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  1. #1
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    Duthie Access for Kids

    My five year old is very excited about mt biking and I want to take our family to Duthie but I am fearful of the uphill to the meadow after the boardwalk. I don't want that to put a damper on our experience. I know there is an access road between Boot Camp and Movin' On that goes out to Issaquah-Fall City Road for volunteers. Would it be feasible to drop my wife and daughter off there and have them ride in that way? Is it flat and easier than the uphill from the boardwalk?

    Thanks for any input.

    rbwen

  2. #2
    I got the velcros
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    Most definitely. That's a nice wide smooth gravel road all the way to the clearing without the trickery of slimy wood, and also much flatter than the post-boardwalk trail.

  3. #3
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    Why not just walk up the uphill? I saw little kids doing it all day long today, they didn't seem to have a problem with it. Most seemed excited to see people doing stuff off in the woods
    Tarekith.com

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  4. #4
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    Two reasons really:

    1. We were out there last week and almost got plowed over on three separate occasions by downhillers coming from the meadow to the boardwalk.

    2. I'm all for challenging my daughter but people have different personalities and I know that for my daughter's first initiation to a great place like Duthie I don't want her to be put off by a skinny boardwalk (remember, she's five) and what might seem like a BIG hill.

  5. #5
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    Fair enough, though if that's too much for her, is she ready to ride any of the trails there yet?
    Tarekith.com

    '12 RM Slayer70, i9 Torch, Flow EX, XT Brakes, 5050 s3.

  6. #6
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    Duthie Access for Kids

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarekith View Post
    Fair enough, though if that's too much for her, is she ready to ride any of the trails there yet?
    We all gotta start sometime and spending some time in the meadow with her while my wife rides a few loops would be a great way to spend an afternoon.

  7. #7
    FM
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    My .02 as a parent:
    The road in from Issaquah-Fall City Road has some vert- definitely more than the boardwalk entrance. There's typically been some walking either way. Overall I'd say my daughter prefers the parking lot/boardwalk entrance. For a 5yr old I'd just push the steeper parts with 'em.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbwen View Post
    We were out there last week and almost got plowed over on three separate occasions by downhillers coming from the meadow to the boardwalk.
    Do us all a favor: Parents ride/walk in front & force any speeding riders OFF their bikes in that section. Or at least make sure they can trackstand for :30+ before passing. That's what I do. Absolutely not OK for kids to be intimidated there, or for their safety to be an issue.

  8. #8
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    Duthie Access for Kids

    Either should work if you manage it. My son (7) and I go all the time, and he just walks the boardwalk behind me


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  9. #9
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    Duthie Access for Kids

    (Fat fingers clicked too soon.)

    After a few times he now rides the boardwalk, but still walks the uphill to the clearing. I'm in front and ask people to slow down going the other way. Never been an issue- everyone is always polite.

    Going in from the South would be less (no) bike traffic for sure, but still have to walk the hill.

    Took a bunch of kids & dads a few times. Each time a few different 5 yr old boys were with us and were not ready for Duthie. Very intimidated by Bootcamp and ended up leaving early. You gotta judge if she's ready. Maybe best to spend a little more time on concrete getting basic bike skills down and strength up. Then do some flatish gravel roads. Then Duthie.


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  10. #10
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    When my son was younger, he loved riding the trail around the edge of the clearing that starts near the skinny rides and ends near the start of bootcamp. This is a little used trail and has a nice bench to sit at and look down to Ryan's line (I think it is) which we'd frequently stop at for a couple minutes. Then, he'd have to spend some time trying to ride the skinny's. To a 5 year old, the clearing has a lot to offer. I saw a couple 6 - 7 year olds rocking the drops up near the start of bootcamp yesterday. Then they'd both catch air off the bump near the beer garden. They were awesome. It is amazing what is possible.

  11. #11
    Rock Gnome
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    Taken both my 3 and 4 year olds there. We've always done the boardwalk in. Best thing to do is have a chat with the little ones about trail etiquette beforehand. If they see a rider or you see one, say 'rider up' and have them move to the side. This does a couple things: they can make a game out of it, and if they're being vocal the other rider sees them too a lot quicker. Parent wise, it's a good idea to be in front on the climb, best if you can box them front and back. Other than that everyone has been super encouraging to the kids on the trail

  12. #12
    That Waters Guy
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbwen View Post
    We all gotta start sometime and spending some time in the meadow with her while my wife rides a few loops would be a great way to spend an afternoon.
    So to go back to your original question, drop and runs should be fine at either end of the park. There's enough room to pull into the locked gate at the road, just leave the engine running and stay by your rig in case the EMTs show up, which has been known to happen several times a weekend.

    My youngest is four, on a scoot bike, and while he does the boardwalk he's slow and intimidated by it, and I absolutely agree with your wanting it to be perceived as safe by your daughter.

    We do go up as two groups together, the bigger kids with an adult in front of the four year old to make sure everybody coming down the hill is pretty much a dead stop for the youngest. My experience is that everybody is really cool about it, some even appreciating the reminder.

    We normally do drop & runs from the parking lot, though, just because it's easier to manage.

    Good on you for getting your kid out there!
    Rolland

  13. #13
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    I've always wondered why so many leave the park on the access trail instead of StepItUp. Once beyond beginner/kiddie level, it's easily ridden, has no traffic, and is a lot more fun.

  14. #14
    That Waters Guy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Navigator View Post
    I've always wondered why so many leave the park on the access trail instead of StepItUp. Once beyond beginner/kiddie level, it's easily ridden, has no traffic, and is a lot more fun.
    That's a great question.

    Maybe some signage would help?
    Rolland

  15. #15
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    Duthie Access for Kids

    Or even better, exit via Ryan's!

  16. #16
    That Waters Guy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nsteele View Post
    Or even better, exit via Ryan's!


    Although both people I've seen crater on Ryan's were doing their last run of the day and crashed because they were too pooped for the line.
    Rolland

  17. #17
    I got the velcros
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    Never call last run before your last run. Always decide last run after the last run.

    That's when youll crash

  18. #18
    That Waters Guy
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtec View Post
    Never call last run before your last run. Always decide last run after the last run. That's when youll crash
    Yes. This! And sorry for helping to hijack the thread!
    Rolland

  19. #19
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    Just thought I'd update our Duthie trip for those who might be in the same situation as we were. First of all, thanks for the information about access. Secondly, my daughter LOVED Boot Camp. She rode it about 5-6 times and it was perfect for her and her bike, a Trek MT60 (pink, of course).

    Day One we were lucky enough to get a spot in the parking lot because it was raining. We were going to ride the gravel road off of Issaquah Fall City Road but since there were some "No Parking" signs here and there and nobody parked along the road we decided to try the lot. My daughter and her friend had no trouble with the boardwalk even though it was raining. They just took their time. They were able to ride about half of the trail up to the meadow and walked the other half and it was not a big deal. We did encounter one rider coming down at a good clip but I was out front (thanks for that tip FM) and just waved and put my hands up and he slowed down while we moved off the trail.

    Day Two we were towing my 16 month old in on the trailer so we decided to try to gravel road. FM was again right that the gravel road does have a bit of up and down, probably more than the trail into the meadow but it's also not crowded at all and it's a lot less intimidating than a wet boardwalk and single track. So, six of one, half dozen of the other. But for dragging a trailer in that was the way to go, obviously.

    One bonus of the gravel road is that we could ride Boot Camp on our way out and take the little spur off of it and hit the gravel road before the meadow for one last hurrah. There were probably 15 cars parked on the side of IFC Road. We (mistakenly...sorry mt biking gods) parked at Endeavor Elementary (I just read a previous post that said "park at the elementary school" and didn't read the actual name of the school) and rode 100 yards to IFC and then hit the gravel road. It's summer so hopefully they weren't too mad at an extra car in the parking lot. In the future we'll park at Cascade Ridge Elem.

    Can't wait to go back with my daughter! I was a proud poppa.
    Last edited by rbwen; 06-28-2013 at 10:59 PM.

  20. #20
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    Sounds like you had a good time. I'm glad your trip over the pass for some west-side fun went well. Next time you're in this neck of the woods, I'd be happy to return the favor of some route suggestions.
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