Saturday, October 1 was a fabulous day to put some tires on dirt for Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day!
The sun was shining at Gateway Green in NE Portland as over 100 people gathered to celebrate this family-oriented outdoor event. Northwest Trail Alliance (NWTA), in partnership with Portland Parks & Recreation, crafted a community-forward opportunity highlighting how versatile and crucial park spaces like Gateway Green are to mountain biking — and all-around access to the outdoors. In addition to city-wide communications, NWTA contacted local community groups in the Gateway Green neighborhood areas to spread the word on this annual opportunity right in their backyard. For some kids and their families, it was their first introduction to what mountain biking is all about. Others had some mountain biking skills under their pedals, but were working on improvements and gaining confidence.
A team of 13 professional coaches, organized by Elaine Bothe of Elaine B. Bikes, graciously donated their time setting up and coaching at six different skill stations throughout the park. Kids had so much fun visiting each skill station and earning a Shimano Youth Series medal once they hit all six. Gateway Green has over 2 miles of bike trails, 2 pump tracks, a skills course, a “jump line” and adaptive mountain biking loop. Nearly all aspects of the park were in use, with many families reporting that they were so excited to learn how kids of all ages could use the features.
The Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day celebration and all 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 of Trek Bikes. A critical bike safety station was staffed and maintained by Metropolis Cycle Repair, a local bike shop always ready to support Portlanders and more kids on bikes. A crew from Cyclepath pulled out all sorts of talents to help with the festival atmosphere; including setting up a photo booth to capture the amazing face painting talents of Hypatia Kumbera and roving around the park for safety.
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 2023 on Saturday, October 7! 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
Elaine B. Bikes
Metropolis Cycle Repair
Fat Tire Farm