Our First Year as a Trips for Kids Chapter by Brandon and Jaime Baeza
Over the past couple of years we have seen how mountain biking can improve every aspect of your life, both physically and mentally. We’ve witnessed in our own kids, the mental breakthroughs that can happen when they learn to conquer something that they never thought they could do. We’ve seen the defeat when they’ve looked at a mountain and said, “There is no way that I can climb that”, and then they DO IT and we get to see the absolute joy and pride as they look down at what they accomplished. We love the sport of mountain biking as a family, and once we found out about Trips for Kids, it was really a no-brainer. There are hundreds of kids in our community who deserve to have the same opportunity.
As we bring 2018 to a close, we reflect back on our first year after establishing Trips for Kids Tulare County. This year brought lots of community support to help us get started. Generous individuals and local businesses and organizations saw our passion for biking and got on board to help us reach kids in our community. We were honored to receive training from our national sponsor, Giant Bicycles, and were immediately able to put that experience to use on our first Trips for Kids Discovery Trails ride. Our first two rides introduced kids to the beauty of nature just outside of the city, and the pure joy of mountain biking.
We made our bikes available to kids at a local bike race, and had one of our program participants complete his first mountain bike race because of it! After spending 2018 fundraising and gathering supplies, we look forward to providing more rides in 2019 and growing our volunteer team. We wrapped up the year by participating in our local holiday parade. The kids and volunteers had a blast decorating the bikes with lights, tinsel, and bows. Waving at the crowds as we rode slowly by was the icing on the cake and a subtle invitation for EVERY KID to ride with us!