CA (BRAIN)—Thousands of dirt devotees young and old gathered across the nation Saturday in observance of Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day, the International Mountain Bicycling Association’s annual event to get youth out on the trails.
Gatherings range from a couple families hitting the dirt together to IMBA chapters and cycling clubs staging events with attendance in the hundreds.
Bicycle Retailer got out Saturday to what has grown into a substantial celebration in the magazine’s home base of Orange County, California.
Six years ago, O.C. resident Adam Davidson called on families to come out and ride with him and his son, Garret, in conjunction with the IMBA observance. Fifteen riders turned out for the debut edition.
But the event quickly gained traction, with attendance growing into the triple digits. Davidson also throws a barbecue, personally providing burgers and hot dogs for all, and stages a massive raffle with industry-donated prizes. Last year, the event partnered up to raise money for Hans Rey’s Wheels 4 Life charity, which provides low-cost bikes for needy people in the developing world.
Raffle prizes poured in this year from 40 local shops and organizations as well as suppliers nationwide, including Pearl Izumi, Hydrapak, Intense Cycles, CamelBak, Serfas, Ellsworth Handcrafted Bicycles, Focus, Niner, Santa Cruz and Jamis. Attendance reached a record 215 riders—112 kids and 103 adults. And the stuffed donation box for Wheels 4 Life raised enough money to buy seven bikes to support the kids at the Garram Children’s School and Orphanage in Nigeria.
But as far as Davidson is concerned, it’s all about starting a love affair with trail riding for a new generation.
“Simply stated, the mission is nothing more than I do this each year to perpetuate the fun—and safety—for the kids, and hope it can also instill the same sense of love I have for riding to my son and the other kids. For me, I am positive that as much fun as my son has on the ride, I get it back two times just watching him ride, smile, challenge himself and develop his confidence.
“Truth be told, I also get it back 100 times over seeing all the other kids and parents experience what I suspect is the same.”
Related: The BRAIN editorial staff is headed to Santa Fe, New Mexico, this week for the IMBA World Summit. Watch for coverage on the web throughout the week.