Youth on Trails program takes kids mountain biking

As part of the Youth on Trails program, Duluth Parks and Recreation has been teaching kids to mountain bike this summer, working with Valley Youth Center on Tuesdays and Family Freedom Center on Thursdays.

“We share a building, so we’ve always been pretty close and they always seem like family,” said Family Freedom Center Youth Specialist Kantrelle Kirk. “We help each other out and whenever they have anything that they can help with, we can use it and vice versa. It’s pretty fun whenever we can get together.”

With a core group of kids participating weekly, instructors are able to start from scratch and help build their skill sets. Adam Fornear is a Recreation Specialist for Duluth Parks and Recreation. He enjoys seeing the kids’ confidence grow as they improve their mountain biking skills.

“You can see the personal growth in them and getting excited each time they come out for more and more,” said Fornear. “We taught five kids this summer already, just learning to ride a bike for the first time. But taking those in those kids that we taught to learn how to ride a bike, to get out on the trails. Really specific skill sets that allow them to confidently ride on those trails through things like that. Now, it’s just a great program and the kids are loving it.”

Anarii, 13, enjoys eating popsicles during the mid-trip break taken each week. She also likes learning new skills while having space.
“In-between every single bike, we have to have space,” said Anarii. “So then I could just go off in my own little world within that bike.”