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  1. #1
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    Took my niece mtn biking yesterday

    I have to tell you, I have the coolest niece in the states! I have three, actually, and they're all into different things. The oldest likes riding her bike, the next one likes car racing and skate boards, and the third, well she's still figuring things out (she's 4).

    As a birthday present for the oldest, I ran down a verbal listing of great things kids might want from the usual kid-trap stores and she kept shooting me down. So, somewhat bewildered, I just said, "Well, I'll just take you mtn biking!" Her face lit up and I saw that I had nailed it. Now, she's 10 and has never been riding with me -- just around the neighborhood. She has a little 24" Schwinn with Grip Shift and front "suspension".

    There's no place near where either of us live that are primo to take her but I knew there are some good options near my parent's house where we'd all be for Thanksgiving. Yesterday morning we grabbed the bikes and went out for breakfast while my sister (her mom) and my mom went to fight Black Friday shopping. After breakfast, we stopped by the LBS and I bought her some full fingered gloves -- after all, you can't go mtn biking without them -- then it was off to the trail.

    The trail we decided on is a 5 mile loop with some techincal sections but nothing that a beginner -- or 10 yo -- cannot handle. We started with a pine stand section that is relatively flat with some nice little rollers and she was loving it. We hit a little climb then the descent and she was giggling and excited! We rode for 25 minutes then took a little break. She advised that she wanted to ride more and some more challenging stuff at that. So we set off for the trailhead and ended up riding the whole loop. She rode smartly, stopping to walk those sections she felt uncomfortable with and riding the downhills Each DH she rode she would hollar a little louder and was laughing at the bottom of it! Of course, her reaction to this put a huge smile on my face too.

    At one point she noted, "It feels like I'm on a roller coaster but I'm the engine!" When I asked her at lunch what she liked the most, her response was "the downhills!" Maybe for Christmas I'll get her a mtn bike video or three and start training another young rider. She liked the idea of making money by riding a bike! (dont' we all?)

    Even though I like the enduro stuff, the hour spent my niece was great. I can't wait to do it again!
    Charles Myrick
    33North Adventures | Owner
    Bike | Climb | Hike | Paddle
    New trips: Tibet & Bosnia!

  2. #2
    life is a barrel o'fun
    Reputation: Christine's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
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    What a story! All the better b/c she wasn't even interested in shopping with the other girls.

    I had taken my friend's 10yr old boy out for a ride around the neighborhood, and the best we could find were some "moguls" on the construction sites of new homes. He picked an impossible line b/w two little moguls and, predictably, tumbled over and scraped his elbow on the driveway.

    He didn't cry, but was concerned and wanted to get home to "disinfect it." His 5-yr-old sister had a blast riding with me on the street and didn't want to stop "riding the bumps" and plowing through piles of leaves.

    I can't wait 'til they're a little older and their non-biking parents (well, they've got mass-market bikes) see the light and spring for decent trail-worthy machines.
    "We sat outside the dentist, tooting a horn on the guy's bike."-overheard in the Underground

  3. #3
    Currently in Exile
    Reputation: Frozenspokes's Avatar
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    May 2004
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    Keep taking her!

    It's awesome riding trail with kids. I can't wait until my younger girls starts riding too. Here is a picture of my oldest riding last summer.

    She was eight at the time. We really enjoy riding together, and she like your neice prefers the downhills. I am getting her a Specialized Hotrock A1 for next season. Hopefully, the lighter bike and wider gearing options will help her to appreciate climbing too.
    "There are those who would say there's something pathological about the need to ride, and they're probably on to something. I'd wager though that most of the society-approved compulsions leave deeper scars in the psyche than a need to go and ride a bicycle on a mountain." Cam McRea

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: sponge monkey's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
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    Very cool fer sure.Went today for the first time from a 2 year break from riding.Took my 13 year old nephew my buddy and his 14 year old son we all had a blast.Felt so good to be on the trails again cant wait until next weekend to get back out.

  5. #5
    Official Cooler Inspector
    Reputation: M-U-M's Avatar
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    They grow up so quickly. I admire your leadership.


  6. #6
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    The last time I went mountain biking with a kid, my friend's little brother crashed, yet I didn't hear it so I continued through the rest of the trail.(a trail having many turning points and different directions) Good thing the kid had insticts or riding the funnest part way on a trail.

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