Becky Slamal: Partners thank riders | SteamboatToday.com

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Becky Slamal: Partners thank riders

Partners in Routt County would like to thank Routt County Riders, Steamboat Bike Town and Steamboat Ski and Bike Kare for sharing their passion for pedaling with 11 Routt County youths, many of whom are waiting for mentors.

The International Mountain Biking Association celebrated its 11th annual Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day on Saturday. The day is sponsored by Subaru of America.

"The event," states IMBA, "strives to encourage communities around the world to join together and ride mountain bikes with youth. Besides being good, healthy fun, the goal is to develop a connection between kids and the natural world around them. Today's children are tomorrow's land managers and politicians — future decision-makers for important matters like recreation and access to public lands."

In addition to meeting the goals mentioned by IMBA, the event also proved to be an opportunity for youth to connect with positive adults, develop an interest in cycling, get some exercise and enjoy a beautiful fall day.

Routt County Riders, our local IMBA chapter, took the lead on coordinating the event by working with Steamboat Ski and Bike Kare to secure bikes and helmets for all of the youths. They also provided volunteers and lunch. Steamboat Bike Town USA also helped out during the event and provided the youths with information on bike safety.

The smiles were countless throughout the day, and all of the kids reported "having SO much fun!" A few of the kids started out a bit timid, but after a couple of hours, they were going fast and trying tricks. It was hard for them to give the bikes back at the end of the day.

The kids who participated in this event would not have had this opportunity if it were not for the generosity and passion of the people who put it together. If they have a bike of their own it is often the wrong size or not working properly. Their access also is limited by not having an adult that they can go with.

Much of what we do at Partners in Routt County is broaden the worlds of youth in our community by introducing them to positive adults who can share their interests and passions, giving them access to opportunities they otherwise might not have had. Often the mentor's world is broadened as well.

We appreciate the ongoing generous support of this community who helps us achieve our mission one Routt County youth at a time. Whether you are a volunteer, a donor or funder, a business, a collaborating nonprofit or some other supporting entity, we thank you for believing in the power of mentoring and helping us make a positive difference in the lives of Routt County youth.

Becky Slamal

Partners in Routt County community outreach manager