Words by Mark Gordon (Founder of Bikin’ Dads)
Tell us more about Bikin’ Dads Adventures
Based out of Charlotte, NC, what started originally in 2014 with a simple MTB ride with a fellow Dad and our kids, has turned a dream into reality. I had almost 18 years in government work and was able to bring my passion, knowledge & skills to this program.
Between 2014-2017, it was an adventure. By incorporating local government connections & industry friendships, I came up with a variety of "mobile bike courses" to bring to our communities, school functions and festivals; with the hope of incorporating safety, education & FUN into the art of riding. Being a volunteer driven organization, we started with three of us and have since expanded.
Prior to Covid, we averaged 30 to 40 community bike events and festivals per year. We hosted unique programs such as:
- "Rad Little Rodeo" our mobile bicycle rodeos
- "Pages 'n Pedals" promotes adventures in books & on a bicycle. Through this program, we have had the honor of distributing over 400+ children's books to our communities.
- "Learn To Earn Helmet Initiative", a program that enables kids to receive a free helmet.
- “Grom Squad racing Program” awards us the opportunity to mentor, train, encourage, transport & lead a vast group of youth & adults across multiple finish lines, podiums & numerous top 10/top 20 team finishes.
Why you founded it and how it helps the community
I founded Bikin' Dads Adventures to "build stronger relationships with Fathers, Families & Communities One Adventure at a Time". While bicycles seem to be the main focus, it's not the only way we connect. Bicycles just make it more rad! Our variety of programs provide opportunities to some who might not have access to bikes or an initial interest in the sport.
How has the organization grown and changed?
We’ve now grown to seven area Dads, a Mom and a Grandma! All of these volunteers share the same passion, drive and outlook about adventuring. We’ve also been fortunate to have at least 15 local youth (who have grown up with the program) support our organization. Prior to COVID, we worked in over 8 counties, 2 states and hosted/supported 30-40 events in one year.
What’s on deck for 2022 and the upcoming ride season?
We just wrapped up a 6 week local Winter Short Track Series in South Carolina where the team placed 14th out of over 50 regional area teams! We have a few single track group rides called "Dirt Church '' coming up, along with the program heading into the Enduro season through a regional race promoter “GO Nuts Biking”, a USA Cycling sanctioned series of Enduro & DH courses throughout the South East. For more info, check out our calendar: https://bikindads.com/calendar/
What’s your connection to Knolly Bikes?
In 2016, I purchased my first Knolly Endorphin. I built it up using custom components such as N.C. Cane Creek & Industry Nine. By the first ride, I was hooked on the ride quality, the traction control and the prowess of what the Endorphin provided. A few years later, I applied for the Grassroots Ambassador program and then four more Knolly's later, here I am… KNOLLY 4Life! See the below steeds from 2016 until now.
What bike/model do you ride?
I am currently rolling on my Cache, it provides versatility & an excuse to wear spandex! I also completed my Tyaughton build last summer and just love the way it feels in both dry/wet riding conditions.
Tell us about the ride performance:
I've loved each specific feel that all of my Knollys have delivered. From the confident FourBy4 rear suspension, to the playful TY hardtail, to the overall awesomeness the Cache has provided along with the mileage racked up on it alone. My current drop bar version of the Cache is so comfortable that I ended using it last summer for 8 weeks at a summer camp where I'm the MTB Program Director. I rode the Cache on 90% of the singletrack trails and loved every second of it!
We're incredibly grateful to be where we are now and are looking forward to the upcoming season! To learn more and get involved: