Moving to Bend I was not surprised by the wide variety of outdoor activities available, and we wanted to jump right in and experience as much as possible with our children! We were thrilled when we discovered the Bend Endurance Academy to help my son get more involved in mountain biking. When we moved to Bend last spring, we knew biking on the many trails Bend has to offer would be a great way for our family to spend time together. Coming from Florida, we all had street bikes, so we knew our first stop would be to Hutch’s Bike Shop to get our gear!
Once we had our bikes, we hit a few trails to break them in! We had to stay with the easier trails as my husband was pulling our 5-year old daughter on a trail-a-bike. My son has quite an adventurous spirit, and sticking to the flat trails was getting a little boring for him. He was always determined to find a jump or a small hill he could climb. So, when my friend told me about the mountain biking summer camp offered through Bend Endurance Academy (BEA), I knew we had to sign him up!
The summer camp program was a super-cool experience for my son. We would drop him off with his mountain bike, they would load all the bikes up in a huge trailer, all the kids would pile into a school bus, and they would hit the trails! Trails more fun and challenging for my son. Trails that gave him the opportunity to learn how to properly ride his mountain bike and shift gears with the help of his coach. It is awesome when we are driving on the outskirts of Bend or up to the mountain, and my son points out the window and says, “Look, I went mountain biking there!” He has been on more trails than my husband and I combined!
The summer camp registration is now open!! The program is 10 weeks long, and is divided into two sessions. Sessions run from June 20-July21 and July25-Aug 25. You can sign up for just one session or both. You also choose the number of days per week, up to four. What an amazing experience for your child!
Another popular program offered through Bend Endurance Academy is the after school program offered in the fall and spring. BEA provides transportation from local schools to the trails, picking the kids and their bikes up from school and returning them for pick up at the BEA parking lot (located across from the Old Mill District). This is a fabulous extra-curricular activity, and a great way to keep them riding beyond the summer months! I was excited when they expanded the program last fall and added my son’s school to the list! Visit their website to see if they pick up at your child’s school. Enrollment is now open for the spring program as well, which runs May 2-June 6.
Bend Endurance Academy started in 2009 and now serves over 600 athletes, with 325 in cycling. The majority of cycling participants are under age 12! In addition to the youth programs, BEA has a mountain bike team and a cyclo-cross team for older juniors who want to compete. They travel across the NW and attend Nationals.
They even offer a Balance Bike program for riders ages 2-4…
The Cycling Director, Bill Warburton, also shared that BEA hosts camps that are open to juniors from outside Bend; Sea Otter Training Camp, Cyclo-cross Camp, and Portland Velodrome Camp. As if this wasn’t enough, they also put on the Chainbreaker MTB Race and the Bend Bicycle Film Festival as fundraisers for their 501c3 non-profit.
BEA also offers a variety of programs in rock climbing and Nordic skiing, with camps and after school programs available for both. With so many amazing programs offered, check out the Bend Endurance Academy to get your kids involved in these awesome outdoor Bend activities! But you better HURRY because registration for most programs is open and filling up fast!