The Whole Family Can Ride
A lot of people tend to think of mountain biking as an adult sport. There is no question that adult of all ages love it but younger folks enjoy it too. However, it’s not as simple as a parent buying a kid’s mountain bike and then putting their child on it. Even though your kid may feel right at home in the outdoors, and may know how to ride a bike, there are other concerns that you will likely have.
Safety will be your top concern, and there are a few things you can do to keep your child safer. Notice that I said « safer » and not « safe ». In fact, you should always keep the potential for injury in the back of your mind; not to the point of constantly harping on them and ruining the experience, but rather a healthy respect for what could potentially go wrong.
When it comes to a kid’s mountain bike, safety begins at the point you purchase the bike. The first thing you need to do is make sure you are buying the bike from a knowledgeable retailer; a place that specializes in outdoor sports. They will be able to find your child a bike that has the proper sized frame. A bike that is too large or too small will only lead to problems and a lack of control and balance when out on the trail. But safety doesn’t stop there. Your child will also need to have a helmet that fits well, as well as knee and elbow pads, and gloves. Sure, some kids may not want to wear them out of fear of not looking cool, but the truth is that they will look a lot more foolish if they aren’t wearing the proper gear.
Okay, so now you have the kid’s mountain bike and all of the safety gear, and now you’re ready to hit the trail, right? Not quite. Your child should get used to riding the bike, and take mountain biking lessons. This will allow them to learn the various techniques that make mountain biking so much fun.
If you can’t find any lessons in your area, then you can go ahead and hit the trail. However, the purpose for this first outing should be to teach your child how to ride. Take it slow, especially at first, and be patient. It’s more important for them to be safe on their kid’s mountain bike than it is for you to hurry along the trail. While training your child the various mountain biking techniques, you should always emphasize safety. You don’t want them to be afraid, but you do want them to develop respect for the potential risks of this fun sport.
Mountain biking is a wonderful outdoor activity for people of all ages. Just remember that the youngest among us need special attention. Getting a kid’s mountain bike will make the overall experience more enjoyable for everybody in the family.