International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) celebrated the third annual Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day on Saturday Oct. 7 2006. Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day celebrates the life of an avid teenage mountain biker from North Carolina who had a true passion from the sport from an early age but pass away in 2002. The event will take place in the first Saturday in October. Amarillo’s first annual ride was organized by Old Tascosa Cycling Club and co-sponsored by the club Girl Scout Five Star Council, Texas Bicycle Coalition and the International Mountain Biking Association.
The word spread like wildfire through the Amarillo ISD, Boy Scouts of America, local bicycle shops, local libraries as well as other venues. 17 volunteers, 14 parents and 22 kids gathered at the Girl Scout Camp Kiwanis gazebo to explore their bike trails and learn more about mountain bike safety. This event was a great opportunity for kids and adults to experience mountain biking for the first time or to get back on the saddle. Refreshments, items for a “goodie” bags, and necessities such as extra tubes were donated by local Amarillo establishments.
Volunteers included helpful bike mechanics (with their own bike pumps and bike tools), experienced group ride leaders from around the Texas Panhandle as well as a medical assistance, representation and participation by the City of Amarillo Police Department Bicycle Patrol. Routes were offered for less experience as well as advanced riders.
Groups started out at a slow pace to determine the rider’s abilities with two experienced adult riders to each group. Instruction on navigating the terrain, fun conversation and story telling, and safe playful goofing around (and a little showing off) kept the riders entertaining for all. The two hour event was so well received that after a short refreshment break, one more experience group went back and rode another two hours.
Thank you to everyone who donated goods and time and also thank you to all the volunteers for making this a truly memorable event for our kids (of all ages)!