The sunny and warm weather came out to greet us all on Saturday, October 7, 2023, for Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day!
The local celebration of this annual celebration gathered nearly 150 people together in Gateway Green to ride bikes and have FUN. Northwest Trail Alliance (NWTA), in partnership with Portland Parks & Recreation, presented this community event where people not only joyously rode bikes, but celebrated being outdoors with food, arts and crafts. The full schedule of family-friendly activities included face painting by Ky Mirabela and two piñatas hosted by Warpaint Magazine. Kids and their families also learned about why you might want to have a mudguard on your bike (hello, easier laundry day!), and were able to decorate and keep their very own courtesy of Trek Bikes Westmoreland.
As with years past, a team of professional coaches organized by Elaine Bothe of Elaine B. Bikes set up and coached at five different skill stations throughout the park. A sixth station, hosted by NWTA youth program sponsor Trek, was the mandatory first stop for kids to have helmet and bike safety checks. At each skill station, kids collected smiles and stickers, and then proudly earned a Shimano Youth Series medal after completing all six. For some kids and their families, this event was their first introduction to what mountain biking, or off-road cycling, is all about. Others had some skills under their pedals, but were working on improvements and gaining confidence.
This event always highlights how versatile and crucial park spaces like Gateway Green are to mountain biking — and to all-around access to the outdoors — in Portland. Gateway Green has over 2 miles of bike trails, 2 pump tracks, a newly refreshed skills course, a “jump line” and adaptive mountain biking loop. The park also includes a pedestrian loop, natural playground and grass gathering space, making it an all-around amazing 24-acre play space.
The Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day celebration and activities were free of charge, and couldn’t have happened without NWTA partners. Kids without mountain bikes or helmets had the opportunity to borrow one from a loaner fleet courtesy also of Trek Bikes.
Special thanks to Portland Parks & Recreation for co-hosting this event and their dedication to furthering access to the outdoors for all Portlanders; and to TriMet for their collaboration of the event during ongoing light rail construction.
Save the date for Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day 2024 on Saturday, October 5! Created in 2004 and recognized by US Congress, Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day is about having fun, being safe and meeting others who share the joy of mountain biking.
Thank you to our event partners & youth programming sponsors: Portland Parks & Recreation, project^, Fred Meyer, TriMet, Elaine B. Bikes, Trek Bicycles, Shimano, Warpaint Magazine
Coaching team: Jaime Reed, Jennifer Phillips, Deidre Iwersen, Myles Ridges, Nell Stamper, Nancy Stone, Amanda Hamlet, Roo Albisurez
Loading and unloading the bikes: Will Heiberg, Kent Anderson, Michael Whitesel