The Tokio Youth Mountain Bike Series starts on November 17. *Photo supplied
The Tokio Youth Mountain Bike Series starts on November 17. *Photo supplied

TUESDAY, NOV. 6: The Tokio Youth Mountain Bike Series is back – and one of its success stories has urged parents to get their children involved.

The series sparked 16-year-old Daniel Oatley’s passion for cycling and he is now the reigning Caribbean Time Trial Cycling Champion for boys aged 15-16.

And he’s encouraging the next generation of riders to take part when, for the seventh year, the series returns to the Arboretum on November 17 for the first of seven races.

The races are free, sponsored by Tokio Millennium Re and Bicycle Works, and sanctioned by the Bermuda Bicycle Association. The aim of the series is to introduce primary school-aged children aged four to 10 to cycling to promote physical fitness and healthy lifestyles. 

Its emphasis is on fun rather than competition as organizers hope participation will provide the foundation for a love of the sport.

“The Tokio Series meant a lot to me. It gave me a confidence at cycling. I would probably still be playing football and not being very good at it if it wasn’t for the Tokio Series,” said Oatley in a press release:

Daniel is now too old to take part, although his sister Julianne will take part this year.

Oatley added: “This is really a fun event. Everyone should bring their neighbours and their friends out to encourage these children.”

Ed Jordan, chief underwriting officer at Tokio Millennium added:  “Our goal in creating the event was to give even the youngest child a chance to gain confidence in riding a bicycle and to practice basic principles of strength, coordination and motor development.“

Children can use any kind of bicycle but they must bring their own helmet and have their parent/guardian sign a waiver in order to participate.

Mums, dads, siblings and family friends are invited to cheer on the children on both the Arboretum and Ferry Reach courses.

Each week there will be draw prizes, and every child who participates will get a goodie bag upon registering for the first time. At the end of the seven-race series, one child’s name will be drawn as the grand prize winner and get to take home a bike from Bicycle Works.

The series starts on November 17 and will conclude on January 24. Planet Coffee will also be present mixing up free lattes or other java beverages for the parents.

For more information and to download the waiver, visit www.tokiomillennium.com or check out their Facebook page on www.facebook.com/TokioYouthMountainBikeSeries.