Mar 15 , 2021
There’s a lovely saying that goes something like this, ‘the family that plays together, stays together’, so how do you encourage your youngsters to enjoy your favourite sport of mountain biking?
It’s quite often the case that when children come along, one of you will be able to go out for a ride while the other takes care of the kids. Occasionally you will find a willing volunteer to have them so you can go out together, but what you’d really love is for you all to go out as a family, off road for a bit of fun.
But it’s not just about you – mountain biking for children is a brilliant way to get them immersed in nature, improve coordination, balance and confidence, as well as resilience (because there’s bound to be the odd mishap).
Step one - Show them how much fun you have
For us mountain biking is an extension of being a kid. How fast can you go? How muddy can you get, can you jump that obstacle? If you talk to the kids with enthusiasm and excitement for your sport, they’re bound to want a piece of it too!
Encourage them to come and cheer you along around your route so they can see you having fun with your mates, and a hot chocolate or ice cream afterwards never did any real harm – all bikers love a piece of cake after all, don’t we..?
Step two – Safety gear
We don’t want to encourage you to spend your annual salary on your child’s first biking adventure, but we do want to encourage you to spend some money in the right places. Start with a good helmet that fits well and looks cool – one they’ll be proud to wear, not embarrassed of, then think about adding knee and elbow pads to help with confidence and a good pair of riding gloves for comfort and saving those little knuckles from grazes. Our friends at Little Rider offer a fantastic selection of kids technical bike clothing so be sure to check them out.
If your child isn’t on their own two wheels yet, a really good front mounted bike seat is a sound investment so you can take them along with you. Make sure it’s stable on inclines with the centre of gravity close to the centre of the bike itself, shock absorbing and allows the child to interact with you.
Step three – Their own bike
In our experience, kids grow – you’ve probably noticed that too, so think carefully about the budget you want to commit at this point. It’s very easy to get just as excited over their first mountain bike as you did over your last one!
At Feva Star Seats we support independent businesses, so look for a good independent bike shop that will want to invest time with you in choosing the right machine. If you’re not sure who to choose, ask us and we’ll put you in touch through our network of retailers. Of course, there are also great online buying options if you know what you’re looking for. One important thing to bear in mind is, is the child heavy enough to compress the front suspension, or is it worth going rigid to gain an advantage in reduced frame weight? Tyres are often too narrow for little ones on the trails too, so keep an eye on those and consider that comfort and confidence is the most important thing at this stage. You really don’t want to risk a bad first experience putting them off trying again.
Step four – find the right trail
Even if they are in a safe child seat on your own bike, we still wouldn’t recommend taking your kids down a blue run. We can’t stress enough that early experiences shape later opinions and in the beginning, mountain biking should be a fun adventure that must be repeated!
No matter how eager you are to thrill your little one, put your experience of the trails you visit to good use and choose a safe one.
Any tips of your own? Let us know on social, we’d love to hear from you, just use #fevastarseats on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.