Mountain biking with kids is an awesome way to spend time with your little ones. You get to spend quality time together, teach them about the great outdoors, exercise, and pass down a hobby you’re passionate about.
Mountain biking is one of the easier hobbies to attract children to, and combined with being healthy, confidence building, and fun, there are more than enough reasons to get them involved.
Some parents who don’t mountain bike themselves find it a little overwhelming to direct their children to. They see it as dangerous, expensive, and don’t know of any decent trails near where they live.
Well, you can put all your worries aside. Because with a little patience, knowledge, and enthusiasm, you can get your kids involved in mountain biking. Seeing the joy it brings them is priceless, and if you’re not an active mountain biker yet – maybe it’s time for you to start too!
Picking the Right Mountain Bike for Kids
Top of the range mountain bikes are expensive, and it is important to buy a good quality mountain bike. But it’s not all bad news, most quality bikes hold up really well second hand and you can pick them up for a reasonable price if you look around a little.
Brands like Spawn and Cleary are great and their bikes usually have a lot of years in them when looked after. Don’t be afraid to drop in at your local bike shop and speak to someone first hand for some knowledge too.
Always Think Safety
I don’t mean to sound patronizing here, I’m sure all parents will be overly cautious when it comes to safety – and rightfully so. But there are some items of safety gear that are a must. Helmets for one, and properly-fitted helmets. Gloves and elbow pads for the little ones too.
The interesting takeaway is that mountain biking is actually safer than riding on, or near roads. There are a lot less hazards, and as their confidence grows and they experience a couple of small scrapes, falls will be few and far between.
Being a Role Model
I’m sure you know how much your kids look up to you. Even if you’re an experienced mountain biker pulling stunts and showing them how fast you can go is not a good idea. Kids like to imitate and push boundaries (any parent knows this all too well), be a role model and keep it sensible.
This also includes wearing some protective gear to set a good example, even if you don’t always wear the proper gear.
Practicing and Beginner Trails
We live in a time where the internet is waiting to provide all the answers we need. So Google where you can find beginner trails or practice parks near you home. Start off helping your child master controlling the bike on flat terrain before hitting the trails.
Children can become demotivated if something is really difficult with little reward to start off. So build up slowly, and remember, this is a time for family bonding it should be fun!
Things to Take with You
The further away from home or your vehicle you start to ride the more important it becomes to take certain items with you. In case you’re new to mountain biking here are some items to consider:
- Fresh Water – Hydration Bladders are great for drinking while riding
- Light snacks – Don’t want to get hungry!
- Tire pump – Flat tires happen, don’t get caught out
- Tire repair kit – When more than air is required, patch on the move
- First aid kit – Especially important when taking children out mountain biking
What Are You Waiting For?
There you have it, everything you need to motivate you to get your kids on a mountain bike safely and start having fun. Breaking away from work, devices, phone calls, and all those other distractions we all get bogged down with and hitting the trails for some riding is incredibly satisfying.
Have fun and stay safe!
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