A week ago, hundreds of elementary school students swarmed a half mile portion of the Burke-Gilman Trail for our school’s biggest fundraiser, the annual Move-a-Thon.
I’ll admit I thought the event was soooo annoying in previous years, but having a participant this year, it’s the sweetest, most wonderful thing ever. And for the record, there are signs up ahead of time and marked detours if other trail users don’t want to weave through the kids at five miles per hour.
Most kids were on bikes, but participants also walked, tricycled, and scootered along. Parents accompanied smaller kids, including me. It was the first time I’ve felt like a helicopter parent, but I couldn’t imagine him biking alone, consider the day before was the first time I let him loose on the trail. Side note: his first trail experience was great because we were out with a friend and we kept him sandwiched between us. I think I would have been even more nervous about the Move-a-Thon had we not had this practice ride.
Even with so many kids on the trail and lots of adults who opted not to take the detour, the kids were great about keeping to the right and I only witnessed one scraped knee near the end of the event.
At either end of the half-mile course, volunteers punched cards to tally riders’ laps.
After what I thought was an impressive solo ride of 2.4 miles the day before (with water sip stops ever 30 seconds), my kindergartener managed 9 miles at the Move-a-Thon! It would have been even more, but I skipped the last hour for a Neighborhood Greenways meeting and Mr. Family Ride wasn’t able to tote our toddler on his regular bike so they only managed a couple laps with balance biking little brother along. But still: 9 miles!
And in even more awesome news, I reunited with my family at the top of Gas Works Park’s kite hill: my favorite victory spot, too!
I didn’t think to ask how they got up there. I can only make it up the back side on my longtail. On the way down, though, they opted for the switchbacks on the front of the hill. My little pedaler managed a couple turns before he had to go off course in the grass (as did I), but balance bike and Mr. Family Ride on this cross bike were able to make the tight turns.
The kids made it part of the way home, but the hills eventually proved too much and I ended up carrying kid bikes and the little kid while Mr. Family Ride ferried home our Move-a-Thoner.
Kids still have a week to collect their sponsored money, but close to 3,000 miles were tallied! Once the funds are turned in, the class with the highest participation and the class that raised the most money will win pizza parties. And one lucky kid gets a new bike.