A big day at the bike park

It’s official: The Bugs are now mountain bikers.

Yesterday morning at Valmont Bike Park, I enjoyed an awesome pre-clinic slalom warmup — 20 laps and easily doubling the step-ups on the 29er! — but that accomplishment pales compares with this:

After nap time (for me and The Bugs), The Wife and I took Finley and Fiona to Valmont.

Pump track babies!

I’ve been wanting to get Finley and Fiona onto the lower pump track, but I had no expectations about their “performance.” Well …

Fe charged right in and strode all the way around the track. Finn was nervous, but after a little coaching she too was ripping. At one point Fe asked for help, and I ran her really fast around a berm.


“I don’t like it,” she said, and that was it for pump tracking.

Lesson learned.

The high seats are optimized for striding, and I think they get in the way of handling. Hmm, remote seatposts?

Ripping trail!

The Bugs rode up the main dirt road to the top of the mesa, then we rocked two laps around the top XC loop. They loved it!

I was super worried about the steep (for little people) downhills, but the girls basically pinned it. I chased as fast as I could with a huge diaper bag.

Finn especially had the greatest smile. She was giddy. I was stoked for her, and trying not to plan her and her sister’s MTB futures.

My girls are loving their bikes, and that is rad.

Earning some turns.

I was worried, but Fiona was not!

Know more. Have more fun!

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13 replies
  1. jakeo says:

    NOTHING better than seeing your kids ripping!! Both my boys (3 and 5) ride around saying, “Braap, Braaaaappp!!” They’re pushing for a pump track in the back yard by end of summer….Dad’s got a lot of digging to do 🙂

  2. Jared says:

    That’s awesome, Lee!

    Good luck on the pumptrack, Jakeo. I’m sure they’ll love it! (I know I would ;))

  3. John K. says:

    The pump track really got my four year old into run-biking. She felt safe because she could start at the top of one roller, glide to the bottom, and the next roller would gradually slow her down. It really alleviated her fears of getting out of control on the run-bike. Now I have a hard time getting her off the track so I can pump some laps!

    Reason # 312 to build a pump track in your backyard.

  4. erich says:

    Sweet! My 4yo boys are rocking the striders on out track. My track has a little uphill on it so they can’t flow it but they still fun! I have yet to take them on trail yet, that one you’ve got looks buffed! If you are ever in san diego stop by!

  5. cherd says:

    Truly inspiring Mr M. My two are due this week. So it’ll be a little while before I can see if they feel the same way about bikes as I do!

  6. Mark says:

    My twin boys just turned four and have been riding Striders since they were 18 months. They’ve both moved on to pedal bikes now, and we even have a few trail rides under our belts.

    I’m not happy with their pedal bikes though, they’re heavy, clunky, and the coaster brakes prove troublesome on the trail. I’ve been searching for a decent kids bike that would be suitable for the trail. The best I’ve found so far is spawncycles.com.

    What do you plan to get your girls when they move from a push bike to a pedal bike?

  7. Mark says:

    Wow! That was a fast response!

    I’ve looked at the Hotrock, but they don’t have hand brakes until you hit 20 inch wheels. My boys aren’t nearly that big yet. The coaster brake is what really causes the trouble on the trail.

    It looks like we might just have to deal with it for a while, or pony up the dough for two specialty bikes.

    By the way, I don’t buy the arguments that the kids hands aren’t strong enough for a hand brake, or that they’ll die in an otb crash if they have hand brakes. The coaster brakes have caused a fair number of wrecks at my house when they inadvertently lock up the rear wheel in a tight turn

    Thanks for everything, Lee!

  8. Dan says:

    That’s a proud moment. I’m currently looking at a balance bike for my son. Would you recommended a brakeless bike? I am worried about when he changes over to a pedalled bike he will continue to put his feet down to stop. Or am I over thinking it!

  9. Ralph Grant says:

    I really goofed up buying my boys pedal bikes with training wheels instead of the strider type like your kids have. It has done nothing but slowed their development and made them try to ride at a constant lean to one side, relying on the training wheels. I have the trainers off now and they have been really struggling but we are getting there. Striders are definately the way to go.

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