Kid's Field Day, 8/10/02

-It's All About The Kids-

By Tom Niemela

(click on pictures for larger version)

I've been anticipating this event for years, so I was ecstatic when I realized that this year's Kid's Field Day was on a weekend that I had my daughter, Ariel.  So I teamed up with my bud, Jim Dukes and his daughter Natalie, and headed up early in the morn on Saturday.  Three minibikes were shoehorned into the back of JD's truck along with he and I and two wired-for-sound, seven-year-old girls squeezed into the front.  On our way up we stopped at the gas station and made sure we had our OHV stickers for the minibikes and we were set.  We got there during signup and did the Dadly thing of registering, getting the number/name tags that the kids all would wear on the front.  I've heard about this event for years, but never quite made it, but wow, the Trailsmen really do it right and it's all about the kids - period.  

The staging area was just East of Tillamook, OR at the Diamond Mill OHV staging area and the parking lot had families camped everywhere for the occasion.  How the event works is that the club lays out a small course that has games peppered throughout.  On Saturday the adults ride with the kids and on Sunday the kids do the riding if they want.  So we loaded up with our riding gear and JD and I drove our kidlets around through each section.  Each kid needed to go through the loop three times.  It started after a 9:30am rider's meeting and the three loops needed to be finished by 2:30pm, wherein the final game would take place: the water cup ride.  With gleeful kidlets in our laps, JD and I marched through the games.  

The first game was eight or so rubber tubes hanging vertically in a row from a rope. Their ends dangled about two feet from the ground and each rider was supposed to maneuver around them without touching the tubes.  The girls squealed with glee.  The second game had more rubber tubes, but their ends started out about six feet above the ground and progressively worked their way down to about four feet through about five sets.  Think of it as a limbo for bikes and you both had to duck as low as possible to not touch them.  The third game was a slow race, where you had a box measured off on the ground and you were timed on how slow you went through it.  After that was the 'hay search' game, where each kid jumped single file into a pile of hay and pulled out any OHV part they could find.  Both Ariel and Natalie quickly dug up fenders, helmets, handlebars, etc.  They REALLY liked that one!  The next stop was a guy asking the kids questions about locations of important parts of the OHV, like where the gas tank was, the front fender, the engine, etc.  Then it was a short jaunt across the parking lot to the 'teeter-totter test', where your OHV would ride up on a wide, plywood balance board and try to balance.  It was not easy!  A circular ride was next, which resembled a hypnotic spinning circle painted on the ground.  We rode through it as it got tighter and tighter.  The final section was a small trail ride through the kids practice area that was riddled with rocks.  One lap was done!

Two more laps and it was lunch time.  We jammed through them at a fairly rapid pace and had a ton of fun!  We had some food and decided to take a small ride up the road, since we had a few hours to kill.  We went up Cedar Creek to the Wolf Point bridge crossing that the Lobos M/C had so meticulously installed a few years back with state OHV money.  After a few hours of playing in the cool creek and searching for frogs and fish, we made our way back on the minibikes in time for the water cup game.  Everyone lined up for the game and just went in order.  How this final, fun game worked was that a cup (that looked to be about 12oz) was duct taped onto the top of the kid's helmet, was filled to the brim with water, and then we had to ride through the rocky kid's play area back around to the finish, where the water was measured to see how much was left.  This was a hoot watching all the kids straining to be as still as possible and not get wet.  However at the finish, after measuring the remaining water, the Trailsmen would then pour it on both the parent and the kid.  It felt good! The local sheriff (Don Taylor), ambulance personnel, and Oregon Department of Forestry employees were also on hand to have some laughs.

Four o'clock brought the awards and everyone brought their lawn chairs to watch the festivities.  Every kid got a trophy and a prize, plus candy, cool gear donated by sponsors, etc., etc.  After that was the very tasty barbecue that the Trailsmen fired up for everyone, complete with burgers, hot dogs, fruit, chips and soda pop.  What a perfect way to bring kids into the spotlight, teach them great skills, have fun, bond with their parents and get out into the beautiful forest! The Trailsmen M/C must really be commended for hosting such an incredible family event!  Unfortunately, my daughter wasn't feeling well on Sunday to make it back out and JD had other obligations, but I know we are hooked and are marking our calendars for next year's event!

The gracious sponsors for the annual KFD were Bonanza Cafe, Beaverton Honda/Yamaha, Portland Motorcycle, D & S Cycle, Hillsboro Honda, Pro-Caliber, Action Motorsports, Gales Creek Market, Forest Grove Honda, Gresham Husqvarna/KTM, Gresham Honda, Cycle Gear, Foster Auto Parts, Smokey, Travis Rice, Rick Goodman, Tillamook Coca-Cola, Peterbuilt, TVI Power Sports, Foster Auto Parts, Oregon Dept. of Forestry, Tillamook County Sheriff, Trask Mountain Cycle, Extreme Cycle, Apex, Northwest Tour and Trail and of course the Trailsmen.

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Ariel digging through the hay for parts.
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Local Tillamook County Sheriff, Don Taylor was on hand and styling on his quad.
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JD and Natalie smoking everyone on the slow test game, while Randy Haugstad watches.
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Ariel and Natalie both thought the cool creek water felt good!
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Out in the middle of nowhere, Natalie found a bullet in a stick.
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A Mom and daughter finishing up the water-cup game!
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Me and Ariel slightly wet and her looking like a unicorn.
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This was fun for everyone!
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Natalie really learned how to ride Ariel's minibike well. 
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Ariel did awesome too!
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Ariel getting her trophy.
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Natalie showing her excitement of first place trophy in her age class!
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Ariel and Natalie being hugged by one of my favorite people: Julie Barrell.
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Ariel winning some green gloves to match her trophy.
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Natalie winning some knee pads.
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It was like herding kittens, but we actually got them all to stay still long enough for this picture!
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A panorama shot of the awards, with Joe Barrell on the left and Julie Barrell on the right.
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Another panorama shot.
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A short video of all the kids saying, "Kid's Field Day rocks!"