Get Active and Make New Friends with Dirt Dawgs Biking Club
We all dread the words, “Mom, I’m bored.” Fortunately, there’s Grand Rapids Dirt Dawgs. This local mountain biking organization is a prime way to get our kids out and active while the weather is warm.
Although my little one is more focused on crawling than peddling right now, I’m already excited for the day she’s ready to strap on her helmet and join the Dawgs. Who wouldn’t want to encourage health, self-confidence and respect for nature in their kid?!
Dirt Dawgs is a Local NonProfit Dedicated to Making Kids Move
Dirt Dawgs is a non-profit with a mission to move. Their goal is to instill in children, “trail stewardship and healthy living through mountain biking.”
“(Dirt Dawgs) is a fantastic way for families to connect and adventure together,” says Andrea Davis of East Grand Rapids. Andrea’s two daughters, ages five and six, have been involved with Dirt Dawgs for two years – and love it! The once-a-week commitment to biking alongside other enthusiastic kids has had great effects on Andrea’s kids’ health and happiness.
“We bike a lot as a family and we talk about how many miles they can tackle on longer rides, and how they [her daughters] feel stronger when a hill all of a sudden doesn’t feel as hard as it did last week,” Andrea explains.
Dirt Dawgs has also boosted her kids’ social lives by connecting them with other emerging athletes and giving them a chance to cheer for each other.
Mary Scripps, of Ada, joined Dirt Dawgs when her twins were four and her daughter was three.
“It has taught my kids so much… hard work, perseverance, trail stewardship…confidence and independence,” says Mary.
“It’s absolutely amazing to see 300+ kids out biking on Monday and Wednesday evenings vs. playing video games.”
What Dawgs do
Over the last few years, Dirt Dawgs has grown quickly as more and more kids (and their parents!) look for healthy ways to enjoy their summer days.
Coaches ride alongside groups of young Dawgs (divided by age and ability) on both trails and skills-based courses. They continually focus on boosting kids’ confidence, physicality and love of the great Western Michigan outdoors.
Specific “Dawg Days” give kids the chance to show off their newfound biking skills. Next one is August 4. I’ll be there with my little “pup”!
Parents Play an Active Role in Dirt Dawgs
Parents are encouraged to “dawg” it up, too, as volunteers. They can give their time during practices or in building and maintaining mountain biking trails throughout the season. Parents, it’s time for us to get healthy, too – we’ll need to be able to keep up with this new generation of mountain bikers, after all!
How to Join the Dirt Dawgs Team
Check out their website. It has a lottery-based entrance and you can choose from Monday evening meetups at Luton Park or Wednesday evenings at Cannonsburg. Contact them straight from their site. Cost is $115 for the year. Your kids even get a cool jersey!
Andrea’s family is now committed Dirt Dawgs.
“The coaches are incredibly skilled and wonderful at what they do. They cheer these kids on every week while teaching them mountain biking basics. We are so fortunate to have this resource in West MI!” she says.
Thinking of joining Dirt Dawgs? “Just do it!” urges Mary. “It’s an amazing experience for the entire family.”