Video: A Family Ride in the Dolomites with Jerome Clementz

Sep 28, 2020
by Jerome Clementz  

My name is Jerome Clementz, 36-year-old by now. I’ve been a professional mountain bike rider for more than 15 years. Most of my time was spent exploring, training and racing all around the world. Luckily my wife Pauline was able to join me during most of this travel as she helped me running my career and she’s also a skilled rider.


At some point, around 2 years ago, we were having a kid together, no stress for me as I was slowly moving out of my racing period, so I was not worried of having to invest energy into baby duties, early morning wake up and short nights. Actually, I was super excited for this new part of my life and ready to face this challenge.

Our life was full of this kind of morning

Telling the news to my family and friends, they first were happy for us but also raised some concerns. ‘Game over’ ‘no more riding for you’, ‘Now you are stuck at home’ ‘it was great to meet you, but now we won’t see you anymore’ were the kind of remarks I’ve got and made me realize things will be different.

I never experienced more than 2 months at home without traveling and all my weekend were dedicated to the outdoor exploration with or without my bike. This was probably a tough part to digest, but after all, I like to learn and experience new things. Or maybe you can still do cool things with a kid!

The need for action is always calling

I’ll save you from all the details of the beginning with a newborn and will not encourage you to go crazy from the start but once you can understand when your kid is enjoying things there is plenty of opportunity to still live an exciting life and bring him on your journey. Luckily bike is probably the tool who has the most options to share moments together. We started with Thule trailer, on some cycle path and some gravel road for some nice exploration. No need to stay at home we could still spend our time away and discover new places.

Cycling has a lot of tools to enjoy the ride with a kid

When he turned 2, he started to ride properly his push bike and we could put him on a seat on the front of the bike, to really share the stoke. Believe me, we never pushed him, and he quickly were asking us for a ride.

Push bike time

He doesn’t have to tell us twice and it’s almost daily that we bring him in the mountain for an hour in the wood with a mix of him riding his bike and some singletrails seated on his Macride(the seat on our bike). Thankfully we have a nice e-bike that really help us to make this ride easier and everything more accessible because, with those extra 13kg, it would be a mission without the assistance.

Front seat views are better
One problem solved, every day at home with a kid is not that bad, but what about holidays.

For this year we picked Val Di Fassa in the dolomites, a place that always fascinate us for its unique peaks, the endless valley, breathtaking views and Italian lifestyle.
We started our stay with some ride on the cycle path along the Avisio river where Emil, our son could ride his bike with us either on the tarmac, in the skills parks or pumptrack we could find on the way without forgetting a stop or 2 on some playground. There is not only bike in our life…

A day in the valley

Listening to the recommendation of the tourism office we made a visit to Fuchiade area with the trailer on some easy gravel road, check some lake and farmer life on remote places. Donkeys, cows, goats and sheep all around for a mellow day with a real taste of holidays.

Did you say scenic
Mellow day to warm up

Then as the weather was great Val Duron was a must-do for us, it has a steeper access but once you reach the plateau, you are lost in this valley with big rock formation around, some sharp peaks grassy field, few farmers hut and a nice waterfall.

Getting close to the wildlife

Proper tourist

For us, our bike is a tool to reach nice places in harmony with nature, get to discover things you can’t reach easily by car or too far to get by foot, but also have this fun and technical aspect that fulfill our adrenaline and challenge need. Those bikes, and especially now Ebike, allows us to imagine some adventures and get to share this safely with our son, it for sure changed our way of designing our holidays and almost daily life as parents.

Someone was asking for good downhill

The best of it is that now, he is requesting some ride and ask to go outside. For us, this is the nicest things he could ask us, and we are always keen to support his demands.

All the family is having a good time

So, when he told us that he didn’t want to ride Gravel road anymore and that he was looking for some Jump and berms, it was hard to say no. We looked at some Green and flowy trail on the Val Di Fassa Bike park to make him happy.

What a place to ride

What a pleasure to ride with him in and hearing him giggling while you are also enjoying the ride for real. On a personal standpoint, these feeling match the one you get when you clear one of the most technical trails or when you achieve one of your goal in your racing career.

Flow trail

But don’t forget that a 2 years old kid also need to rest, sleep long night and get a nap in the afternoon. Which allows us to go one at the time on a private ride, where you can push the boundaries and live your own moment in the wild. We set turns and either early morning for a sunrise or when he goes to refuel the battery.

Pauline's turn

Time for some single ride

To get to some remote places

Refueling

People may think that we are crazy, but I can tell that I never weight as much the consequences of each of my decision. Falling is not an option and I always have in mind his safety on short terms but also impact on his future health. It’s not because you see someone doing something with a kid that you should do the same. People have different skills levels and kids have different evolution timeline. It’s not a race or about doing the craziest thing to impress the world but to create shared happiness in your comfort zone.

This smile says it all

So, thinking back of what people told me 2 years ago, probably in a kidding way, I can definitely say that having kids doesn’t ruin your life, and even less your riding opportunities. There is some change for sure but also a lot of new experiences that make life always as enjoyable, if not even more.

Happyness

Before you are doing it for yourself mainly but now you also have this teaching and learning aspect that create another sense of achievement and I don’t speak of the stoke you feel when you see your child smiling and asking for more. There is many opportunities and good things to do together and this is what life is all about.

This smile says it all

Photos by Ale Di Lullo, Video by Maxime Moulin



32 Comments

  • 18 0
 I would say the title of this post drastically understates its significance to parent riders out there. Great article Jerome!
  • 14 1
 I was anti-Ebike, but then I moved to Europe, and I can now understand the purpose. More smiles, per miles, with wires! Love this vid!
  • 11 1
 E-Bikes works the same everywhere,just in some places people forgot it is just bike.
  • 3 1
 @homerjm: Yes and no. I was in a place where it was flat and pedally. Outside of using an Ebike to train while recovering from an injury, there was no sense to use one on the local terrain.
  • 2 0
 @h20-50: Exactly!! It makes no sense here but if I was living in the Alps I would already have one! lol
  • 3 0
 @Timo82: You don´t need to live in the Alps to get an E-bike,or a big mountain area. Spain have tons of mountains too,even my city is far away from flat,you can see a mix of e-bike and regular bikes with no problem,it works. No matter is the city or the trails in the near mountains.
I don´t know why it can work in your area or in any other place.
Can you ride your E-bike in Whistler bike park?I can´t find any info,only tourism around the city and some trails...That is a big problem,there you have the view of e-bikes not being like any other bike. We don´t have that thing around here,e-bike = bike,so you can ride your bike everywhere. You can put your e-bike in any chair of any bike park cos it is allowed. That is the big difference,not the terrain.
  • 3 0
 @homerjm: No I was talking about me... I don't need an ebike here, I can do 1200-1300m D+ with my normal bike and that's a nice big day that I am proud of! If I had to climb 2000m only to the summit, I wouldn't be able without a motor! lol It's not that I can't have one here, it's just that I don't want one! In ten years max I'll probably have one because I'll be old enough to justify one. Razz
  • 8 0
 Absolutely love this post, I can relate to a lot of it. Your vision on life with kids matches mine full completely. The macride seat allowed me to take my daughter on really fun rides, also on holidays. I can not recommend this product enough.
  • 2 0
 We are so happy to hear you and your crew have enjoyed your Mac Ride. Woot!!!
  • 5 0
 MacRide and e-bikes are the best combination. We have had soooo many fun adventures with our kids and they love it - and are awesome riders in their own right for their ages, which the macride probably helped! Now we have one on the macride and one on the tow rope they also sell! Go MACRIDE!
  • 2 0
 Woohoo! So stoked to have you give us this shout out. THANK YOU!
  • 5 0
 So stoked to be a part of the Clementz's family's first cycling adventures! That's our thru axle connecting their Thule trailer to their Cannondales.
  • 1 0
 We've got your thru axel to tow our chariot - it's AWESOME! Kids are grown up, but we still use the Chariot to haul gear on bike trips.
  • 3 0
 My shotgun seat for my 2year old is the best bike investment I have ever made. I can say for sure that the giggles and laughs of more "up downs dada" are better than any epic day on the mountain and this is just cruising some super mellow dirt road with potholes or lil dips here and there. Its such a change in life but definitely an exciting and great one.
  • 3 0
 So chuffed to see Jerome and his crew ripping it up with Mac Ride. The pictures tell such a stunning story and bring us back to such happy years when our little ones were small enough to ride with us up front on our Mac Ride prototypes! We keep developing our child bike seat and our family business based on our Mac Ride community feedback, and riders like Jerome who strike the brilliant balance between family adventure and riding-within-comfort-zone sure do make us proud!
  • 5 0
 Only thing missing was a trail dog!! Great article/video!
  • 3 0
 I loved the "MacRide stage." Did many 1,200' climbs, knee out pedaling, little girl asking me to "stop dripping on her", then slowly descending the gnar. No ebike required.
  • 2 0
 Sweaty parents while the wee ones soak up the view - love it! Thanks for the Mac Ride stage shout outSmile
  • 1 0
 Sweet - i can relate so much! It definitely takes commitment and effort to do those things with your children, and it sure is a different kick than really ripping it, but its so worth it!
Here's a nice clip i botched up from a ride with my 3 year old. Not nearly as beautiful as this clip, but i hope its amusing nontheless Smile
vimeo.com/463117456
  • 2 0
 Lovely video! That kid would love to ride his bike has fast as his parents! My niece has the same kids bike,it rolls really fast and looks really good,she love it!
  • 4 0
 Absolutely LOVE this!
  • 4 3
 It is a pity that the reality of the places is not quite as romantic as it is portrayed.
  • 2 0
 I have always thought the Dolomites look gorgeous, but have never made the trip to see them in person. What is the downside that you are referencing? Is it overly crowded, or getting too built up with hotels and resorts?
  • 2 0
 @thekaiser: Personally I am in love with the Dolomites, I believe that they are the most beautiful mountains in the world, especially those of Val Gardena, Alta Val Badia, Val di Fassa and the neighboring ones. I am lucky (until now) to be able to go there on summer vacation, I can't think of another place and I think about it all winter. That said, the area is getting very crowded, especially with bikes (E-bikes ...) and the administrators are closing more and more natural paths, favoring the birth of bike parks (which bore me mortally). The result is that it is no longer that paradise for mountain biking, it is a consumer item that will increasingly fill up with people who fundamentally do not love the mountains or nature despite the fact that many of them boast of driving a car or an electric bike.
What you see in the photos or videos is reserved only for those who can afford to stop the rest of the world to be alone (or almost) in that corner of paradise on earth.
  • 2 0
 Exactly the reason why I hate that pinkbike promotes taking ebikes to remote locations...
  • 2 0
 Bum
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