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Old 02-03-14, 08:49 PM   #1
DrewKD
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Riding with Kids

I'm posting mostly to brag. I got 5 year old daughter into cycling when she was 4. Now she's up to 12 mile rides 2-3 times a week. She loves to ride but hates hill climbs. I totally get that. She's not yet at that stage where one looks forward to the pain and glory of overtaking a hill.....she's 5 after all and just wants to be out with Dad. I know 12 miles for a 5 year old may seem like child abuse to some.......but for us it's quality family time. I look for routes that are mostly flat. I do want to incorporate some hill climbs. I made the mistake of letting her walk up a hill and now she asks if we can walk up every little slope we find.

Her bike setup. A modified GT Laguna 20" with a 7 speed twist shift. 1.5" X 20 Kenda road tires. I've had to adjust the brakes, new stem and bars to fit her. If you see a little girl riding around the outer perimeter of the Rosebowl then that's us. We usually head up Linda Vista and around to Jack in the box. This weekend I took her up Lida St. and into La Canada. She walked her bike for most of that long hill by the Art Center of Design. I can't blame her. It's tough! There were sections of it that she tried to ride. She loves the downhills.

My concern is that she seems to have gotten slower. I think maybe she has lost a little of spunk do to riding the same routes. Basically she may be bored. I have to continually find new ways to make biking fun. I wonder though how long it takes a child to recover. We stretch and I massage her legs after every ride. I'm constantly asking her how legs feel. She does better than I do with recovery so I don't think that's the problem. She does want to do SGRT with me down to Seal beach. I'm concerned that those head winds will be too much for her. I used to trailer her there and we'd eat at Scooner's or the Rivers End Cafe. I'm so proud of her and I feel extremely blessed that we can bond through cycling.
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Old 02-03-14, 09:48 PM   #2
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Great that your girl wants to ride with dad, but remember, she is a young child. Keep it fun, don't make it a chore. There will be plenty of time for intervals and hill repeats when she is in grade school (just kidding . . . sorta). If she is losing interest, maybe it's time to back off a bit and do some other healthy activities with her for a while. I love to see parents who are actively involved with their kids, but as in all good things, practice moderation.
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Old 02-03-14, 11:31 PM   #3
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Good for you Dad! I'm a little ahead of you, age wise - my 11 yr old son goes out with me 1-2 times a week and our typical route is about 10 miles / 700 feet (it's hilly here but then knowing where you are I doubt we have much on you).

I got him his first road bike in March and he'll be going to Tour de Palm Springs with me this weekend - the wife and both kids will do the 25 mile ride (his second time!) while I'm goofing off on the century.

He hasn't gotten particularly faster either but I'm determined to keep it fun and enjoyable, so I don't care. One thing I picked up last year that has really improved his enjoyment is a cardo bk-1 duo (helmet intercoms). He talks so much I'm tempted to tell him he'd go faster if he used more of his breath on cycling... but seriously, he loves having me all to himself for an hour or so. They retail for about $400 for two, but you can find them on ebay for about half that if you look. Now he can ride behind me and we can still chat up a storm (he has never liked riding next to me)

We also hit SART a few times last month - we drove to the big A and rode to the beach and back. The winds aren't that bad and if you're worried, hit the path early in the morning when the winds are calm, spend some time eating down in Seal Beach and then enjoy a nice tail wind back.

We've also gotten together with a few other forum members for a kid's ride on SART - I think they all had a great time and to quote one of them "Its nice not riding with old people all the time"

Anyway, keep it fun and she'll enjoy riding with you for a long time to come.
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Old 02-04-14, 11:07 AM   #4
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A tandem with a "kidback" stoker bottom bracket worked well when my kids were young. I used to take my daughter to kindergarten with it every day; it was quite a hit with the other kids.
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Old 02-04-14, 01:34 PM   #5
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A tandem with a "kidback" stoker bottom bracket worked well when my kids were young. I used to take my daughter to kindergarten with it every day; it was quite a hit with the other kids.
Or a trail-a-bike works well, too. A tandem is cooler, but a bunch more expensive.
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Old 02-05-14, 12:37 AM   #6
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We went for a shorter 10 mile ride today after hitting up the Kids Space Museum. I decided to explore the Devil's Gate Dam area for the first time together. She said it was an adventure! I think I will back off for a bit and just let her choose where and how far we ride. She's a chatterbox. I think the COM system would wear me out. I keep telling her to stop talking and apply that energy into her pedal strokes. She says "whatever" and keeps talking. I'm amazed. I wish I had that energy. I can't make the Palm Springs ride but I'm thinking about Solvang next month......without her of 'course.
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Old 02-05-14, 04:30 PM   #7
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My grandson was riding a 2 wheeler by 3, he loves riding his bikes and was going on 8 mile rides no problem when 4. He now is 6.

I am refurbishing a Schwinn Town and Country tandem so I can pick him up at school in the spring and do the 6 mile ride home with me.

Monday evening he was over and insisted on riding his bike with a foot of snow on the ground and about 16 degrees out. He fell on the ice about 20 times every time just laughing it off.
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Old 02-05-14, 09:08 PM   #8
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My grandson was riding a 2 wheeler by 3, he loves riding his bikes and was going on 8 mile rides no problem when 4. He now is 6.

I am refurbishing a Schwinn Town and Country tandem so I can pick him up at school in the spring and do the 6 mile ride home with me.

Monday evening he was over and insisted on riding his bike with a foot of snow on the ground and about 16 degrees out. He fell on the ice about 20 times every time just laughing it off.
It's nice to be six years old...
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Old 02-05-14, 11:40 PM   #9
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My grandson was riding a 2 wheeler by 3, he loves riding his bikes and was going on 8 mile rides no problem when 4. He now is 6.

I am refurbishing a Schwinn Town and Country tandem so I can pick him up at school in the spring and do the 6 mile ride home with me.
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Old 02-06-14, 01:18 AM   #10
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More about time in the saddle/average speed than distance I say, if they can do 12 miles in 1-2 hours that's not too bad. Beyond that they probably get bored/have to eat/have to go to the bathroom
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Old 02-06-14, 01:48 AM   #11
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1-2 hours that's not too bad. Beyond that they probably get bored/have to eat/have to go to the bathroom
This sounds like me every day. I don't mean when I'm on a bike- I'm not up to 12 miles or an hour yet there- but just in general and I'm 52. LOL
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Old 02-06-14, 02:09 AM   #12
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Speed is the key. We did a Mission Bay ride in San Diego. 11.62 miles in 1:32 and an average 7.6 mph.....She's also done 15.2 miles in 2:45 avg. 5.6..... I figure those are respectable stats for a child. It's just so much fun!
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