Trips for Kids in the Big Apple
"It was a beautiful spring day on May 2002. It was my birthday, and my husband took me to a bike show - There we saw a booth - the Trips for Kids booth. 'Cool' I thought - other families that take their kids mountain biking. I had a 2-year old and he loved being pulled along the trails in his chariot. After a brief conversation with the director, we realized that this was so much more, so much bigger than just riding. The moment my husband and I discovered we could give back to others while doing something we loved, we were hooked,” says Andree Sanders. Sixteen years after that fateful day at the bike show, she is now president of the Trips for Kids-Metro New York chapter.
Since becoming president of the chapter in 2006, Andree has expanded programming and taken more than 5,000 kids on discovery rides. The chapter now offers community events, adventure ride clubs and New York City’s first youth mountain bike racing team. Her husband and two kids frequently assist at Trips for Kids rides and events.
She also runs individual and group bike training programs for riders of all ages and at any skill level. Her low-stress and no-crash approach earned her the nickname, “Bike Whisperer.” The chapter and Andree have been recognized in The New York Times, Vogue, Bike NYC blog and a recent Bike Flights blog, and she is also part of the 2018 REI Women's Speaker Series: Mountain Bike Advocacy in the Tri-State.
“In all my years, every ride I go on, I see these kids transform before my eyes,” she reflects. “The most beautiful thing Trips for Kids does is bring this sense of freedom, excitement and accomplishment to each and every child we touch! It is contagious.”
“More than just bike enthusiasts who take kids riding on local trails, we believe Trips for Kids chapter leaders should be fully engaged in their community,” stated Robert Alan Ping, executive director of the Trips for Kids national office. “Andree Sanders executes this belief perfectly, and is accomplishing it in one of the most urban ‘neighborhoods’ in North America.”
Andree says: "My favorite quote is from a 17-year old kid from the Bronx, Oriel, who had never been in the woods: "My life changed for the better today. I learned that when you fall down, you get back up. And nothing, not even fear itself will stop Trips for Kids and its students from having a good time". This says it all! Being the Director of Trips for Kids-Metro New York has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done!"