It looks like we have another sunny weekend to look forward to here in Victoria, BC! Now that school is out and the kids are off for the next couple months, it can sometimes be hard to come up with ideas of different family fun activities to get up to everyday. I recently spoke with Jeff, the owner of Westshore MotoCross and he told opened my eyes to the world of children’s dirt biking, his Learn to Ride Program and why he think parents should let their kids give it a try.
Question: So Jeff, tell me a bit about Westshore MotoCross’ Learn to Ride Program?
Jeff: Basically, it is a program for the public, and an easy way for kids to try the fun of dirt biking. We supply the bikes, gear and lesson for an affordable price for kids ages 4 and up.
Question: How long have you been offering the Learn to Ride Program for? How do you see it evolving over the next while?
Jeff: Well, we are now into our 3rd season where we have offered this program. We started out only having 4 bikes in our first year, then to 15 bikes by the end of our 2nd year and now we have 24 bikes and 40 + sets of riding gear. We plan on expanding our adult bikes to rent which we have 6 choices now and would like to increase that to 10.
Question: Wow, it seems as though dirt biking in Victoria has gotten quite popular. I would think that safety would be one of the major concerns parents would have about your dirt biking for kids program. What are the precautions you take beforehand to ensure a child’s safety?
Jeff: Safety is very important to us and first and foremost we ensure that the children have the proper safety gear which includes riding boots, knee, shoulder and elbow pads, pants, jersey, gloves, goggles, neck brace and helmets. All kids’ bikes also have throttle control allowing us to adjust the speed of the bike down when new riders first start out. We make sure that all riders also start in a flat oval area, off the dirt track and must perform controlled stopping, starting and turning before being allowed to even ride the easy section of the track. We have designed the track with beginner sections and they slowly progress to riding the entire track from there.
Question: What do you think kids really love about the Learn to Ride Program?
Jeff: I think for kids doing something new for the first time is always fun. It is much like riding a bicycle for the first time. But also I think it is our society that recognizes that dirt bikes are cool and fun too.
Question: Now, how difficult would you say it is for a child to learn to ride a dirt bike vs a traditional bicycle?
Jeff: Bicycle riders can adapt really easy, for the most part within 15 to 20 minutes they have the basics down. If a child has no bicycle experience then it can be a challenge but it still is a reachable goal after a couple tries.
Question: I know you offer other activities as well. I think I noticed something on your website about birthday parties.
Jeff: Yes we do offer birthday parties and it is set up for a group of learn to rides all at once in a private setting. Boys age 7 to 13 usually describe it as the “best birthday party ever.” Along with our birthday parties, we offer weekly riding, private lessons, coaching and physical training programs.
Kit: Thanks Jeff, I appreciate you taking the time and answering my questions. Parents if your kids are looking for the thrill of their lifetime this summer, all within a safe environment, then the Learn to Ride program at Westshore Motocross is the place to be. You can also find more information about Westshore Motocross and all their drop-ins, programs and events that they offer up on ChatterBlock here.
Hope everyone has a great weekend!