From The Trail: Hugo's Big Climb
Archive Post from September 6th, 2016
When you’re a child growing up in the urban jungle, it can be hard to find ways to stay active and healthy. While research has shown that active kids do better in school, build stronger relationships, and lead healthier lives as adults, low-income children growing up in cities often lack safe green spaces where they can get outside and play, and private club sports can often be cost-prohibitive for many families.
This is where Trips For Kids can play a major role in providing a much-needed way to get out of the city and into nature, but also through the introduction to what will likely become a lifelong passion for cycling.
Take Hugo for example.
Hugo was a kid growing up in San Francisco, living in the city with his family and spending much of his time indoors. That is, until he joined up with the Native American Health Center and began participating in Trips For Kids Marin mountain bike trips. Over the course of many rides, Hugo developed confidence, learned the value of discipline and consistency, and formed a love for bikes that he never would have discovered had he not gotten out of the city and onto the mountain.
Introducing kids to cycling in their youth not only helps them build these essential life skills, but it also reinforces the value of the outdoors, living a sustainable life, and the value that bikes can play in ensuring a clean future. Through mountain biking, kids who otherwise spend most of their time indoors now have a chance to learn about conservation efforts, the value of national and state parks, and how to appreciate these open spaces while remaining respectful of the natural world that surrounds them. It’s a win-win-win if you ask us.
Not only has Hugo slimmed down since he started with Trips For Kids Marin (“the calves of a Tour De France rider!” according to Ride Leader Tim Long), but this past summer he also began mentoring younger riders, helping them develop the same skills - both on and off the bike - that Trips For Kids ride leaders helped him learn when he first started.
At his last ride this summer, Hugo announced he would be joining a private racing team in San Francisco this fall. First a Trips For Kids mountain bike, next the Tour De France…? We’re definitely cheering for you Hugo.
It all starts with a bike....
Trips For Kids is a donor-funded 501(c)3 organization based in San Rafael, CA. Your support can help change the lives of low-income Bay Area children. To make a donation, please visit us at Trips For Kids Marin.
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This blog is a gathering of thoughts, media, and insight from a wide range of Trips for Kids Marin Staff.