Do your Scouts prefer their bike tires fat instead of thin? Then I’ve got good news.
Beginning today, Cycling merit badge now includes a mountain biking option. That means Scouts can choose between road cycling or mountain biking when earning the Eagle-required badge. (To earn Eagle, Scouts must earn Swimming or Hiking or Cycling.)
The change is to Requirement 7, which now reads “Using the BSA buddy system, complete all of the requirements for ONE of the following options: road biking OR mountain biking.”
Instead of a 50-mile road biking trip that must be completed in eight hours, Scouts who choose the mountain biking option must finish a 22-mile trail ride in six hours.
The change widens the audience for an already-popular merit badge by encouraging Scouts who prefer riding the trails on a mountain bike to riding the streets on a road bike.
Print this flier (PDF) or follow the jump for the complete requirements for 7b, the Mountain Biking option. Continue reading
Do your typical weekend plans involve dirt and Scouting? Step things up a notch! Add some rubber to the mix with a mountain-biking outing.
Tomorrow’s the perfect time to head out to your local mountain-biking trail to celebrate Saturday Oct. 6 as “Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day” hosted by the International Mountain Biking Association.
Check out this interactive map of the U.S. to locate a “Take a Kid Mountain Biking” event near you.
Young mountain bikers—from Tiger Cubs to older Scouts and Venturers—will stun you with how easily they pedal on gritty surfaces. Their catlike reflexes allow them to zip around sharp turns like Indy-500 drivers!
Besides being a great way to get some exercise and add a new activity to your troop or crew, a mountain-biking trip is a good excuse to get Scouts ready for what they’ll experience at the 2013 National Scout Jamboree. The home of the jamboree, the brand-new Summit Bechtel Reserve, touts a three-tier trail system allowing Scouts to choose the difficulty of their mountain-biking experience (shown in the photo above).
Before you head out, be sure to review page 34 of the Guide to Safe Scouting for information on cycling safety.
And don’t forget to “Like” the International Mountain Biking Association on Facebook and enter to win one of two Specialized mountain bikes.
Wherever (and whenever) you choose to mountain bike, we hope you and your Scouts enjoy the ride.