Tips for Getting Kids On Mountain Bikes
Getting Little Ones on Bikes and Out on the Trails
This post is in collaboration with our partner, Little Bellas, which is a mountain bike organization, whose goal is to help young women reach their fullest potential. CamelBak supplies Little Bellas with hydration gear to make sure everyone stays hydrated out on the trail, in the park, or on the way to school.
What better way to get your little ones out on the trails and on a bike than with the promise to get dirty on an adventure? Step away from computer screens and busy city streets and start by incorporating all the reasons they love to be outdoors.
Show them first-hand how mountain biking offers a blank canvas upon which to splash some creative ideas for playing outside. Mountain biking is also empowering, especially for little girls and young women.
The Importance of Supporting Women and Girls Who Mountain Bike
Youth mountain biking creates multiple opportunities for little ones to experience success, encouraging outdoor activity and appreciation for the environment, while teaching how to master skills and physical literacy.
Mountain biking is also thankfully free of the discrimination that has historically discouraged participation by girls in other sporting activities. Confident and strong women build and strengthen communities. You know who you are and we salute you for your contributions to your communities and for growing women’s mountain biking.
Let’s pass the torch to the next generation and keep the flame burning with simple ideas to get your little ones on bikes and out on the trails, including:
Tips for Getting Kids on Bikes
- Check if your trail network is open on rainy days. Go hunting for mud puddles and let them know it’s OK to get wet and dirty.
- Create a nature ninja scavenger hunt, for example find logs or rocks to ride over, spot a fun hill to ride down, see who can balance on their bike the longest, or build an obstacle course to ride through (then rearrange it and ride it again).
- Take your little ones and a friend (or two) to a local park and give them the freedom to explore on their own. Better yet, pack their favorite snacks or a picnic to fuel their adventure.
- Follow their interests, if they like animals, plan to ride past a farm, incorporate what they’re reading (or watching) into your route, i.e. if you ride past a fort, pretend it's a castle (or vice versa), or if they like to cook, go pick fresh ingredients.
- Lay a plank (1”x6”x6’) on the grass and practice riding the length of the board. This gives a visual target of where to ride while teaching agility.
- Let your little ones be the ride guides and go wherever they choose.
- Ride the rainbow. Play I spy as you are riding and try to make the rainbow.
- Eat the rainbow. Every mile or ½ mile you ride, eat a fruit or vegetable to make a full rainbow.
- Lay two garden hoses in the grass. Make fun shapes with the hoses then try to ride through it.
- Decorate your helmet with flowers or vegetation you find in the park or trails.
- Leave your mark of positive encouragement for others. Paint a rock and leave it on the trail.
- Find your freedom! Let the kids decide where to go for the first half of the ride. The second half of the ride, you get to find your way back.
- Sing your heart out. At every intersection, pick a new theme song for that trail.
- Ask your local bike shop if they know of any kid-friendly activities happening nearby.
We’ll leave you here at this virtual trailhead to choose your own direction for getting your little ones to ride off-road. Take the alternate route or stay on the main trail. Lead or follow, take risks or play it safe, there’s no right way, just have fun!