A Beginner’s Guide to Your First Mountain Bike “Try It Ride”

Embarking on a new sport can be thrilling yet a tad intimidating, especially for young riders and their supportive parents. A “Try It Ride” is a fantastic opportunity to dip your toes into the world of youth mountain biking, understand the team spirit, and gauge if this sport resonates.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to what happens during one of these fun and friendly sessions.

Introductions: Meeting Your Future Teammates

The session kicks off with everyone gathering around for introductions. It’s not just about putting names to faces; it’s about connecting with fellow riders. Riders share their names, schools, and what draws them to biking—be it the love for adventure or the simple joy of riding. This initial time sets a welcoming tone for the session.

Safety First: Bike and Helmet Checks

Before the pedals start turning, safety takes the spotlight. Coaches conduct thorough checks of bikes and helmets, ensuring everything is in good, working condition. This isn’t just about prevention; it’s a learning opportunity for riders to understand the essentials of cycling safety.

Breaking the Ice

Next up, an icebreaker exercise or game. It’s a light-hearted way to ease any nerves and get everyone laughing. These activities are designed to foster teamwork and camaraderie right from the start.

Foot Down Derby: A Skillful Challenge

The “Foot Down Derby” is where fun meets skill assessment. Riders try to keep their feet from touching the ground for as long as possible while riding in an ever condensing circle of coaches. While it’s all in good spirit, it also gives coaches a chance to observe the riders’ balance and bike handling skills.

Group Ride: Finding Your Pack

Riders then split into groups based on ability for a short ride. This is the heart of the “Try It Ride,” where participants get a real taste of cycling with the team. It’s an adventure, exploring trails and sharing the excitement of riding in a pack.

Hydration and Curiosity Break

A well-timed water break serves dual purposes—hydration and a moment for riders to quench their curiosity. Kids can ask coaches questions, delve deeper into cycling topics, or simply share their ride experiences so far.

Skills Clinic: Sharpening Your Abilities

The skills clinic is an invaluable segment where coaches teach and refine cycling techniques. From braking and gear shifting to navigating obstacles, riders get hands-on experience under expert guidance, boosting their confidence on the bike.

Fun Closure: Bike Games and Shout Outs

The session wraps up with a bike game, adding one last burst of fun to the day. It’s followed by shout outs, where achievements are celebrated, encouraging words are shared, and everyone leaves feeling accomplished and part of the team.

A Note to Parents: Your presence is invaluable! Not only do you get to witness your child’s first steps into team cycling, but it’s also a perfect time for Q&A with the coaches. Observing the practice offers insights into how the team operates, the safety measures in place, and the overall environment your child will be part of.

A “Try It Ride” is more than just a test run; it’s the beginning of a journey in youth cycling. It’s where passion for biking meets the thrill of teamwork, all under the watchful eyes of caring coaches. Whether you’re pedaling out for the first time or looking to join a team, this experience is your gateway to the exciting world of cycling.

Have a question after reading this? Email us at info@independenceyouthcycling.org


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