BY KIM MONGRAIN - JOLIERIDE AMBASSADOR
You dream of family mountain biking with your young children? Well know that this is quite possible. All it takes is a good dose of patience, a little preparation, a hint of letting go and above all, lots of snacks!
An accessible sport, even for the little ones
Mountain biking is a wonderful family activity. Despite its reputation as an extreme sport, it remains safe and accessible, provided certain basic principles are respected. In addition, most mountain bike centers now offer initiation trails or skills trails for beginners. It is also possible to enroll your children in a cycling club so that they can familiarize themselves with the different techniques in the company of other young cyclists and experienced instructors. Everything you need to start on a good foot.
A family accessible sport
Ten recommendations to start family riding with young children
Here are some tips that, in my opinion, remain essential to ensure the success of your next bike rides:
All it takes is a good dose of patience, a little preparation, a hint of letting go and above all, lots of snacks!
1. Carefully choose the bike according to the height and skill level of your child. A clean and well-kept frame that meets his needs is always a winner!
2. Bet on comfortable protective equipment that your little ones will enjoy wearing. Well-fitting helmet and gloves are the first equipment I suggest you get.
3. Bring snacks in astronomical quantities. Long live sweet jelly treats!
4. Avoid riding only on super easy tracks. Boredom and lack of challenge are the number one enemy of children. Why not ride on trail sections that offer easy beginner drops, nice views or safe little jumps?
5. Do not hesitate to redo sections of the track that everyone likes. There is no rule that prohibits going back halfway up a trail!
6. Remember that an outing kimited to the pumptracks or the skill park is also mountain biking.
7. Bring a tow rope for tougher climbs or tired legs. This saves your children's energy while working on the parent's power and endurance.
8. Agree to do a shorter outing than expected. A fall, fatigue or bad weather are all elements that can influence the duration of the activity.
9. Understanding that overcoming your fears is good, but going beyond your abilities or being reckless can be a real danger.
10. Take the time to savor the family moment in the great outdoors, while keeping the stress of work, the tablet and the cell phone well away.
There you go! You now have many tool hours of fun riding with your little ones. But beware, unless your family is made of advance biking enthusiasts, chances are that one day motivation will just be at its lowest. In this case, an afternoon at the pool could well prove to be a winning choice rather than a trip to the forest. You have to respect that, and enjoy the present moment!
See you soon and happy riding!
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