Kids on Slickrock Practice Loop?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    Kids on Slickrock Practice Loop?

    I have ridden Slickrock a couple of times, but have never been out on the practice loop. I was wondering if my 10 year old son could handle the terrain. He has a Trek 4700 hardtail with a 100mm fork on it. He's no prodigy and does not have a whole bunch of skill yet. We are heading out in June and I'd like to introduce it to him without ruining the rest of the vacation....

    Thanks!
    Curtis
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  2. #2
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    I would work on his skills before you take him out there. Though the practice loop is shorter, it still comparable to the main loop. If you fear he would get hurt on the main loop then don't take him to the practice till your confident in his skills.

    just my .02

  3. #3
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    Really the only difference in the main loop and the practice loop is the length. It is still pretty tricky in spots, and I would't recommend it to beginners.
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  4. #4
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    Klondike Bluffs may be your ticket...

    I rode that with my wife a few years ago. Not too technical (check on the length) but you run across dinosaur tracks about 3/4 of the way into the trail. That was very neat and I can only imagine what a 10 year old may think of it. It is an out and back trip but there are some very sandy sections that I believe we walked- Dad'll just have to be super tough and hoist both bikes!
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  5. #5
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    Who says you have to ride the whole loop?
    I personally don't waste my time with Slickrock anymore but for the uninitiated it's a great adventure. Take him out there and just mess around, work on his skills and if he becomes comfortable and wants to ride the practice loop let him.

  6. #6
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    Slickrock

    I took 2 beginners on Slickrock and they had a great time. Their only previous experience was 1 ride on Klondike Bluffs. I made sure that the bikes were setup and the brakes were working well. I showed them how to go up, down, and brake before we hit the trail. We skipped the practice loop and went straight to the hard/easy fork and discussed what to do. They were a little unsure about tackling the whole trail but I explained that it wasn't any steeper than what we had just done and you can always walk some parts. We headed the hard way, which I think is more fun and by the 1/2 way point they were riding up and down slopes that were unimaginable to them a few hours ago. The went back home with some fears conquered and a great story to tell their mtbing friends. If my son was 10 I would take him on Slickrock, it's a great confidence builder.
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  7. #7
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    practice loop easier? Well...

    I'm gonna agree with a little bit of what everyone above has said. The PL is just a shorter version of the regular loop with very steep ups and downs. The downs are the ones I'd be concerned about with 10 year olds, teaching them to not grab too much front brake and tasting rock. If I were you I'd just take them on a very short out and back on the regular loop giving them a taste of what slickrock riding is all about. Even for older beginners it can be tough.
    Then ride elsewhere in Moab and come back to Slickrock if they feel more confidant (and actually ARE better at handling their bikes).
    About going out there in June. I've been there in June. It will be relentlessly over 100 degrees. I see you're from Lake Arrowhead, CA. You won't believe how hot it will be in the afternoons there in June. Any riding you're doing should be completed before noon. Not to be a completely negative person here but a teenage girl did die last year in June on Porcupine Rim. They were from California. Her dad did everything right about hydrating but she just couldn't absorb the liquids she was drinking and that was it. No warning signs, she just got completely fatigued then went comatose. After my one trip there in June (actually, just to see how friggin' hot it would be) I don't go there any later than the first week of May, usually it's in April. Then it's 80s and low 90s.
    People may post back here about how the heat isn't so bad or whatever, but I'll never go back when it's that hot.
    Last edited by xcguy; 03-30-2006 at 01:11 PM. Reason: spelling

  8. #8

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    Thanks to all!

    I appreciate all the insight, particularly XC guy. I'll play it by ear as to what my son might want to handle. He's more into the whitewater portion of the trip through Westwater Canyon (yup-he's got lots of Class IV+ experience).

    Regarding the heat.... That hot that early, huh? I'm one of those 'live to ride at sunrise' guys, so hopefully I'll be alright. As for Porcupine, last time I did it, it was good temps, but a fall down a series of drops that broke my wrists, dislocated my thumb, gave me a concussion, and sent me into the ER two weeks later with a staph infection thanks to cactus in my chin-that's just a killer trail. I rode it out from Jack-ass canyon because I didn't know how messed up I was. Did a lot of walking but had enough left to show some pride and drop my riding partners on the road ride into town. The lesson learned was don't take a short travel racing hardtail on a trail and expect to keep up with your free riding buddies who guide on Porcupine for Adventure Bus. Other than that, it was an amazing trail! The pic- I don't even remember posing......
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  9. #9
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    Heat & 10 Y.O.

    Another voice - don't underestimate the effects of heat, wind and extremely low humidity on kids. I've see several kids on trails in Moab in various stages of dehydration. Kids have a lot less liquid in them to begin with...be very careful.

    As for a 10 year old on a Trek 4700...I've seen people taking their six year olds on K-Mart BMX bikes! Use the opportunity to preach using the brakes properly, and riding s-l-o-w-l-y. My son rode the practice loop at 7 on a 20" Trek Mountain Lion. The small wheels were an issue, but we made it. Big fun. Now at 14 he kicks my butt on anything technical.

    A suggestion - across from the entrance to the Slickrock parking area is a little slickrock dome just to the right of the entrance to some camp sites. Take him up there and have him ride circles first. Sort of a "Practice Loop Practice Loop" if you will.....

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