Daley, who came to biking on his own, became a mountain biker today.
Tim and I are very proud of him.
The backstory: learning to ride a bike is one of childhood’s milestones. As Daley is our first child, I had visions of running along side with one hand helping him balance, cheering encouragements, and seeing his face light up with surprise and delight when he realized I had let go and he was riding on his own.
It didn’t happen that way.
One day at his grandma’s house, he just picked up a bike without training wheels and rode off.
No parent needed.
In many ways, this story is indicative of our parenting experience. Allowing kids to learn at their own pace is often most effective. Pushing – pun intended – doesn’t further the learning process.
However, going on unpaved paths was outside his comfort zone.
We decided to try our first off-road experience at Hartley Park, with its many wide and relatively flat trails.
I heard a lot of “ugh,” “uff,” “ehh,” — and eventually a “Mom, watch this!” — as he went over tree roots and rocks.
It was fun to see his confidence and skill grow, along with his smile.
Now we need to learn about other trails that are kid-friendly as mountain biking is on the top of our summer fun list.
What trails would you recommend for new mountain bikers? Share your ideas in the comment box below. Thanks!
Equipment Tip: Since kids grow out of bikes fairly often, the Continental Ski Bike Swap, held in late April each year, is a great resource for used bikes. We scored Daley’s bike there along with a free new helmet since he was one of the first 100 kids. (Thanks to all those who sponsor this awesome event!)