Mountain biking day for kids

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Saturday is calling for a multitude of tikes on bikes and more as the eighth annual River Valley Mountain Bike Association’s Take a Kid Mountain Biking is scheduled to rock their worlds with wooded trails and mountain bike training.

“There will be guided rides, a skills course set up and obstacle courses for them to ride through and over,” said Bill Lane, officer of the River Valley Mountain Bike Association who is heading up the event. “We will be working on their skills and there will be mountain biking through the woods. There’s about a mile loop and it’s relatively flat and goes down to the view of the river.”

The Take a Kid Mountain Biking event will be on Saturday with registration going on from 9 to 10 a.m. and biking taking place from 10 a.m. to noon at Gunlock Park located behind Lowe’s in Marietta with a pizza party and prizes following.

“Afterwards, we’re going to have pizza and drinks for everybody,” said Lane. “They all get a prize and we’re going to give out some other things.”

The event is free and parents are encouraged to join their children at the biking event. The club pays for all of the food, drinks and prizes and Lane said all parents and children have to do is show up.

“They show up and we will take them through the skills course — we’ll do that a few times — and we’ll see the ones that are a little more advanced and we’ll break them up into groups so they can ride,” said Lane. “Their parents are certainly welcome to join in and ride as well.”

Lane noted that the event is taking part in a world-wide association — International Mountain Bike Association — that is coordinating the event with 80 countries around the world on the same day.

“It’s teaching and introducing kids to mountain biking,” he said. “Our area is blessed with over 150 miles of trails and 50 miles within the city of Marietta; we live in an area with tons of mountain bike trails, and if no one every introduces it to you, you may never go.”

Lane noted that the pump track and the dirt jumps will be closed during the event because of the number of people attending.

They also request that participators bring a bicycle in safe, working order, bring a helmet and that parents sign a waiver of responsibility.

Marietta Adventure Company Owner Ryan Smith said they’ve had a really good turnout in the past and expects the same for this year if the weather holds out.

“This time of year, weather can be a factor. We generally expect usually 20 to 30 kids,” said Smith. “A lot of that’s because, generally, our mountain bike clubs are filled with a lot of genuine people who want these kids to be active and to have a good experience.”

Those who wish to volunteer can email Bill Lane at bikelane404@yahoo.com or call the Marietta Adventure Company at 740-538-0801.

“It’s all about trying to get kids outside, active and interested in cycling,” noted Smith. “Just healthy outdoor activities and I think it’s really important to give kids an opportunity to come out and ride in a safe, structured environment.”

He added that everyone should come out just for the fun time.

“Your kids are going to have a blast,” said Smith. “They’re going to get to meet other kids who are interested in doing the same things and it’s at Gunlock Park, which is a new city park and it’s a great introduction to that as well.”

If you go

¯ What: Eighth annual Take a Kid  Mountain Biking.

¯ Where: Gunlock Park, Marietta.

¯ When: Saturday from 9 a.m. to about 1 p.m.

¯ Who: River Valley Mountain Bike Association.

¯ Cost: Free.

 

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