Written by Elaine Bothe, NWTA Instructor
Big weekend for more kids on bikes!
We came, we saw, and we brought bikes! The weekend of May 13-15, 2022, included three kids’ Beginner “Green Gecko” level classes in two different locations. With a fleet of eight capable Marlin hardtails in sizes XXS to M and several helmets donated by Trek Bicycles, and a sturdy, easy to load 6-bike rack donated by Lolo Racks, the NWTA now can more easily provide access to classes to kids who don’t even have a bike and/or a proper helmet.
The first session on Friday, May 13th, at Gateway Green involved five lucky kids, one instructor, and five volunteers, most of whom are also recently BICP certified instructors. The weather held out while we got the kids fitted with bikes and helmets (some had their own) and worked on basic skills in the Gateway Fred Meyer parking lot. The rain started as we set out through the TriMet MAX station and down the hill into Gateway Green, but that didn’t faze anybody. We practiced standing on our pedals, cornering, shifting, braking, and visual skills on the trail, took a snack break (or two) and played on the pump track before wrapping up for the day. It was smiles all around as these riders did great, and we all had a blast!
On Sunday, May 15th, the show moved to METRO’s Newell Creek Canyon Nature Park in Oregon City for morning and afternoon sessions. With one instructor and one volunteer, we hosted eight kids in two sessions. 4 or 5 kids did not attend due to last-minute positive Covid tests and other reasons. I hope everyone is OK. Again, the format included some skills drills to start and then trail time to practice standing on the pedals, cornering, braking, and descending and climbing skills, which were necessary if we wanted to ride the trail again, which we did! At least three times during each session. The day also involved snack breaks under a tree during rainstorms. The more advanced kids also got to work on pumping (no pedaling) down the hill and riding switch feet to progress their skills. We finished each session with slow races, other fun games, and lots of smiles.
Watch for more upcoming classes for kids and adults in our Events section. We will add more beginner, intermediate, and even advanced skills as the summer progresses. We hope to see you (or your kids) out there soon!
BIG thanks go out to Project^, Trek Bicycles, Lolo Racks, REI, The Lumberyard for storing our fleet, Gateway Fred Meyer for the use of their parking lot for staging, TriMet, the folks at Portland Parks and Recreation, and METRO, Coaches Elaine Bothe, Nancy Stone, Allie Hurtgen, Ruandy Albisurez, Sean Benesh and of course Juntu Oberg! Other volunteers included Jaime Reed and Phaedra Urban.