Active Trails Active Kids!
On January 19th 2018, 12 students, two teachers, and two parents from Grand Canyon School headed out on bikes to explore the Arizona Trail and nearby connectors from the Town of Tusayan, Arizona. Before the ride we helped students look over their bikes to ensure they were in good working condition before we headed out. Once chains were lubed, tire’s pumped up, and brakes adjusted we did a quick overview of some mountain biking fundamentals. Having a strong body position is a great way to improve both skills and confidence and learning effective braking strategies helps you feel more in control of your bike!
Once everyone was assembled we headed out on a 4 mile ride into the Kaibab National Forest to the Arizona Trail. Along the way students learned what lactic acid is, why it feels crummy in your legs at first, and what to do about it. They learned to shift before the hills, and descend with more confidence. We discussed trail etiquette and why keeping our wheels on the trail is so important for good trail stewardship.
When we reached our turn around point, the riders took a break to snack and explore the forest. They found a downed log that provided endless curiosity balancing on top of it, and peeking under the bark and into the rotting center to see if any resident creatures could be seen.
It was downhill all the way back to the starting point for our joyful crew after our invigorating forest adventure. This outing was a partnership between the Arizona Trail Association Seeds of Stewardship and the Grand Canyon National Park’s Active Trails Program. Many of these students had never been mountain biking before nor had any exposure to the many wonderful trails and outdoor recreation opportunities near their homes. It was a great day of exploration for all!