What I Learned at Summer Camp: Mountain Biking
There are few activities that appeal to people of all ages in the way that bicycling does.
“It’s a lifetime sport that you can do from five years old until you’re 80-something,” said Kim Ruddy, director of the Loppet Foundation’s TRAIL KIDS program.
It helps that the Twin Cities have hundreds of miles of paved trails and bike lanes.
But the Loppet Foundation’s TRAIL KIDS Mountain Bike Camp helps kids realize that with bikes, there’s plenty more to explore.
“Once you get on the trails with some bumps and trees and things you’re trying to avoid, there’s a whole bunch of tricks and things you can do to make it a much more enjoyable experience,” said Steven Yore, a TRAIL KIDS coach.
Taking Bicycles Off-Road
Twice a week, dozens of kids — and a group of adult coaches — meet up at the Wirth Park Trailhead and ride through the park’s unpaved trails.
“So kids see nature and just get away from it all and get a little dirty,” Ruddy said.
Throughout the course of the month-long camp, kids learn a variety of skills.
“It’s everything from learning different positions like ready and neutral, having your pedals level when going downhill so you don’t hit rocks,” said Ruddy.
But most importantly, the camp is an opportunity for kids to realize there are ways to have fun that don’t involve looking at a screen.
“Get them away from all that. Get them into the woods,” Ruddy said. “They meet friends. It’s good for them. It’s healthy.”
In the process, the kids pick up a skill they’ll be able to use for the rest of their lives.
“It’s just a great environment to be at Wirth Park,” said Eyob Yore, an 11-year-old from Minneapolis.
July sessions for the mountain bike camp are still available for around $160. For more information on how to register, you can go to the Loppet Foundation website.