Our group of kids started biking together when they were 7 or 8 years old. My son would have a sleepover with 4-5 boys and we would bike around town looking for smooth sidewalks, pot holes and straightaways to race on. From there biking became transportation, a tool to their freedom, a freedom other kids their ages did not have at 7/8 years old. I would let them ride to swim team practice or around our neighborhood. They started finding jumps, and even started building new ones in an empty lot of sage brush behind a friend’s house.
Prosser is a Football town and kids that don’t play can feel left out when it comes to athletics. I encourage cycling as one of the sports that transition from childhood to adulthood. It is difficult to find 10-11 friends to play soccer or football with as an adult but you can always hit the trail on your bike alone to keep active. Cycling is also a very unifying sport. If you put a group of kids together on bikes they will bond, regardless of social class, athletic or academic ability they all can ride a bike. This is what Prosser needs for all the kids that don’t play football and maybe some that do.
I saw the Washington State Student Cycling League “come join us” video on a friend’s Facebook page last fall and knew this would be perfect for our kids! They all started 6th grade this year. Before we all took the plunge into middle school, I set up a 3 day mountain bike camp at Mt. Hood’s new bike learning center. The experience was amazing, we learned proper pedal position, body position, how to turn on berms, take jumps and even rode off a 5 foot drop off! They all crashed at least once pushing their limits and learned so much from Scott Connors and his team at Mt. Hood. On our final day there the boys rode down Timberline trail and when they got back to the center went down a black diamond trail with a top ranked mountain biker in our area. To say it was epic is an understatement, we cannot wait to use our newfound skills in the spring cycling league and for next summer’s mountain bike camp at Mt. Hood!!!
My name is Jenny Hare; I am an Emergency Room Nurse. I plan to coach the team with the help of several parents. I started cycling not too long ago in 2009 when I began triathlon training. I enjoy road biking, smooth pavement and fast skinny tires. My triathlon career ended 3 days before my first race in Maui when I crashed on a simple trip to the store and cracked my helmet and got a concussion. When my son showed interest in mountain biking I tried to ride with them on my road bike but found I was always waiting at some dirt path for them to return to the pavement so I could ride along side. It didn’t take long for me to sell my road bike and buy a mountain bike. I learned a lot at Mt. Hood and hope to learn more at the coaching clinics so I can coach the kids to success in cycling.
To contact Jenny Hare, coach for the Prosser team, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.