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Family XC Bike Club

limewave2012-04-11 02:18:00 +0000 #1
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?


Catrin2012-04-11 02:34:18 +0000 #2
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!
Irulan2012-04-11 03:00:45 +0000 #3
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.
limewave2012-04-11 02:44:55 +0000 #4
Quote:

Originally Posted by Irulan

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.
missjean2012-04-11 03:54:01 +0000 #5
Quote:

Originally Posted by Irulan

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.
SheFly2012-04-11 04:00:45 +0000 #6
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

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