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October 7: MORCA’s Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day (with Monterey Off Road Cycling Association)

Isn’t mountain biking just for rough-and-tumble kids? Not if you’re fortunate enough to have a community of mountain bikers that likes to include everyone.

Monterey Off Road Cycling Association (MORCA) demonstrates this welcoming inclusiveness by their  schedule of rides.  They have social rides (“no drop”/no one left behind) as well as  “no mercy” rides for tough riders.  They have rapid-pace rides, ladies’ rides, and family rides.

Getting the picture?  Surprise!  Mountain biking can be for just about everyone.

Jerrica & father Darius Rike, 5-12-12 at Intergen Ride
Saturday, October 7, 2017 is Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day in Monterey County.
In 2016, the location was changed from Toro Park due to its serving as a staging location for Soberanes Fire firefighting. In 2017, it is scheduled for Fort Ord, at the Day Camp Cycling Area near Intergarrison Rd and Reservation Rd. Visit Monterey Off Road Cycling Association (MORCA) website for all the details: http://www.morcamtb.org/tkmbd/.
Most of the info below remains relevant for 2017; check with MORCA for updates.

On a related note: Royal Calkins, writing for Voices of Monterey Bay, 10/31/17, provided a worthy report—especially of interest regarding Toro Park and other Monterey County Parks. Refer to Bicycling Monterey’s post “Sharing Monterey County Parks and Other Public Lands: Administration, Care, and Use.”

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Thanks to Juan Villa and the Salinas Californian for sharing a gallery of 52 scenes of this annual event, photographed by Juan on 10/3/15. To view that gallery on the Californian website: click here.

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Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day

is an annual event.

TAKMBD activities include basic bike safety, a skills course, trail rides for all ages, and a barbeque lunch.

This is a  free event hosted by MORCA, usually at Toro Park [check with MORCA about location change for 2016, due to Soberanes Fire].  (If you bike or hike into the park, no cost for park entry either; if you drive in to Toro Park, check with Monterey County Parks about entry fee per vehicle.

Check with MORCA for details, including info about a limited number of loaner bikes and helmetshttp://www.morcamtb.org/tkmbd/

What age kids? Nationally, a common age recommendation for this annual event is ages 6-16. Locally, MORCA is very inclusive and is happy to set up  activities for children as young as two and for older teens (17-18) as well.

 

Want to see what it looks like?  Click here for a video montage of photos from MORCA’s 2012 Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day.

“What?  You know I love biking, Dad, but mountain biking?  Well, it could be fun–so, sure, let’s go.
(Photo of Annabelle Bull, courtesy of Simon Bull.)

Love a kid?  Invite them mountain biking

While different sorts of bikes and cycling activities will appeal to different kids, many will revel in mountain biking, given the opportunity.  And annually, this special day is an easy way to offer them that op, with excellent support.

Mountain biking?  I’ve heard it’s not so eco cool….

Mountain biking sometimes gets a bad rap, due to the minority of cyclists who call themselves mountain bikers yet forget that the land they bike on is sacred and requires good stewardship.  That’s not the case with Monterey Off Road Cycling Association (MORCA).  They subscribe to the Rules of the Trail developed by the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA), which include such commitments as “leave no trace.”

MORCA, like IMBA, encourages  low-impact riding, and cooperation among different trail user groups.  Read “Fort Ord: A beauty worth maintaining” by Dave Nordstrand of the Salinas Californian for one report on MORCA’s land stewardship.

Check out the MORCA website for more about that topic, plus news of their rides and other activities, and helpful links.

Want to volunteer?

If you are able, please jump in and give MORCA a hand, so more kids will enjoy a prime chance to experience mountain biking in Monterey County.  Volunteers are needed for a variety of tasks, including poster placement, serving as a barbecue chef, course marking, course set up and break down, and more.  Volunteer sign-ups are accepted online at the MORCA site.

Besides, this will help you get to know the dedicated and fun-loving MORCAns too!

Out of the area?

The day is celebrated by the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA), so if you’re out of the Monterey Bay area, check out the IMBA site and look for a responsible mountain biking group near you.  You’ll find “Ten Tips for Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day” and related resources on the IMBA site.

History

The first Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day nationally was in 2004.

Monterey County joined the fun in 2007 when MORCA sponsored what was then termed the first “MORCA Meander” (held that year at Fort Ord–Travel Camp near East Garrison). That local day of festivities, held October 6, 2007, included kids rides at various levels of age/skill and endurance, geared toward the younger children; bike-skills structures to play around with on your bike, from easy on-the-ground to elevated 3 ft off the ground; and a timed obstacle course on and over these structures–something that had been offered and loved by kids at a similar activity the prior spring. That 2007 celebration also included bike skills demonstrations, a BBQ, and more. Since then, Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day has been hosted by MORCA annually.

But why take a kid  mountain biking?

As of July 2014, there are three high school mountain bike teams in Monterey County–Monterey Composite, open to boys and girls who are homeschooled or in a private or public school without a team;  Palma School’s Chieftains; and Salinas High School Cowboys. Coaches and parents support these opportunities for local teens because they know the benefits of biking.

Aaron Magenheim’s parents recognized that mountain biking could inspire an enlivened appreciation for nature, build character, strengthen health, increase physical stamina, foster solid relationships with others in the community, and much more.

Besides, Aaron found mountain biking a lot of fun!

Monterey County native Aaron Magenheim with his brand new mountain bike.

(Photo courtesy of Kay and Sieg Magenheim)

Aaron’s father, Sieg Magenheim, was one of the original members of the first organized mountain biking group in Monterey County.  Aaron, now 28, is pictured wearing the jersey of that first group, Monterey Mountain Bike Association (MOMBA).  This was the predecessor to the presently active local MTB group, Monterey Off Road Cycling Association (MORCA).

Biker for life

Seems those seeds his parents sowed in Aaron’s early years were planted in fertile ground.  He still loves mountain biking.   Get a glimpse of Aaron this year, along with other family members, in Generations of Cycling.

Check out Aaron at 16 at the Sea Otter Classic.  He and his dad helped prepare Laguna Seca for those first bike races over 20 years ago.

Aaron is also a supporter of HER Helmet Thursdays, contributing bike-there tips for some of the more remote locations.  And he inspired the newest component of the project; see Acknowledgments section of this site.  Appreciate those contributions?  Thank Aaron when you see him, and thank his parents for taking a kid mountain biking!

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This post is dedicated to the memory of Betty Krumvieda, a beloved friend and Aaron’s grandmother.  She passed away on 30 August 2010, Aaron’s birthday.

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Archived 2014 poster:

FLYER_2014_bikeborder

This post has been updated since first published on  8/30/10.

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