MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
The sound of winding bicycle gears approached as the treetops shadowed a meandering trail with sunlight beaming through, and cheerful voices of excited children grew thicker.
This was Marine Corp Base Camp Lejeune’s first Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day event hosted by The National Mountain Biking Association, at the Henderson recreation area Oct. 6.
The emphasis behind the event was to get military families out and actively involved in mountain biking.
“Mountain biking can be taken wherever the Marine Corps sends you,” said Jeff LeBlanc, a mountain biking coordinator with Down East Cyclists. “This is about introducing kids to the joys of mountain biking.”
The event provided group rides for all ages, obstacles to simulate trails, and taught children how to stick together while riding.
The tired and famished participants indulged in pizza as the day’s activities wound down.
The event was sponsored by Marine Corps Community Services, as well as a local bike shop in Jacksonville, who donated a bicycle to one lucky boy and girl at the closing of the group ride.
Shawn Kane, a manager of a local bike shop, said it was great seeing the kids smile. His downtown bike gallery focuses on the importance of promoting a healthy lifestyle, and they said they were thrilled to be able to donate two bikes to the event in hopes that the kids will continue in their riding adventures.
Kayona Kent, who attended the event with her uncle, was the winner of the girl’s bike.
“I was excited to win the mountain bike,” said Kent. “This is my first time biking, now I want to do it more.”
The boy’s bike winner was 2-year-old Ayden Evans, brought out by his grandparents Cindy Evans and retired Maj. David Evans. Ayden stood by his new bike overjoyed, disregarding the fact the seat towered over his head.
“He will grow into it,” said Cindy smiling. “The event was well organized and had a great turnout. The event was for kids of all ages. We are fortunate to have organizations such as (MCCS and the local bike shop) here supporting our military and their families.”
For more information on future visit www.mccslejeune.com.