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  1. #1
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    Take a kid biking?

    My 9 year old nephew got a mountain bike for his birthday this week. His first "real" bike. I'm the only one in the family that rides and the thought of the kid just riding his bike around the cove was just too much to bear so I asked him if he wanted to go hit the trails.

    His mom said he could go and he was really excited. He wanted to "go fast". I took him out to one of the local trails and we hit it. The kid was a natural. He has tons of stamina, loves to go fast, believes in his bikes ability to roll over stuff, and he knows when to stand up and attack the trail. He went into some nice drops that I've seen stop grown men in their tracks and he learned how to ride over log piles.

    A few miles in we stopped for a water break and i asked him what he thought. He gave me the same answer every other kid gives me at this point "it's awesome...you don't ever have to stop at street corners". It's really cool to help a kid get that perspective...riding a bike is more than going to the street corner, stopping, waiting for your mom to tell you it's clear, then going to the next one and stopping...and on and on. Kids want to rock. It's really fun to watch these kids eat up the trail.

    We did just over 8 miles. The kid only stopped when I forced him to....every 15 minutes or so I'd have him stop to drink so he didn't get heat stroke....if it weren't for that he'd have gone the distance with no interuptions. On the way home we talked all about basic bike maintenance...tubes, tires, chains, gears. It was a cool afternoon with a kid I don't get to spend enough time with.

    He and my son are about the same age...and they have the same bike...I think I've just found two new riding partners for my slower recovery type rides. It suspect it won't be too many more years before they are smoking me on the trails and i'm yelling "hey you guys...wait up!"

    Anyone else help kids discover what biking is all about?

  2. #2
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    Not myself, but my dad did the same thing for me that you did for your nephew. We started out on department store bikes (I was about 9 at the time) but when I starting loving it, for my twelfth or thirteenth birthday I got my first "real" mountain bike, a 2002 Marin Bear Valley (I know I'm a younger guy on these forums!). My dad built up an aluminum Nuke Proof frame ( semi-old school now...) and taught me stuff about bikes while he did it. That pretty much got me into it. I'll always love mountain biking and riding in general and I have my dad to thank. We always used to go on trips every year to go biking (back home there's not really any trails within 100km). Ever since I went off to school we haven't had the chance to do that. I miss those trips, and I'm hoping that once I graduate we'll be able to go on those trips again. Great memories .
    STOLEN: '07 Banshee Viento - See Eastern Canada Forum for Pictures. If anyone sees it contact me ASAP!

  3. #3
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    My oldest son just turned 7 and he's always asking when he can go out and ride with me on the trails. I honestly can't wait.

    Can you tell me what make/model bike your son and nephew are riding? My son is still on a single speed 20" bike. I'm thinking a 24" geared bike (and the knowledge on how to switch gears) would be better to start with. Looking forward to reading the responses in this thread!
    Contact information: http://about.me/marpilli

  4. #4
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    They are riding the Specialized HardRock on a mens medium frame. The bike was a little big for both of them when they got it but the idea was that they'd grow into it and be able to ride it for years. It worked really well with my son. It's not so big that it causes any problems...it's just a little big.

  5. #5
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    Man, what's the matter with you guys? Just get em an X-box and you're done. LOL, No really that's great, I'm always looking at the awesome mini mtb's at lbs that are out nowa days. Good stuff fellas
    Round and round we go

  6. #6
    It's about showing up.
    Reputation: Berkeley Mike's Avatar
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    To OP, yes, hundreds.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Take a kid biking?-ymcamtb0897.jpg  

    I don't rattle.

  7. #7
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    Santa brought my daughter a Specialized Hotrock 24 and my son a Jamis Laser 20. She was 8 and he was 5. Both bikes were (and still slightly are) a bit big, but its nothing they haven't been able to handle. The Hotrock has a grip shifter so it at least introduces the older one to gears. Of course, they also came with helmets...a purple and pink with flowers, and a black with racing flames When they're cool, it's not a chore to get them to wear their helmet.

    Berkeley Mike, sounds like you do a pretty awesome task out there...cheers
    Bark less, wag more

  8. #8
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    Sounds like a great day with the boy. I got my son into riding at Quail Hollow State Park in Ohio:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McMVWocDEKo

    He doesn't have the fever (yet) but he does like to ride. We're going on our second mtb overnight camping trip at Kennerdell, PA this weekend.

    Also been spending way too much of my summer free time working on building a new beginner level mtb loop trail in a brand new county park in my home town. They needed someone who knew a thing or two about trails, and when I found out it was hike & bike - I couldn't refuse. But soon neighborhood kids will have singletrack that they can ride to. Love it.

    Steve Z
    Pedaling when it's dry
    And paddling when it's wet

    My insignificant blog:
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  9. #9
    Bandit 29 FTW!!!
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    Sweet...got both teens (girl and boy) riding with the wife and I two-three times a week. Just wish it wasn't so freekn' hot.

  10. #10
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    I got hooked on trail riding a different way. My cousins and I always went camping at Shuswap Lake in the BC interior. There, they had a fairly nice perimeter trail, so we used to run around that everyday. A couple times, my cousins lost control and took an involuntary shortcut through a little pit, dodging trees, which gave us some good laugh. But the real thing that got me hooked was a random encounter i had on the trail. One day, we actually spotted a little bear cub on the trail. My cousins put two and two together: bear cub = mama bear = angry mama bear, and so we booted it out of the trail. After the parks staff confirmed that they were caught, we continued to "patrol" the trails to ensure the trails were safe.

  11. #11
    It's about showing up.
    Reputation: Berkeley Mike's Avatar
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    There is something special about that moment when the eyes start to sparkle with awareness. This is a photo of the last day of a week of riding with the first session of the 2007 Albany YMCA MTB program. This turned out to be an exceptional group, though. 160 miles and 13,500 ft elevation. They knew they had done something unique. The sparkle becomes a a full blaze.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Take a kid biking?-mtbrgroupymca07378.jpg  

    I don't rattle.

  12. #12
    How much further ???
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    I exposed my son to riding very early. He got his first bike at 15 months old and this pic was taken at about18 months old. He helps me when I work on my bike (he knows to put a wrench in the bottom bracket bolt) and points to his bike every time we go into the garage. If he could ride everyday he would. He was full out coasting, no training wheels, at 20 months.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Take a kid biking?-img_0230_2.jpg  

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  13. #13
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    sons

    what i love most about mtb'ing is the quality time spent with my 6yr old and 13yr old sons out on the trails.there is nothing like making lifelong memories with your children.

  14. #14
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    my son is still a baby, but i cant wait till i get him into bikes

  15. #15
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    My daughter loved to ride with me until she discovered boys.

  16. #16
    Yes, that's fonetic
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    Quote Originally Posted by supafly1982 View Post
    my son is still a baby, but i cant wait till i get him into bikes
    Just don't push it on him. My 10 y.o. has a nice Marin 24" (and before that a nice Scott 20") but he'd still rather go bodyboarding (he'll charge 8' faces), despite his dad being a bike whore half his life....Dad's life that is, my son has grown up knowing I'm a bike nut.
    Last edited by whodaphuck; 08-04-2011 at 12:11 AM.

  17. #17
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    My daughter's 4 and just learned how to ride on two wheels. I do take her out to the trails on a trailer bike so she gets used to the sensation of speed. She seems to love it, as far as I can tell.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXdJMc-x_rQ

    I bought her a full face after seeing this video.

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