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  1. #1
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    Daughter 7yo HATES cycling

    Avid mountain biker here with a daughter that has been exposed to my hobby her entire life. I can't get her to ride no matter what I do. She has had striders, big wheels, tricycles, and high end 20" bikes and still expresses no interest. Any advice?

  2. #2
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    Re: Daughter 7yo HATES cycling

    Ask what SHE wants to do, soccer, softball, dance. If you try and force it on her she will only resent it, and you.

    Just support her at whatever she IS interested in.

  3. #3
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    Let me know if you want to sell her bike.

    No, but if she doesn't like it then she doesn't. It might be a social thing. Some kids just like playing with their friends.

  4. #4
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    I'd say let her be her own person instead of forcing your interests unto her. I'm sorry? Sure it'd be great if she liked to ride, but she's 7. Maybe when she's 30? If you try to push it too hard, she will, as stated earlier, resent it.
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  5. #5
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    Kids can be molded into liking things they may not have interest in. Give them a little push, and show them how proud you are of them when they accomplish something. Give them rewards. I showed my son videos of 6-8 year olds mountain biking and he found it really interesting. I go for a ride with him every night and show him things like standing, soon I'll get to standing while peddling and going off curbs. Every time he learns something new he is proud of himself.

    There is only so much you can do though, you say she hates it, but then mention she just shows no interest in it. Which one is it? If she hates it, theres probably not a lot you can do, if its a lack of interest, find some way to get her interested.
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    What knoob said. My dad tried to get me into baseball for the longest time. I was never interested, and lacked the skill anyways. Pushing me just made me resent the sport.

    My son seems to like bikes a lot currently, so I encourage and support that. But if he wants to do something else, I'll support that as well.

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    That is most unfortunate.

    Imagine someone trying to force ballet dancing on you and then saying "I bought him the nicest tights and shoes and for some reason he just doesn't like it". You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.

  8. #8
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    If she's 4 bikes in, she just might not be into it.
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    Maybe a trade is in order? Do adoption centers offer trade-in discounts?

  10. #10
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    Daughter 7yo HATES cycling

    Is this why you are so upset about kids riding walmart bikes?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by knoob View Post
    Ask what SHE wants to do, soccer, softball, dance. If you try and force it on her she will only resent it, and you.

    Just support her at whatever she IS interested in.
    I'm with this guy. Get her into what SHE wants to be into.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrogs View Post
    Is this why you are so upset about kids riding walmart bikes?


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    As stated above, let her do what she wants to do first and add biking as a FUN activity every once in a while. Maybe let her ride her bike around the neighborhood to get ice cream, Icee's, or whaever she likes a lot and maybe she will consider moving to the trails later on. The important thing is to make biking fun FIRST (not on trails, as you mentioned, she doesn't show any interest). If it's not fun, kids will not do anything! Don't try to teach her or correct her; that's not fun. Maybe you are being too strong when you are riding with her by correcting every single mistake she makes. Kids don't like that (ask me how I know).

  14. #14
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    Re: Daughter 7yo HATES cycling

    Mine didn't get into it until they were 11. Give her time.

    Sent from my S3 on the way to the trailhead.

  15. #15
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    Don't worry so much about this. What you really need to worry about is all of the boys that will be chasing her in 7-8 years or so!
    "We LOVE cows! They make trails for us.....

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  16. #16
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    as a father of three boys (7,4,and 2) I can say that 100% of the time if I want them to do something, I tell them NOT to do it.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by knoob View Post
    Just support her at whatever she IS interested in.
    This.

    I took my 9 y/o son for a mtb ride yesterday on some mellow trails and dirt roads, and it quickly turned into a miserable whine/complain/walk-fest. We probably made about half an hour before it was too much to bear and I called it quits. He hated it and said it was boring, no fun, and 'lame', which has been the case since he started riding bikes.

    Oddly enough, the same kid has loved DHing and BMX since he was 5, and we do 6 hour skatepark sessions on a regular basis, where he totally kills it. Put him on an XCish trail ride (or worse yet, pavement, though at least that's understandable) and it's like dealing with a completely different, thoroughly miserable, and totally unmotivated kid. So I bought a 20" and now I play in his world when we ride together. He seems to really get a kick out of the fact that the shoe is on the other foot as far as skill goes, and he's the one leading me into doing stuff that I wouldn't have even considered trying without him. He's also led me back into dirt biking and over this past winter, snowmobiling. If he were a girl, I imagine I'd likely have a bunch of gymnastic equipment in the garage instead of ramps and be failing miserably at learning to turn a cartwheel on a 4" beam instead of turning out of fakie.
    I find with the kids, sometimes it's good to lead from behind.

  18. #18
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    This thread resonates with me. I feel your pain, but the other responders are spot-on.

    I'm the father of a 10 y/o boy and a 7 y/o girl. For reasons that are probably a bit old-fashioned, I've probably "encouraged" my son into sports more than I have my daughter. The disparate amounts of money I've spent on each certainly reflects that. When he was 5, I got him into BMX racing. Heavily. He was out racing a few times a week; we started traveling for State races, then a National race. By the time he finished his first year (using 3 different race bikes I built up during that time, probably spending close to $2000), he had earned one of the state's top 10 champion plates for his age group.

    Within 6 months, he decided to quit.

    So I got him into competitive kids triathlons, which are quite popular in my region. Although he was an average swimmer and runner, I figured his BMX racing experience would translate well, and it did. His first year, he again took the championship award for his age group. He nearly replicated it the following year. I was convinced he needed a real road bike, so I spent $700 on a Felt F24, and we spent the springtime (he was 7 at the time) doing some road rides -- he even managed a 20-miler.

    A month before triathlon season started, he said he wanted to abandon tri's. So I sold the Felt.

    Oh, and don't get me started on the 20" hardtail I built up, with custom handbuilt wheelset, and a sweet SRAM 1x9 tranny I would have loved for my own bike. Had it for about a year, before he decided he didn't like mountain biking so much. (Seems as thought that project thread has inspired a lot of discussion about custom-building kids' bikes, so I'm glad my efforts were not wasted!)

    Meanwhile, amidst all this, along the way, my daughter picked up dancing, softball, and soccer. I am being completely objective when I say that she excels in ALL of them. She is easily among the top 3 players on her sports teams, every season. And I have coached her in NONE of those pursuits.

    I think it's all a bit like the movie "Inception". We can't just plant or project our dreams in our kids' heads. They have to come up with it on their own, for it to "stick" and to be real. Passion must come from within.

    As for my son, nowadays he likes playing basketball (a sport I was never good at). And reading and writing. And he has rekindled his interest in competitive Pokemon card-playing. He enjoys doing all of them, and I stand back and support him. I did just buy him a new hardtail-- a KHS Alite 24 -- but only because his little sister tried out his Redline Conquest 20 one day and decided she LOVED it. This time, I'm going to let him rediscover mountain biking on his own timeline.

    However, every now and then, I'll sneak into the garage late at night to tinker, retrofit new parts, and brainstorm on how to drop a few pounds off that KHS.... :-)

  19. #19
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    some kids catch the bug and others don't. In my case biking has always been fun, my father was the one who first pushed it, but all the neighborhood kids road bikes for fun, so thats just what we did every day. around the neighborhood, skateparks, trails, dirt jumps, you name it. i started riding with my dad and his friends around 12, and was on and off for a few seasons (to this day mountain biking has a hard time competing with motocross. some hefty fines and injuries a few years ago are very persuasive). now at 21 i'm all in and have a hard time getting my dad out more than once a week, but its still a good connection we have.
    I guess my point is that there's only so much you can do to persuade the kid, and friends/peers also have a lot to do with how interested a kid is in something. having other kids to ride around with may help keep them interested, that way biking is not just dad's sport. as everybody else stated, forcing it only causes resentment.
    Good luck!
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  20. #20
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    This is fantastic advice and suits my daughter's personality to a T. I'll ask for her advice in the future and give her a bit more control in the venue etc. She likes feeling in control.



    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    This.

    I took my 9 y/o son for a mtb ride yesterday on some mellow trails and dirt roads, and it quickly turned into a miserable whine/complain/walk-fest. We probably made about half an hour before it was too much to bear and I called it quits. He hated it and said it was boring, no fun, and 'lame', which has been the case since he started riding bikes.

    Oddly enough, the same kid has loved DHing and BMX since he was 5, and we do 6 hour skatepark sessions on a regular basis, where he totally kills it. Put him on an XCish trail ride (or worse yet, pavement, though at least that's understandable) and it's like dealing with a completely different, thoroughly miserable, and totally unmotivated kid. So I bought a 20" and now I play in his world when we ride together. He seems to really get a kick out of the fact that the shoe is on the other foot as far as skill goes, and he's the one leading me into doing stuff that I wouldn't have even considered trying without him. He's also led me back into dirt biking and over this past winter, snowmobiling. If he were a girl, I imagine I'd likely have a bunch of gymnastic equipment in the garage instead of ramps and be failing miserably at learning to turn a cartwheel on a 4" beam instead of turning out of fakie.
    I find with the kids, sometimes it's good to lead from behind.

  21. #21
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    She definitely likes the social aspect of it. I need to get her friends to go with us on a ride. At this point she is still on training wheels. I am thinking a weekend at a campsite with a great riding area.

    Quote Originally Posted by kuan View Post
    Let me know if you want to sell her bike.

    No, but if she doesn't like it then she doesn't. It might be a social thing. Some kids just like playing with their friends.

  22. #22
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    You are an awesome Dad! I had imaged riding with my daughter before she was born. It is beyond frustrating. I'll ride around the neighborhood while my daughter is outside and the neighborhood kids flock around me because I'm one of the few parents that plays with the kids. They all beg me to ride with them when my daughter isn't around.

    We went to Performance Cycles yesterday and she had a ball riding the bike around the store. I'm getting close to figuring it out.

    Quote Originally Posted by quasi888 View Post
    This thread resonates with me. I feel your pain, but the other responders are spot-on.

    I'm the father of a 10 y/o boy and a 7 y/o girl. For reasons that are probably a bit old-fashioned, I've probably "encouraged" my son into sports more than I have my daughter. The disparate amounts of money I've spent on each certainly reflects that. When he was 5, I got him into BMX racing. Heavily. He was out racing a few times a week; we started traveling for State races, then a National race. By the time he finished his first year (using 3 different race bikes I built up during that time, probably spending close to $2000), he had earned one of the state's top 10 champion plates for his age group.

    Within 6 months, he decided to quit.

    So I got him into competitive kids triathlons, which are quite popular in my region. Although he was an average swimmer and runner, I figured his BMX racing experience would translate well, and it did. His first year, he again took the championship award for his age group. He nearly replicated it the following year. I was convinced he needed a real road bike, so I spent $700 on a Felt F24, and we spent the springtime (he was 7 at the time) doing some road rides -- he even managed a 20-miler.

    A month before triathlon season started, he said he wanted to abandon tri's. So I sold the Felt.

    Oh, and don't get me started on the 20" hardtail I built up, with custom handbuilt wheelset, and a sweet SRAM 1x9 tranny I would have loved for my own bike. Had it for about a year, before he decided he didn't like mountain biking so much. (Seems as thought that project thread has inspired a lot of discussion about custom-building kids' bikes, so I'm glad my efforts were not wasted!)

    Meanwhile, amidst all this, along the way, my daughter picked up dancing, softball, and soccer. I am being completely objective when I say that she excels in ALL of them. She is easily among the top 3 players on her sports teams, every season. And I have coached her in NONE of those pursuits.

    I think it's all a bit like the movie "Inception". We can't just plant or project our dreams in our kids' heads. They have to come up with it on their own, for it to "stick" and to be real. Passion must come from within.

    As for my son, nowadays he likes playing basketball (a sport I was never good at). And reading and writing. And he has rekindled his interest in competitive Pokemon card-playing. He enjoys doing all of them, and I stand back and support him. I did just buy him a new hardtail-- a KHS Alite 24 -- but only because his little sister tried out his Redline Conquest 20 one day and decided she LOVED it. This time, I'm going to let him rediscover mountain biking on his own timeline.

    However, every now and then, I'll sneak into the garage late at night to tinker, retrofit new parts, and brainstorm on how to drop a few pounds off that KHS.... :-)

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by quasi888 View Post
    This thread resonates with me. I feel your pain, but the other responders are spot-on.

    I'm the father of a 10 y/o boy and a 7 y/o girl. For reasons that are probably a bit old-fashioned, I've probably "encouraged" my son into sports more than I have my daughter. The disparate amounts of money I've spent on each certainly reflects that. When he was 5, I got him into BMX racing. Heavily. He was out racing a few times a week; we started traveling for State races, then a National race. By the time he finished his first year (using 3 different race bikes I built up during that time, probably spending close to $2000), he had earned one of the state's top 10 champion plates for his age group.

    Within 6 months, he decided to quit.

    So I got him into competitive kids triathlons, which are quite popular in my region. Although he was an average swimmer and runner, I figured his BMX racing experience would translate well, and it did. His first year, he again took the championship award for his age group. He nearly replicated it the following year. I was convinced he needed a real road bike, so I spent $700 on a Felt F24, and we spent the springtime (he was 7 at the time) doing some road rides -- he even managed a 20-miler.

    A month before triathlon season started, he said he wanted to abandon tri's. So I sold the Felt.

    Oh, and don't get me started on the 20" hardtail I built up, with custom handbuilt wheelset, and a sweet SRAM 1x9 tranny I would have loved for my own bike. Had it for about a year, before he decided he didn't like mountain biking so much. (Seems as thought that project thread has inspired a lot of discussion about custom-building kids' bikes, so I'm glad my efforts were not wasted!)

    Meanwhile, amidst all this, along the way, my daughter picked up dancing, softball, and soccer. I am being completely objective when I say that she excels in ALL of them. She is easily among the top 3 players on her sports teams, every season. And I have coached her in NONE of those pursuits.

    I think it's all a bit like the movie "Inception". We can't just plant or project our dreams in our kids' heads. They have to come up with it on their own, for it to "stick" and to be real. Passion must come from within.

    As for my son, nowadays he likes playing basketball (a sport I was never good at). And reading and writing. And he has rekindled his interest in competitive Pokemon card-playing. He enjoys doing all of them, and I stand back and support him. I did just buy him a new hardtail-- a KHS Alite 24 -- but only because his little sister tried out his Redline Conquest 20 one day and decided she LOVED it. This time, I'm going to let him rediscover mountain biking on his own timeline.

    However, every now and then, I'll sneak into the garage late at night to tinker, retrofit new parts, and brainstorm on how to drop a few pounds off that KHS.... :-)
    Hi Dave!

    I've been lucky so far, my 5yo daughter has been into everything I'm into (bikes/snowboarding), and seems to have the athletic ability to pursue it. I haven't really pushed, but always tried to keep it fun - and always quit on her terms if she wasn't having a good day or struggled. And of course picking her up and dusting her off after a fall, high-fiving her as if she just jumped the Grand Canyon. It's all about keeping it fun and slowly building their confidence. She's totally bummed if I go trail riding, as she's not big enough to power up the hills yet, and says she wants gears like my bike so she can come too

  24. #24
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    I have another post on this so Ill just summarize here. Make it fun and do it with them. My daughter (5) loves to play follow the leader on bikes. she loves to do things I cant. But she also likes to try to keep up with me.

    We use the bike as a means to an end. Lets ride to the park. lets ride to the mailbox. She loves the praise as well when she accomplishes something. She just finished with the strider 5 months ago or so, but likes riding in the grass, over curbs etc.

    When I tried to force her to ride while I watched, it was no fun. when I played with her she loved it.

  25. #25
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    Have you tried this. Use the bike to get to a destination. With my kids, if we go biking, i try to include a destination (park, ice cream shop etc.) On mountain bikes, I will ask if the want to go and find/build a fort somewhere that you need to get to by bike.

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