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 email@example.com. Please note, youth volunteers under fourteen must be accompanied by a responsible adult.