7,100 kids enjoyed the trails October 3

IMBA's 'Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day' grows 39 percent over 2008

Thousands of kids participated in events around the world as part of the International Mountain Bike Association's 6th annual Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day (TAKMBD). On Sunday, October 3, local clubs organized 167 community events to get more kids on mountain bikes on their local trails.

Events were held across the United States as well as in Australia, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain and New Zealand.

At least 7,100 kids participated, according to IMBA's Communications Director, Mark Eller. That's how many kids were signed up as of September 15, the deadline for official registration. "We had events in 12 countries and in just about every state in the Lower 48 of the U.S.," Eller told Cyclingnews.com. It was the largest turnout in the TAKMBD's six-year history.

"The programme has been so successful that we can barely keep up," Eller said of the administrative and event planning support provided by IMBA. "We'll have to look at what we'll do next year. We want to bring in additional sponsor dollars to support the programme." From 2008 to 2009, participation in terms of riders doubled and the number of events grew 39 percent.

Each event is slightly different - details of the organization are left up to local promoters. For example, at a TAKMBD in Harrisonburg, Virginia, 40 kids of all ages participated in a bicycle safety exercise sponsored by city police before joining local Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition volunteers for a mountain bike ride on singletrack and some time on the pump track. Some kids were loaned helmets and bicycles so they could participate while others rode their personal bikes. Kids could participate in rides of varying lengths and difficulties.

TAKMBD celebrates the life of Jack Doub, an avid teenage mountain biker from North Carolina who had a true passion for the sport from an early age to the time when he passed away in 2002.

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