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Getting Kids off the Couch and on a Bike

October 2 is National Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day: Preventing Childhood Obesity

photo of kids bicycling
 

From the International Mountain Bicycling Association

In garages across the country, kids bicycles lean on their kickstands with cobwebs in the spokes. Competing with a comfy couch, a video game and the Internet, the bikes are ignored. With childhood obesity reaching an all-time high and childhood physical activity an all-time low, the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) invites adults and kids everywhere to get out their bikes and hit the trails on Saturday, October 2, for the first annual National Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day.

"Mountain biking is an activity that can help reverse the trend toward childhood obesity."

Today's youth are less active than ever before, and according to the U.S. Surgeon General, the percentage that is overweight has nearly tripled in the past two decades. Forecasts predict that the current generation of children in the United States could actually have a shorter life expectancy than their parents as the epidemic of childhood obesity continues. "Mountain biking is an activity that can help reverse the trend toward childhood obesity," says Hill Abell, president of IMBA. "Mountain biking is a great physical activity and the perfect way for adults and children to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise together."

IMBA, with the help of U.S. Congressman Richard Burr of North Carolina, has introduced a resolution to the U.S. Congress declaring the first Saturday in October as National Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day. The resolution was established in memory of Jack Doub, an avid teenage mountain biker who had a passion for the sport of mountain biking.

Mountain biking builds self-confidence and offers kids and adults an adrenaline-packed adventure while giving them an effective, low-impact workout. "We are looking forward to being a part of National Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day. It's a great way to spend a day focusing on positive, fun outdoor experiences for children, while teaching valuable lessons about living a healthy lifestyle, personal responsibility and environmental awareness," notes Andrew Goodwillie, an IMBA member and director of Trips for Kids Denver who will be organizing a ride in the Denver area.

Adults and children who are interested in participating on Saturday, October 2, are encouraged to visit http://www.imba.com/resources/kids/index.html for additional information about National Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day and up-to-date event locations. Additionally, individuals can register their participation online and share their stories for a chance to win three Schwinn kids mountain bikes to be donated to a local charity or youth group of their choice.

About IMBA

Founded in 1988, the International Mountain Bicycling Association is a nonprofit educational association that works to bring out the best in mountain biking by encouraging low-impact riding, volunteer trailwork participation, cooperation among different trail user groups and innovative trail management solutions. IMBA's worldwide network is comprised of individual members, bicycle clubs, corporate partners and bicycle retailers. IMBA's National Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day is supported by the Jack Doub Memorial Endowment, Schwinn Bicycles and the Goldsmith-Greenfield Foundation.

For more information about National Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day and local events, please visit www.imba.com/resources/kids/index.html. Contact: Pete Webber, IMBA communications director, pete@imba.com or 303-545-9011.

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