TRIPS FOR KIDS CHARLOTTE PROGRAMS
The signature initiatives of Trips for Kids Charlotte are our Ride Program and Earn-A-Bike Program, enriching the lives of underserved youth
through biking. Click below to learn more.
The heart of Trips for Kids Charlotte (TFKC) is our Ride Program. We provide mountain biking experiences and mentoring to 10- to 15-year-olds from fragile neighborhoods or environments.
Typically, we take more than a dozen young cyclists on Saturday morning rides from early February through mid-December at Colonel Francis Beatty Park in Matthews.
We also ride and hold special events at other venues as well, both locally and out of town. Such occasions include an annual weekend at DuPont State Forest, Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day, the Amazing Race Weekend, out-of-town day trips and the Girls’ Leadership Weekend. Each summer we sponsor two outstanding boys to attend Camp Carolina in Brevard, N.C., and two outstanding girls to attend Camp Thunderbird at Lake Wylie, S.C.
Our participants come from Title 1 schools, nonprofits and community groups, and the opportunity to ride is often a reward for good behavior and/or good grades. The kids must be part of a group that has coordinated with TFKC to participate and provides transportation to our sites.
Each ride begins with a safety session to ensure participants understand trail rules and how to operate their bicycle safely. The skill level of each group determines the level of trail ridden. As proficiency increases, kids are challenged with more difficult trails.
Several area cycling clubs, including The Dirt Divas, Cannonballs and Tarheel TrailBlazers, volunteer as adult buddies for the rides. TFKC also has our own dedicated volunteer contingent.
If you would like to volunteer or have kids participate, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note, youth volunteers under fourteen must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
Through our Earn-A-Bike (EAB) Program, we teach boys and girls bike safety, maintenance and repair. When they successfully complete the program — which is at no cost to them — they earn a bike with front and rear safety lights, a helmet and a sturdy lock.
Held at the Charlotte Re-Cyclery, classes are usually Monday evenings or after school and target 9- to 15-years-olds from fragile neighborhoods or environments. Organizations that bring children to the TFKC Ride Program have traditionally been the same groups participating in EAB. If you’re interested in bringing kids to a class, email email@example.com.
Please note that students must know how to ride a bike independently (without training wheels) in order to enroll in this class. If they are unable to do so, please attend a free Learn to Ride event before signing them up for our Earn-A-Bike class.
Each EAB class consists of three sessions:
Kids learn the names for parts of the bicycle and how to change a flat tire.
They pick out their bicycle and assess what is wrong with it, making sure the bike is the right size for them. The kids begin cleaning and tuning up their own bikes.
They learn how to ride a bike safely, both on and off the road. Each participant receives a helmet and lock. They then test their new bikes on a skills course and ride on the Little Sugar Creek Greenway before taking the bikes home.
Participants must agree to the following EAB rules:
Obtain permission from a parent or guardian to participate.
Respect each other, the instructors, the tools and the bikes.
Start on time and end on time. Put away tools, parts and bikes after class.
Address adults respectfully as Mr., Mrs. or Ms.
No horseplay: Keep your hands to yourself. No running or riding bikes in the Charlotte Re-Cyclery. No wandering around the shop.
No cellphone use during class.
Get approval from the adult in charge before starting or changing a task. Remember to complete tasks you begin.
Fill out the Earn-A-Bike Waiver.