The Benefits of Mountain Biking for Kids
by April Katz
I am a multi-sport kind of gal. I am a mom, love to mountain bike, cyclocross, surf, SUP, and snowboard. I'm just a beginner. Honestly, I have only been mountain biking for the last two years, but riding bikes goes back to early childhood. One of the great things about sports is participation defies disability.
At nine years old, I was diagnosed with dyslexia. I struggled because teachers and family members talked me down and said I couldn’t read or write. It wasn’t until I met a teacher who gave me the tools I needed that I learned to navigate this crazy life path. The right tools and the right environment let me pursue adventure, which feels epic.
In 2019, I started a local non-profit called The AIROW Project (Adaptive and Inclusive Recreation of Whatcom County). We create community-based outdoor recreation opportunities for those with disabilities. A large part of our focus is adaptive cycling, as well as creating biking programs for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). As an ICP adaptive level 1 bike instructor, I coach individuals, showing them that their ability is more substantial than their disability. We are spreading the message that riding is for everyone; everybody can and should cycle.