April 20, 2022
By Kali Kotoski
The American Motorcyclist Association is proud to announce that the second annual Take a Kid Dirt Biking Day is happening on Saturday, May 21. This nationwide campaign aims to cultivate the next generation of passionate riders by giving them a chance to learn skills, boost confidence and appreciation for the sport.
And of course, it is a great reason to spend some quality time with family and friends as spring leads into the summer riding season.
Whether it’s taking the kids out to trails, riding on a dirt track or just tooling around in the backyard, AMA Deputy Director of Racing Mike Burkeen said it is important to provide steady mentorship to build confident and capable riders.
“It’s important that experienced riders help bring new kids into the sport and continue as mentors,” Burkeen said. “If you just tell a kid to put on a helmet and go ride around a field, that is nowhere near as impactful as an experienced rider teaching a kid the right way to ride so that they don’t have to unlearn bad practices.”
Throughout Burkeen’s career, he has seen the importance of family in fostering new riders, whether that is out in the woods or on the racetrack.
“Two-time AMA Supercross 450SX Champion Cooper Webb is a great example,” he said. “He started riding when he was four and started racing when he was five. It was really a family thing with his mom taking him riding every afternoon and dad when he was off work. Their dedication has paid off with Cooper’s countless wins.”
Ryan McFarland, founder and CEO of Strider Bikes and 2021 recipient of the AMA’s Bessie Stringfield Award, stressed the importance of teaching kids to ride on two wheels at a young age in order to make the jump to motorcycling a lower risk calculation.
“A child that starts on a balance bike at 2 years old and then moves to a pedal bike a couple years later, then a mini dirt bike a few years after that is far more likely to be a safe and successful adult motorcyclist than someone who started motorcycling late in life with no base skill of riding on two wheels,” he said. “If children learn to ride bicycles at a young age and spend time riding as youth, maybe even commuting to school or jobs as teens and young adults, then the step to motorcycling is viewed as low risk and quite easy.”
To register for the event click here.
Share your stories by posting photos with the hashtag #AMAKidsRide. You can also tag us on Facebook at @AmericanMotorcyclist or on Instagram @ama_riding. When you share your story, you’ll have a chance to be featured on the AMA website and in American Motorcyclist magazine.
This is the second year the AMA has promoted this nationwide campaign, and as more parents and riders participate, the more it will grow. So, help spread the word!