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  1. #1
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    The "My Kid is Scaring Me!" Thread

    Maybe there's a thread like this already started?

    I had to grab an old pic of Missy Giove on the downhill to explain to my 7 y.o. daughter how crazy she (my daughter) looked on her bike on Saturday.

    Riding behind her I saw some nice, smooth riding and good line choices, then I saw the bottoms of both shoes, yet somehow she gathered it up and stayed upright, and kept it on the narrow tree-lined trail. This is not because she's so "shreddin'". It's because she won't listen to her father's advice about standing up on the pedals to smooth out the bumps.

    The other thing going against her is she has not had a bad crash yet. She scraped her hands in the parking lot once, and got crossed up on 2 occasions and caught a handlebar in a bad way, but nothing that couldn't be fixed with a little ice cream.

    I am so anxious for her to make that next step to smooth riding - and I'm trying not to push her too hard - but I'm getting crazy because she keeps going faster but her technique has plateaued.
    I am thinking the only way she'll learn is by crashing.

    Wish us luck!

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  2. #2
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    "Heavy on the feet, light on the seat." Is what one of the local parent's uses.
    Get her riding with some other kids and parents. Parents which you know have a decent handle on skills. You are her dad. You are dumb.

    I'm one of the dumbest guys out there. Unless of course I'm buying the ice cream.

  3. #3
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    One reason I started that early, even when they were on there 16 inch bikes I drove it home to stand on pedals for rough terrain.
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  4. #4
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    Last singletrack ride I rode with my 7 year old, he scared the crap out of me three times. Problem was that he wasn’t wearing his full-face helmet, shin/knee guards, or elbow/forearm guards this time around. He was riding the sections at speed (18MPH or thereabouts) that have an off-camber on the outsides of the turns, and his wheels were LITERALLY right on the edge (on the other side of the edge is about a 4 foot dropoff into some large uncomfortable rocks and a river). We used to get hurt a lot back when I was a kid in the 1970s and 1980s, now is the dawn of helicopter parents, wherein we’re always hovering over our kids making sure they don’t get hurt.
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  5. #5
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    My daughter's (7-yo) first ride on her new bike last week was great for good-ole-dad, no heart attacks . . . . well that is until the ride was basically over, we were like 30 seconds from loading up the bikes on the car. I looked and saw her on loose gravel on a big flat area where some people park, I saw her making a very sharp turn, and before I could yell and tell her not to . . . crash. Hurt her wrist and knee. Sucks when all the single track goes great and the crash is JUST before she would have got off the bike. And that kind of crash really does no good, unlike the kind of crash the OP talked about to gain respect.

    My son, on his first real mtb bike ride a couple years ago, did lose control on a rock garden downhill, dad has heart attack thinking of all the really bad things he could crash into, but he magically hit the only soft bush on the hill. Voila, perfect situation for gaining respect but not getting really hurt.

  6. #6
    GMF
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    Like the OP, my 8yo son has gotten off easy on the crash front. One biggish crash at like 5, but since then has been surprisingly controlled on the bike. We've talked a lot about "attack position" (arms and legs bent), which he is finally getting after having fun bouncing down the trail feet off the pedals.
    He is not a dare devil, but this last weekend he truly surprised me with some of the stuff he was willing to ride down and the composure with which he handled it. The only sketchy part was a short 30 degree decent on thick gravel that got him pretty wide eyed because he was picking up speed despite hitting the brakes. While a bit scary, it was neat to see him keep his cool as he worked the brakes to stay on the verge of skidding but not really locking up... There was a big run out so the only problem would have been if he panicked and dumped the bike. I also liked when we were coming down a descent that was pretty rutted out in the direction of travel, he stopped at the top after i cleared it, checking out the lines, eventually coming down my line. He made sure to let me know my way seemed OK to him, too. Reading the terrain - i like it!

    Are you guys big on the protective gear? We just do helmet and gloves which has been fine so far, but i know the first big wipe out is going to take quite a bit of on-trail recovery time as he calms down. I'm hesitant to because of warm conditions and longer (10-12 mile) rides.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMF View Post
    Are you guys big on the protective gear? We just do helmet and gloves which has been fine so far, but i know the first big wipe out is going to take quite a bit of on-trail recovery time as he calms down. I'm hesitant to because of warm conditions and longer (10-12 mile) rides.
    When it’s warm, I have them dress in loose t-shirts and shorts with short socks, and then the protective gear goes on. We’ve gone on 20+ mile rides with them fully-suited up in their protective gear.
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  8. #8
    GMF
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    Wow - That is more than i wore when riding North Shore stuff... I don't think we'll go that extreme (our trails are generally pretty buffed singletrack around here), but out of curiosity - where did you find kid sized armor like that?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMF View Post
    Wow - That is more than i wore when riding North Shore stuff... I don't think we'll go that extreme (our trails are generally pretty buffed singletrack around here), but out of curiosity - where did you find kid sized armor like that?
    Chainlove and Pricepoint.
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  10. #10
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    I have found a lot of luck at the moto stores for padding up my daughter. I also just put my daughter in a mountain bike camp last week she to liked to sit when she should stand but after a week in camp I am proud to say they broke her from that.

    Good luck and happy trails to you and your family

  11. #11
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    Took our oldest for her first real MTB ride. About 1000 Ft of climbing and the decent is a brutal drop of 800 ft in about 1/2 a mile. I've been clocked on it as high as 40mph. She made it up all the gnarly tech climbs even in 87 degree heat and a full face helmet. handled her self great on the decent and managed her speed well. about 100 feet from the bottom of the final decent and the parking lot her brake (v-brakes) must have started overheating and she started speeding up. Bailed from the bike and slide down the trail face first on the full face helmet while I was stopping and watching from in front of her, worst memory I have in my head. Took a hard hit to the spleen from the flat bar. 3 hours in the ER as they were worried she had ruptured the spleen. Poor kid had to do blood tests, pee tests, and ultrasound but she was fine. She didnt want to ride again for a few weeks. I'm upgrading her from the V Brakes to nice new Avid BB7's just need a new wheel set that is Disc ready so she can do her next epic ride and this time with less crash. Thank goodness for full face helmets. No body wants their little girls to have large scars on their faces.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leopold Porkstacker View Post
    When it’s warm, I have them dress in loose t-shirts and shorts with short socks, and then the protective gear goes on. We’ve gone on 20+ mile rides with them fully-suited up in their protective gear.
    Your kids have the most awesome bikes.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuan View Post
    Your kids have the most awesome bikes.
    Thanks. I stripped the bikes down to the frames and replaced all the crappy (and very heavy) components and built theirs up with the sorts of components I run on my bikes (Chris King headsets, Raceface Atlas cranks, SRAM X7/X9 drivetrain, custom built wheelsets, etc.). I recently upgraded my little dude’s bike:
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  14. #14
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    That's pretty awesome. Do you do all the work yourself? Did you have to convert form freewheel to cassette on that bike?
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fastblack View Post
    That's pretty awesome. Do you do all the work yourself? Did you have to convert form freewheel to cassette on that bike?
    Bike came as stock with a 3x7 drivetrain. Converting it to 2x9 involved a wheel build done by my local favourite wheelbuilder– which was the only work I did not do myself. I had no idea on the colour options of spokes available, you can pretty much get any colour you wish.
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