There’s a need to introduce young people to outdoor activities, and how better to pull them away from their phone or video game console than a dirt bike? This year Feld Entertainment partnered with the Motorcycle Industry Council, Motorcycle Safety Foundation, and all of the “big six” dirt bike companies to help create a very cool opportunity for kids to learn to ride at select Monster Jam events. The age range is limited to 6 to 16, but the program provides the bikes, the protective gear, the riding instructors, and the dirt. It’s free, but kids must have a parent or guardian to sign them up.
The event and layout are designed for first-time riders. Experienced riders are welcome too, but the mission and the focus is clearly for the boys and girls who have never throttled away from an adult in control of their own motorcycle. For kids too young or too old, the area also has a moto photo booth (bikes on springs with a cool background behind), a virtual ride (using computer games to fight computer gaming!), and a Strider ride area for the smallest of fans.
This has been a dream project at Feld for a few years, and in 2018 the RIDE event will be offered at 11 Monster Jam events. The first RIDE event was held at Anaheim and continues in the pits at Monster Jam events through late June. If you’re planning to go to one of these Monster Jam events, get there right when the pits open, because the RIDE experience sign-up tables quickly looked like the first bottleneck at Erzberg. The event is already set to run for at least three years, expanding to more dates over the next few years.
If you have a young rider who won't be able to attend one of these events, check out their website to see if there's a "fast track" to getting started in the sport. If you're reading a story about dirt bikes but don't yet ride, you've taken the first step to a lifelong, family-friendly sport. Now get on a bike and have a blast.