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  1. #1
    Dorkimus Prime
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    Introducing Kids to the Sport???

    I have 2 Sons (7 and 12).

    They are athletic.

    They have been raised with a cyclist.

    Our garage has a dozen "nice" bikes - including a "nice" BMX and MTB for each boy.

    Everything seems in place.

    However, getting the kids more involved about cycling is not quite so easy.

    My oldest wanted to do the P2A with me this year. Then the HCC visited his class and tested their prowess on stationary bikes. He claims his was too small and his times weren't up to his classmates. Now he says he won't be prepared.

    Also, he has a "nice" bike, however, mine is really farkin' nice! SHould I feel bad my bike is 7x as expensive as his? I will jettison his stock wheels and tires for lighter stuff I have, but he still won't have a weight weenie.

    I raised hockey players. Together the 2 of them could fight Chuck Norris. But I don't know what to pick for a "first step" for competitive cycling? Cycling is my sanctuary from stress, but part of me says I should give it up to get them more into it?

    Anyone have a game plan for developing youth mtbers? is the P2A too big of a first step?

    Advice appreciated...
    "I love being on a bike. It helps me feel free. I get it from my dad", by Guillaume Blanchet

  2. #2
    Lemmy Rules!
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    Your kids are probably worried that Ovechkin will beat them at the P2A...

    Seriously, take 'em to Joyride - they will see other kids bombing around and will want to do likewise. That's a good start. Then maybe make their first race a low-key weekly race series - Kelso is likely the closest to The Hammer. An O-Cup kids race is also a good way to go. IMHO the P2A (even the 40k distance) is likely a bit intimidating, especially for the 7 year old, for a first race ever.
    Strava made me do it....

  3. #3
    mtbr member
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    Just for correctness, it wouldn't have been the HCC (Hamilton Cycling Club), but rather the NCCH (Team CHCH/National Cycling Centre). I'm sure he's laying down enough watts to keep up with the likes of me

    Quote Originally Posted by Biggie View Post
    I have 2 Sons (7 and 12).

    They are athletic.

    They have been raised with a cyclist.

    Our garage has a dozen "nice" bikes - including a "nice" BMX and MTB for each boy.

    Everything seems in place.

    However, getting the kids more involved about cycling is not quite so easy.

    My oldest wanted to do the P2A with me this year. Then the HCC visited his class and tested their prowess on stationary bikes. He claims his was too small and his times weren't up to his classmates. Now he says he won't be prepared.

    Also, he has a "nice" bike, however, mine is really farkin' nice! SHould I feel bad my bike is 7x as expensive as his? I will jettison his stock wheels and tires for lighter stuff I have, but he still won't have a weight weenie.

    I raised hockey players. Together the 2 of them could fight Chuck Norris. But I don't know what to pick for a "first step" for competitive cycling? Cycling is my sanctuary from stress, but part of me says I should give it up to get them more into it?

    Anyone have a game plan for developing youth mtbers? is the P2A too big of a first step?

    Advice appreciated...

  4. #4
    Dorkimus Prime
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    Captain, you are correct, I remember seeing the trailer in their parking lot.

    Unglued, that was my newest plan, the 40k. I think that may be the route I'll take, especially since the distances have been upped. The 7 year-old has a Giant 20" ride, but I'm not planning races for him...he's still a work in progress. I had my worst expereience ever on a bike at Kelso and am not sure I can go back there, let alone bring my kids to that carnage!

    Joyride questions, will they need armour? What bikes, BMX or MTB?
    "I love being on a bike. It helps me feel free. I get it from my dad", by Guillaume Blanchet

  5. #5
    All my faucets is Moen.
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    40k is daunting for a 12yr old. On our youth rides itís tough to cover 25k unless they are very experienced.
    Consider an OCup race for that age is only 6km.

    Unglued offers great advice. Start them out with a local series and in the local club. And hit up Joyride. No armor (except helmet) and any bike you have.

    As far as riding less yourself, I assume as a parent you have to make sacrifices. But something tells me being out with the kids and enjoying themselves will be an equal stress reliever.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biggie View Post
    I had my worst expereience ever on a bike at Kelso and am not sure I can go back there, let alone bring my kids to that carnage!
    Kelso has many trails, several of which are perfect for kids. I took my two daughters, aged 5 and 3 at the time, on a bunch of the trails on the eastern end of Kelso, and we had a blast. Originally, we had intended to try out the open house at the Milton BMX track. Upon arrival, for various reasons, we decided that BMX racing was not for us. So we regrouped and headed off to Kelso - the 5 year old on her Intense micro BMX, the 3 year old on her (princess) run bike, and me on my BMX cruiser. We had a blast - both girls loved riding the trails. And, as long as we stayed on the trails on the eastern side, there was nothing to confound them. (We did try riding Xtreme trail, which just resulted in me carrying an Intense micro BMX, a princess run bike, and a BMX cruiser over all the logs - bad idea.)

    My long-winded point is this: just go ride with them. Leave the 40k races for later. If they like riding and racing, those will come naturally.

    And Joyride is a brilliant place for kids to learn riding. As was stated, you only need a helmet and whatever bike. I've seen kids on department store bikes having just as much fun there as kids on the lastest bling-bling.

  7. #7
    sock puppet
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biggie View Post
    I have 2 Sons (7 and 12).

    They are athletic.

    They have been raised with a cyclist.

    Our garage has a dozen "nice" bikes - including a "nice" BMX and MTB for each boy.

    Everything seems in place.

    However, getting the kids more involved about cycling is not quite so easy.

    My oldest wanted to do the P2A with me this year. Then the HCC visited his class and tested their prowess on stationary bikes. He claims his was too small and his times weren't up to his classmates. Now he says he won't be prepared.

    Also, he has a "nice" bike, however, mine is really farkin' nice! SHould I feel bad my bike is 7x as expensive as his? I will jettison his stock wheels and tires for lighter stuff I have, but he still won't have a weight weenie.

    I raised hockey players. Together the 2 of them could fight Chuck Norris. But I don't know what to pick for a "first step" for competitive cycling? Cycling is my sanctuary from stress, but part of me says I should give it up to get them more into it?

    Anyone have a game plan for developing youth mtbers? is the P2A too big of a first step?

    Advice appreciated...
    tough call Biggie - kids will eventually pick what they like - but they have to do it themselves... imagine my anxiety when i realized that my son was not biting into MTB, and i got him a nice bike, riding gear etc... i did not force him into anything, did not set any expectations... just did my best to expose him to the sport of MTB, as well as basketball, volleyball, track and field, soccer, tennis, golf..... so far the only sport that is sticking is - golf. the only "sport" that i do not do. my wife does however, so they are doing it together... if planets align properly, maybe this is better investment than RRSP - we will see....

    i guess my point is - expose them to everything and see what "sticks". if they do not accept the sport, any sport, there is not much we can do about it... some motivational conversations are helpful as well. your 12yo is a typical kid of his age... my son is 11 and his comments are eerily similar to your sons'.

    just have fun with them, no matter which sport you participate together in, including biking... no sense in building weight weenie bike for him, until he really bites...
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  8. #8
    mtbr member
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    I don't have kids, but I have a buddy with a 13 year old daughter that is super athletic. She is an awesome hockey and soccer player and plays both competitively. She likes to ride around just fine, but could care less about ripping it up either on the road or trails. She has had to opportunity to ride some fine bikes too. Just not interested. He let just let it go. If your kid is not into biking that much, putting him into a competitive situation may just do more harm than good. If he is not into it, dropping a ton of dough on a bike is probably not the answer; unless of course it's something you could use too if things don't work out.

  9. #9
    Dorkimus Prime
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    Quote Originally Posted by secret agent View Post
    If he is not into it, dropping a ton of dough on a bike is probably not the answer; unless of course it's something you could use too if things don't work out.
    You've provided me with an alibi to buy a bike??? I love it.
    "I love being on a bike. It helps me feel free. I get it from my dad", by Guillaume Blanchet

  10. #10
    sock puppet
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biggie View Post
    You've provided me with an alibi to buy a bike??? I love it.
    not that you really needed one...
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  11. #11
    Team NFI
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    All good points. Oggie brings up a huge point. Exposť your kids to many sports don't focus on just one. Keep in mind we parents want our kids to do sports we like. In some cases live vicariously through them to make up for us coming up short in our own attempts. Worked wonderfully for my dad who tried that with golf. All it did was make me hate it.

    Don't worry about racing. Give them them the love of riding. There is plenty of time after they are 18 to go try racing. When I started at 12 rides where more about skill development. See how high up the hill you got, try to get over that log, and so on.
    If you hurt in your efforts and suffer painful dings. Then you are doing it right.

  12. #12
    Workin for the weekend!
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    Kids will follow the lead their parents offer, sounds like the OP has his heart,in the right place. I'd let them come to you about the idea of racing. If you push that idea too hard, and those kids might feel like they're letting you down and feel "pressured".

    I'm just glad my kids enjoy heir bikes, it's the first real feeling of freedom that you have as a child, you're in control of everything for the first time....

  13. #13
    Evil Jr.
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    +1 for Joyride in the winter.

    Though we're not quite at the same stage as you are with your kids, we're starting early and taking it easy. We've been to Joyride about a half dozen times since the beginning of the year with only very modest goals. Foremost was getting the boy to stop trying to rip his helmet off the minute we got it on his head (Success! ).

    I'd say the boy's only on his bike for 20% of the time he's there but he's getting more comfortable, confident and skilled with every visit. There are always a ton of kids there on the weekend and exposing him to that example seems to be paying off nicely.

    We don't plan to get him "into" racing but with time, we hope to return to racing ourselves and if he wants in, we'll be glad to get him started. Time will tell...

    Introducing Kids to the Sport???-dscf1317.jpg
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  14. #14
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    I got into mountain biking pretty seriously when I was about 10 or 11 years old, but that was back when there was also the Giant 5 series and Bike NXS has kids enduro races as well bit of a different atmosphere from an o-cup. Those races were in the range of 8-14 km. I almost always remember getting a draw prize at each race and a t-shirt that was included in the entry fee from each race. I thought it was the coolest thing ever to be able to wear a race shirt to school when I was in the 6th grade. I think a big factor at that age was I had friends that were also into the sport.
    Last edited by Nrs1Rider; 02-06-2013 at 06:36 PM.

  15. #15
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    Also expose kids to all the other disciplines of cycling. Just because you like XC one's kid may be more attracted to DH or trials. Look at Ned Overend's son, dad is all XC whil the on is all DH.
    If you hurt in your efforts and suffer painful dings. Then you are doing it right.

  16. #16
    Evil Jr.
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    This thread inspired me to spend some time wrenching on the boy's bike. Check out this most excellent Syncros BCBR saddle hack (big improvement over the stock saddle and it doubles as a fender)!

    Introducing Kids to the Sport???-dscf1345.jpg
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  17. #17
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    Take them to Joyride or take them to Blue and ride Downhill.

    When I was a kid the last thing I wanted to do was put on spandex and race, although I do that now.

    Take them where the fun / badass stuff is and they will eventually grow into road/xc.

    Kids don't want to tell their friends they raced 40km and nearly died from exhaustion, they want to say they hit sweet jumps and had fun bombing downhill.

  18. #18
    I Strava Hamburgers
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    Quote Originally Posted by broadwayline View Post
    Kids don't want to tell their friends they raced 40km and nearly died from exhaustion, they want to say they hit sweet jumps and had fun bombing downhill.
    No... I still do this.

    Daughter has a run bike much like Monsters, minus the sweet saddle. She rides it when I'm on the trainer so she can be like daddy. On the otherhand, you put her in the bike trailer, and she loves every second of that too.

    I hope that she takes to it in the future.
    My EBB so loud
    I'm mashing...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    Check out this most excellent Syncros BCBR saddle hack (big improvement over the stock saddle and it doubles as a fender)!
    The Norco Air is a sweet run bike, but it's not low enough for real little ones. I started my daughter on a Strider (POS, but lowest saddle height I could find) and got her the Air as soon as her legs were long enough.

    I've got a 12" CCM on the trainer right now. My daughter will spin on it for a couple minutes now and then when I'm downstairs working on something

  20. #20
    Evil Jr.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickboers View Post
    The Norco Air is a sweet run bike, but it's not low enough for real little ones. I started my daughter on a Strider (POS, but lowest saddle height I could find) and got her the Air as soon as her legs were long enough.
    The test run was a great success! The problem with the stock saddle was that it was WAY too high. I dismantled and flipped the clamp and got it as low as possible. Mrs. Monster's old saddle was the thinnest one in the parts bin and now the stand-over height is just right. Look out Joyride!
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  21. #21
    humber river advocate
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    we need more programs like this for all communities...

    CCA CAN-BIKE Program: Kids CAN-BIKE Camp
    Support TORBA
    Sunnyside Bike Park Working Group
    Albion Hills Conservation Area Master Plan Public Advisory Committee

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlesprocket View Post
    we need more programs like this for all communities...

    CCA CAN-BIKE Program: Kids CAN-BIKE Camp
    Staying on the point of thread, which is getting you kid involved in mountain biking. This program by Doug Detwiller fits what everyone else here hs been discussing.

    Sprockids
    If you hurt in your efforts and suffer painful dings. Then you are doing it right.

  23. #23
    humber river advocate
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    Staying on the point of thread, which is getting you kid involved in mountain biking. This program by Doug Detwiller fits what everyone else here hs been discussing.

    Sprockids
    sprockids is putting the chicken before the egg... while a good program the bigger issue is just getting kids on bikes and making accessible cycling part of the lifestyle/recreation of communities.

    the infrastructure has to be there, the rest will follow... perfect example is when they built the skate park in bolton. i went to the meetings advocating that some accommodation be made be made for bmxers. the response from the skaters was predictable. fast forward to now, the park is crowded mainly with kids on bmx bikes (parents nowhere to be found lol).

    i think the best thing you can do for your prodigy is to advocate for cycling (bmx, dirts jumps, skills parks, etc) for your community with in walking/cycling/public transport distance... and then take them there to session.
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  24. #24
    Lemmy Rules!
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    [QUOTE=singlesprocket;

    i think the best thing you can do for your prodigy is to advocate for cycling (bmx, dirts jumps, skills parks, etc) for your community with in walking/cycling/public transport distance... and then take them there to session.[/QUOTE]

    You mean progeny, right?

    Biggie, there is a bike park in Burlington, in Shell Park just off the Lakeshore near the bottom of Burloak. That might be a good place to take your kids and a little closer than Joyride...
    Strava made me do it....

  25. #25
    Dorkimus Prime
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    I did not know about the bike park in Burlington - much closer too!

    I got rid of my minivan and replaced it with a VW. However, I haven't had a hitch installed yet for a bike rack. Cycling will probably be on hold until OMHA and Tri_County playoffs have concluded.

    But I love the idea. I think ramping up the family's saddle hours this summer will be in order. Fortunately, several of my friends have bought decent bikes for their kids as well, so hopefully friends and family will enjoy cycling together. Joyride will be a destination for sure...
    "I love being on a bike. It helps me feel free. I get it from my dad", by Guillaume Blanchet

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