The Kids Don't Ride

May 13, 2013 at 17:58
by Mitchell Scott  
The ultimate dream of every cyclist must be to birth new cyclists. Breeding cyclists anyway. The giving of the great gift. You have somehow found the flow, speed, thrill, efficiency, freedom, and unequivocal perfection of the bike. Of being a cyclist. And now you've passed that on. The great trail will continue farther than you can see. Bombing down a sweet mountain trail, hammering up some distant road, generations of gaffers nipping at your wheel.

Images by Blake Jorgenson

Got all the gear, but is biking really what they want to do?


As the father of two sons, one 14 and the other 10, I’ve worked reasonably hard at trying to realize the dream, of trying to churn out a pair of fanatical cyclists. Turns out, I’ve failed. To date, anyway. I mean, they ride, but the days of me being in relative control (when they were little and didn’t have attitude and just by raising my voice I could make them do pretty much anything), of being able to make them come ride with me, have been outweighed by other sports, friends, girls, and this bizarro tabletverse we call 2014.

I feel I’ve done my part. Sure, I could have tried harder. I could have sacrificed some of “my” ride days for “kid” ride days. But that’s somewhat ridiculous. To pass on the dream you truly need to live the dream. Right? They’ve been in bikes. Good ones. Right from the get go. Hell, my youngest has never not had disc brakes. The oldest had a dually when he was 10. There’s been one trip each to Whistler, weeklong camping sessions to locations loaded with singletrack, what else can a fella do?

And sure, they still ride. A little. I’m actively forcing my 10-year-old and infrequently coercing my teenager. And while I might still have a chance with both, I'm focusing on the little guy. He takes a reasonable amount of lead up and deal sealing, but once he’s out there, he’s into it. Until or unless he crashes, or scrapes the back of his leg on his pedal, then the whole dad-makes-me-bike-when-I-don’t-want-to vibe comes out. I struggle with that one.

The 14-year-old, well, he used to be pretty into it. We’d ride a lot. He even got into building jumps in a vacant lot behind our house. For a while I thought it was on, consummation of the lineage confirmed. But then a shift happened. I got him a pretty sweet all mountain bike for his 13th birthday and he freaked. Lost it in front of the whole party. Stoked beyond measure. But as we progressed onto more technical trails with bigger approaches and longer climbs, he quickly lost interest. His under regions were chaffing (he refused to wear chamois even under his shorts, “soooo not cool”). The climbs killed him mentally--stupid, ridiculous, painful things he absolutely loathed.

Not one for shuttling everywhere, I incorporated vehicle assists into my assault brief, aiming to take the bite out of the ride. But then there’d be a tree down, or he’d have to walk over too many technical sections, and all of a sudden the trail sucked, mountain biking was lame, and he’d rather be at the beach with his buddies where the chance of ragdolling through the bushes was low. I quickly began to realize that the equation of right trail, right teenage mental frame of mind, right time, right uberpatient dad became too much of an algorithm for my non-algebraic brain, and I kinda gave up.

Images by Blake Jorgenson

It can be intimidating for the young riders.


Now, it should be known that we live in a particularly challenging geographic location. It’s rooty, hilly, rocky and rough. Compounding that physical reality, the last 20 years of trail development is the result of core mountain bikers exercising their core whims. Up until the local cycling club had the resources to build and maintain trails a few years ago, most were illegally built, purposefully gnarly, and made primarily for and by expert mountain bikers. And as we all know, a diversely and well planned trail infrastructure takes time, effort and resources. Only recently have more friendly, intermediate trails started to work their way into the web. Funny to see though, that most beginner trails are being built by those original core riders who’ve now got kids. In the wilds of southern B.C., the dream takes work.

To be sure, I’m not blaming anyone or anything on my failure to breed passionate cycling kids. The riding in my hometown rules, and so does the culture. There’s a skills and dirt jump park for the kids, and the dudes are out there (I say dudes because there are virtually no girls), but not in the numbers you’d think. When I poll the friends of both my children, very few even have a bike, let alone are into riding. A couple have dads who ride. So how does that affect the future? Is my town unique? What conditions are best suited to lots and lots of kid mountain bikers? Or is this just the nature of mountain biking? Are those who fall in love with this sport a particular, small percentage breed. Really, look around you, how many of your friends are committed cyclists?

These are the questions I ask myself on life's long and lonely climbs. That being said, I've never seen our local cycling culture more alive. At a recent enduro event, there’s a healthy populace of young, rosy cheeked 20 somethings. I ask some of them how they got into riding, and very few had parents who ride. Most somehow got themselves on a mountain bike when they were a teen and knew they were hooked.

Kind of like most of us. But not all. You see, one of the greatest things my dad ever did was buy himself a mountain bike in 1985. He bought it from the Cove Bike Shop and it forever changed the lives of me and my friends. We had to have one. So we got paper routes, saved our pennies and never looked back. At 16 it was our first big purchase. We've all stayed committed mountain bikers ever since.

Which makes me feel a little better. I think cycling is one of those sports you either love or hate. It's also one more likely to hit you when you're fully grown. Let’s face it, you have to be slightly masochistic to really fall for it. You have to be able to suffer, whether in the lung, the leg or some internal organ you hopefully don't need. There will be blood, your wallet will weep, mechanicals will strike you down in the middle of the abyss, and a big ol’ never ending hill that never seems to end can suck harder than anything else ever.

Jr Women s World DH Champ Holly Feniak was on hand at the Kranked Kids Zone giving out guidance and helping kids get a feel for riding bridges and skinnies.

Holly helping the youngest generation enjoy learning.


And while it’s hard to not see my kids become overun with the beauty that is riding a bike through the woods, maybe now I wait in the ready. They're still young. There's time. Perhaps they’ll see me come back from a big ride one day, all dirty and smiling and full of stoke, and they'll gear up and we'll head out for another lap right then and there. I’ll be smart enough to take them on the one trail in town that fires them up with smooth flow, watch them nail a couple of tech sections, think the climb wasn’t so bad, forgetting about undernether chafe, and then go again tomorrow. And the day after that.

Or not. In which case I'll just keep riding with my friends. And that won’t be so bad. Gaffers nipping at my wheel would be better though. That still is the dream. Maybe I'll get the little guy a new fork...


247 Comments

  • 164 1
 Awesome article! My dad tried his hardest to pass his love of cycling on to me. I definitely went through a phase where it seemed like he was forcing me to ride, but now I can't thank him enough for it. I just wish he wasn't so old and broken to we could still hit the trails together. There's only so much a parent can do though. I think for cycling to truly become a passion, especially for a young teenager, having a group of buddies that rides is essential. Some of the best times of my life were spent messing around at the local jumps for hours every day after school with all my buds. Cycling is definitely not a sport for the faint of heart but it's the most fun and rewarding thing I've ever done. I only hope that I'm able to do it my whole life.
  • 56 0
 scotteh, you took the words out of my mouth. I laughed when the article mentioned the hills as painful things to be loathed cause that was and totally still is me. But my dad got me out there nevertheless and even though I'm 19, he's still my favorite riding buddy. Thanks pop.
  • 10 1
 I suppose I am pretty fortunate, mine are now 15 and 13 both been riding for the best part of 4 years and love it, help me build trails every Saturday and can send it far bigger, further and faster than me any time of the week. There are times when they don't have the same enthusiasm as me but I think this is a generation thing, ours are part of the play station generation, my generation had to go out and make there own fun. Always got them in the early years to come out with me and my riding buddies, seems to have done the trick. I'm hoping in years to come I will still be riding and another generation of mountain bikers will be added to the family.
  • 42 2
 On an interesting note, Im 28 and Im addictaed to cycling quite possibly because my parents activley tried to restrict it in my teens, telling me I was not allowed to buy a £250 bike I had saved up money for with a job. And when I bought it they forced me to take it back.

From then on, I was a cyclist.
  • 8 0
 Some people need a bit of a push and then there's people like me who are just hooked on riding from the word go. The first time i look my training wheels off i we were down the coast for a holiday and i left the cabin at 10 and came back at lunch time with cuts and bruises all over my legs, but with the biggest grin on my face. I had some lunch then went out and kept at it. Then when i was 13 or 14 we started exploring the local neighborhood which was quite hilly and had a reserve that we could rip down. And then i got a mountain bike and we found a trail.... Never looked back
  • 4 1
 From looking at a few different mates of mine over the years when their parents try to set them up in a sport, it gets to a point where they don't have any interest! ( like this). You have to let kids find their own hobby and not yours and then you can help them out in their hobby.( such as buying expensive bikes if you want). My dad has been into cars his whole life being a mechanic, but not once has he made me or my brother get into it forcefully. As kids you look up to your parents so you naturally appreciate what they do an then want to get involved!
  • 5 1
 I'm 38 and bikeing for me when I was a kid started when I was 4 ish a nabour made me a small bike up as he seen i was intreasted in bikes. I never rode with anyone I was rideing around a 6 in the morning on my own it was my escape from a bad childhood and I never looked back . I tried getting my teenage son into it and a did push a little hard to get him motivated he did really well at the start jumping hitting trails but after a mounth lost intreast and he's 19 now and still has no intreast in the sport . I think some guys and girls are ment to walk their own path in life . Some find bikeing some don't but they find their own thing and if that makes them just as happy as I am bikeing then great .
  • 5 0
 They're still just kids. Some are fortunate and many more are not to have choices. With my 10yr old, I talk about the value of things and opportunities cuz I didn't have much as a kid. In regards to bikes, knowing my kiddo's personality, I sold it simply as an adventure mobile to him when he was 4yrs old. Basically, what a bike could do for him like find bugs, find jumps, find friends, find trouble... I always point out how cool the perspective is from a bike and how much more he can notice the little details. I'm just hoping the basic positive idea of what a bike can do sticks with him and then maybe find and keep the stoke. So far he's wanted and tried bmx racing, half a second of moto, and now trying to organize trail rides with classmates all on his own initiative. I'm stoked! I just have to explain why I think road riding is not cool. Haha
  • 16 1
 I would just show my kids Pinkbike.com everyday and make them watch all the kick ass videos, if that doesn't get them stoked to ride then they might be lost causes until they realize that girls love dudes on bikes haha
  • 4 0
 My dad got me on a dirtbike at 4, riding mx n what not. Saw kranked 1? Haha and was stoked on mtbs ever since. I've been racing bikes for 7 years and love it. Less expensive than mx too Wink
And I LOVE climbing haha. Hated it up until about 19 lol
  • 10 0
 I don't have kids but what I can say is that everyone's journey is different. My parents were not rider's per se, but rather the kind who liked to take their kids to state parks and beaches and we would all ride around on bikes. They never forced, but rather encouraged me to get outside and explore. For me as a kid, my bike was freedom. It got me everywhere. I would ride to the store, ride to friends houses, sometimes in the snow because my parents worked and I didnt have a ride. It was adventure. Now I did fall for mountain bikes at a young age, my uncle and his friends rode, this was the mid nineties and mtn biking was booming. They had really cool Stumpjumper's and I wanted a real mtn bike too. I spent a few summers riding my Trek 850.... A few years later that bike was collecting dust and I worked a whole summer to buy my first real BMX. That was about friends and adreneline more than anything else, it just was't "cool" to be pedaling up hills in the woods anymore. Fast forward a few more years, my first "freeride" bike and some summers "hucking"... and I had stopped riding completely. Friends, party's, girls, college, work.... it get's in the way. One day in my early 20's I said to myself you know what I miss? My bike. Since then my passion has only grown every single day. And it's for the same reason's it made me feel alive as a kid. Freedom. Adventure. Friends. But now it's more... Pushing myself mentally and physically and my passion for the outdoors... riding my bike makes me whole. I love it.
  • 6 1
 My Dad used to take me out riding when I was younger. He's never been a passionate mountain biker himself - I think he just saw it as Father Son bonding time. Now, although he doesn't actually come out riding with me, he's still very supportive. I get back from a day out riding and he says "did you do the gap jump today?" and won't hesitate to call me a pussy if I say no...
  • 2 0
 ^hope you buy your pops a drink sometime, tom. sounds like a funny guy. can't wait to give my kiddo a little fun trash talkin when he's old enough!
  • 4 0
 I wish my parents forced me to ride.
  • 2 0
 lol Tom, my dad was never into riding. but since im building a DH currently hes been super interested in all the technology that goes into full sus bikes (he races sprint cars), so naturally i asked him if he wanted to go riding on my trail bike when i finish the DH.. he didnt hesitate and said 'id love too' once i told him about the lift shuttles.. little does he know what he's getting into!!! >=)
  • 2 0
 I bought a used DH frame on this site. It was totally trashed. My dad offered to help me rebuild it. With his help and the support of the manufacturer I now have an awesome bike. We sanded, pressed bearings..ect..... It was one of the best bonding experiences I've had with him since I was a kid. Even If my kids don't ride(they better) I am still going to involve them in all my lil projects.
  • 2 0
 My Dad never really pushed towards mountain biking, sure, he taught me to ride, but I've only got into serious mountain biking because of friends. The writer of this article said about buying really nice bikes, with disc brakes and full suspension for a 10 year old! I didn't have discs until I was 13, and I've never had a full sus, I'm 16, but it's not having a nice bike that gets you interested, it's having friends who ride, and seeing young 'cool' people who ride to look up to, also there used to be quite a big dirt jumping and dh scene where I live (Sam Reynolds and Brendan Fairclough come from my area) which was partly why I got into mountain biking
  • 1 0
 @TTTT I completely agree with your idea that my generation is "the play station generation" where as you guys had to make your own fun. I am 16, and extremely fortunate to have parents that have not allowed any video games into the household and have beem supportive in whatever i do. My passion for mountain biking was definitely a self-generated one, but i am very interested in how to raise and create the addiction in others. Living in new england, my town is no hub for MTB, but if you know where to look you can find miles of conservation trails, and a few mountain bike specific networks around. I have gotten a few close friends and my brother hooked, and i have been constantly working on getting my dad out. I have found a couple of other kids who ride, and we just started a riding club at the highschool. It is just awesome to see other people getting stoked on a new sport! This is one article I will totally keep in mind.
  • 3 0
 I'm 14 and my dad got me into cycling when I was really little, and I started MTBing at age 9, and have been shredding ever since. I can't wait until I have kids to get them into riding. (the freaky thing is that when I have kids, who knows what technology will be on their bikes?)

On the note of how much riding has affected kids these days: My city, Richmond, Virginia, has a world-class 14 mile system of XC and All-mountain trails in the middle of the city, along with a jump zone, a pump track, and skills area. The pump track and skills area has spawned a lot of youth interest- primarily kids on supermarket BMX bikes- but a few are rippin it. Yet when I go out for a ride on the trails, I see no other kids aside from the guys I ride with. Me and the 10 or so friends I ride with from time to time represent a large percentage of the 15-and-under category of legit riders in Richmond. But there is hope, and this skills area is really working some wonders to just get kids out there having fun on their bikes, and that's a great start.
  • 2 0
 I remember that from a very very young age my parents have always supported me riding bikes(I'm 15) and even though they ride road bikes and recreationally my dad would still come out with me. Now, when I'm going building djs it's either he comes and helps or he gets wood while I'm building. Also, as I bought bikes they would buy half of the bike and make me pay the rest but now I have to due to wanting really nice bikes. They would also buy me MTB movies like all the collectives and watch them with me because it got me stoked, it supported me and my cousin was in them. I thank my parents for hooking me on riding!
  • 1 0
 Scotteh you are so right - kids ride because their mates ride and they improve by taking risks due to peer pressure. Realising this (and after forcibly dragging my son aged 15 out on rides with me), I thought I might take one of his mates with us. I stood more chance of converting two of them than just one. I didn't hang right with them; kept my distance. You know what, they had a good laugh and it might have worked.... but his friend broke his leg on the first ride and spent 6 months in a cast with pins. I felt so bad about it that I couldn't risk taking him again or any of their other friends for that matter. A year on, my son doesn't ride despite the opportunity to use my DH, XC and hardtail in our garage - something that you and I might feel we would have taken full advantage of had we had that chance at his age. It is so frustrating as a parent as I know how much better I would be now had I started riding seriously when I was 15.
  • 1 0
 i had to make my dad take me
  • 46 1
 Can really empathise with this article. Took my eldest for a ride when he was 14-really didn't seem to enjoy it, I couldn't understand at all. rolling downhill on an MTB what could be better? I didn't push him to come again.

Wait 2 years and now he is pulling me along on the trail wanting to ride all the time. The best you can do is provide the opportunity and see what happens. Any activity you push seems to become a chore really quickly-no matter how much fun it is. This is the weirdness of the juvenile mind!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 8 0
 Hit the nail on the head
  • 3 0
 This is pretty true! I used to do another sport called orienteering but I was pushed into doing it after a while, it was fun at first but it soon became a chore. I've been into biking for around 5 years. I used to ride a lot with my dad but he would never push me into it. I'm 15 now and I ride every day, dh or dj. I love it!
  • 1 0
 Yeah needs to be or seem like their own choice. Give them a BMX, let them mess about, take them to the skate park if they want, and mountain biking will likely follow when they are comfortable.
  • 9 6
 I think we have obligation to push our kids into something the we're best at of all things we can do. That is the area we know and we can provide them with guidance. It is also most likely that we can eventually know someone who we trust that can lead them better than us.

Who else should inspire them? Who else can take care of them better than you? "Let them be" is bullshit. The kids aren't stupid, in the end they will choose what they want to do, and it might be against anything you force them to - but the time you spent with them is bloody best thing you can do for them. Riding a bike, skiing, dancing or playing ball will contribute to a totaly unrelated thing they will be doing for living in the future. And you did it for them. Any idiot can give a kid to someone for "training", few can lead them themselves.

People working with children all over the world in all disciplines of sport/music/craftmanship will tell you: there are so many f*cks that look for a sophisticated baby sitter in the form of a trainer, in order to leave the kid away for few hours and get on with their own business. Piano lessons - when parents can't even clap in rhythm, balet - when parent's can't coordinate two dance moves in a techno club. Their main worry is for the trainer/teacher to not be a pedophile, if he can teach shit, if kids actualy gets something out of it, is half relevant. He's not in front of the TV! My kid´s active! We are good parents! we are good parents!
  • 4 0
 I agree with not forcing...I have 10 and 7 year old boys who have nice hardtails, and there are plenty of easy fireroads to practice on initially...my 10 year old does really well on the singletrack..."GO ahead, don't wait for me"...The opportunity is there for them but I won't push...Best way I have seen my oldest boy progress and push himself is with peer group pressure, get a couple of his mates out with him and he goes harder and shows off...
  • 4 0
 Yup. Not much with parents is cool. Need to have an element of friends.
  • 7 8
 So true with friends. But if you push them early, they will be already good when they arrive to the peer group. ...you can always... choose friends for them!
  • 4 0
 The only reason I ride everyday is because of my friends... Everyone progresses a lot more with peer pressure.
  • 9 4
 Do I really need to add "just kidding" everytime I'm just kidding to not get neg propped? "...you can always... choose friends for them!" that was a freaking joke... made with Dr Evil face with camera closing up and trumpet track in the back
  • 1 0
 Peer pressure probably helps a lot at first but I think it's the hit or miss kind of thing. I restarted biking at 24 and never looked back. Hell I don't even know why I stopped in the first place. I lost my initial partner that got me back into it and mostly ride alone today. I don't care, biking is wayyyy too much fun. I've been more busy trying to find new spots to ride and planning trips than trying to find friends to ride with.
  • 4 2
 It's like this with the peer group (it's not mine): you need three types of guys to hang out with: 1.A guy that is weaker than you, to feel confident 2. A guy as good as you to stay motivated to learn by competing, and 3.A guy better than you to see what's possible and where to go.

You need to ride with them, not watch the best guys ever on the internet because that gives you almost nothing, so many levels ahead that you don't even know where to start. It might be as derailing as watching noobs ride and thinking you're great.
  • 2 0
 Waki - well said, as usual. All of my best and most memorable riding sessions were with friends and involved some sort of friendly competition (and lots of heckling..).
  • 1 0
 If I'm not on the verge of losing control, I know I could have went faster!

I love group rides but I think people really underestimate how fun it is to ride alone sometimes. There's a "loser" stigma attached to doing stuff on your own it seems. I find it stupid because when you ride alone you get to work deeper on your skills, find new lines, practice stuff you're not comfortable with and all that at your own pace. If you want to try a sketchy section and it takes you 3, 12 or 23 times to get it right, nobody cares. If you want to see how fast you can hit a berm without washing out, then knock yourself out (well not litterally, you're still alone, remember!). That rock garden that always eats all your speed? Time to fix that. That's when I learn the most.

My favorite ride was when a group ride got cancelled due to unexpected rain. I already drove the 1h30 it takes to get there so I figured I would ride anyway. It turns out that riding in the rain is an absolute blast. I practiced on wet roots/rocks and it turns out the grip is much better than I expected if you attack with the right angles.

It's also much easier to squeeze rides in if you're on tight funky schedules.
  • 1 0
 True but in my case most of these solo rides tend to be more functional. Cool to read this though as what you described is pretty much exactly what I do most times when I'm on my own - just hit the local tracks and see how much speed you can milk out of corners and analyzing line choice.
  • 2 0
 I'd love to ride with buddies, but it is simply impossible due to me having a kid and them not having one. It was already hard enough with my job and just having a wife Big Grin And it is real hard to ride with other daddys as their little monsters have different schedules than my little monster. I have time before 9:00am and after 7:00 pm, which means most of theose guy either still sleep or are already in the "evening blaise" mode, or they go for a barbecue or other shit you can start dreaming of attending to in maybe 5 years. The most irritating bike friends are those who are single (or in a loose relationship with a girlfriend - same shit) and can literaly ride anytime anywhere and you know they pack up and ride when you have shit to do... the worst fkn scenario is when you have this one time per 3 months in the time frame that they usualy ride, so it should fit them, you ask them out for a ride and they say: mnah, I've been riding yesterday, I'm tired today, or even worse: I've been at the party and I'm so screwed today - Fuk youuuuu so so so very fkng much yer bloody basterd Big Grin
  • 19 0
 Hi there good thoughts... I tried with mine and failed, my daughter broked her ankle and that was after 2 months with a cast, super gnarly fracture. My boy, well, when he turned 13 to 14 everything that I did, like MTB and surfing was no longer cool, being 2 of of the coolest things in the world to do, in my mind anyways. I see it a lot in MTB and surfing, some kids just stick to it while others dont, I felt bad in the begining, but I got over it pretty quickly, maybe I did not tried hard enough, maybe I did. If you rae trying to get yuor kinds to ride, I suggest you take an approach of not thinking about the future and enjoy every single ride you can manage to do together, happy trails J
  • 10 54
flag jaycubzz (May 15, 2013 at 23:09) (Below Threshold)
 Lol your kid doesnt think mtb and surf are cool??? Does he think homework is fun or something??? Omg this world is going down the hill faster than I thought!
  • 12 43
flag jaycubzz (May 15, 2013 at 23:30) (Below Threshold)
 My bad everyone; homework's the best thing ever!
  • 35 4
 ^gtfo man, doing homework is one thing that will end up making you pass school, which in tern, turns into getting u a good job, which then buys you the 7ooo dollar dh rig.. dont diss hw.
  • 29 17
 jay you're a dick !.. Whip
and the rest of you over eagerly SOB´s wanting your kids to ride are pathetic.. let your kids be !
if they want to .,. they will join-ask-do... but this obsession to want your kid to bike (like you) is pathtic.. you are all not better than those imbeciles who press a belief on their kids ! or anything else for that matter..
watch a child talent show.. and take that as advice how not to treat your child !
teach them the simple rules in life for one.. do homework, dont do drugs.. dont be(come) an a*shole.. have some interest for the world around you... and you're done.. Salute

your kids will do fine and maybe even better without your indoctrination !
  • 11 17
flag WAKIdesigns (May 16, 2013 at 1:04) (Below Threshold)
 Bullitproof - that minimizes your chance of becoming a good rider. What is the DH rig good to me when I ride like a woose on it? Better paid job - worse skills, watching bike movies with awe - if I could only ride like thaaaaat... add a early mortgage to it and you are a virtual slave of the system for the best days in the life of your body, probably the best days of your life in general, because if you slave your soul to death, you will just sour out thinking could have should have (I'm already there). You have no idea how often I think of getting a more idiot-proof job to be able to concentrate more on family and riding.

jaycubzz talks shit, but we have no authority to say that he is 100% wrong and tell him to do this and that. It all depends, and no one can ever know: as the Zen Master says: We'll see. I hate education, a necessary evil - it has nothing to do with the meaning of life, it trains you to become just another ant in the hive - not to thrive in it, but to survive in it. Then recently all over the world, the last useful character training piece is gone: the discipiline is no longer politically correct in schools.
  • 8 1
 Waki
You are sooooo wrong. I got an early mortgage became a "slave" soon enough to got rid of it already. Im 37 ride 3-4 times a week, mainly dh and enduro, surf a couple of days a week and have two kids. And had the rides od my life when I was teen and still gettin better!!
  • 8 6
 Oh sorry I forgot to add that I was born in the bad part of Europe so I might be biased... and you might overlook the fact that your kids might not be living in mortgage heaven in 10 years time. You might want to move to UK, Scandinavia, Germany or France - But let's watch how the Greek situation unfolds, it's going to be the example for all of us, a mild one. I'd also bike the same as you if I had your weather. I wouldn't even need a mortgage by now if I had property prices of your country, especially your ratio of salary/property price. Factor all factorsssss...
  • 13 0
 I worked my ass of in college and now have a job that pays well and I can do in my sleep. This has allowed me to be the kid in my 20s that I wanted to be in my teens. Except now I've got all the cool stuff I couldn't have back then. Trust me. Stay in school. Because I did my homework I now never have to grow up.
  • 5 9
flag WAKIdesigns (May 16, 2013 at 4:03) (Below Threshold)
 Not all jobs after college pay well and give you enough sleep. Very few actualy: like being an engineer of most kinds. Come to work get the project, analyze it, put through the software that looks like a beach boys´ worst nightmare, draw your sht on it, tell them to change this and that according to your sht, get it back changed, put stamp a on it, send to next guy like you that will molest the designer with more fanaberies, and off to home in a Volvo, feeling satisfied that you took big part in an important project. Then on top of that you told one guy to fk off and the other to do something exactly as you told him to and he had no other choice but to listen.
  • 5 0
 I am a "slave" to the "system". I have 3 kids and a mortgage at 27 years old. Right now I have no time to ride. Back when I had time I didn't have money or even a bike. I am now riding less than ever since I, until recently, was in school and now am remodeling a house so we can move into it in a month. It seems like I have given up all my free time! For now.
My house will have two apartments so I will have a tenant providing me with the cost of my mortgage most of the time. I will work part time and my wife will be a stay at home. By the time I am 35 I will have a comfortable income, 3 (or 4) kids in school, a farm on a hill, two renters paying for my mortgages, a job that pays the bills, and hopefully time to pedal 5 times a week.
I am not a slave. I have learned how the system works and chosen a path that lets me use what is good and dodge most of what is bad. I used to plan to be a wanderer, my wife and I travelling Europe and then moving to the north west to have a garden next to a yurt, but sickness and money got in the way. Now I have a different dream: Make a stable situation for your kids, encourage them in what they love, and set yourself up with as much time for your passions as you can. When they are all old enough to graduate high school kick them out and retire to the North West to ride like a 50 year old ripper until my body fails.
  • 10 0
 @WAKI I am an engineer as it happens. And I ride my bike to work not drive a Volvo. And, with respect, you sound like the worst person in the world to work with if that's your attitude. Being bitter about your situation is fine but projecting your own failings onto others is not the way to change it. I go home satisfied everyday that I gave my job 100% as I always do. This fallacy that if someone does an honest days work for "the man" is some kind of sell-out and that they've lost their soul is pure nonsense. I do my job, I do it well, I enjoy it and I get payed well for it. I contribute to society in a meaningful way i.e. my taxes pay for the services that we all need and enjoy. Where do you think the money comes from to build schools, roads, hospitals, even bike parks or public trails? If you think sitting on your ass is cooler because you didn't "sell-out" then I'm ok with that too because that's your choice. But guess what? It's the contribution to society that people who work hard make that affords you the luxury of that choice. Think about that the next time you decide to dis some hard working guy who isn't as cool as you because he's a "slave to the system".
  • 3 11
flag WAKIdesigns (May 16, 2013 at 7:42) (Below Threshold)
 ahahaah sdoolan you made my day... - I imagined you heheh, I had 90% feeling you are an engineer khehehe., ad your text fits my picture of engineers 100%. Please - you don't know me, I don't know you, shuffle that role you just played up yer arse. I have to stay for few hours more here so you guys have something to work on, in a way, so you have a job, in a way so you can make your contribution to the society. Because I could just go and build or manufacture shit you guys take part in drawing, but I choose contribution to society instead. Oh BTW I am a great person to work with, want mail adresses of my bosses and work mates for reference?

Hard work... ahahahaha... what else of the stuff you ought to do and stay quiet about it do you want the ratification for? Putting the food on the table, sending kids to school, watching their game? everyone works hard and everyone contributes to the society - it just happens, if it doesn't, you're broke, you don't have a mountain bike and access to the internet to brag about it.
  • 5 0
 Oh you guys, I did not say homework was bad or a waste of time. I'm saying its sad to see that this generation would even dare think that these sports are remotely "un-cool".
To me, homework was the bane of my existence. That always came second to going outside and enjoying this planet to the full. I have absolutely nothing against education, obviously our society would be nowhere without people who strive for success in these areas. Maybe saying "Does he enjoy homework" was the worst possible rhetorical question I could've asked. To me it sounded like a case of parental attitude. In my opinion, respect and joy for certain aspects of life has to be taught. It is too easy these days to buy your kid an xbox or ps3 and then turn around and complain when he won't step foot outside of the door because his short attention span isn't stimulated every 5 seconds.
I'm just saying the only people we can blame for a lack of interest in these sports are the parents who are supposed to instill values in the future generations.
  • 1 0
 i agree im 17 and my dad got me into riding years ago, i loved it thenhated it and now i love it and i breath it. i now have an 8 year old brother who is quickly going to be better than me as i have him hooked and he is always on about riding trails and skate parks, when he is my ages i will be jelous of how good he is Big Grin .
  • 1 1
 jaycubzz, I hated homework too. I still do. I think school should take 4 hours a day and be done so kids can play. I also think x-box etc is a waste of time. But if my kids don't like biking in spite of my best efforts then good for them. You can't brain wash your kids.
  • 5 10
flag WAKIdesigns (May 16, 2013 at 8:34) (Below Threshold)
 Sorry in my post: people who build and manufacture do contribute as well, it's just that their work allows them to focus o family more than mine, and my job is what I do best, unfortunately it makes a lot of frustration. Part of which are engineers - hehe.

Education is shit. Takes way to much time. Work as well, I'd love to have an option to work no more than 4 days a week or 6h a day and earn less money, but the "system" would not stand it. Someone has to work so the money from salaries gets into accounts of banks who make mortgages out of them. And I will do my utmost so my children get to do what they want in life, and I will not allow anyone to brainwash them with the same lie I was stuffed up my ass, that you need a good salary to be happy, because that's what the education and the system tells them. That creates obedient employees who's dream is: house, porch, XBOX, two cars, holidays twice a year, and pay all the tax&bills related to that shit. Too bad it is unsustainable and people we exploit to achieve it, are after the same thing, when they achieve that - the world along with our children is f*cked. So let's stop being serious about education, because it is nothign else than a ship heading towards an iceberg, and instead of changing course we are making up a strategy how to blow it up, so we get to Bahamas on time.

So get rich before it's over - too bad money is just a piece of paper at best, rather few bites on the bank server, it may become worthless any time. Contemplate the meaning of the term "capital". And all the stuff you surrounded yourself with, how long will it go without cash for maintenance. Most people just live in the bubble and think that the only property it has is "growth", and they think this way because EVERYONE around just can't be wrong.
  • 1 1
 yeah, I wish a lot less people went to college. it isn't like they have any valuable training when they get out. By the way, I just got my degree, now on to a job as a janitor!
  • 4 0
 @WAKI You're equating education and a good job with being superficial which is unfair. Yeah, some people do go for the mansion, 2 cars and buying their wife a new pair of tits, but not everybody. Being superficial, money hungry and self-absorbed are not the result of being educated. They are the result of being a d-bag. And people who are d-bags after going to college are usually d-bags before it too.
  • 1 1
 Waki, if every last person on this planet had the same attitude as you and I, it would be a perfect place. But you also must remember that the world is also a superficial place, based on personal gain rather than the joy of living- "money does not buy happiness".
Really, if we think about it, communism would be the way to go if there was no greed.
If I think about it again, that just proves that humans are inable to govern themselves, and somewhat proves the existence of God.
But let's not make this an argument about religion...
  • 1 4
 Hah, you see jaycubz - it is not about converting everyone into what you think is best! It is about being yourself, because the best contribution you can make is being different! We are all filters of the world around us, each single one of us takes different things in, notices different events, interprets them differently and then spits different things out in different forms of expression. We can't all be Buddhist monks, multimillionairs, janitors, F1 drivers. Groups, religions, political systems are nothing else but formulas, packaged sets of rules created by wise people who agreed that this and that should work this way for the good of everybody or at least for the good of themselves. Then they need people following them freewillingly or under force. And people have the pack instinct and they need to belong. Some have it stronger some have it weaker, but everybody needs somebody sometimeeeees. It is all just a game... there's time to be serious about it, there's time to fight for it, and there's time leave it for itself.
  • 1 0
 @WAKI- you spend too much time defending your stupid comments. If you love riding so much, then get off your ass and go do it so we won't have to deal with you anymore.
  • 1 0
 how can you make such blatant generalizations for engineers WAKI? like engineers are not slaves.. they have regular work hours, just like anyone else would, but they do more complex and sort of "mystical things?" as they arent seen/ heard from in the general public when they are working on a project. (mechatronic systems engineer over here)
  • 2 1
 dude, there is a long list of jokes of jokes about engineers. The first one I heard was from a phd engineer who works for Lockheed Martin. There is an engineer walking along and this frog jumps out of a puddle in front of him. "Please sir, kiss me and I will turn to a beautiful and wealthy princess." He stopped, looked at her and then picked her up and placed her in his pocket. "But wait!" she cried, "Aren't you going to kiss me?" she begged.
"No, of course not." he replied
"But why?" she asked in desperation
"A lot of guys have beautiful wealthy wives, but talking frogs? That's cool!"
Yeah, it's a bit cheesy, but what do you expect, and engineer told it to me!
Generalizations about engineers abound. Usually they are nicer that WAKI's, but all the same, they are not rare.
  • 23 8
 Dude as a future coach of aspiring athletes of all ages this article kind of makes me a little nauseous. Having seen the studies of what happens when kids get pushed by their parents to do things they are not intrinsically motivated for; lets just say you are in for the long haul if you continue to do so. With every push your kid will resent you more and become more confused, its a lose lose situation. Instead of forcing your kids to do something that they really do not like( i dont blame them, dying on uphills and walking the down seems terrible at 13) and then writing an annoyingly apathetic article about it, why not just accept them for who they are and trust that THEIR happiness is substantially more important then YOURS. The undertone of negativity and frustration directed towards your kids for not doing what YOU love to do, i sure as hell hope gets put away when you are aroud them. Or else no wonder they do not want to ride with you. They are kids! Kids dont know what they want- they love something for two weeks and return to it five years later and this is good! That is normal! The best athletes in the world always played multiple sports; specializing in one sport before the age of 17 almost guarentees burn out. Just having little versions of you that are happy and tromping around the planet should be enough to subside this odd mountainbiker aspirations you have put on them. Swallow the pride and let your kids decide what they want to do. And while your at it look up intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation.
  • 8 1
 Im 15 now and I love riding. I wish my dad had done this for me so I could be a much better rider than I am.
  • 5 1
 it's not your dad's fault. Go climb a hill and you'll get faster.
  • 9 0
 Kavirengel: 15 is unbelievably young, in 10 years time at 25 you might be the best mountain biker the world has seen.. this is all down to what you do NOW.
  • 1 0
 Hahaha bang!
  • 2 0
 Snyda, in a blunt and direct way you are correct. You can't force a sport to a kid, you can only let them choose what they want and try to support them in those choices. My parents weren't into biking at all. In fact they were musicians. They showed me a guitar I tried it, didn't like it and it was the end of it.
I was inspired to bike at the age of 8. It was my brother who inspired me. He stopped a few years later but I just kept going. My first real bike was a vagabon victor, The kind of bike you buy at a grocery store. I had never been happier and it was the beginning of something. I took that bike to places is was clearly not meant to be. Crashed real hard, got back up and counted the days before I was slightly okay enough to start riding again. By 14 I had worked a whole summer just to buy my first more appropriate bike. I bought a CCM supra for $500. I was the happiest kid in town! I felt like I was riding in pro level and that just pushed my motivation even more (even though I never raced). On my graduation week, my parents bought me a kona caldera and I had this bike until I was 21, did a few races, was riding with a local club, I was having a great time! Now I do DH, XC and road, I'm still as passionate as I was when I was 8, I ride hard daily and I couldn't imagine stopping. Point is, in the end, you don't need the best bike, the best trails or constant support, you simply either love it or not. If you took my bikes away and gave me back my first vagabon victor, I would still ride. I enjoy going downhill, uphill, going fast, getting muddy, riding against the wind, in the winter, rain... doesn't matter. Now if you give me a basketball, good luck getting me to play more than 2 hrs without hating my life!
  • 6 0
 I have to agree with snyda to a point. Intrinsic motivation is key and it is critical to observe these motivations in children so as to support and provide to these motivations. A certain amount of "let them be", is the only way you can discover them as it is the spontaneity which will bring these interests forth. Letting them be with no guidance is, of course, a recipe for disaster. But through introductions to various activities including the actives that you enjoy will cultivate a wondrous harmony with the child whilst at the same time helping them discover the activities that truly ignite their inner self.

Read this wonderful piece by Khalil Gibran, I think he beautifully describes the roles of parents as providing guidance vs. moulding into your own desires. www.katsandogz.com/onchildren.html

That said, I did enjoy the article. I'm sure that when I become a parent, I would certainly introduce my child to mountain biking and deep down hope they loved it. However I won't lose sleep if they don't and wouldn't push it.
  • 6 0
 Agreed. I try to expose my kids to various things and will encourage them to pursue where a spark ignites. Right now my 5yo loves riding around the pump track with me and talks about hitting the backyard jumps some day. When she falls, and wants to give up I of course encourage her to persevere - critical life lesson - but if she doesn't want to go play on her bike that day we move on to the activity she is interested in at that time. There are enough yes/no situations as a parent, I don't want to spoil the fun things by pushing too hard for something I want. I need my kids to listen to me when it comes down to the serious business, can't waste authority on the fun stuff, in my opinion.
  • 3 0
 Snyda is partially right.Intrinsic motivation is partially right. On the other hand we threw the baby out with the bathwater, and expecting kids to do things that they don't like prepares them for what the real world will expect of them when they are adults. There is a time for being a kid, and a time for learning to be responsible. If you are into research, the most effective parenting style is the Authoritative Parent (distinguished from the authoritarian parent.) The other two styles are the neglectful parent (think welfare or trailer park stereotype) and the permissive parent (the most common parenting style now.) The permissive parent places highest importance on the child's happiness. psychology.about.com/od/developmentalpsychology/a/parenting-style.htm

I was raised not to be a happy child, but to be a functional adult. I have done the same with my child, but it is difficult when so many permissive "authority" figures are present in our children's lives. I thought my parents were ogres when I was a kid, but I appreciate and respect them now. When we realize things are going wrong this is the most effective method of getting on track (I've been doing this work for 20 years, and tried out nicer methods, but they all failed miserably) : www.mifamilytherapy.com/node/13
  • 3 0
 this string of comments is better than the article. lalena, snyda and robwhynot. bang on.
  • 2 0
 Willie, I agree with you, which is why I stated "letting them be" without guidance is disastrous. There are certainly times when you must make a child do something. I'm a Montessori guide and we often say that we must give the child freedom, but that freedom is within limits.

Following intrinsic motivation does not mean letting the child do what he/she pleases so that they can be happy. But we certainly live in a society that rewards children for good behaviour, which fosters extrinsic motivation. This encouraes The child to always do things to please others instead of becoming his own being and developing independence.
  • 2 0
 Oh and Willie, just to clarify, I was not arguing your point at all l. I was just trying to clarify mine. Smile cheers!
  • 1 0
 I knew what you meant. Smile
  • 1 0
 Happiness and functioning should have no disconnection. They go hand in hand and are needed to complete each other! Clinical Psychology will catch up to this sooner or later! It is the future of psychology
  • 12 1
 I went the other way.. I got my dad into riding.. at 55 years old he shreds.. Hell I even have convinced him to try his luck at racing some of the Oregon Super D series. I am so stoked that he and I have something to do together, Incorporating riding has gotten us so much closer. He is my go to riding partner when no one else wants to climb or pull some epic 50 mile biking/fishing trips.
  • 2 0
 me and my old man are the same way. im trying to get him to race as a team member of our shop this summer in Oregon for the Super D. he shreds for his age but he denies it
  • 1 0
 Haha same here. My dad's got the record for oldest rider down the local gnarly dh track. Best part is he climbs up the road to the top.
  • 8 0
 Nice! Just today my dad told me how his new SB-66 kicks ass.. He told me all the 2-3 foot drops that he used to dismount for he has been just hucking and how all the gnarly sections he just charges through.. Its pretty awesome..

You know how a young kid is stoked when he does something rad for the first time? That is what I see in my 55 year old dad.. And that is why I think this is the greatest sport.. I see the same shit-eating grin on a 3 year old on a Strider bike as I see on my 55 year old dad, and on the paraplegics face that cranks his handbike past our house everyday .. Its the same grin I get every time I get on the bike.

It truly is a awesome sport that can bring that enjoyment to such a wide variety of people..
  • 2 0
 My family was into moto and quads when I was growing up. My dad is 70 this year, my mom is 66. They bought a new quad this year, and still ride the trails around the cabin (near Cadomin Alberta- look it up- not novice riding by any stretch) still. They do spend more time on the logging roads, and the fire roads now, but they are still out there riding. I was more into the 2 wheeled sports, raced moto for a number of years, and started DH and BMX to get my son into something that is a bit more thrill seeking, and non electronic. My son did Judo before the cycling, and was a provincial silver medalist. We need to support our kids in their interests, but we need to push them as well. Once you sign them up for a season, make them keep the commitment. Next year they can try something different, but dropping out because its harder than they thought it would be isn't helpful for them either.
  • 8 1
 Im 19 and my dad whose 51 can whoop my ass on climbs.Its funny but we actually got each other into riding with the help of 2 of my neighbors that had mountain bikes at the time. we went out to the local trails and got into some good trouble ( i can still remember watching my dad go over the bars on one of our first rides together). We have gone many places biking together and now my dad is just important as a riding buddy as my 2 best friends who i ride with daily, and we all go on bike adventures once a year ( whistler, kernville, mammoth, big bear, North*). I didnt know that biking would have such a big impact on my life but i can only thank my dad for enabling me to do this sport. Ive been riding seriously for 5 years now and I am the head mechanic for MTBs at the local bike shop and i plan to get a mechanical engineering degree so that i can hopefully so some R&D for major companies one day. All my friends know me as the crazy bike guy, many of them are riders themselves. to anybody that read this thanks for taking the time, now i will proceed to go drop a fatty deuce where i will most likely continue to drool over pinkbike and further my interest in the sport that brings us all together.
RIDE TILL YOU DIE
  • 8 0
 i'm hoping my future sprogs are not into football, i can't stand it and don't want to spend years of my life stood by a football pitch
  • 1 0
 Annabelle is already getting into bikes, I'm hoping she stays with it :/
  • 1 0
 ooo the how pushy before you become pushy dilema!
  • 6 0
 I am a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Therapist. The problem is all of us. Since the late 1970's we have been dismantling any reasonable expectations that our children be able to tolerate criticism or any other form of discomfort to protect their self esteem. Every scribble is a Picasso, every out of tune musical passage is a concerto. We have entertained our children with DVD players in vehicles, phones that have more computing power than the Apollo space missions, and 5 year olds playing soccer "need" $200.00 worth of equipment to chase a ball the wrong way down the field. When our kids get a bad mark in school, or a zero for not handing in an assignment we criticize the teacher.

Now we want our kids to "tolerate" something that takes years of skill development and practice to get good at. There is no "easy" setting on the MTB, or Moto, or BMX. We don't expect our kids to persevere. We do too much for them. We make excuses for them, and they aren't capable of working through anything that takes effort.
  • 4 0
 I see this all the time, but not in our house. My expectations of my kids are high and they receive plenty of constructive criticism. Effort is rewarded, but results count too. But I'm constantly battling the education system where they reward kids for trying to spell correctly instead of actually spelling the word correctly and teachers dig to find a positive in even the worst behavior. It undermines much of how we parent at home and when we discuss it with the teachers they have the audacity to imply we should try other parenting methods. There's no scores kept in games to avoid winners and losers. Heck, the teacher gave my daughter AN AWARD FOR HONESTY for telling the truth about doing something she was not allowed to do and there was no reprimand for the bad behavior. What a crock of sh*t!!!!
  • 3 0
 I battle this too. I was at a meeting at the school for my 17 year old son, who is under functioning in school this year. He has gifted intelligence in abstract reasoning, but is low average in memorizing. The school counselor wants him to go into the lower level classes because they are easier, rather than consequence him for skipping with his friends. The lower level classes focus more on regurgitating (the opposite of what he needs.) We have accommodations for his weaknesses which have been really effective in the past. Since I consequence him at home, the counselor has actually called my parents and asked if he can live with them because she sees grounding him as abusive. I suggested he needs to fail these classes because of the lack of effort, and I will enroll him in summer school to make up for it. The counselor looked shocked that I would want my child to fail.
  • 2 0
 The greatest successes in life come from our failures. Any mountain biker knows this, and so should educators.
  • 2 0
 As a teacher, I have to agree with you (willie). In my classes, the second it gets "hard" a big group of kids shut down and just tries to wait until I do it for them. It doesn't help that they are used to having mindless entertainment 24/7 and that there are no consequences for lack of effort and failure at the younger schools (grades 1-8 in the USA).

Why work hard when everything is handed to you and there are minimal consequences?
  • 2 0
 Willie1 - good points. A related quote from Calvin Coolidge. I plan on discussing this w/ my 8 year old soon...

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.

Talent will not;
nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.

Genius will not;
unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.

Education will not;
the world is full of educated derelicts.

Persistence and determination are omnipotent.
The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

--Calvin Coolidge

Or as my Grandpa used to say "Hit the line hard".
  • 3 0
 My nine year old daughter was getting an award at school, so I took time off to go see her receive it. My wife and I went down to the school and sat in the crowded auditorium surrounded by other parents and their younger kids (who all had iphones shoved in their faces), when they brought the kids up my daughter looked embarrassed. The award her teacher had given her was called "Personal Best". I almost fell on the floor laughing. My daughter is a very competitive kid in every thing she does, from riding to school work she wants to be better than everyone. Getting the personal best award was like a slap in the face for her and she told me she didn't want it because it was an award that they give to everyone and she didn't have to earn it and that she would rather have her medals and ribbons that she has won racing mountain bikes because she had to earn those.

My kids love to ride and I am grateful for that, but each kid is a little different. My oldest son wants to be a freerider he hates competition but loves to jump and downhill, my daughter @ 9 already wants to race in the Olyimpics and professionally. These two offer me no resistance when it comes to riding and I don't push them to do it, they just want to. My youngest is not as enthusiastic as his siblings and sometimes I have to tell him he is going with us. Once he is there he is fine and I never force them to ride anything that they aren't comfortable with, so far this has worked for me.
  • 1 0
 Im all for pushing your kids and believe that spoiling your kids is the number one way to just ruin them as personal growth comes through experience not through babying and constant gifts that werent earned. I do not advocate spoiling and this entitlement behavior that comes with it; not in the slightest. When it comes to real world situations my kids will be problem solvers and put effort into their goals. But when it comes to sports-if they try it and absolutly are not interested I will not push them past a couple of times or one season. You dont want to encourage a quitter personality. I will make sure that they do find a physical/creative outlet that fulfills them and THAT is my job to introduce them to those activities so that they can see if they love it. I understand that you want your kids to experience the joys that the activities you love bring to you, but being bitter when they dont enjoy the same things you do is just silly and irresponsible as a person of merit and authority(what a parent is). It is a VERY fine balance that many people struggle with- push to hard your kids hate you push to little and your kids hate you too! Somewhere in the middle is the key- thats where you have to calibrate to their personalities. Which shouldnt be too hard...considering they are 1/2 you Wink
  • 6 0
 Growing up as a musician I promised never to force an instrument on my kids, and didn't. Merely made music (and instruments) available to them to play with and explore. As an obsessive Mtn. biker I dreamed about sharing the north shore trails with my kids and got them involved with Shore Riders (youth riding) as early as possible.

They gave it their best shot and try as I might to accomdate them, it just didn't take. In the end I had to let it go, or they would have ended up hating it forever. Fast forward nearly 20 years: Neither of my kids even own a bike now, but they have always know and appreciated what it means to me.

But my son - recently diagnosed with thyroid cancer - presented me with a card to open for my birthday a couple of weeks ago. Inside was a date for us to ride Whistler Bike Park. "I've been giving it some thought", he said to me "and I think it's time we gave this another try." Suffice it to say I completely broke down.

He's scheduled to have his thyroid removed tomorrow - same day Whistler Bike Park opens as it turns out. We are both looking forward to the joy of spending a day together on bikes.
  • 6 0
 Whats up with mid teens thinking they have missed the boat on becomming an awesome rider. You are NEVER too old, 30, 40, 50.. you can still become a great rider at any age.
  • 4 0
 Maybe the problem is giving kids amazing bikes and taking them to the best riding locations too early?

I remember always following my dad on 'bike rides' where we just used to weave in and out of dropped curbs, went down the same dusty footpath and rode to the same lake for years. I loved every minute of it, riding a 16" until I was about 9, did I need a bigger bike? Definitely. Did I get it handed to me? No.

I was told that I could have a new bike if I ate all of my dinner every day for a month, sounds easy, but vegetables are the devil at age 9. I just about managed it, with some help from the dog, and when I got that new bike it was so precious to me and I loved every minute of riding it so much more than if I hadn't felt like I earned it.

Even into my early teens, I wasn't brought bikes or bike parts, I worked for them through paper rounds, selling sweets at school and various other little ventures, maintaining my interest by thinking how good riding the part I was saving up for would be.

I'm still riding at 21, and guess what? I'm the one dragging my dad around the trails with me now, week in week out.
  • 3 0
 I'm not so sure it's about riding with family. Here in Victoria we have the School Bike League, where volunteers set up races, courses, and activities for young enthusiasts. Maybe it's more about finding someone with whom you relate to in the sport rather than being told to participate (not to say that you force it upon your kids).
  • 4 0
 I'm a very avid mountain biker and snowboarder, neither sports my parents had any influence in other than being supportive. Just support your kids in what they want to do and they will respect you for your passions.
  • 3 0
 i wish my dad could ride but he is to fatt and wont do it Frown but im sure he would take pics. but my buddys dad rides with use. he likes down hill dosnt like up to much but hes down to hop on djs and ride around flat trails around town all day. if my kid is anything like me he will be down with every extreme sport and not be good at them. but love them all the same. but right now mtb is my number one. feels like moto but just as fun, and i like to kill my self on climbs.
  • 3 0
 If you have rich parents.. or live in a rich country, be happy. My family always discouraged me to do anything, simply because they could never affoard to buy me anything, they only kept telling me "go and learn, you will have a great job in the future, and you will be able to buy these thing once you grow up, and earn money".

I grew up, I have no job, no money, no future, nothing. Its good to hear, there are kids, that have support. If someone supported me when I was a kid, who know where would I be now.
  • 3 0
 nice and so true and familiar

when i were a lad, back in the good old eighties most kids rode, but BMX not MTB and certainly not with dads - so maybe us "new age" - "desperate-to-stay-young" dads are expecting too much from the kids and, in our selfish efforts to justify our expensive hobby by "letting the kids join in" are actually ruining it for them, because no matter the era kids are kids and parents are just .. uncool, no matter how funky you look in all your matching bike gear.

come on, be truthful, getting the kids involved is a good way to justify it all to the other half, it means you can get all the gear you want, and go out on more rides .. because its for the kids .. i aint shy, i know its where im at .. it aint worked though .. bloody kids, ruining it all for me .. yep .. selfish dad thats me
  • 3 0
 Im 13 and my parents never wanted me to get into riding, they didn't even know this stuff existed! I got into all by my self. sure I suck but ive been on walmart bikes the whole time. right now im saving up for a bmx, the other day I was cutting grass from the moment I got off the bus till 9:00 at night. To all of the parents: Just let your kid do there thing, if they want to get into it they will come to you and ask to go ride with you! I wish I had people to ride with but when ever I ride its always alone witch sucks.
  • 1 0
 For sure. I'm in my 20's and I just got into riding "real" mountain bikes and had always been on department store stuff. Too be honest, it was PinkBike that showed me how much more there was to mountain biking besides rail trail!
  • 3 0
 Truly loved this article... My 2 penneth... Give them the stills, let them find their way... They will be curious and leave biking / climbing / surfing whatever we teach them... And they realise dad isnt some dull wierdo and come back to it...

One of our family mantras is "cool things are cool, because they are hard to do". The kids get it, after a while...
  • 2 0
 + +++++++++10 to this. This has been my families mantra for years. Prepare your kids as much as you can, let them fall and fix it themselves. Give them some rope but not enough to hang themselves with.
  • 3 0
 Am I the only one who who doesn't empathize? I think it's great to introduce your children into what you're into but if they try it and grow out of it, it's OK. They may be part of you but they are NOT you.

I would love to have my kids grow up loving the same music as I do. Play the guitar and jam with me. I'd also love to hit the trails with them and all that but I wouldn't force any of my passions on them. If they don't like it then I'm OK with it and I certainly wouldn't feel disappointed and that I "Failed"

I'm not like my father. I don't like to bowl, I don't like collecting guns and stuff but he does. He loves classic cars and I do as well but not as much as he does. I'm more into Lamborghini's and other high end exotics. My point is we are different and that's OK.

There's nothing wrong with it and sure it can leave you feeling sad but again, having kids isn't for one to make mini-me clones it's about accepting and enjoying whatever activities you both enjoy.
  • 2 0
 This was really well said. A parent is there to guide a child through life. It is hard to distinguish what we think is best for a child and what IS best for a child. Sounds like you are a really good parent, who keeps their kids' needs first.
  • 1 0
 Thanks nicojryan! Glad I'm not the only one who feels that way Smile
  • 3 0
 Great article, my dad was the one that got me into biking since I was 5 and we still share the same passion. Now that I have a 7 year old sister and he doesn't have that much time to spend w her, Im the one that takes her out to the trails and she loves it even pretends to jump and says that she jumps just like her sister. She wants to be just like me and I couldn't feel more proud.
  • 3 0
 Love this article. Parenting can be a minefield sometimes, and it can be very difficult to discern where "encouragement" stops and "harassment" begins. Those who are on here decrying the author as selfish and pushy need to realize something: as a parent you always want what's best for your kids, no matter what. Sure it would be nice to have your kids as riding buddies, but the reason you try to introduce them to riding is because you know what a great experience it is and you want them to feel the freedom, exhilaration, and accomplishment that can only be found on a mountain bike. It's not about living vicariously through your kids or trying to turn them into extensions of yourself, it's about sharing things with them that have brought you joy, taught you valuable lessons, and provided a way to escape from all the crap that will rain on them daily as adults.

I have 3 kids: 10,8, and 7. My 10 year old is a ravenous rider who spends his time watching bike videos with me and pestering me daily to take him riding "on the big trails" even though he's not to the level yet where he can handle them. The other two could take it or leave it and that's just fine, although I do still hold out some hope that they'll come around. At the end of the day it's our job as parents to introduce our kids to new activities and experiences and encourage them to follow the ones they love. I don't think there's anything wrong with hoping that one of them ends up being mountain biking.
  • 1 0
 cool comment. i like that you know to encourage your kids to what they want to do.
  • 5 0
 I wish i got into riding earlier, but i guess i still have plenty of time to learn
  • 2 0
 Your 14, a lot can happen still.
  • 8 1
 You're 14? You're done man.
  • 3 0
 Same feeling. My 2 girls are great on the bike but it seems like a chore. They're psyched about it when we go to St-Georges and Moab. Still a lot of work to get them psyched even when I have the biggest grin...
  • 3 0
 Ahaha, my dad was a roadie until I came along and gave him the MTB bug. Then I bought him a 2nd hand mtb and some knee pads, which pretty much sealed the deal. Now he just wishes he started as young as me Big Grin
  • 1 0
 I can't believe you gave him that stuff. You should have made him earn it! :-D
  • 2 0
 I'm 17 and my dad owns a bike shop and I help him out. He always tried to make me interested in bikes and personally i was never really interested. It wasn't until i got my first awesome mountain bike (a Spesialized Rockhopper 29' (i know suuper gay)) that i got truly excited about riding. Let your kids fall in love with riding themselves, forcing it makes it worse. From what is have seen with customers is if your kid look just a bit interested NEVER get them a shitty bike, that will turn them off all together. A friend of mine just got her first proper mtb (Avanti fate 650b) and she just rode a 50km endurance race for the first time! So only support your kids if they want it.
  • 2 0
 I have a different perspective on this subject, maybe because I am a 19 year old with no kids. I would obviously like it if my future kids were into biking, but more importantly I want them to pursue any sport of their choice with the passion I have for cycling. My mom rides horses (we have 6 at my house), and my dad is the "trailboss" equivalent of one of the local hiking scenes. I participate in each with them from time to time, but my passions are dirtbikes and mountain bikes. Now I am sure either of my parents would be thrilled to see me in their sport, but they are just as happy seeing me in my own sport. My dad will be out clearing backpacking trails while I am out digging bike trails, and so we can still relate and share stories when we come in the evening. My parents are extremely supportive of me (half of the horse pasture has become a motocross track over the years) and I am very grateful to both of them to allow me to find my own sport, and I hope I can do the same for my kids. Now, lazy kids on facebook and watching tv all day is a different story and I would have none of it...
  • 2 0
 as an unruly teen of yore, i'd say pushing will only get you the opposite results. give them some skills when they're young enough then let them decide. the world needs astrophysicists too. that said, offering to shuttle them and their friends will probably go a long way. it's a rare teen that enjoys the climb and peers are the ultimate progression tool. there will come a time when showing up dad seems like fun again.
  • 2 0
 My father loved cycling when he was young, especially rad cycling. He managed to get me into cycling when I was 5 buy getting me a beat up old bmx. I rode it to death! And when I was tall enough he got me my first MTB which I still ride today, but it's converted to a fixie. It never came forced, all on it's own. Even after a 6 year pause from riding because of constant moving around, my MTB addiction never goes away. Smile

Actually come to think of it I never took a ride with him, but he is to blame for my love of cycling. Smile
  • 2 0
 good read, I am 17 and really into my bikes, basically anything around biking interests me! I enjoy some technical trails and some leisurely trails. a good mix of both really.
My dad was the one who got me into bikes in the first place, taking me around the local tracks where we lived. I was about 8-9 when i got my first MTB, stoked as hell. Even now i am just as passionate as i was back then, if not more. I have bought a new bike ( a 29er ) and my dad has upgraded as well and we both hit the trails together. I think after your 14 yr old son reaches about 15-16 he will start to get into it more and wanting to hit trails with his dad more.
  • 2 0
 I didn't start riding until I was in my early 20s. My parents didn't ride and they still don't know where I caught the bug. I had never really experianced single track before and I went out and bought my first bike on a whim and never looked back. I started out riding downhill but now stick to mainly XC and road riding. You can't force something on kids and expect them to fall in love with it right away. Let them do their thing right now with their friends and you'll be surprised in their late teens when they find other cyclists their age and can't wait to get out on the trails.
  • 2 0
 I started last year in the summer. my parents don't ride and they dont like it ( overprotective parents). i have always wanted to ride bikes but i never did it until i saw life cycles. now i have got me a DH bike and i love it.
  • 3 0
 This the opposite for me. I'm a 16 year old kid that got his 50 year old dad into cycling. I remember he used to say "1300 for a bike? That's absurd!" Now he has an all mountain bike And a downhill bike!
  • 2 0
 That's why I wanted a boy so bad, but my !@#$Q@ sperm only creates girls, so I got stuck with 3 of them!
I don't think that santa cruz will ever release a Barney theme tallboy LTC, so none of my daughters will ever join me on the trails.
  • 2 0
 My kids are 36 & 33 (I'm 59) and they keep dragging me off biking with them. They keep telling me I need to swap my hardtail for a full suspension bike. I'm enjoying it but at my age the body doesn't seem to heal as fast as it used to - currently nursing extremely sore ribs after a tumble! Is this beginning to looking like the article in reverse?
  • 2 0
 This article and all of these responses kinda of crack me up. You see parents replying that they wish their kids biked and you see kids replying wishing their parents biked. When I was younger I definitely fell into the later. I find myself in a different category which is my dad saw my downhill bikes the other day and wants me to take him for a ride. Should be interesting but I think he may be getting in a little over his head. This leads me to my next thought...

Stop trying to force your kids to bike! That is the one sure way to get them not to want to do it. If none of their friends do it and they dont perceive it as cool they probably arent ever going to be into it. Forcing your kid to bike is no different than forcing your kid to play football or any other sport (and we all know we hate those parents).
  • 2 0
 We exposed our kids to bikeparks early and that seems to have been the clincher to get the kids keen on biking. It was a tough go on our local trails to teach them the skills, too steep, too much pedalling etc. A weekend riding the lifts at a bike park quickly turned them into shredders and they progressed at a rate that would have taken months back home shuttling the trails in the mountains around our town. Returning from a trip to silver star or whistler, the kids are stoked and want to hit up the gnarly trails back home and introduce their friends to the thrill of downhill. Unfortunately we end up shuttling the kids and their buddies that are trying to get into the sport and we end up mopping up the carnage of the new kids riding and we have to convince their parents that their kids need better bikes and a weekend at a bike park. I wouldn't trade it for anything!
  • 2 0
 you've done the best bit, and introduced them, but if they are anything like me, they will need friends their own age, their own level to relate to, be that friends who get into riding, or maybe meeting new kids the same age at a local club - hanging out with your dad is a grey area at their age, seeing their mates hang out together....without parents.
  • 2 0
 My son is 9, he has been riding bike parks since he was 5 (Valnord on a 16" rigid is pretty hardcore). He loves riding bmx, dirt, dh. Every year we spend minimum 5 weeks is the Alps or the Pyranees and he is always psyched, I think what I did right was never make him pedal up hill and make riding seem a chore, young kids like gravity and catching air, they just hate the pedalling.

Never really pushed him but being positive and spending a bit of cash on a decent bike now means he is keen to ride whenever, RESULT!!
  • 2 0
 Great article. It's funny to see how this type of article can illicit such detailed responses from readers. My 5 year old son is currently on the cusp of beginning to race BMX. He seems super excited about it. Imagine my joy when I discovered that Intense make kids race bikes (always wanted an Intense to sit next to my V10 in the garage).

In the back of my mind, I'm picturing a future of my son and I shuttling DH runs etc. But I have to say it really is one of those things where if he's not passionate about it. If he doesn't just start jumping on his bike every chance he gets, I won't be pushing him. If we can enjoy it together it will be a great way to help navigate those difficult teenage years but if he's not into it, then that'll be fine too.
  • 1 0
 BMX is a lot of fun. I ended up getting a cruiser and rode the old timer's class since I was there anyway. My wife even rode for a couple seasons. You can't go wrong with an intense BMX. They are well built, even the more entry level models.
  • 2 0
 I agree and dis agree i am 11 years old i am a girl and i ride i know plenty of people who ride bikes around the same age of me but i know no girls i wish i did no more girls to ride with but i dont so i generally ride with boys around the same age i dont really understand why people dont like it because lots of people my age love it so i guess its strange that people around my age just don't like it =)
  • 1 0
 This is a great article I'm praying for your little groms to fall in love with biking so you can have those riding companions youve been looking for. I understand were your coming from completely just a tip and something i can relate to because it wasnt to long ago i was that little grom complaining and not as motivated as i should have been.. If you can get your kids friends into it that will be a huge help for some reason as younger kids it just seems so much better when you get to go with your friends instead of somehow being forced/tricked into going with your dad even though in reality he in know way forced you just is pushing you to have a good time. O yea and let them watch roam by the collective (www.thecollectivefilm.com/roam/index_roam.html) i love that movie and I credit it for where i am today my best friend and I would watch that movie all day everyday in the summers when we weren't biking. We had two little trek hard tails and would go and bike around all day with our camelbaks, powerbars and like 4 extra tubes because we would pop so many trying to figure out how to do trials mountain biking and doing stupid things they will find the love for the sport i mean how can they not? its mountain biking. Only reason i say this is because it is so fresh in my mind but if you can find a way to get them to appreciate the quality and purity of the sport and the love for the outdoors somehow i think that might help. sounds like you have done a kick-ass job so far good luck with the rest! cheers
  • 1 0
 I think cycling is one of those sports you either love or hate. It's also one more likely to hit you when you're fully grown. Let’s face it, you have to be slightly masochistic to really fall for it. You have to be able to suffer, whether in the lung, the leg or some internal organ you hopefully don't need. There will be blood, your wallet will weep, mechanicals will strike you down in the middle of the abyss, and a big ol’ never ending hill that never seems to end can suck harder than anything else ever.

Love this paragraph. As a soon to be dad, I can't wait to get my son on a bike too.
  • 1 0
 I always loved cycling, and I agree with zeronine3, you love it or you hate it. The good thing is that nowadays cycling has many styles to choose from (dirt, croos-country, enduro, downhill...) so there is place for everyone.
But I also have to say that for some time I didn't ride as much as I ride now, and at 22 I discovered the world of downhill and I love it. Trust me, when those young kids reach 16-17 they will love to show their friends how cool they are riding downhill and freeriding, and you know what? At that time they will already love it! You'll have the bike fanatics you want, for sure.
  • 1 0
 Great article! But interestingly for me it happened the other way around... I got into MTB when I was 12 by riding with my local scout group (our leader was an ex DH racer!) and once the group closed down we started to organise the rides ourselves and get our parents to drive us places. After a year of carting me to local trails, my dad asked if he could have a go and since then he's been hooked! I've even managed to convert my little brother too...
  • 3 0
 I absolutely love MTBing, first started when I was 14 and haven't looked back since, it's not just a hobby, it's an obsession!! LONG LIVE MOUNTAIN BIKING!!
  • 2 0
 I've had MTBs since I was around 11, but I only starting riding seriously at 19. Still trying to get my dad into it. He's scared of falling off, so I'll take him to some blue trails at a trail centre.
  • 1 0
 Great article, it confirmed what I suspected all along... I have been guilty of wanting my daughter to get into biking more than she really would have liked. As soon as I backed off, she started asking for a better bike so she could hit the local single-track with more confidence. She's 11 and now has a Trek Cali 29er which she loves. Her head is in a place her skills can't match yet but I see her grow every time she rides and that makes me more proud than ever I felt when trying to 'encourage' her. She's even looking forward to her first AM bike and keeps asking for an Orange 5. As soon as she's able to do it justice, she'll no doubt get one. That for me is the essence of this relationship... I provide the opportunities and she takes them where she wants them to go. It's a win-win for both of us.
  • 1 0
 This is the total opposite of me! I'm 18, been mountain biking with my mate since i was 13 when I went out on a rusty Apollo bike. We used to go off all day finding trails and paths in the woods around us, and come back covered in mud but smiling ear-to-ear. Most weekends when I wasn't biking my dad took me to football games, where he spent most of his time trying to get me to appreciate and enjoy the game; but he gave up after a couple of years. Then when I was 16 and bought my first full susser I tried and tried to get him to come ride with me, and a couple of times it worked! But he never appreciated bikes as much more than a cheaper way to ride to work, so I guess I gave up on my dad right? Maybe there's still time to change that aswell.....
  • 4 0
 I m 30 now and i think i could be a better rider if Holly teach how to ride at the age of 5
  • 1 0
 agreed
  • 1 0
 14 is a difficult age for the kids (assume boys here). I rode with my son for the last 10 years and we still do. It's our way of spending some quality time together. While I'm trying to get better and faster he is just playing around with the bike. Other things are becoming interesting for him right now like you said (girls, youtube, etc.). He is still motivated but that can change.

vimeo.com/64635918
  • 1 0
 My son started biking at a young age, racing BMX together, traveling to different tracks, it was a great time. But as he got older and into other sports his interest in biking was lost. We have been to the Windham World Cup twice and we had an awesome time together but not enough to get the biking back in his blood. My son will be 15 this summer and his focus is ice hockey and lacrosse. We have traveled all over the Northeast and Ontario playing travel hockey, spent thousands of dollars on this sport and you know I wouldn't trade the time driving, hotel stays, games win or lose for anything. This is his desire to play and I have accepted it and will support him until the ride is over. There are times in travel sports that sometimes things just don't work in your favor and are just plain wrong due to politics or other non sense created by adults. There have been times when I think to myself Wow! this would never happen riding trails or even racing, but this is his choice and you never know he may come back to riding some day.
  • 1 0
 My dad use to ride but now he never has the time to do it himself ! He let me discover it with my friends and i have grow to love it so much so I can never imagine my life without cycling! I love that I can just go out and ride, I don't have to think about anything I can just be free! I am glad that I could discover it myself rather than being forced into it
  • 2 1
 Great article, makes me not want kids rather re-affirms my desire to not have kids. Don't get me wrong I love kids (taste like chicken) lol, I have friends who have kids, they love me, I love them but to be honest, I am selfish with my time and would rather borrow or babysit my friends kids and then give them back at the end of the day. My parents didn't ride bikes, I rode bikes to get away from my parents, been riding something with two wheels ever since.

In all seriousness though, this is a great article.
  • 2 1
 Teens go through a stage where, if it doesn't make them look cool, they don't want to do it. Unless they ride like pros right away they want to quit. They often don't get over it until college where they begin looking for things they have in common with others. Then biking can become a common link. I plan to have a half dozen serviceable bikes around that my kids can ride. I will invite them to come on rides with me, but it is up to them. My brother's kid is incredible on his stryder. At 2 he is super fast on trails. He'll be jumping by this time next year. He's one of those people who will be so good he'll want to do it. My girls will probably do it for fitness in high school, but I doubt they'll be too into it.
  • 1 0
 Great article, a bit of push and shove and go with the flo, same experience here. My daughter started at age 5. At seven she started downhilling, shitty bike, lots of screaming, still had fun. Now at eleven she loves her hometrack and starts pushing her limits and experimenting and is mentally and physically in great shape. Of course I love to build our bikes. My son, 14, prefers gaming and looks the part..easy birthday gifts though.
  • 1 0
 not having someone in my family and peers that rides worked for me pretty nice...worked hard to get that bike and now being stoked 24/7.those " oh my god be careful on that bike son you're gonna break something" motivates me :p
  • 1 0
 I would go crazy with lazy ass kids getting fat in front of screens. On the other hand, pushing (forcing) is a sure way to make the kid hate the sport U would like him/her to do. The problem is in the lifestyle oriented way of seeing everything as a teenie. I'd buy a BMX or a DJ bike to my imaginative kid so he could hang with his lame skater buddies while trickin' on the hoods.
  • 1 0
 My Dad is a road rider an he tried to get me into it but after a couple of years I was bored of it but decided to try off road riding for a bit more excitement, my Dad didnt pressure me into staying with road racing and that was 10 years ago and now I have a shed full of bikes and just bought my son his first balance bike. If he wants to learn more than basic skills then Ill love taking him out to the trails and teaching him but if not I'm not going to force him. If you need your kids to keep you company on rides then get a trail dog!
  • 1 0
 Hi my friends i dont know why but i ride since 3 years old before tree years i become i downhiller amd freerider i am very good but my bike isnt i dont have money for good bike.My bike only cost 100euros so thnik but i don give up and i get very good since two weeks ago when my brakes crash down at the time i was riding and i broke my head because i dont wear a helmet .I really like this sport but i need a good bike and i dont know what to do?I am sixteeen now.
  • 1 0
 I have 3 boys ages 1, 3, and 5. So far, they are really into it. I believe that you should just expose your kids to as much as you can and let them decide what THEY love. My complete obsession with biking may rub off on them, but if not I can accept it as long as they are happy and do the right things in life.
  • 1 0
 Loved this article, though it is not true for all families. My father has never approved of me spending more than £100 on a bike and doesnt understand why I need hydraulic discs over V brakes etc. but when I was younger, I lived a lot of my life at my uncles as my parents were away working, and he was very much into hucking and extreme downhill and so were my cousins. being 11, I wanted to spend time with them so with their help I got my first downhill rig at 11. weighed more than me but I loved it, it was partly the riding and partly that i was spending quality time with my family. Ive been riding various disciplines for 8 or so years now and I have to say, all my best memories are with 2 wheels underneath me and I hope that my children can feel the same way I did behind the bars all them years ago.
  • 1 0
 While on one hand it's good to introduce kids to a sport you love yourself, it can be intimidating after a while, not so much because of the activity, but because of parental expectation, or at least the ones the kids think that exist. It's always hard for a kid to try to please their parents and the anxiety of failure to do so is palpable for every kid growing up, provided that their parents actually give a toss (sadly, there's the other kind, too...). My parents are both couch potatoes, they were into sport when they were really young, but ever since I grew up, they wouldn't do anything physically they didn't have to. I was a bit chubby growing up, learned to ride a bike really late (thanks grandpa!) at the age of 7, then never really got into it until, at the beginning of the 90s, MTB's became somewhat affordable in Europe. After that, I got the bug from age 13 to maybe 17 before there was beer, rock 'n roll and girls. For college, I moved to a pretty flat area where bikes were thought of as a tool to shop for groceries. After a 12-year hiatus I now live in an area where mountain-biking is possible regarding the terrain and voilá, I got into it again, more severe than ever, by being able to combine what I learned as a grom with the surrounding terrain (trails, jumps, parks, you name it) and my adult purchasing power. So, in retrospect, ambitious parents relax, your kids might come back to it and really love it and develop it in their own way. After all, "It's never too late to have a happy childhood!"
  • 1 0
 My love of riding started as a kid and then a teen on an old racer with the bars turned the wrong way - we hopped pavements and generally rode like hooligans. I only started proper cycling and then mountain biking in my late twenties. I didnt have any encouragment or a fatherly roll (:-)) model to look up to on this front. I have tried to do things differently with my son and have involved him in all my interests. I have tried not to push him into anything though and he isnt the keenest bike rider out there by any means. He hates uphills (I tow him up steep jeeptrack with my bike) and isnt always that keen to go riding. Thats fine by me. He has seem what its about and if the bug bites or not, so be it. I think we have to accept our kids are individuals and will develop their own interests and passions. One day perhaps my son and I will share a passion he has chosen for himself. Its give and take. We don't own our kids - we are their role models, guides and mentors.
  • 1 0
 Since a couple of weeks I am riding XC with my seven year old daughter, she loves to ride her new bike, so as long as she enjoys it it is fine with me, but at the moment she will tell me she doesn't want to ride her mtb any more it is also fine with me, i always try to encourage her but will not push her, (except on steep upphills Wink )

proof:


www.pinkbike.com/video/309722

I am also riding together with a friend of mine, his son is 11 years old now and has his own downhill bike, filmed him a couple of weeks ago:
www.pinkbike.com/video/307155 ( he still is searching fo a sponsor Smile
  • 1 0
 I'm 36 with two boys ages 4 and 8 and had them riding since they were two years old started them with run bikes and they never needed training wheels, just hopped on a bike after a few months on the run bikes and they love it. Got them some BMX bikes but they started asking me to get them handlebars like the other bikes they saw on trails and a sqooshy thing in the front of the bike Smile so now my money is going to their bikes, modified the youngest bike to look like a mtb, kind of hard to find a bike for his age and now just waiting on parts for the older kids new build where a handlebar cost me more than my entire bike at his age. Every Saturday and Sunday they wake me up telling me to get ready so we can go hit the trails....yes tear to me eye that early, so load the truck and hit the trails early....I keep on hoping they will stick with it and appreciate it when they are older.
  • 1 0
 Love the article! seems like alot of us parents are on the same singletrack. The only way to get my oldest (12) to ride is if we are racing he doesnt like to ride unless hes racing, sure he wins but doesnt have the competition to push his commitment to ride more. I go out and build trails for me and i go and build trails for my kids, like the article said its tough trying to get kids to ride the gnar but the more gnar you can give them the better they will become. Like the author says there are lots of distraction for kids these days vs. my childhood time, but you just have to add some of those to biking. this weekend my 12yo be downhillin with 3 13 yo girls shuttling not so gnarly trails and i hope that this encourages him to ride more!
  • 1 0
 As a 16 year old rider, my parents were never really into the whole mountain bike scene, but I really got into it anyhow. I've had the privilege of having supportive parents who encourage my biking hobby and lifestyle, but don't push me to hard into or away from it
  • 1 0
 I took my dad Down Hilling for the first time at Mount Washington last year at the ripe old age of 59. He didn't get off the green run but man could he rip corners by the end of the day! Granted, he's not about to go out and buy a dedicated DH rig, but he still had a blast.
  • 1 0
 My Dad really pressured me into riding allot when i was younger some days it seemed like he loved his bike more then me but after years of early summer rides i know that he really just loved me and wanted to share the things he loves with me and i thank him for that cause biking is now something that i love to do and want to teach my kids to do from training wheels on up just like my dad did for me. Thanks Dad
  • 1 0
 Awesome article! Give them time, it will happen, but don't force them. I know of several guys that were forced by their parents to do a sport when they were kids; and as soon as they grew up and were able to confront their parents, the first thing they did was to go away from that sport.
I have 3 daughters and I wanted a BOY so bad to get him into MTB, but never happened; and I know that my girls are not going to join me on the trails, so I am hopeless.
  • 1 0
 I'm 16 and picked up MTB on my own last year with no people in my family into cycling and now I'm XC racing at a national level. From my experience cycling is a very temperamental thing that after you introduce someone to it, they have to develop the love on their own. You CAN'T force feed it and you can't force a love, only do all you can to provide the best oppurtunities that would make said person start to love MTB. The reality is, not EVERYONE loves riding bikes like we do, but we can still help people try to develop a love or at least give MTB a shotSmile
  • 1 0
 Well I reckon if you start mountain biking on a shit bike, you learn to make do with what you've got, and then you progress onto a better spec bike(Hardtail) and then maybe move onto a Full Sus. If you start riding on some big battle destroyer with about 150mm of travel and you ride in the best clothes your parent can buy, it's not as interesting, I started riding five years ago on some cheap shit Halfords banger, got a (ok) spec hardtail, then moved onto a short travel xc full sus, then just recently got a 160mm AM bike, I feel if you'd start riding on a big AM full sus with a reverb and all the fancy kit you can get, you don't appreciate how good it is, I didn't like MTB'ing with the halfords bike and my dad bought me a better bike because he thought if I had a better bike I'd like it more(which I did) and I think the way I've progressed within those five years is good, so if you want your child to get into Mountain Biking I wouldn't spend tons of money on his/her kit because they'll take all the fancy kit for granted having not experienced riding shit stuff, it's pretty weird the way I see it but this is just my opinion Smile
  • 2 0
 A bmx should be a kids first bike, otherwise they are missing a solid foundation to build upon. Send them to the dirt jumps or the skatepark by themselves and they will be fine, it's like free babysitting!
  • 1 0
 Ironies of life... some of us would have made the best of having biker parents, and some others having that chance decide for something else.

"That's life, funny as it seems.
Some people get their kicks,
Steppin' on dreams
But I just can't let it get me down,
Cause this big old world keeps spinnin' around."
F.S.
  • 3 0
 This article is great i am personally doing this the other way around im 15 and got into riding a couple years ago and just got my dad into riding
  • 1 0
 I like this article, my dad got me into mountain biking and pushed me to buy a bitchin Specialized Hardrock pro as my first real bike as opposed to a less well equipped full suspension bike in the same price range. Started on the single track and I have always loved it, I ride mostly trials and downhill/ freeride now and couldn't imagine my life without cycling.

Funny thing is as a kid I absolutely abhorred hitting jumps and doing that kind of stuff, now I am stoked on it. Bike riding is awesome and I enjoyed the article, from one cycling family to another thanks for the write-up.
  • 1 0
 The only problem with getting your kids seriously into riding is that you end up paying twice. It's pretty expensive when you need two decent bikes that wear out two sets of drive train and tires. You also need at least two of everything else (helmets, glasses, shoes, gloves, backpacks etc.) Suspension service time is a nightmare and all the travel costs are yours also. If you only ride with your mates it's one set of kit, and the diesel gets split between you. That said, my 13 year old son has turned into an awesome rider, and about the best riding buddy I could have so he's worth every penny (only just though Tom, eh? ;-). Don't force your kids, just give them the opportunity (as someone above has said). If they take to it you'll have a blast, if not then you're quids in. Win, win, ha ha!!!
Just be patient with them. I was patient with my son, and I was patient with my girlfriend when she started mountain biking, and now I get to ride all the time. Happy days!!!!
  • 1 0
 Love this article, really identify with the feeling of Cycling being one of those things symbolic of walking your own path. Love popping a wheelie or an encouraging wave to interested young-lings and it's important for me to encourage interest, pass on the positivity. Sad sometimes others don't get it but that's just how it is and I still love it.
  • 1 0
 Awesome article. I love hearing perspective from other parents, especially from parents who ride. For me parenting, just like childhood, is an intense and personal journey that every one will approach in their own way. It's life. I have two very young boys, a five and a one year old, and I think a lot about how they'll mature and what will interest them. I live in a ski town so I think my boys will always be surrounded by the culture that I love whether I push it on them or not. We are very fortunate in that regard. Currently, my five year old loves to ride his bike. Most days that is. We have a fun little skills park and skate park near the house that he frequents. We also have singletrack out the back yard that he's starting to get into. My approach is to always ask him if he wants to go for a ride when I have the time. If he says "no", then I don't make a big fuss of it and I'll go hit the trail myself. If he says "yes" then I try to make the ride all about him. He calls the shots where we go, but I'll always make suggestions that are in line with my desires. It's working pretty well so far, but then again he is only five. I'm excited to see how he grows and changes yet hopeful that he keeps the stoke. I think that just by showing him how passionate I am about something will be a great lesson for his life. He may find that same passion in biking but it will be just as good if he's passionate about something else.
  • 1 0
 For me, mountain bikes were about friends, independence, and the experience being mine and not watched/judged by my family. I did what I did on my own terms, only my friends saw the crashes, and no one but I decided if I was riding a line or not. This gave me a huge sense of control and ownership of what I was doing and accomplishing. I think that's how a family riding experience would differ and maybe not be ingrained in the identity of someone the same way. My son likes riding, we do the odd trail and alot of bike path stuff, but ultimately he'll make the choice to get serious. I always give him the opportunity to ride and now he can choose. What would be heartbreaking for me is if he never finds something physical and challenging that brings him a sense of accomplishment and positive esteem, it's our job to help them find that.
  • 1 0
 Dad of 2 little girls here. My oldest (almost 2) is stoked on her Strider and loves when I push-bike on my own ride with her. I am cautiosly optimistic about the prospect of enjoying riding with my girls.

I started flat-track racing at 5, motocross at 6. My dad got pushy as hell and I quit but never lost the love of riding.
  • 1 0
 There you go! This is exactly what I needed to read. My kid is five, I'm about to order a disc braked bike. I want him hooked and also don't want to scare the little fish away either. I'm going for the goods! I want him so infected with the biking disease that if he ever gets to where your kids are at now. they will again find the bike and have all of these great skills from the early years seeping out of their pores and not really knowing how lucky they were when their parents were still flipping the bill. Thanks Mitchell.
  • 1 0
 Fantastic article! My parents didn't ride, but a bicycle is something I fell in love with at a young age and rode into my teens. Then as the author describes I became busy with other things. Girls, basketball, skateboard, music, friends etc. it wasn't until my mid 20s that I rediscovered bicycles and my passion for riding, and this go around I could actually afford something cool. All said, there is certaintly a younger crowd into biking enabled by parents, a day in the whistler bike park will illustrate this as a teen zooms by on a demo or session. Shred on young bucks!
  • 1 0
 I hated a lot of stuff as a kid that later on I grew to love, because initially it felt like I was being forced to do it.
Having friends to go with is the best way though, it makes everything more enjoyable.
The biggest problem IMO is the huge entrance price of bikes. I don't mean your $7k carbon stuff, I mean the $700 entries from Norco and Specialized. It's pretty hard for a non-cyclist parent to justify spending that much on a bike that their kids will out-grow in 2 years.
My bike history has been pretty shitty; I'm 21, as a kid, my parents bought me a late 90s CCM for $50 that was WAY too big for me, then 4 years later an early 90's hardrock ($150) that had a headset so bad it sounded like someone was ringing a bell when I hit the brakes, and the majority of the BB was made of rust. Every time I came home with a small injury (pretty often) they flipped shit and lectured about how unsafe it is to go ride trails. I still have that monstrosity in the garage from 7 or 8 years ago. Only reason why I haven't thrown it out is because I loved it lol.
Ask cyclist parents to buy a bike for their child and they'll jump at the chance.
Ask non-cyclist parents to do so, and they'll buy a bike from Walmart to ruin everything.
  • 2 1
 I can totally relate to this. My dad had me mountain biking when I was four; racing when I was five. He had a super light bike for me setup and I ended up being really good. Pulling off 6x national championships by the time I was 12. But at the same time, I totally lost interest in mountain biking, partly because i thought it was boring, and partly because I didn't have anyone to do it with. I stopped riding, infact hated it, and started soccer and some other sports. About 3 years later, my old friend started riding downhill and thought if give it a go. My whole life changed after that. I am crazily addicted to it now and compete at every race I can. I'm very glad I went through that phase though, because it made me realize how fun and awesome mountain biking really is.
  • 2 0
 My 14 Year old and it is the dream....And Awesome when you can shred hard with your kids!....And even more hard when you start having to make excuses why you can't keep up.....

www.pinkbike.com/video/302654
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 Im 15 and i ride every weekend. Since i learnt to ride at about the age of 4 , ive loved it. Although i've never had the biggest budget for bikes , ive still had a great time. I now spend all my spare time riding my bikes , or fixing my bike , or looking at bikes or bike forums , or waiting for a bike part in the post. I do all my own work and i care for my bike , because i always want it to be ready , for when i next go out to rip some trails. Me and a mate go out and have crazy fun riding the trails , and its so much better than being sat inside all day on the xbox.
  • 1 0
 I'm 34 and only really found mountain biking last year as a means to get out and exercise, having 3 young kids I don't have the time to commit to scheduled sports with training sessions on specific nights and such so I wanted to find a sport where I could just get out and have fun while exercising in my own time, mountain biking is like a drug, I'm an addict now and just want to ride any time I get the chance, started riding enduro's (taking part, no where even close to competing) and I'm amazed at how inclusive the sport is, from the elite right down to the complete novice I don't think I have ever been involved with a sport that is soo welcoming.

My boy is 4, I can't wait for the day I get to ride my local trails with him!
  • 1 0
 I've always had that dream of having kids that ride, after reading this, I may not force them into quite so hard, you bring up a lot of good points. mtbing really isn't for the faint of heart. "Really, look around you, how many of your friends are committed cyclists?" I thought this was a great question you posed, because out of all my friends only a really small handful are actually into riding, obviously they are my better friends but looking around most of them are just not into it, mostly because every time they see me I got some new injury story for them but that's all the hear is that I got hurt, they failed to listen to all the glory before that or after.
  • 1 0
 Get your kids into bmx racing. Boys and girls together on the same nights annd same location. Moms and dads racing. My kids started 3 years old for my son and 5 for my daughter'oldest. i raced a couple years too. i was hockey and lacrosse growing up and rugby into my older years. They raced for 6 years untill we went to the whistler bike park three years ago Pretty much mtb since then. The skills from bmx racing were what alowwed them to transition. Kids will not enjoy things as much if they are not good at it . The kids play team sports but mtb and snowboarding are the family sports. Not many things you can actuall do with you kids we love it.
  • 1 0
 My Dad was an avid cyclist but he never pushed me when I was a kid. I was always interested in bikes through what he used to do. I went out biking with my buddies loads, not MTB but just on whatever bike we had at the time. When 14 I got heavily into racing sailing dinghies, nothing to do with my parents (they didn't sail) and carried this on heavily until my I had my first child. When I was in my teens my bke was justa method of getting from A to B with a bit of fun rolled in. I even had my rigid MTB in Sheffield while I was at uni and didn't even know anything about the MTB culture there. I didn't even venture off road (sad, something I regret to this day), the bike was still a commuter vessel.

It wasn't until a few drinking buddies suggested I come riding MTB with them (on the same bike) that I properly got into MTB at 28 years old. It sorted me out big style, I have lost about 3 stone, ride two or three times a week. I have now have my own kids and drag the round the single track in my bike trailer at every oppertunity. They may or may not end up being bikers. I love nothing more than then to take up biking but as long as they are happy then who cares.

When I speak with my dad about biking every week, I can see the smile in his face; that is what matters. After all those years in the void, he can see I have the passion he had when he was younger. I am pleased about that. but he never did push me into it,; I just found my way there by hook or by crook.
  • 1 0
 I've lucked out with my son and he loves to ride but I think in large part it is due to taking him to bike camps at Sun Peaks. At these camps the kids get to ride with guys they read about and learn from someone other than a parent. They are also riding with other kids. I have a great deal of gratitude and thanks to Matt Hunter, Justin Turweil, Graham Agassiz, Dylan Sherrard and the other coaches and tail gunners. They do a great job with the kids and provide great mentoring and inspiration to any kid that attends their camps. I'm not sure about the Sun Peaks camps this summer but great camps are available at Silver Star. Send you kid to one he'll have a great time. In the town we live in that likes to claim it's the mountain biking capital of Canada there is very little offered to inspire kids and it seems they are actually discouraged by the attitude of many of the local riders. Some coaching available now which hopefully with change things a bit.
  • 1 0
 Jeez, this was great. My step dad was a pioneer of many action sports, first in and first to rip, but because of a heart-valve malfunction it's no longer possible for him to get out there due to internal bleeding being a very high possibility. My dad on the other hand, if he rode bikes that would really complete my life, don't stress man because if my dad rode he would for sure be the coolest dad in the world. I am an action sports junkie, literally have saved up my pennies to buy high-end gear for every sport I could get into and if I had a role model like my dad in it with me, man, that would be just the greatest thing for me. But that's awesome you tried, haven't given up, and still are shredding as an adult, I cannot wait to be a gnarly shredder into my old age!
  • 1 0
 My dad runs marathons and like every kid during early teens, I wanted to be just like him and as I loved the outdoors, I started cross country running, I have to say I loved it but the passion for it eventually died. I suddenly had a massive gap in my life that needed to be filled.

I was at one of my dads marathons and was bored beyond my life, so I strolled into a shop and bought the most appealing magazine there - which happened to be 'MBUK' - this was essentially the start of my bike life.

Since then, all of my family are pleased I have found a sport that I do for myself and my own enjoyment ( even if they do take the piss sometimes ) None of my friends ride with me, they've given it a go but it isn't for most of them - they also don't understand how and why I ride by myself, the main reason is to get away from my idiot of a brother.

Now at the age of 16 not to far away from 17 I can't find enough time to ride! My area isn't exactly the most mountainous but I make the most of any woodland that is based on a hill. I can fairly say I am the only teenager who regularly rides at my local spots and all the old dudes seem to love see me ripping up trails on a XC.

Get stoked on riding.
  • 1 0
 I started riding with my boys when they were just little, I put them on my back for the first few years. I did an 18 mile loop once with my 1 1/2 yr old. When they got older they went on an alley cat or tag a long. We rocked that thing hard, even added a suspension post to it. Now they all ride on ther own age 10, 12 and 15. The 15 yr old is now into DH, along with dad, he has also got some friends into it as well. FREINDS IS THEY KEY! Last season I held on to his outgrown bike just so friend without bikes could ride. We have some goot local riding and varied DH within a drive. The best NE has to offer for all around MTB is Vermont. Love VT! Tons of riding, awesome trails, great people, an of course a few long trails(local beer) around the campfire. What's not to love. One big struggle is equipment, it is hard to find a pair of good bike gloves for an 8 year old, not enough decent gear, never mind a decent bike. I really hope they all stick with it, I look at biking as a lifetime sport, I still see a few riders my senior out on the trails. Great excercise, good adventure, good memories.
  • 1 0
 Kids love bikes, but not necessarily at a particular level. Some love bikes more than others. It's other sports and hobbies, like anything. If I played an instrument or was a singer, my kids might want to take up music, but then again, maybe not.

I gave up my bike when I turned 16. Cars, what can ya say?

But I came back to to bikes in my early 20s once I realized that A. I was getting fat, and B. It was pretty damn fun and I felt like a kid again.

I've outfitted both my kids (and my wife) each with a hardtail and a DH/AM rig, but there's no guarantees it's going to stick. I just hope it does. If it doesn't, well, I'll be keeping my bikes regardless. Ya gotta try but ya can't force the horse to drink water. Yes, it's an expensive experiment on my part.

I think by introducing your kids to the joys of biking, without making them feel like its a chore, they will probably come back to it later if they leave to do 'their own thing' for awhile because they'll subconciously associate it with positive family memories (it's like comfort food). That's my hope anyway.
  • 1 0
 I got a girls age 13 and 11 the 13 year old is straight up anti biking while the 11 year old has a high end road bike and a specialized saphire. She rides to school in any weather, hits the jumps and races. She checks pinkbike every morning right outta bed and organizes shuttle runs for her friends. I ride everyday with a quiver of 9 bikes. i am a way into building my life around riding and my little girl makes it even funner. Parent guilt is a real thing. When your kids ride with you it feels good. When you ditch em it says something about your priorities and can hurt feelings. For the last three years I've takin winter bike trips for 3 months and my little Betty will ride with me everyday. Her first real ride was the paradise royale and she ripped it. Kids have a fantastic strength to weight ratio and can really shred. If they love it then the answer it easy. When they don't they just need to understand they'll be spending a lot of time alone doing stupid shit
  • 1 0
 Jesus, I'm 15 and normally I'm the one dragging my dad out to go for a ride. To me, mountain biking is something I discovered and have tried to pass on to my family, though nobody other than my dad takes interest. I would kill for my dad to have been like the author of this article when i was younger. I used to love riding around the farm on my little 20", but when my dad refused to let me race mx i just stopped. I picked up a mountain bike a year ago and feels like i've rediscovered the old passion i had.
  • 1 0
 Not a bad article. My dad very much got me into riding bikes and moto's. I've been riding moto since I was 5 and found bikes around 12 and have been racing since and now make my living racing bikes and instructing moto and bike. The curious thing to me here is the kids pictured here raced on the same team as me at the time, Kona Supergroms and are still super pinned and avid racers! Don't know why they're pictured in an article about kids not wanting to ride.
  • 1 0
 My dad put me on a bike at 3 years old, and it was the best thing that he could have done. From there on he taught me to jump, ride dh, and all sorts of stuff. Now a days I have gotten better then him and I can imagine how happy he must be for me. We still ride together a lot but I defiantly noticed him aging and loosing his ballsyness when it comes to jumps and speed. I can't thank him enough for him teaching me to ride!
  • 1 0
 When kids reach the age of the author's, it's crucial that they find a "tribe". Tooling around with dad is awesome during those impressionable single- digit ages, but they need some bros to hang with on the trails when they reach the next developmental step. My boys are so into riding with their local team, but it's hard to inspire my 13 year-old to come on a ride with just me. Instill the love by spending quality time when they're little, then get them riding with peers and older role models when they're older, and BAM! You've raised lifetime core riders. Don't over- push it, don't overthink it. It's not a hard thing to get a kid to love! Just don't make them grow to hate you by trying too hard to get them to love it!
  • 1 0
 Well, jeez! maybe this can be flipped Around to get my dad into biking. I ride constantly and my dad just cant get into it. ive been pressuring him to get a nice trailbike. This article really hit the nail on the head! pretty much what ive been thiking. thanks for the great read!
  • 1 0
 As a father of a 4yr old girl (who is already riding competently) and 2 yr old boy, I really hope that they will one day get the same pleasure from riding a bike as I do. However, I firmly believe that a real passion, whether for Music, Art or Sport is something that cannot be taught, indeed too much pressure can put a child off something completely.

As a kid, my parents were not into cycling (although my Dad rode MX), so there was never any pressure to ride.
My love for cycling came from messing about on a BMX with freinds, short bursts of riding mixed with pulling stupid stunts and jumping off things, and lots of not doing much at all except hanging out.
I'm pretty sure I if my father had expected me to slog it out along miles of trail at that age, I wouldnt have liked it.
MTB'ing was just a natural progression for me in my teens, but again was driven by my own desire to ride, not anyone else's.

I can see Mitchells dilemma, as I too would love my kids to be able to join me in enjoying the freedom of riding great trails and the health benefits it would bring them too.
However, I wont beat myself up about it if they decide cycling isnt for them.
Who knows, they might find the same pleasure I get from cycling in something completely different, and I wouldnt want my desire for them to cycle to be the reason they didnt find something else they were passionate about.
  • 1 0
 I first started DH at 14 as my friend Inspired me and since then I have been addicted to the sport ever since but I wish I knew about at a younger age, but the cycling is getting bigger and bigger, kids in future will possibly be inspired by their parents, friends and sporting icons who do cycling but that's my option
  • 1 0
 Kids dont want to be pushed they want to be inspired. As a father of two totally passinate mtb kids and wife, I get the "your so lucky man" all the time. Ya I am lucky, but.......I put my time in, gave up a ton of "my rides" for "there rides" and never pushed them. Im sure having non stop MTB DVD's playing, a back yard pump track and a pack of young pros hanging out helped a bit, but it really comes down to putting your time in, in a postive way. Its paied off 10 fold! I now have a wife that loves new bike parts, and a 9 year old that is more fun to ride with than anyone. Combine that with a 6 year old that loves to climb if hes promissed a decent ( not sure where he got that from) and we now spend our vacations riding. Buying sweet bikes doesn't get kids fired up (for long anyway) progressing at their own pace and knowing thats ok, does. If its not FUN its not FUN, simple. Think about all of us and how we fell in love with it. I wasnt because our parents pushed us into it, it was because 2 wheels were just fun! Unless its your job to race, suck it up and give up a few rides for the sake of future fun. Same for your ladies boys. I married a girl that never owned a bike before we met and ended up with a wife that stood atop the DH podem at a NORBA National. Like fine wine....you got to put in the time.
  • 1 0
 And I forgot to add,And If that day comes that its just not there thing, I'll love em the same.
  • 1 0
 No one in my family was a rider. I struggled as a 6 yr old with a shine new too big bike. I finally learned to ride the neighboursmallelr bike and ride it t sunset. Later I rode 11k to my friends house. Built a bike park in the ditch across from my house and ride it non stop. Many family events spent riding everywhere, why would you even walk 2 feet when you could ride? Riding is like a drug, and I am an addict always seeking fresh adventure as much as familiar trail. Tho Kamloops is a great riding area, the last City park meeting I went to was to request that a completely flat riding park be built for little kids to learn how to ride and enjoy the activity without hills and other obstacles to deter them. Small jumps and berms to encourage them at their own pace. Then they can grow onto more challenging venues.
Wouldn't that be awesome?
  • 1 0
 Wow it seems like a lot of people these days are just turning into lazy wimps and this is the problem with the world. Maybe if we got off our asses and embrace the pain of that long climb, smile as we get bloody shins, and look forward to the gnarliest terrain you can ride, humanity would be better off! So please people get on whatever bike you can and just rideSmile
  • 1 0
 I really loved this article! I am a fourteen year old boy living in Lake Placid NY. I don't understand why all my friends don't bike.....only one or two of them do. My best advice to get kids to start riding is to introduce them to biking when they are really young and its either a love or hate kind of thing. The moment I learned to ride my bike across the driveway without stopping was a day I will always remember, ever since then all I've wanted to do was get bigger bikes and ride them better. Biking is something you don't have to do with other people you can go for a ride by yourself and still have fun. It's not always about impressing people while biking it is just about the passion for biking and where it can take you, maybe far back in the local woods or even to different continents. At age fourteen right now all I do is work so I can keep putting new parts on my downhill bike and go to whiteface everyday of the summer to shred the mountain.
  • 1 0
 I've been riding since well almost the same time as walking must have been maximum 4 years old now im still only 16 and am glad that dad bought a small bike for me to play around on and did the hard graft to get me learning how to because I love it and so do most of my family. Sadly because he started me so soon he is too slow for me now! Smile
  • 1 0
 I have 2 boys. Same age spread as the author. I have the same concerns. I appreciate his description of his experience as I am treading those waters lightly. I don't wanna push. More boys are now 6 and 8 (nearly 9). So far, they enjoy it when we are out. But I try not to push it. They also are at very different riding abilities. My youngest has no gears and dependent on coaster brakes. Still on 18 inch treads. So I never hesitate to hop off my bike and shove him up the hills. Otherwise he will melt down. The reward of the roller coaster rides on some of the flowy trails in Whistler's Lost Lake help him forget any climbing he cried about. Always leave on a good note - just like skiing. They love the DJ parks too. But again, I don't push it. They are already saying "Dad, you are obsessed about bikes!" So I am trying to be careful about turning them off it.
  • 1 0
 I got into MTB myself. I wish someone pushed me to ride or took on trips to whistler. It pisses me off that there are spoiled kids who get to go on trips and get new bikes and don't even see how lucky they are. shouldn't force a sport on anyone but you don't have to waste the time or money if they don't care.
  • 1 0
 Yeah, my dad used to make me when I was little and I loathed it, I just found it too tiring and boring (as I put in no effort to enjoying the downs).... He tried for years, buying me bikes etc. and it really wasnt happening, but one day I actually went out with a friend and did a bit of riding and I was stoked, I think when you're little riding with your dad just doesn't feel cool and you can't get that stoked.... With a friend it was different, someone my level and we both pushed each other.... Anyway I came home pumped from riding and my dad did the perfect thing to seal the deal, he sat me in front of The Collective and I watched Thomas Vanderham and Matt Hunter throwing it down off things I couldn't imagine and from then on it's Been a constant push to be that good.... My recommendation for dads is to provide the tools but try to let the kids figure it out themselves.... If they do, sit them in front of a current movie like Where the Trail Ends and you'll have an addict
  • 1 0
 Get them started at 18 months on a Glide Bike www.glidebikes.c0m and they will learn the easy fun way. Then you can start taking them on family rides to the park or for Ice Cream working their way up to longer rides on a pedal bike. My kids leaned that way and now they look forward to going to the trails. Just don't forget its not all about the miles and the ride has to be fun, jump in the lake with your cloths on check out the streams, stop for deer or other critters. Make it fun first and they will want to go, a few bribes never hurt either. I invite their friends too. Also if you have one child that can't keep up try one of these X2cycle Tow bars
www.balancebikes.com/accessories/x2cycle-tow-bar.html it attaches to any bike and makes a tandem but hides as a bike rack until you need it. I have to get 2 because they would get tired and want a pull back but now it becomes a race between my wife and I with kids in tow.
  • 1 0
 that photo of Holly makes me want a familly, especially with that kind of kid and that kind of wife btw super nice article, i makes my dad ride a bike, but now he's to bussy to go for a ride..
  • 2 0
 My dad did this to me tried gettin me stoked on riding forever but till a few years ago I didn't ride and now I'm doin 10 hours a weak and racing dh
  • 1 0
 they kids are lucky they had a dad that took them out biking got them all the snazzy gear, took me 3 years to get my dad to realise that biking was were at was at for me... I had to save alot to get a bike
  • 1 0
 this is a great article! being a father and cyclist myself, i am glad to find out that most if not all of us has this mutual feeling of passing the love of cycling onto our sons or daughters as the case maybe.
  • 1 0
 Sure, its great for your kids to ride, but no-one should push their kids into riding, itll just put them off. give them the choice to ride, and then theyll find out if they want to or not.
  • 1 0
 I guess I'm lucky both my boys 10 and 13 LOVE biking they have 3 bikes each at this point DJ, AM, and DH and only a broken bone will keep them off a bike for a short short while. I love my kids!
  • 1 0
 Please.... just remember to thank your dad when father's day comes around. It's a pretty thankless job and the world is full of armchair quarterbacks telling us when we screw up....
  • 1 2
 Hi my friends i dont know why but i ride since 3 years old before tree years i become i downhiller amd freerider i am very good but my bike isnt i dont have money for good bike.My bike only cost 100euros so thnik but i don give up and i get very good since two weeks ago when my brakes crash down at the time i was riding and i broke my head because i dont wear a helmet .I really like this sport but i need a good bike and i dont know what to do?I am sixteeen now.
  • 3 0
 I'm the opposite, I'm 14 and try to get my parents to ride with me!
  • 1 0
 cool man!!
  • 1 0
 S-works 12.5 inch frame i built up into a nice little dirt jumper for my 9 yr old niece:

www.pinkbike.com/u/cuban-b/album/Custom-S-works-hardtail-for-my-niece-Kayla
  • 1 0
 Having a kid that doesn't like to ride is one of my biggest fears in life. Right after having a kid in the first place. I would feel like a complete failure.
  • 1 0
 When you're a kid, Bike = freedom. Go where you want, when you want. Who wouldn't want freedom? ! !!!!FREEEEEEEEDOOOOOOMMMMM!!!!!!!
tup
  • 1 0
 Love the all ages nature of opinions and perspectives in the comments...thanks Mitchell for your personal sharing that triggered it!
  • 1 0
 I tell ya its a good sign seeing the 270+ comments , and most of them have at least 2 kids.
Id say there is still hope for the future of cycling. tup
  • 1 0
 www.pinkbike.com/video/311947

When they are constantly pestering you to do this, your on to a winner.
  • 2 0
 Great article. Thank you for sharing.
  • 1 0
 I'm a 38 yr old father of two boys 17&11 they both luv to ride and we have a blast on the trails! Great article
  • 1 0
 I jumped my Dad's car when I was five years old, stupid Child protective services came to the door the next day.
  • 2 0
 I have a 3 month old son and I hope he will love to ride like I do.
  • 1 0
 i have a 5 years old and he really like it so far, he gets a lot also from videos like strength for numbers, good video n music...everytime i go riding i try to show him how much fun i had. so good luck to us
  • 1 0
 one of my riding friends is 12 yrs old. he rides his demo like an adult rider.
  • 2 0
 why force kids? let them learn to love and they will take up the lifestyle
  • 1 1
 we are not forcing, just showing what we love n if we, parents love it enough they will follow, and if they dont we will happy that they do what they love.
  • 1 0
 I'm 14 and would be very appreciative a trip to whistler *hint hint* *nudge nudge*
  • 1 0
 Where's the article about forcing your dad into the sport? haha Happens a lot!
  • 1 0
 Here is what happens when they take to it. The three kids are between 10 and 14.

www.youtube.com/user/silviafilmsss
  • 1 0
 Kids are good. Bring all kids in with their mom. MILF...better than bike. Hell yeah!@!@@
  • 1 0
 I don't have a son so far, but the fanatism in any sport is dangerous. "Show him the way, but don't force him to take it."
  • 2 0
 You have two very lucky kids!
  • 1 0
 I feel that if the kid shows intesrest and effort, he should be rewarded
and if he doesnt, so what???
  • 1 0
 you can't and should not force anything on anyone
  • 2 0
 Great article. Smile
  • 1 0
 damn i wish i could have gone without V brakes...
  • 2 0
 hummmm
those boots Smile
  • 1 0
 I love my bike!

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