Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Kids Just Want to Have Fun

I have been communicating with some area school MTB club coordinators that are eager to get more kids involved and also looking for outside assistance. The primary goal of these clubs is to introduce kids to the sport and promote a healthy lifestyle. Several of the coordinators have also expressed an interest in my goal of developing an inter-school competition.

I hadn’t gotten the chance to visit most of the clubs but today I managed to get over to the Oakview Middle School ride just in time to accompany them through the nearby state recreation trails. Nick Shaskos, the coordinator, has been working on the club for several years now and holds the rides twice a week. Participation has grown every year and several of his students have come out to the local races.

I got a bang out of riding with the kids and seeing their enthusiasm for just having fun on a bike, something we tend to forget as we go about our training and racing schedules. Along the ride we helped the kids with some of their technical skills. I plan to go back if possible to help again and work on bike fit and teach some basic maintenance skills. Besides, they made me an honorary member of the Oakview Mountain Bike Club and gave me one of their t-shirts.

Hopefully the success of this program can be used to stimulate other schools to start riding clubs as well.

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