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Riding with your kids(9 posts)

Riding with your kidsKeeponTrekkin
Feb 19, 2003 12:53 PM
If Spring ever arrives, my 4 y.o. daughter will be out on her bike (w training wheels). She's beyond the stage where I must walk/run beside her and I now can ride with her. We're planning to go as a family to a park with bike trails and flat terrain when weather is pleasant.

What are your experiences riding with your kids? What milestones? How far can they go and at what age, etc. Any special ways to make it fun and keep it that way?
re: Riding with your kidsbiknben
Feb 19, 2003 1:56 PM
My 3 1/2 yo is riding on her own with training wheels. This summer I hope to take the training wheels off.

At this point she just rides while I walk behind her. We go around our townhouse development to the park and stuff.

I don't envision riding with her yet. I figure I'd be able to keep up on foot and help her in problem situations.

Milestones so far: Raising her saddle. Proper fit is key right guys? I've also slowly raised the training wheels too so she is forced to balance more. I do it just slightly each time so she doens't really notice.

Ways to make it fun: Have a destination in mind. My daughter has much more interest if we are riding to a park or for ice cream, etc. It also helps to break up the trip.
We never used training wheels.dzrider
Feb 19, 2003 2:18 PM
The boys used a tricycle and had a 2 wheeler waiting for them to learn to ride it. One learned 2 weeks after his 4th birthday the other at about 4 and a half. It was exciting for all of us. They were able to ride for two hours or more as soon as they could ride confidently on 2 wheels. The best way to keep it fun for my kids was talking with them about what we were doing and seeing. Boredom was much more likely to tire them out than lack of energy. Carry food that they like to eat. Hunger was impossible for my boys to ignore or overcome.

Milestones -

6 yr old finishes 2nd in an 8 and under race at a local crit
He was enraged that they expected him to race in a tricycle or training wheel race.

7 yr old did a 25 mile group ride on a bmx bike.

Boys, 9 and almost 8 leave dad in the dust on a descending trail prompting his retirement from mountain biking.
re: Riding with your kidsjaybag
Feb 19, 2003 3:20 PM
Last year me and my daughter (4yrs.) Rode to the gas station and back 2times. Plus some neighborhood riding in one day. It was all her idea. Total miles=9.

I want her to go farther this summer, but I wont push her.
It's all fun until they're about 12...cory
Feb 19, 2003 4:48 PM
. That was about the age when I thought, as I was riding with the kids, "Won't be long before I can't stay with them," and then one of them looked back and said, "Dad, can we go ahead. This is TOO SLOW!"
One of my kids learned to ride very early, I think before her 3rd birthday, but my son didn't get it until he was close to 6. Just different skills and development rates--we kept it low key and quit while it was still fun and everybody enjoys cycling now that they're 22 and 17.
If you're interested in getting the 4 y.o. up, you might try a technique that worked for me: Lower the seat until she can put her feet flat on the ground, then remove the pedals so she can't run over her heels with them. You can give her a little push or aim her down a GENTLE hill, and she can balance like on a scooter, putting her feet down if she tips. My daughter went about two feet on her first try, but was riding circles around the parking lot in an hour. Raise the seat a little, then put the pedals back on and she's riding.
re: TOO SLOWcyclopathic
Feb 19, 2003 8:17 PM
oh boy I can't wait when this happens
re: Riding with your kidsMcAndrus
Feb 20, 2003 5:52 AM
I'd say 10 years olds is a good turning point. With both girls I'd do rides to the corner store when they were very young. A five-mile ride would take at least an hour and it was like walking a dog without a leash: they go everywhere but straight.

When the oldest was 10 she did a 35-mile section of a club century with me. We took no breaks and at around 30 miles I asked her how she felt. She said she felt good and could we pick up the pace a little, please?

When she was 12, we started doing week-long touring rides on a tandem. By the time she was 14, on these rides, we were hauling pace-lines at 25mph.

Then summer jobs, boys, etc., caught up with her. Sigh, I miss those days.

The younger daughter is another story. She never took to cycling. Once when she was 10 I took her out on the tandem. At the top of a highway overpass she said, "Do you make Caitlin go this hard? I'm going to puke!"
We must have the same kids.Ray Sachs
Feb 20, 2003 6:34 AM
I also have two daughters - the older one likes to ride and does a tour with me each summer. The younger one actively dislikes anything to do with cycling whether out of rebellion or just general dis-interest. Too bad too, because she's the more natural endurance athlete, but no desire to do anything with it.

My older one and I will do a supported tour each summer, usually only 3-4 days, up to about 35 mile days. She's not hardcore, but she can handle this and still have fun. We rides singles, not a tandem, and I always let her lead and set the pace so I don't end up pushing her too hard (which has happened in the past). She's not one for speed and likes to take it fairly easy on the downhills. OK with me - I do plenty of longer/faster rides on my own and the time spent with her on a bike is pretty wonderful in its own right. She's 15 now, though, so I'm afraid this summer may be the last before she has other priorities :)

-Ray
re: Riding with your kidsJonnyHu
Feb 20, 2003 7:55 AM
What do ya'll think of "trail-a-bikes"? I just bought one because I got a good price, but I think it will be summer before I have confidence that my 4 y.o. daughter won't fall off. She's quickly gaining confidence on training wheels on her brand new Trek Mystic 12. I think she's going to be a bit of a chicken, unlike our boy who took his training wheels off, hopped on, and WENT (as soon as he saw his older girlfriend do it, he would not be denied).