Monday, May 20, 2019

Trips for Kids 2018 Year in Review

Trips for Kids chapters open up the world of cycling to at-risk youth through mountain bike rides. 

For the third consecutive summer we utilized the Trips for Kids bikes to engage newcomer youth; exposing them to the fun and freedom of bikes. This program, in conjunction with Phil Craik of YReach, has run every summer since these youth have arrived in Canada. In the two previous summers, we provided several sessions for kids, ranging in age from 5 to 17, that included basic biking and road skills. Trail Flow generously provided the use some of their porta-park features both summers. 
For the summer of 2018 we decided to do something different...instead of sessions in closed spaces we used the bikes to go for rides using the rails to trails. Despite living in the area for several years, most of the kids had no idea that the trail existed. For the first session (July 28, 2018) we rode from Lockhart Ryan Park to Wolfville and back (w/8 participants). It was so much fun for the kids to travel that distance. The kids had a great sense of accomplishment. Phil and his wife Bekah lead a second ride (August 16, 2018) with 8 participants where the group rode to Grand Pre and back. The third ride had 9 participants and was held on August 23, 2018.  These sessions were a bit smaller than in previous years because the younger kids couldn't do the longer rides. 
There is so much potential in the Trips For Kids bikes. They have been used for several other learn to bike programs and seem to be used regularly by other groups. The inventory of bikes and helmets are stored in a garage at the New Minas recreation center - a central location that is close to safe trails and roads as well as easy access to our rails to trails.
Contact Andy Maclean if you would like to get involved in the program - information in the "contact" section.