Every Monday, a small but excited group of kids gather at both Lake Fairfax at Wakefield to hit the mountain biking trails. Since April, the Bike Lane has been leading junior mountain bike rides every week at these two locations. This year, Elaine Hess has taken over the organization of these rides and the recruiting of Bike Lane teammates to volunteer and help lead rides.
Each week, around 10 or more riders, ages ranging from 6 to 16, gather to ride. The group breaks into at least three different groups of different ability levels ranging from complete beginners to advanced riders. A girl’s ride often breaks off from the group as well. Each group has at least 2 volunteers to lead and sweep the ride. Several regulars can be spotted leading and sweeping the groups including Frank Raiti, Beth Fulton, Anne Mader, Arden Sperty, Kyle Murphy, Catherine Sheridan, George Shultz, Ryan Jenkins, and Joe Peñano.
The beginner group spends some time going over basic skills like balance, shifting, and hydration. Their focus is mainly around getting comfortable and confident on their bikes on the trail in a fun setting. The intermediate group is already familiar with many of the trails and can tackle most obstacles. The advanced group consists of junior racers. Some adults might have trouble keeping up on this ride!
It’s never too late for new kids to join in on a Monday Night Juniors ride. The rides are free and only require a bike, helmet, water, and a completed RSVP form before the ride. This ensures that we have enough volunteers to provide a high quality experience for the kids. If you are unsure about your child’s ability to participate, come out and meet our volunteers. We often have enough Bike Lane volunteers to help a child who is out on the trails for the first time. For more information visit the Bike Lane Juniors website.
The video below is of Holly, who is 6 years old, and Sarah, who is 7 years old, on their first Bike Lane Junior’s ride. It looks like they are officially hooked on mountain biking!