Club Name: Dreigiau Coed y Brenin Dragons Mountain Biking Club
Location: Coed y Brenin, North West Wales
Located at arguably one of UK's best trail centres, Dreigiau Coed y Brenin Dragons Mountain Biking Club are not content with just offering coaching sessions to their younger members, they believe that other skills, such as course designing and building, are also important.
Nikki Taylor, head coach at the clubs explains how the Build It! Ride It events came about: 'Three years ago I decided to use a small wooded area in Machynlleth that was used for mainly dog walking to set up a race for the local kids. The ethos behind it was: If you have a bit of tape, a few gardening tools and a few friends, then you can have a great day. First year we had 8 kids. Then we did the same thing for a cycling festival in the Leisure Centre and followed that with a similar event at the Dyfi Enduro. During our recent October half term event, we had 24 kids for the whole day designing courses and racing.'
What's it all about?
'The half term Build It! Ride It! event was held on Wednesday 29th October in the wooded area behind the main car park in Machynlleth and was organised by Nikki Taylor with assistance from Mike Tong from Welsh Cycling. The fun started at 10.30 as kids ranging from the ages of 3 to 12 came to design and set up a mountain bike skills trail through a small wooded area.
The aim of the event was to introduce youngsters to the fun of mountain biking in a safe and controlled environment, getting them involved in the laying out of the course and culminating in several time trials to encourage participation and develop confidence.
First of all, the area had to be swept and cleared of any hazards, a spirited discussion ensued over the route the cycle trail should take, making the best of the local features, tight turns, small jumps and of course, avoiding all the big trees! This was then marked out with tape, poles and direction arrows and when completed, the kids were allowed to "walk" the course to get a feel for it. In the meantime, all those who had registered for the time trials (25 in total) were split into age groups: 10-12s, 8-9s, 6-7s and 5 & under.
Although the youngsters were quite competitive, they all recognised the day was about having fun - it was great to see them all supporting one another and there was lots of encouraging shouts and cheers! In between trials, several riders got together to compare notes and discuss some of the more technical aspects of the short course, with the more experienced ones offering tips and suggestions to those just starting out.
Lots of keen eyes were kept on the leader board as some real stars started to emerge. After each age group had been timed 3 times around the track, the overall winners were declared. Everyone agreed that it had been a great learning experience and all the youngsters were winners for getting involved and taking part! A thoroughly great day was had by all.
Our thanks go out to Nikki Taylor and Mike Tong, along with the parents that stayed to help out and ensure a highly successful event. Special thanks also goes to Bro Ddyfi leisure centre for publicising the event and taking pre-bookings.'
To find out more about Coed y Brenin Dragons contact Elize on email@example.com