Getting Kids Ready to Mountain Bike

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You’ll probably have much better luck introducing your kids to trail riding if they are comfortable on their bikes. Take advantage of opportunities to get on the bike. Whenever possible – ride your bikes to the park, friends’ houses, or around the block. The earlier you can start this the better! Trailer bikes can be fun for little kids (and will give you a great workout). Balance bikes are amazing!

  • Go to a skate-park or pump track and let them roll the hills
  • Try BMX
  • Ride bikes around the neighborhood

Teach skills they will need on the trails before you hit the dirt –

Practice Braking

The way kids use their brakes riding around the neighborhood is different than the way they will need to use their brakes on a trail. On a descent, we use our brakes to control our speed – not just stop. This is a different skill and should be practiced. Find an easy slope and have your kid practice controlling the speed. You can make it a game similar to red light, green light – but add yellow to slow/control speed.

Stand Up On The Mountain Bike’s Pedals

Practice standing on the pedals while coasting and pedaling. And, keep the pedals level.

Turning And Steering The Bike

Practice riding around cones. Riding in a circle can be tricky. Can your biker ride the same circle clockwise and counter-clockwise? Set up an obstacle course to work on steering. Teach them to keep their head-up, and look ahead (not under the front tire). The bike will go where your kid is looking. Looking at a rock, tree, or trail edge, will probably ensure your kid hits it.

Start From A Stop

Mountain biking involves a lot of starts and stops. There is often a need to be able to start riding on a sight uphill. Ask you kid to straddle her bike. With the pedals in an upright position, have her step on the top pedal to start motion ands then get the other foot on the pedal to start riding. Start practicing on a flat or slight downhill and then move to a hill.

Begin To Take On The Bumps

Curbs might be the first experience with an obstacle. Practice riding down curbs first, then you can start riding up.

 

Go to: MTB with Kids Tip #2 Have the right bike and gear

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