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How do you get your kids on bikes?

I love Mountain Biking, but my tween-aged kids (8,10) seem reluctant to join me.  Is this just too young, or is there something I can do to get them more involved in a sport that I love?

3 Replies

@Beamr such a great question!

First off, good for you for wanting to get your kids involved in your adventures! Watching my daughter embrace mountain biking has been one of my favorite things about being a parent. There are so many positive lessons to be learned adventuring outside with our kids.

What I suggest is to start small and easy and build up from there. Depending on how comfortable your kids are riding their bikes it might just be riding at a park that has a gravel trail or something level with hardpacked dirt. I find that frequent breaks and check ins to see how they're feeling is a good idea. If they're not having fun you can talk about why and if they're having a blast you can reinforce that too. Also, don't be afraid to scale back or pull the plug altogether if necessary. At the end of the day we want our kids to feel safe and have fun and not to feel bad if they aren't feeling up to an activity. It can certainly be hard to do that with an adventure that we are passionate about.

My daughter has great days where she loves riding trails with me and she has other days when she'd rather be doing other things. I try my best to take advantage of those times she loves riding and making those the best experience it can be for her. As the parent to your kids you are best positioned to know what that looks like for them. I also think that one of the biggest factors in my daughter's evolution as a bike rider was just simply that I was really excited to spend time with her outside. It sounds like you've got that covered so you're on the right track!

 

John

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

As a father this question really resonates with me. I don’t know if your children are the same as mine but my son hates failing in front of me. He also loves showing off in front of me once he’s learned a new skill. I encourage you to look for a local mountain bike club. They have ride for all ages, genders, and skill levels! It’s also a great way to learn and build camaraderie. As long as they can ride a bike there’s no age limit for the trail. I bet your kids will be excited to show off in front of you in no time. Happy trails!
At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Candy.  Seriously.  Our first kid didn't have sweets until he was two, so he thought Cliff bars were a real treat.  And the ciff zbars for kids help lure my 2 year old daughter to ride along with me and my now five-year old cycling companion.