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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    2,546

    Family XC Bike Club

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    I've been tossing around the idea about establishing a family mountain bike club. DD has really taken to biking, however, she has already expressed that her friends don't get it and I can tell she feels a bit isolated. On the other hand, I happen to know quite a few parents through our local LBS that have young kids that they take mountain biking on occasion. My goal is to create a platform to connect these families, building a community of young cyclists (and their parents) that can encourage and inspire one another.

    There really is nothing in our region that does this. I'm asking for ideas, considerations, etc. I want to keep it fairly low-key for the first year, just to see how it goes.

    Things that are important to me: A clinic to cover very basic bike skills: stopping/starting, grip, balance, braking, site lines, etc. Possibly a beginner XC race clinic and a triathlon clinic (there is a kids triathlon in the summer that is very popular). And then a bunch of scheduled free-rides :-) Just riding some simple trails together, having fun. A matching jersey for each kid (to help establish that they are a team, a community).

    Thoughts? Ideas?
    2005 Giant TCR2
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    Iceman 2010-6th Place AG State Games, 2010-1st Sport, Cry Baby Classic 2010-7th Expert, Blackhawk XTerra Tri 2007-3rd AG

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    9,607
    While I don't have a family myself, this sounds great! A lot of work, perhaps more than you realize, but what a way to create a supportive atmosphere for younger folks to learn skills! Hopefully this would instill a love of mountain biking for life, or at least physical activity in general.

    You could have a contest of some kind to choose the name of the group Would you set up special "girls only" and "boys only" rides to go along with the scheduled free rides?

    Looking forward to learning what you decide to do and how it progresses!





    2011 Custom Gunnar

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    the dry side
    Posts
    4,313
    Build a team so you aren't doing everything. :-)

    When we started a bike club, we took input from a lot of folks on what it might look like, and then the core group fleshed it out based on the interests of those who were willing to make it happen. As compared to the, "It would great if you did blahblahblah?.

    And most importantly keep it really simple. Once you start organizing multiple events, putting a board in to place, finding sponsors, needing insurance... it can get to be a lot of work in a hurry.

    My thought: find a shop to help you organize a once a month family ride, and start there.

    I helped found a mountain bike club that eventually foundered due to volunteer burnout, and possibly not meeting the community's needs, so that's my perspective.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    2,546
    Quote Originally Posted by Irulan View Post
    Build a team so you aren't doing everything. :-)

    And most importantly keep it really simple. Once you start organizing multiple events, putting a board in to place, finding sponsors, needing insurance... it can get to be a lot of work in a hurry.

    My thought: find a shop to help you organize a once a month family ride, and start there.

    I helped found a mountain bike club that eventually foundered due to volunteer burnout, and possibly not meeting the community's needs, so that's my perspective.
    Those are my thoughts too. I have a bunch of ideas but I keep telling my self that this needs to start small and simple. I don't want it to be overwhelming for the kids or grow to be so much work I can't keep up with it.
    2005 Giant TCR2
    2012 Trek Superfly Elite AL
    2nd Sport, Pando Fall Challenge 2011 and 3rd Expert Peak2Peak 2011
    2001 Trek 8000 SLR
    Iceman 2010-6th Place AG State Games, 2010-1st Sport, Cry Baby Classic 2010-7th Expert, Blackhawk XTerra Tri 2007-3rd AG

    Occasionally Updated Blog

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Southern NH
    Posts
    172
    Quote Originally Posted by Irulan View Post

    My thought: find a shop to help you organize a once a month family ride, and start there.
    +1 on this.
    You will be able to judge after a year or so if there is enough interest to start your own organization.

    Or, if there is a regular mtb club in your area, you can a talk to them about helping organize more family oriented activities with them.

    Twelve years ago, I was a co-founder & president of the local chapter of a regional mtb club , New England Mountain Bike Association, and it was TONS of work. If we hadn't had the regional club to back us up, I don't think the chapter would still be here. Don't get me wrong, it was TONS of fun too, but if my kids were not already grown up, I don't think I could have done it.
    Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling. ~ James E.Starrs


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  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Suburban MA and Western ME
    Posts
    1,795
    I'll add my support for having your local LBS or other bike club help out with this. DH and I started a junior racing team last year. It is A LOT of work. And now, we're dealing with things like CORI checks... This is all good, but more effort than we imagined as well.

    Good luck - I LOVE the concept! And FWIW, IMBA and NICA (national inter-scholastic cycling association) have formed a partnership to try to get MTB racing leagues going around the country. There are several in place already - mostly in the West.

    SheFly
    "Well behaved women rarely make history." including me!
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    2,546
    If DD sticks with mountain biking, I'm considering sending her out to CO for summer camp in the future. They have some great mountain biking programs for young kids. I have some relatives in Durango that could host her (or I could be pursuaded to take a week off to accompany her ).

    Part of the reason I quit my second job was so that I would have time to be with the kids and support them in their endeavors.

    I've been thinking alot about my dad and my brother lately. They are responsible for an amazing youth development soccer program in our region. My dad pretty much built a soccer league/program by himself, all for my brother. And now my brother has taken it over. He has a very respectable premier league and trains coaches all over the US. Its really amazing.

    I just think, someone needs to start somewhere. If we could just get the ball rolling, perhaps there could be a really awesome mtb race youth program one day. Or maybe it will just be a few of us that get together to ride with our kids for a few years--we build some great friendships and have a good time along the way. Either way, its a win-win.
    2005 Giant TCR2
    2012 Trek Superfly Elite AL
    2nd Sport, Pando Fall Challenge 2011 and 3rd Expert Peak2Peak 2011
    2001 Trek 8000 SLR
    Iceman 2010-6th Place AG State Games, 2010-1st Sport, Cry Baby Classic 2010-7th Expert, Blackhawk XTerra Tri 2007-3rd AG

    Occasionally Updated Blog

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    951
    Limewave,

    Sounds FUN. Remember to keep it FUN. I get the feeling that you already know that but couldn't resist the reminder. If they think it's work...
    When our kiddos were young we used to invite their friends to ride with us, the biggest issue was POS/department store bikes that put a damper on the outing as the bikes just couldn't perform and the kids were miserable. I don't have an answer to how to solve that one but certainly something to be aware of.
    We would also do things like scavenger hunts on bikes, and of course, rides to the local ice cream parlor. Also follow the leader and all sorts of fun little games, especially when they start to get tired, took their minds off of pedaling and before you knew it they were laughing and smiling again.
    Sky King
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,104
    Hey, you know we'd be happy to join, too. If you need another mom to help in some way, count me in!

    BTW, I already told DH that when DS outgrows his new CX bike that we'd certainly give you guys first dibs to buy it from us, since your DD will probably be big enough for it by the time DS is ready to move on to something larger.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
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    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    2,546
    Zoom-Zoom--I will hold you to that!

    I'm writing a proposal and will be presenting at the next meeting. I'm excited for this summer. The family biking idea has generated a lot of interest, more than I anticipated.
    2005 Giant TCR2
    2012 Trek Superfly Elite AL
    2nd Sport, Pando Fall Challenge 2011 and 3rd Expert Peak2Peak 2011
    2001 Trek 8000 SLR
    Iceman 2010-6th Place AG State Games, 2010-1st Sport, Cry Baby Classic 2010-7th Expert, Blackhawk XTerra Tri 2007-3rd AG

    Occasionally Updated Blog

 

 

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