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POSTED ON JUN 15 2018

Pursuing Fun in Anchorage

Anchorage, AK – Mighty Bikes is a vibrant youth mountain biking program in Anchorage whose mission is to teach fundamental bike handling skills, introduce kids to mountain racing, and promote fitness through the pursuit of fun. It was founded in 2000 by a group of active friends looking to help their children develop skills to enjoy the mountain biking trails in Anchorage’s backyard. Since its inception, Mighty Bikes has grown from 10 kids and two coaches to serving 300 kids with 50 coaches, with a wait list.

One of the keys to the program’s enduring popularity is its commitment to the “pursuit of fun” part of their mission. Riders hone their technical skills while coaches offer encouragement in a positive, demanding atmosphere. Challenges and victories alike are shared, and the wide range of coaches and levels enables the program to engage with kids whether they are first-season novices or seasoned riders looking to push the limits of technical riding and racing. Everyone is united by an enthusiastic love for bikes.

Mad Dog’s Aurora Hablett created the new identity for Mighty Bikes.

The program serves a diverse set of kids, ages 8–18. When founder Janice Tower and incoming director Jean Miller met with Mad Dog, their only direction was for the new logo to be “rad.”

We eventually added several additional goals for the mark, including:

  • to serve a wide array of kids with a broad range of styles and tastes;
  • to create a mark not bound by trends, that would retain relevance over time;
  • to illustrate the energy and joyful exuberance that the program aims to provide for its riders;
  • to keep the mark identifiable and visible during mountain bike season, against summer foliage;
  • to provide a mark that all genders and ages could relate to, at all skill levels.

Iterations of the mark helped refine the final look and feel.

Designer Aurora Hablett began by researching existing logos used by bike clubs, clinics, and camps – locally, regionally, and nationwide – to make sure Mighty Bikes would have a distinctive and personal mark.

Inspiration was drawn from rider’s pictures – active stances, with riders covered with mud or blasting through water crossings.

Mad Dog always begins logo development with research and experimentation.

Kids come to Mighty Bikes with a range of bikes and gear, from brand-new to well-worn hand-me-downs. “An adage I heard and loved from a coach in Mighty Bikes was, ‘The best bike is the one you ride.,’” said Hablett. “Trends come and go, but the love of riding is forever. I wanted to try and keep the focus on the experience rather than the outfit as much as possible.

The new Mighty Bikes logo is already showing up on race plates and promotional materials.

“Living in Anchorage in 2018, we are fortunate to have so many rockstar female cyclists, bike techs, and racers, with more coming up through the ranks every day. Mighty Bikes celebrates the achievements of all of its riders; inclusiveness is a really ‘rad’ aspect of the program to highlight.

“On a particularly sloggy Mighty Bikes practice late in the season, a group of kids came back wet and muddy. The coach described them as ‘becoming one with the trail.’ It’s another thing about Mighty Bikes that makes me smile.”

For more information about the program, visit www.mightybikes.org.

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Mad Dog Graphx recently appeared in three books on graphic design. MORE