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  1. #26
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    My wife used to ride mountain bikes all the time, but I've only gotten her out a handful of times in the last few years. Our son is nearly 4 years old, that could have something to do with it, but it could also be related to her smashing most of her teeth and taking 3 years to recover from a big crash in Whistler. She's just started triathaloning, so I guess we'll be spending some time on road bikes.

    My son wants to ride dirt trails with me, but I've told him not until he takes off the training wheels. :-)
    "...DirtBaggies may also be the best baggy mountain bike shorts on the market." Velonews - Click to check out other reviews.

  2. #27
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    To add for kids...

    Show them

    - Take them to your races so they can see you race, or just let them see you participate in riding & having fun.

    - Expose them to the culture, take them to events.

    - Roam on DVD. My oldest watched it about 100 times when he was 4. He was racing BMX the next year.


    When going riding, call it "Exploring" or "Going on an adventure". It's accurate to them and it ignites their imagination.

    Ride to the local ice cream / yogurt shop together. Ride to pizza together. Ride to school together.

    Always positive with them and tell them how proud you are of them for their accomplishments - even what seems simple to us can be hard for them. When you get home, tell Mom their great accomplishments in front of them (3rd party validation).

    Have a treat to have mid-ride.

    Fox Racing Pee Wee Elbow Guards, cheap, great fitting, don't slide off.

    If it's cool, long sleeves & pants. Less pain = more fun.

    Remind them to breath deep. They hold their breath when it gets hard for them.

    And finally, KISS. Keep It Simple Stupid. Quick to get to trail, smooth trail to ride, minimal hills. They will tell you when they want to go to the next level.

    You have fun with them - they can sense it & love it

    P

  3. #28
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    My seven year old and I recently upped his difficulty level one notch. Actually, when he graduated from 20 to 24 inch wheels, it made roots and rocks a little easier for him to negotiate, so that was a big help.
    I like turtles

  4. #29
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    Just remembered a few while riding with my 5 year old tonight...

    - Check YOUR expectations at the door. They are the skill they are, and will learn at their pace. Let them be happy who they are.

    - I learned from coaching soccer & baseball that pressure is regressive to a kid's learning curve. Do not push them to do anything. I've seen this way too often and it sucks for the kids and really stunts the kids enjoyment of the sport.

    - Try to stay away from telling them what not to do (to them, it leaves open a million variables on what they should do) instead kindly tell them what to do (then they know).

    P

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Interesting viewpoint.

    This is the main challenge of this thread though. How do you motivate a kid to climb 500 or 1000 feet when there is no motivation to be found?
    I don't. My kid would do it once and never touch it again knowing that dear old Dad set her up for something she didn't want to do. I don't want that to be the legacy.

    Besides, it's not like we get that much time together and this is an intact family situation. A good time for all means a different kind of ride and that's fine. More to the point, she's told her friends it was a great time and wants to go again. That's what we mountain bike enthusiasts should be after.

    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Most kids like descending but it is rare they will want to climb and suffer up a hill. So do you just leave it alone and wait for them to ask? Do you try to get them to ride?
    The point is to make a positive memory. Descending is getting outside and doing. It's not exactly what *I* do and that's okay. My kid is not me and will not ever be me, so maybe she picks it up, maybe she doesn't. She will have had a positive experience and not be shy about doing it again.


    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    How hard do you try and when is the best age?
    I try very hard and never for very long. But, it's not about cajoling my kid up a hill she doesn't want to ride. My effort goes into listening very carefully to their needs and looking for opportunities for them to connect to the activity. "look at this!" "check this out" and then asked "I want to go over there." Lots of eating/drinking going on too. It's all good. Time flies like this! On their scale, it really is an adventure.

    Best age is difficult. I always leave well before frustration, fatigue or falls set in. Over the years, that's been an hour at most. This last time was about twice that and she's 13 and very active in another sport. It seems like and adventure to them even though you aren't doing much on your scale.

    We ski too and the same rules apply. Yes, that's an *expensive* few half-days of doing a couple of runs, eating/drinking and doing a couple more runs. But she likes skiing and asks to go every year now. Snow shoeing? Same thing. She will find 'her thing' as she grows up and I'm pretty sure she will be physically active as a result of these activities. I think that's the goal of being a parent.

  6. #31
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    I collected these videos and put together this article

    Little Rippers – Riding with the Next Generation like Malcolm at Hellion Park | Mountain Bike Review

    The gold standard is Malcolm here who is 4 years old. Watch the dad and how he acts with son. Really good coaching for this level of independence. And what we don't see is the hundreds of hours it took to get to this level.

    Little Rippers – Riding with the Next Generation like Malcolm at Hellion Park | Mountain Bike Review


  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by asphalt_jesus View Post
    I don't. My kid would do it once and never touch it again knowing that dear old Dad set her up for something she didn't want to do. I don't want that to be the legacy.

    Besides, it's not like we get that much time together and this is an intact family situation. A good time for all means a different kind of ride and that's fine. More to the point, she's told her friends it was a great time and wants to go again. That's what we mountain bike enthusiasts should be after.


    The point is to make a positive memory. Descending is getting outside and doing. It's not exactly what *I* do and that's okay. My kid is not me and will not ever be me, so maybe she picks it up, maybe she doesn't. She will have had a positive experience and not be shy about doing it again.




    I try very hard and never for very long. But, it's not about cajoling my kid up a hill she doesn't want to ride. My effort goes into listening very carefully to their needs and looking for opportunities for them to connect to the activity. "look at this!" "check this out" and then asked "I want to go over there." Lots of eating/drinking going on too. It's all good. Time flies like this! On their scale, it really is an adventure.

    Best age is difficult. I always leave well before frustration, fatigue or falls set in. Over the years, that's been an hour at most. This last time was about twice that and she's 13 and very active in another sport. It seems like and adventure to them even though you aren't doing much on your scale.

    We ski too and the same rules apply. Yes, that's an *expensive* few half-days of doing a couple of runs, eating/drinking and doing a couple more runs. But she likes skiing and asks to go every year now. Snow shoeing? Same thing. She will find 'her thing' as she grows up and I'm pretty sure she will be physically active as a result of these activities. I think that's the goal of being a parent.
    YES!!! on all counts!

    It's really more about planting the seed, & nurturing it, so it blossoms beautifully later.

    My 5 year was saying yesterday, "When is the downhill Dad?" he calls them rollercoasters. Give them what they want, as they know it better than we do.

    P

  8. #33
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    Just got back from a weekend of riding with husby and our 7yo daughter, who got a Marin Hidden Canyon for her birthday on the 29th. Saturday we ended up at a trail system that was going to be too steep for her to handle- she is having a hard time w/ the hand brakes so it's not just uphill that's the problem- so we just slapped on the TAB and spent a few hours tooling around that way.

    Sunday we went back to a beautiful little RR grade trail and she ended up doing 5.6 miles out and back. She rode what she wanted to ride and walked what she wanted to walk. We stopped and looked at butterflies, rocks, plants (the leaves are really turning brilliant right now), the little creek under the bridges we crossed, etc. And lots and lots of snack breaks... apples, pears, energy bars, grocery store California rolls, and momma's shot blok stash is getting seriously dented, lol....

    Husby said after it was all said and done, that was one of the best rides he'd done all season. We had SUCH a good time. Kid even begged to get her bike back out when we got home so she could just ride it around in the driveway until it was too dark, lol.

    The thing I'd like to note here is that we just focused on enjoying our time together. NOT INSTRUCTION. Yeah, we had a couple tips, but the overload point is so quick I wanted to keep it to only maybe a couple most critical things and just leave the rest alone and focus on having fun.

    Now for the moment of painful honesty: when I look at some of the posts here, my natural reaction is that I wouldn't like riding with ya either. Your nitpick is showing. Just RELAX and let your peeps enjoy. The best ride of the season for them might be going through the drive though for ice cream, and there's nothing wrong with that.
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  9. #34
    Slothful dirt hippie
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    P.S. And now that the days are getting short here in the north, we mounted a little flashlight block on her handlebars and let her try night riding in the driveway last night. Bikes + flashlights = kid ecstasy, lol!
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  10. #35
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    Thanks for spurring me into action with your thread Francois. I arranged a play date for my son, dusted off my road bike and had a great ride with the Missus until the sun set.

    Resolving to go ahead and do it, and then accommodating her preference to ride the road was my way, I'm sure if we make a habit of it we'll get some trail time in sooner rather than later.
    "...DirtBaggies may also be the best baggy mountain bike shorts on the market." Velonews - Click to check out other reviews.

  11. #36
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    Inspired by this thread, I took my son to waterdog Friday afternoon for the first time. As mentioned above, he just turned 5, and I bought him a 20" Giant XTC JR which is still a little too big. But, he has already figured out the gears and brakes, so I thought it would be better than his 16" SS hotrock with all of the hills. (John Brooks, down the Berry trail to the lake, then back up the lake road trail to the car. He walked a lot of the trails, both uphill and downhill, but overall had an enjoyable experience (after saying, "I can't do it!" probably 20 times.)

    We followed that up with his first cyclocross race at the CCCX race Sunday. We dusted off the hotrock for this one since he can get on and off of it much easier. What a difference having other kids riding all around him made. He was having a blast. Right in the beginning, a kid fell over and I jokingly started yelling, "Man down, Rider down!" So every time my son went over the bars in the sand, he'd yell "Man down!" laughing, or "man almost down" if he saved it. It was a great experience, especially with all of the kids winning California Giant strawberries and getting up on the podium for a group photo. I'm hoping we can make it down to Manzanita park in Prundale this Sunday to do it all over again.

  12. #37
    sheep in FOX clothing
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Most kids like descending but it is rare they will want to climb and suffer up a hill.
    So my kid is five, and we were rolling back to the car after a 15-km epic (by far his longest ride to date). One big hill remains between us and the finish, and he's already said he's to tired and is going to walk it. I said good idea.

    But as we roll along, two bigger kid on bikes pass us and start up the hill ahead. When they get halfway up, we see one of them stop and start walking. Without a word, son-of-ghettocruiser is standing on the pedals to hammer all the way to the top for the over-take.

    I know there`s no motivational methodology anywhere in there. But it`s pretty clear by now my kids may be suffering on hills due to a genetics issue, i.e. the genes they got from their idiot father.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    So my kid is five, and we were rolling back to the car after a 15-km epic (by far his longest ride to date). One big hill remains between us and the finish, and he's already said he's to tired and is going to walk it. I said good idea.

    But as we roll along, two bigger kid on bikes pass us and start up the hill ahead. When they get halfway up, we see one of them stop and start walking. Without a word, son-of-ghettocruiser is standing on the pedals to hammer all the way to the top for the over-take.

    I know there`s no motivational methodology anywhere in there. But it`s pretty clear by now my kids may be suffering on hills due to a genetics issue, i.e. the genes they got from their idiot father.
    This is exactly what I'm talking about. Peer pressure motivation is the real deal.

    fc

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by verslowrdr View Post
    P.S. And now that the days are getting short here in the north, we mounted a little flashlight block on her handlebars and let her try night riding in the driveway last night. Bikes + flashlights = kid ecstasy, lol!

    Right on man. Here are my kids and I on the way home from the pump track. They were tripping out on a 2 year old that hit all the steep lines. I try to show my kids that riding is just a way of life, just like walking. Ride in the morning, to the park, at night, in the rain. It is no big deal.

    And a lot of the instruction happens at home in these neighborhood rides. It allows me to assess them and see what trails they're ready for.

    When a kid ride is perfectly planned and executed, it should feel stress-free and fun.

    fc
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails What's the best way to motivate your kids or your spouse to ride?-img_5785.jpg  

    What's the best way to motivate your kids or your spouse to ride?-img_5788.jpg  

    What's the best way to motivate your kids or your spouse to ride?-img_5796.jpg  

    Last edited by francois; 10-09-2012 at 04:25 PM.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by maleonardphi View Post
    Inspired by this thread, I took my son to waterdog Friday afternoon for the first time. As mentioned above, he just turned 5, and I bought him a 20" Giant XTC JR which is still a little too big. But, he has already figured out the gears and brakes, so I thought it would be better than his 16" SS hotrock with all of the hills. (John Brooks, down the Berry trail to the lake, then back up the lake road trail to the car. He walked a lot of the trails, both uphill and downhill, but overall had an enjoyable experience (after saying, "I can't do it!" probably 20 times.)

    We followed that up with his first cyclocross race at the CCCX race Sunday. We dusted off the hotrock for this one since he can get on and off of it much easier. What a difference having other kids riding all around him made. He was having a blast. Right in the beginning, a kid fell over and I jokingly started yelling, "Man down, Rider down!" So every time my son went over the bars in the sand, he'd yell "Man down!" laughing, or "man almost down" if he saved it. It was a great experience, especially with all of the kids winning California Giant strawberries and getting up on the podium for a group photo. I'm hoping we can make it down to Manzanita park in Prundale this Sunday to do it all over again.
    nice job! Waterdog, that's almost a perfect place. Why didn't I think of that place. I hardly go there, though, kinda far for me for such a short ride.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAmHolland View Post
    nice job! Waterdog, that's almost a perfect place. Why didn't I think of that place. I hardly go there, though, kinda far for me for such a short ride.
    Right now, it's too steep both up and down for him. We've been to Arastradero a couple times this year, and that is much more manageable. Waterdog is just so close for us. Maybe we'll try again this weekend.

  17. #42
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    The best place for in San Jose, Bay Area for kids I hear is:

    Bayfront Park in Menlo Park
    https://maps.google.com/maps?q=bayfr...+park&t=h&z=16

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim-ti View Post
    Thanks for spurring me into action with your thread Francois. I arranged a play date for my son, dusted off my road bike and had a great ride with the Missus until the sun set.

    Resolving to go ahead and do it, and then accommodating her preference to ride the road was my way, I'm sure if we make a habit of it we'll get some trail time in sooner rather than later.
    Yes!! My wife was miserable mountain biking. But after road riding for 4 years, mountain biking is much easier for her now.

    fc

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by maleonardphi View Post
    Right now, it's too steep both up and down for him. We've been to Arastradero a couple times this year, and that is much more manageable. Waterdog is just so close for us. Maybe we'll try again this weekend.
    It's going to be tough for a 5yo no matter how you slice it. Arastradero may be OK, but there will be walking parts, and endurance is an issue.

    Try changing the gearing. I run my daughter's 20" as a 1x9, with a 28T chainring and 12-36T cassette. I haven't taken my daughter to Arastradero yet, but should soon.

    My son (24" bike) finds Arastradero boring and can clear everything there with no problems. I think Waterdog would be a good experience for him, he rides Long Ridge and Santa Teresa (including Stiles Ranch) normally.

    When my kids were 5, I liked to take them to Old Haul Road for a nice long and easy ride.

  20. #45
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    Ok, I got the article written. Comment there please and help me improve it. My research in this forum made it possible.

    How To: Getting Your Kids and Spouse to Mountain Bike | Mountain Bike Review

    fc

  21. #46
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    Nice article! I see some familiar bikes and faces in the photo slideshow too!
    QUOTE from MTBR.COM: You have given Brewtality too much Reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later.

  22. #47
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    For the wife (if you have kids) I would underscore the importance of clearing time to ride and finding childcare (ie. don't ask her to do it - do it yourself!). That is often the obstacle for us if I wait until the last minute to arrange something. My wife is not that into biking but I am working on her. I think she imagines she will enjoy it less than she will...

  23. #48
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    I just bought lots of pink bits for her bike lol, Was rewarded with a road trip from England to the Alps this year which she loved and fantastically she cant wait to do it again next year. Happy days,

  24. #49
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    For kids-Read [U]The Talent Code[U]. Get through the first 50 pages and the rest is very informative. Don't be afraid to let them rock the BMX bike on the trails. My 6yo nephew takes his 18" Haro on 10 mile rides regularly. A front brake and bottle mount will be mounted shortly though.He also attends my races and sees the kids on MTB. He's just itching to get out there with them.

    My family started by riding beach cruisers, at the beach. We have been hauling bikes down there for most of my 18 year marriage. When I started the MTB scene, my wife realized we didn't have to load, haul, unload, ride, drive home, etc. We can just leave from the house. TRAIL CHOICE IS KEY. I feel like I'm riding down the freeway and my wife thinks we are riding Moab.I've learned to just go for fireroads and flat singletrack. My wife and daughter both love lift assisted riding on beginner trails. Finally, my wifes confidence is going up like crazy by having a spin bike at home. When the kid and I go out, my wife is spinning and working out. She has been working on standing up and climbing. Whether it makes her better or not, she is gaining confidence and can't wait to go see how strong she's gotten.

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by miniman868 View Post
    Don't be afraid to let them rock the BMX bike on the trails. My 6yo nephew takes his 18" Haro on 10 mile rides regularly.
    My kids started the same until they reached 20" size.

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