My passion is running, my husband’s is biking. Our daughter is still figuring it out. Some days she wants to be a runner like me, other days she wants to follow in her dad’s footsteps and ride bikes. Honestly, we could care less whose footsteps she follows, as long as she keeps moving.
Last weekend she surprised us both by riding in the Dirty Kanza Kids Bike Race. It’s something she talked about doing, but with anything, we told her she needed to train (I say this term loosely as training was basically riding her bike) and I wondered if she’d stick with it.
She actually did, and she’s really grown to love riding her bike. The week of the race, she rode 5 miles on a bike path near our home, her longest distance ever, taking the hills and wind head on. She did her part, so I did mine, I registered her for the race, and drove her to Emporia so she could finish the “DK.”
The race is sponsored by the Emporia Recreation Commission in conjunction with the Dirty Kanza (a ridiculously tough 200 mile gravel bike race through the Flint Hills of Kansas). The kid’s race is free to participants and you can register ahead of time online, or you on site. This year, the first 200 kids registered received a beach ball and lip balm.
The race starts on the circle drive of Emporia State University, at 12th and Commerce. The kids half mile runners went first, followed by the 2 mile bike riders and finally the half mile bike riders. No worries if your kid wants to run and ride, they’ll wait for them to finish their run before starting the bikes take off.
B was a bit nervous before the race but she managed to force a smile long enough for me to take a picture. She’s definitely an introspective kid and thinks about most things before she does them. The night before she told me, “Mom, do you remember when you needed a moment before your race? Can I do that too?”
The butterflies wore off and B finished her race without falling or taking out any other riders! She was super excited about riding her bike through the DK finish line and having everyone cheer her on. I think the bike riding seed has been planted. That evening she drew pictures of her bike and her race bib. I see lots of family bike rides in our future!