Meet Mo: Triathlons, Trail Rides, and a Love for Giving Back

An Interview with a Rising Young Athlete and Role Model

At age 10, could you have imagined competing in a triathlon alongside adults? That is just what this incredible young man did. Not only that, Massimo “Mo” has decided to use his competitions to fundraise for causes he believes in. At Mo’s recent Wildflower Sprint, he raised over $1000 for Trips for Kids Marin. Mo also finds time to volunteer with his father, Jenno, at Trips for Kids Marin, exposing kids to the joys of bicycling while inspiring our youth. We interviewed Mo to learn more about what motivates him and why he gives back.

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Kim Baenisch (TFKM Executive Director) with Massimo “Mo”

When did you first become interested in bicycles?
When my dad bought me a Strider scoot bike at 1-½ years old, then on my 2-year-old birthday I got a 12” Specialized bike. I started to have more fun when I learned to pedal.

What is your favorite part about riding?
I enjoy the outdoors, nature and downhill single track.

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Mo competing in 2018 at Wildflower

What first motivated you to train for a triathlon?
I wanted to try something new and challenging, and since I ride and swim, it came naturally to me. My swim coach from Marlins Team, San Rafael also encouraged me to try a triathlon.

What was your first triathlon like and how old were you at the time?
My first triathlon was the 2016 Wildflower when I was eight.

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Mo on the podium at Wildflower

Tell us a little about the Wildflower triathlon and why you decided to participate?
I enjoy the Wildflower because I love the experience. First, camping, and meeting new people is very fun. Second, I love the Cal Poly University volunteers for their awesome attitudes and for cheering on the athletes. Lastly, I enjoy competing with people from all over the globe. Whether its an athlete from California or as far as Belgium, they all come together to compete and have fun.

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Mo representing Trips for Kids Marin at Wildflower

What helps you complete and motivates you to keep going during a difficult competition?
I try being the best I can be; when I start to get tired, I say positive things to myself. For example, I say almost there or so close.

How did you learn about Trips for Kids Marin?
I went to the Re-Cyclery Bike Shop in San Rafael to donate my 20in specialized bike and saw a TFKM poster outside.

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Mo and Jenno riding with Trips for Kids Marin

How have you been involved with Trips for Kids Marin?
I have volunteered with my dad on trail rides.

Why did you decide to fundraise for Trips for Kids Marin?
I wanted to share my passion for biking with other kids in a positive way.
When I read TFKM’s mission about providing bike rides for underserved youths, I immediately got excited.

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Mo biking with Adam Smith (TFKM Rides Program Manager)

What advice would you share with kids in our programs?
Keep on working hard for what you believe in.

What’s next for you regarding training, school, and the future?
My next races are the Nevada City Classic and The California District Road Race Championships. The Nevada City is very challenging, over 1000 ft of climbing. This Fall I am looking forward to attending San Domenico as a 6th grader.

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Mo (far left) riding with Trips for Kids Marin youth

Anything else you would like to share with our supporters?
Overall it’s been an incredible experience volunteering for TFKM. I’ve learned a lot from Adam, the TFKM Rides Program Manager. During my first trail ride, I was very nervous but Adam made it fun, and I was able to connect with the kids as we started talking and showing skills.

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