October 4th is International Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day! The International Mountain Bicycling Association sponsors events all around the world to celebrate the day & introduce youth to the outdoors through mountain biking. Their goal for these events, a rather respectable one, is:
Besides being good, healthy fun, the goal is to develop a connection between kids and the natural world around them. Today’s children are tomorrow’s land managers and politicians — future decision-makers for important matters like recreation and access to public lands. How different might our current access landscape look today if previous generations of policy makers had grown up riding bikes on natural-surface trails?
There are events all around the world that you can participate in with your kids – we’re going to be hitting up this one in the Columbia Gorge in Oregon. But even if you either (a) can’t get to a nearby event or (b) don’t feel like attending some big event, at least do use the opportunity to get your kids outside, and get them re-acquainted with the great outdoors. We all want our kids to grow up to be responsible stewards for the environment and for our great natural spaces. But how can one be responsible for something when you don’t know it, live in it, and breathe in it firsthand?
My kids, 3 & 5, are already die-hard trail riders, and I find it immensely gratifying that my wife and I have been able to get them connected with nature and the outdoors through mountain biking, hiking, and quality time spent exploring their world.
If we want the next generation of land owners, land developers, politicians, decision makers and activists to be able to exert positive and beneficial control over the environment, and really take responsibility for our planet, it’s our own responsibility to see that they get out there and see first hand how wonderful it can be to spend time in it. Add that to the fact that it’s great to show kids that exercise and taking care of yourself can be a lot of fun.
Add that to the fact that it’s a great way for kids and parents to spend time being active together.
Click here to find a event near you, and if you can’t go, make sure to at least find a way to get outside and take a kid mountain biking! They’ll thank you for it!