Some things are just meant to be. When we arrived in the San Fran Bay Area for the start of our Raise Riders Tour it didn’t take long to zero in on the peloton of posters advertising the Marin Bike Coalition’s Biketoberfest in Fairfax, CA. Don’t know Fairfax? Well you should. OK… truth be told, we didn’t either until arriving on the scene in the birthplace of mountain biking, the famous Marin County.
When we started learning more about Fairfax, and then riding their signature trail system Tamarancho, I was a little embarrassed that this classic mountain bike village had been off my radar for the 20+ years I’ve defined myself as a mountain biker.
Afterall, the Marin Bicycle Museum run by Joe and Connie Breeze (yes, for those MTB aficionados out there, it is THAT Joe Breeze) was planted on the main drag in Fairfax and many of the legends of mountain biking’s origin story lived nearby. Oh well, this trip is all about discovery and this one was the ultimate!
Lo and behold, we had an event fall through on the Saturday of Biketoberfest so I pitched the idea to Jannine, “Hey, what if we set up a Bicycle Playground at the Biketoberfest this weekend?” Yes… I came up with the idea inside a week until the event, a reality that Jannine instantly grabbed onto, “Are you crazy? The chances of an event promoter even returning our call 5 days before a huge event like this is next to zero.” So you’re sayin’ there’s a chance… Challenge accepted!
I left a quick voice mail for Tom Boss, Marin BIke Coalition event coordinator, and figured that was the best I could do. Maybe he’s get back to me… most likely he wouldn’t. But, within an hour my phone rang with a local Marin area code, I abruptly cut off another conversation I was in, and plans for Buddy Pegs to set up a Bicycle Playground in the heart of Biketoberfest in downtown Fairfax was on! Tom is the man!
It turns out that the Marin Bicycle Coalition is putting a lot of effort into making Biketoberfest a super family friendly event. And why not? The future of biking lies in the crank arms of the next generation and what parent doesn’t love a bike themed beer fest? All that was missing was a ride zone for the little groms and we were ready to lay it down!
“You’re going to bring your RV and enclosed trailer into Fairfax?? Good luck!” That was one of the many warnings heading into this little community defined by its twisty roads, iconic (read: impossible to park) downtown, and hilly streets. Whatever… if we can handle San Fran we can handle anything!
Sure, getting in and out was a little tight to say the least, but we were stoked to find an awesome footprint carved out for the Buddy Pegs show and before long we had a line of families cuing up to ride the Bicycle Playground and check out our books and all the woom demo bikes.
Thankfully Jannine and I were able to take turns wandering the beer garden and meeting the great people in attendance. If you are ever in Marin this time of the year I HIGHLY recommend hitting Biketoberfest. The food, beer, music, and especially the people are awesome and it all supports a great cause - safe and accessible biking in Marin County.
Remember, Fairfax is tight and space is a premium. The event organizers were great to carve out what they could for us and we were up for the challenge of seeing what we could be done in our smallest footprint yet. The 25’ x 50’ space turned out to be great and just big enough to offer a full 4 lane Bicycle Playground with 2 ramps, a stuffy slalom course, and a few tight turns within feet of the bouncy house :) It was great to see how much fun kids can have in such a small space and gave us the confidence to squeeze into other events as we travel.
Thanks to everyone who came by to share their stoke with us and tell their story of why bikes matter to them and their family. A huge thanks to Tom and the crew at MCBC for laying out the red carpet for us - we’ll be back!
We had a surprise visit from one of our Buddy Pegs Advisory Board Members and the Director of NICA, Austin McInerny.
We even got to spend some time with Marilyn Price, Founder of Trips For Kids, which is always a gift.
Enjoy the photo gallery below!
We know you are tired when you come home from work or after a chaotic day, and the notion of loading up bikes, snacks and such to get to the trailhead or a safe riding area seems overwhelming, but the rewards you get when riding with your child outnumber anything else.
The added time you put in to make it happen will pay off in more ways than can be counted. Even old dogs can learn new tricks, so get out there with your child and look for those new tricks!
At Buddy Pegs, we envision a world where the kids of today become the joyful and inspiring leaders of tomorrow. Leaders who not only lead on a global scale but also leaders who act locally to guide their communities day to day.
We believe kids who grow up with outdoor adventure, and a close relationship with the adults in their lives, are more likely to change the world for the better.