TFK Pocono Flow featured in the Pocono Record

September 01, 2011

As summer slowly fades into fall families may not want to miss the opportunity to get out enjoy the great outdoors. Trips For Kids mountain biking program is offering, free of charge, a family to get out and get fit.
As summer slowly fades into fall families may not want to miss the opportunity to get out enjoy the great outdoors. Trips For Kids mountain biking program is offering, free of charge, a family to get out and get fit.

Held at Delaware Water Gap National Park's Hialeah Picnic Area located south of Smithfield Beach two miles north on Route 209 of Shawnee Village. Trips For Kids has opened the world of cycling to more than 60,000 at-risk youth through mountain bike rides. TFK provides the materials, moral support and inspiration an individual or group needs to help youth discover the joy of mountain biking.

Pocono Flow, The Trips for Kids Northeast Pennsylvania chapter, is an initiative of Youth Infusion Inc. and was chartered in July 2010. Youth Infusion has worked steadily to launch the bike ride program, which will incorporate personal challenges, physical activity, healthy snacks, and environmental awareness. Trips for Kids program includes a two- to four-hour long bike outing on Saturday, Sept. 10, between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. for children ages 10 and up. It will continue the first Saturday of each month through the fall to inspire local youth to become passionate about the sport of biking.

Youth Infusion sponsors the program in conjunction with the Delaware Water Gap National Park. Youth Infusion Inc. is a grassroots, nonprofit organization that creates both school-based and community-based programs for youth of Northeast Pennsylvania.

Program leaders, some of them professional bicyclists, will teach those in attendance the basic skills of biking as well as showing the more skilled bikers advanced techniques. Young riders and their families can behold the beautiful scenery the park has to offer riding along McDade trail, a multi-use off-road trail that is easily reachable with no incline and a lightly stoned path. All adult ride leaders who volunteer are CPR certified and have complete criminal background checks.

Former professional bicyclist and ride leader Jim DellaValle said, "We have had guest speakers that give a 15-minute talk to the TFK crew midway through all of our rides and at the end of the rides as well. They've spoken about "H2O pollution โ€” from the house to the creek, stream, river, cycling โ€” a healthy kick start, Marcellus Shale โ€” how it affects the water we drink, the eco system of all creeks, and the aquifer below the ground.

"One big step in the rides is getting a hold of the kids' minds as they go for a ride and letting them think openly about topics that affect all of us every day. Educating the kids to think long term thoughts about the future, the land and our own footprint we leave behind every day. "ยป It's not all a big lesson plan-filled day on a bike ride. We give the kids the opportunity to go for a ride for free with us, provide them with good spirit and earth minded outlooks. Off-road cycling can be a very good way to release built-up stress from being cooped up inside all the time in front of a TV, computer, etc. Let's look at the seeds of our community first and start there."

Snacks will be available for participants after the ride and they are all encouraged to bring plenty of water to stay hydrated.

DellaValle added, "With the help of MCTA (Monroe County Transit Authority), there are several free bus ride services that connect to normal bus transit in the area to get to the trailheads of some local parks and the buses have bike carriers. We would like to see more people use our local transit system and offer everyone a chance to go for a hike, ride, kayak, picnic from our local area."

Bikes and helmets are available for any youth who need them; contact Youth Infusion by calling 570-266-5125 or email regarding questions on this event or reserving equipment.

The event is determined by the weather conditions they suggested to visit their website, if there is inclement weather.

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