IMBA’s Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day (TKMBD) is celebrated annually on the first Saturday in October. Created in 2004 and recognized by the U.S. Congress, TKMBD introduces the joy of mountain biking to the next generation. Hundreds of thousands of youth have discovered and celebrated the joy of pedaling two wheels on dirt at TKMBD events, improved their self esteem and made new friends. Many have gone on to become passionate riders, volunteer trail advocates, and even mountain bike racers.
WHY SHOULD I HOST A #TKMBD EVENT IN MY COMMUNITY?
Bicycling is good, healthy fun, and a gateway to healthy lifestyles. IMBA strives to develop a connection between kids, bikes and the natural world around them while touching on themes such as bike safety, skills, rider etiquette, nutrition, hydration and sun protection. Informal or formal, one child or 100 children, TKMBD celebrates the joy of riding in the dirt.
HOW DO I ORGANIZE A TAKE A KID MOUNTAIN BIKING DAY EVENT?
1. SAVE THE DATE
Clear your calendar for a few hours on the first Saturday of October. Other dates are fine too, but you may not be eligible to receive TKMBD race plates.
2. FIND KIDS AND FAMILIES
Coordinate with your association, club or mountain bike group. Invite neighbors, colleagues, relatives, friends. Contact schools and other youth groups. Promote your local event at local bike shops and community centers with IMBA’s TKMBD promotional poster and post reminders on social media and don’t forget to include the TKMBD logo.
3. SELECT A ROUTE
Be sure to choose a ride that is fun, safe and not too difficult. The ideal route will have options where the group can head home or continue for more adventure.
4. BE PREPARED
Make sure each participant has a bike, helmet, and proper footwear. Bring extra water and food, including a tasty treat for every child. Don’t forget other essentials such as extra tubes, pump, tire levers and a multi-tool. Recruit plenty of adult ride guides, and make sure someone is assigned to stay behind the last young rider. If you’d like to invite kids that might not have their own gear, try contacting local bike shops about rental options.
Make sure every kids’ helmet is properly fitted! The helmet should sit level on their head and low on their forehead. The side straps, when properly adjusted, should make a V shape around the ear and the chin strap should be tightened until it’s snug. For more tips and guidelines on how to properly fit a helmet, please click here. And you can’t start early enough with teaching the youngsters some trail etiquette.
If you are an organization conducting a Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day ride (club, local group, shop or other), IMBA recommends you have parents fill out your organization’s acknowledgement of risk and release of liability form for all participants.
5. HAVE FUN
Try incorporating skills games, point out interesting trail features, or take a few minutes to discuss trail safety and etiquette.
6. TAKE PHOTOS AND VIDEOS
Post your photos on IMBA Europe’s Facebook page or your own Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages and tag #TKMBD. Share stories and photos about your day with parents, community leaders, local press and IMBA.
7. MAKE #TKMBD A TRADITION
Make every day a Take-a-Kid day and plan for the first Saturday in October next year to celebrate how Kids+Bikes=FUN!
Take a look at the Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day Toolkit to get more ideas and some guidance when organizing this event.