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  1. #1
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    Tail recomendation for young rider?

    I have a ten year who just got her first mountain bike. Can anyone recomend some fun and easy trails around Oregon to take her on? We live in the Corvallis area and I am very familiar with the trails in the Macdonald Forest. Im thinking about the bend area or other places that are kid friendly.

  2. #2
    Nat
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    Phil's trail is very kid friendly. Park at the main trailhead and pick either Marvin's, Phil's or Kent's trail. The Deschutes River trail from Aspen to Dillon Falls would be also good.

    Peterson Ridge in Sisters is also kid friendly but the start has a lot of round river rocks and can be tricky.

    The most downstream end of the Mackenzie River trail is kid friendly but there are a few small drop-offs to the side of the trail so if your daughter sketches out on exposure she might not like that.

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    Can't get any better advice than what Nat just gave you. That was absolutely spot on and exactly how I introduced my daughter to real mountain bike trails.

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    My son is turning 10 this year, and my daughter is turning 8. My son and I have been riding the past few years, and I'm getting my daughter a new bike in a week or so. Ben's, Phil's, and Kent's are all good options to go up, and there are several different cut-offs to do loops, which are more fun for kids than out-&-backs. But a GREAT out-&-back trail for kids is the Deschutes River Trail. Lots of options for places to start, and this is an out-&-back that works, with beautiful scenery and a river to keep the kiddos interested. Nothing extreme for climbing, but fun flowing trail, pump areas, some rocks if you want, etc. My 7yo daughter had fun on her kid-cruiser, while my son has fun on his mt. bike. Certainly a good option in Bend.

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    Most of the Bend river trails are crowded with hikers. Not a great place for beginners.

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    Thanks for the good tips. Think I might try the Phils trail system combined with a little camping.

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    I've done the Deschutes River Trail several times with my little ones and had a great time, without a problem with the hikers. First of all, with the little ones in tow, you are not bombing the trail as much anyway, so less likelihood of conflict (by the way, you won't be the only one riding, and the hikers know it is a dual-use trail). Second, you can time your ride to miss the peak of the day hiking. Third, with the little ones in tow, taking frequent stops is a good idea anyway, so stopping for the hikers is not a big deal.

    If you go to Bend with little kids, I think Ben's up, then over on one of the connectors, and down Phil's; and the Deschutes River Trail are the two best options for little kids on their first rides.

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    Nat
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    Most of the foot traffic on the DRT concentrates at either end, so if you start in the middle you'll encounter fewer people. The middle section is less technical too. Weekends are busier than weekdays obviously.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    Most of the foot traffic on the DRT concentrates at either end, so if you start in the middle you'll encounter fewer people. The middle section is less technical too. Weekends are busier than weekdays obviously.
    Yeah, good point, which I meant to make. We start at Dillon Falls, and head up.

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    I was hiking the DRT about 2 weeks ago on a Saturday. Why anyone would bother riding that area during a summer weekend is beyond me. Way too crowded.

    What about Wanoga TH as a starting point? Aren't there a couple of trails that are easy for a couple of miles where you could do an out and back?

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    Tail recomendation for young rider?

    Quote Originally Posted by StreamRider View Post
    I was hiking the DRT about 2 weeks ago on a Saturday. Why anyone would bother riding that area during a summer weekend is beyond me. Way too crowded.

    What about Wanoga TH as a starting point? Aren't there a couple of trails that are easy for a couple of miles where you could do an out and back?
    All I can say is I took my 7-yo daughter for her 1st ride there and it hooked her for the sport. Have to remember that what makes a good ride for us probably doesn't for the little ones just starting, & vise versa. Give a kid flat & flowy trail with neat things to see, & they are happy. Beautiful river, a place to put your feet in the river for a break, non-dusty, turn around when/as/before they start getting tired (rather than forcing a full loop) and you have the makings for a great ride for little 1st timers, even if it isn't a ride I would pick to do without them (although it is still a nice winter/spring/fall ride at off times).
    Last edited by GauchoGreg; 07-15-2013 at 04:28 PM.

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    Tail recomendation for young rider?

    never mind
    Last edited by GauchoGreg; 07-15-2013 at 04:29 PM.

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    RE: Tail recomendation for young rider?

    Marvin's and or Phil's. Let them mess around at the pump track too. They will love it.

  14. #14
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by GauchoGreg View Post
    Have to remember that what makes a good ride for us probably doesn't for the little ones just starting, & vise versa. Give a kid flat & flowy trail with neat things to see, & they are happy.
    So true. Having an actual destination during the ride (such as a spot on the river where they can take off their shoes and get their feet wet, or a waterfall to look at) gives the motivation they need. For us, the ride itself is the event but for little kids the ride can just be work.

    Also bring snacks. Even if it's only a two-mile ride, and you don't break a sweat, being able to stop and have a Waffle Stinger or something like that keeps the kids happy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    So true. Having an actual destination during the ride (such as a spot on the river where they can take off their shoes and get their feet wet, or a waterfall to look at) gives the motivation they need. For us, the ride itself is the event but for little kids the ride can just be work.

    Also bring snacks. Even if it's only a two-mile ride, and you don't break a sweat, being able to stop and have a Waffle Stinger or something like that keeps the kids happy.
    God, how did I forget the SNACK??? That is the most important part! Same for every kid activity, the world revolves around the snack.

    But going back to the point both of us are making, when getting the kids interested in the sport, it is really important to think in terms of how the kids think. First of all, kids have MUCH less endurance than adults, in any activity. We think they have endless energy because the rug rats seem to around the house. But that is very much different than out hiking, biking, hunting, etc. They don't have the energy reserves we have, and they don't have the pain tolerance we have (I think they have a harder time looking past the pain toward the reward). Dust, cold, heat, really challenging technical uphill rocky areas, etc. are just not likely to be handled well be a newby kid until they have had enough experience with the more exciting, instantely-gratifying parts of riding. YKMV (Your Kid May Vary).

    The other day, I had my 9-yo boy with me riding up Tiddly Winks, planning on doing the tiddly/funner loop. It was about 11AM, and already getting a bit hot. A bit dusty. I could see my guy not really into it. I asked him how he was doing a bunch of times, telling him we can turn around any time he wants. After a while, he finally said he wanted to turn around. I know he did not want to disappoint me, and really kept pushing himself, but I could tell things were just going to keep getting worse, and that the whole ride was likely to end up being a big negative. I have seen way too many parents push their kids too far and turn them off of activities that they would likely have liked if they had let the kid advance at their own pace, and always kept it fun. It's fine to challenge your child, to consistently present them the ability to be better, but not if you go to the point where the kid stops enjoying it.

    Anyway, this takes me back to the DRT, it really is a great 1st ride for the little ones. Let them have fun, turn them around before they start showing they are tired. Let them get their feet in the river at/near the turn around. Have them play on the little pump areas. Take lots of little breaks (kind of happens naturally, with the hikers and other bikers). By the way, one other point, I have found both the hikers and other bikers are very positive toward the little ones, praising my kids on their effort, complimenting them on their bikes, etc. That also does a lot of good for their confidence and overall enjoyment of the ride.

  16. #16
    Nat
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    I've been wanting to find a generally downhill section of trail to do a shuttle ride with the kids. I think that showing them the excitement of going downhill (the reward) may help motivate them to do the climb (the work) on subsequent rides.

    So far I have started at forest service road 300 and gone down Ben's trail but I'm having a hard time thinking up another one that would be appropriate for an eight-year-old. Can you guys think of another shuttle ride that would be good for little kids? My kids really liked coming down lower Storm King but we climbed up from Conklin Road.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    I've been wanting to find a generally downhill section of trail to do a shuttle ride with the kids. I think that showing them the excitement of going downhill (the reward) may help motivate them to do the climb (the work) on subsequent rides.

    So far I have started at forest service road 300 and gone down Ben's trail but I'm having a hard time thinking up another one that would be appropriate for an eight-year-old. Can you guys think of another shuttle ride that would be good for little kids? My kids really liked coming down lower Storm King but we climbed up from Conklin Road.
    Funner?

    From your Road 300 start, rather than going down Ben's, you could also go up over the Phil's connector, without doing much uphill, and getting a different downhill experience on Phil's or Kent's.

    Another easy, short, mostly-downhill ride would be the Tumalo Creek trail, getting dropped off up at the falls.

  18. #18
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by GauchoGreg View Post
    Funner?

    From your Road 300 start, rather than going down Ben's, you could also go up over the Phil's connector, without doing much uphill, and getting a different downhill experience on Phil's or Kent's.

    Another easy, short, mostly-downhill ride would be the Tumalo Creek trail, getting dropped off up at the falls.
    Thanks for the suggestions.

    You know what stinks about children's bikes? Not only are they about half of their body weight, but unless you spend a lot of money the brakes don't work very well so either the kids get arm pump or the brake pads rub on the rims.

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    I have a new 13" Specialized Myka (26" wheels) on order with Hutches for my soon-to-be 8-yo daughter. I got my soon-to-be 10-yo son a Spesh Hot Rock (24" wheels) a couple years ago, and now think going with a lower end Xtra small adult bike is the better call. I chose the v-brake option for the new Myka, rather than the $80-more mech disc brake option. At least for our trails, we don't have a lot of really long steep downhills, and obviously not a lot of rain, so I though the $$$ and the lbs savings were the better choice. Can always upgrade, which will happen, and it will be a lot more fun doing it on an adult bike that I know will be used for many more years than it would for my son's bike, which is not likely to have a very long lifespan. I'm hoping that (v-brakes) was the right call. I'm clueless about the various qualities of the lower end components for both kids and adult bikes, having not bought anything but XT stuff for my bikes for a long time.

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    Check out the high end Hotrock model.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StreamRider View Post
    Check out the high end Hotrock model.
    I don't want to go the 24" route. My daughter is fairly tall for her age, and the Myka's 13" frame with the 26" wheels still has great stand-over height, and should be a better, longer-term prospect. Kid's version of a 29er. She can easily ride my son's 24" Hotrock now. The only thing I think I might have to change will be the cranks, but I'm going to see how they work out of the box, first. That top-o-the-line HotRock would end up being too small before we know it, and I don't want to invest in "high end" components that will not be pushed hard, to start with, and will be worth little in a couple years. This way, I can upgrade with better forks and disc brakes, and who knows what else, in a couple years and have a better, longer-term bike.

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    Its not about SO height. Its about all all around bike fit.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by StreamRider View Post
    Its not about SO height. Its about all all around bike fit.
    Yep. But the 13" Myka is just 18mm bigger (seat post) than the HotRock (20mm longer top-tube, 16mm longer chainstay), but with 38mm higher bottom bracket, and that with only 12mm higher stand-over height. So, for a very slightly larger bike, you get 26" wheels and significantly higher clearance, and a bike that will have much more longevity and up-gradability.

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    Definitely do what works. BTW, a 20mm longer top tube is significant for small sized persons.

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    Absolutely. I'm certainly going to have her ride it before it leaves the store. The cranks and the top-tube length are the two considerations I'm most interested in. The cranks can be dealt with. Too long top-tube is a more complicated problem.

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