Sunday, December 24, 2006

Mountain Biking with your Preschooler

Jade has outgrown the Wee-Ride and has graduated to an Adams Trail-a-Bike. Our last mountain bike ride with the Wee-Ride was the Flume Trail up at Lake Tahoe in August.

We got the Trail-A-Bike for her 4th birthday and she was a little too small for it. We started with the top of the line Alloy 7 model - it has 7 gears and lighter that the other models. We could justify the expense since it will be used for many years to come. I'm a bike geek so I customized it to improve the components and ergonomics. We put on narrower bars, a smaller seat, Grip Shift and pedal blocks. I taped the shifter to the goose neck bar so she can't use it - perhaps I'll teach her how to shift next spring. The new components helped out quite a bit and even dropped the weight of the bike by a pound.

We have been enjoying riding as a family in and around the Santa Cruz area since September. Jade-O looks like a mountain biker - only smaller. She has her own CamelBack, gloves, glasses, windproof jacket and lycra shorts. Our rides are a little slower with the Trail-a-Bike compared with the Wee-Ride and we have to stop for A-frames. Every ride gets better all the time as Jade's endurance, skills and strength improves. The video shows a ride that we did at the beginning of December.

Mountain biking parents should consider taking their kids out for a ride. It's a great way to enjoy the open space with your kids. For us every weekend is Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day.

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