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  1. #1
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    15 miles too much for a 6 yr old

    My granddaughter likes to ride a lot, and will not stop. She will do 15 miles with us. I worry it may be too much for her and try to hold her back telling her I am too tired to go further. She is tired when we get home, and I hear she sleeps really well.

    Is this too much for a kid. She is constantly keeping score of the miles and keeps trying to push herself.

    thanks

    bakhurts

  2. #2
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    If she can do it, let her do it. If anything, it'll probably help her parents to get her straight to bed at night!

    If there are concerns, I say slap a heart rate monitor on her and regulate her heart rate activity. Take her to a pediatrician regularly to ensure that she's not compromising bone growth and density, and find out what heart rate parameters she can work within, and I'm sure you guys will all be ok.

    Sounds like you have a female Lance in the making!

    Koffee

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    And check her bike setup. Most kids bikes are not well designed for extended riding. The cranks are usually much too long, resulting in a pedalling circle that is too big for the legs. Make sure the gearing is low enough, and the handlebars are not too wide.

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    thanks, she needs a new bike as this is the one which had training wheels.

  5. #5
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    I would think you should also keep an eye on her nutrition as she would not be mindful of the potential for bonking at that age.

  6. #6
    Senior Member ChiliDog's Avatar
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    When I was 7 or 8 years old, we kids rode our bikes all day long. We rode all over town and out into the country and I think we probably covered more than 15 miles at a go. This was almost on a daily basis, as riding bikes was what we were about. We did it for fun, for adventure, and to get from point A to point B. Moms and dads did not drive us everywhere we wanted to go, like today. Most families only owned one car, and dad drove that car to work. If mom worked, they car-pooled. So the bike was MY transportation to anything I wanted to get to, unless I was with my parents.

    We never "hydrated", except to stop and buy a pop from a gas station dispenser or drink water from a neighbor's hose. We never "carb loaded", except maybe to stop and buy a bag of chips, if that. We did not carry water bottles, wear special clothing, or count the miles or the mph. We just rode our bikes. And I never remember being tired or tired of it. All the way through high school...

    At the end of the ride, we did not log our miles or make training notes. We went on to play outside until our mothers called us in, usually around 10pm in the summer, when the last light left the sky. On Saturdays, we got to stay out until 11pm and we played "Green Ghost" and pick-up basket ball on the only hoop on the street, dribbling under the street lights and counting the minutes until we'd be called in by mom.

    Life was simpler then, kids were not as soft as they are today. My point is, if your daughter wants to ride a bike 15 miles, let her. Kids need to be active and blow off steam. It is good that she is showing an interest in some outdoor pursuit and some physical fitness activity at all. Most kids today are not.

    I am so glad I was born 50 years ago...our generation got to be "kids". Life was good.
    The bike for you is the one you will ride!

  7. #7
    Wide Load HalfHearted's Avatar
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    Chilidog - well put and my thoughts exactly. I practically lived on a bike as a kid. They were all *mart specials and none had been "fit" to me. When I was very little (6-7-8) I was probably never more than a mile or so from home but I still probably logged at least fifteen miles a day - and probably a third of that was sprint races against the other kids in the neighborhood. We did carb up every day though - there was this donut shop that gave away day-old donuts to kids...

    bakhurts - I wouldn't drag the kid on a really long "out and back" where you'd be in trouble if she tires, but as long as you're reasonably near home (or the car) let her ride until she's ready to stop. Kids are amazingly resilient and when they do tire they'll let you know

    I recently read a tour report where a guy took his brother and nephew (10, if I remember right) on a four or five day ride of the Katy trail in MO. That's 220 miles in four or five days and the kid wanted to race them most of the way.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiliDog
    When I was 7 or 8 years old, we kids rode our bikes all day long. We rode all over town and out into the country and I think we probably covered more than 15 miles at a go. This was almost on a daily basis, as riding bikes was what we were about. We did it for fun, for adventure, and to get from point A to point B. Moms and dads did not drive us everywhere we wanted to go, like today. Most families only owned one car, and dad drove that car to work. If mom worked, they car-pooled. So the bike was MY transportation to anything I wanted to get to, unless I was with my parents.

    We never "hydrated", except to stop and buy a pop from a gas station dispenser or drink water from a neighbor's hose. We never "carb loaded", except maybe to stop and buy a bag of chips, if that. We did not carry water bottles, wear special clothing, or count the miles or the mph. We just rode our bikes. And I never remember being tired or tired of it. All the way through high school...

    At the end of the ride, we did not log our miles or make training notes. We went on to play outside until our mothers called us in, usually around 10pm in the summer, when the last light left the sky. On Saturdays, we got to stay out until 11pm and we played "Green Ghost" and pick-up basket ball on the only hoop on the street, dribbling under the street lights and counting the minutes until we'd be called in by mom.

    Life was simpler then, kids were not as soft as they are today. My point is, if your daughter wants to ride a bike 15 miles, let her. Kids need to be active and blow off steam. It is good that she is showing an interest in some outdoor pursuit and some physical fitness activity at all. Most kids today are not.

    I am so glad I was born 50 years ago...our generation got to be "kids". Life was good.



    Hey Chilidog, your letter mirrors my childhood except I am 12 years older than you. Back then we could ride out on the highway because the traffic was VERY light, hardly any trucks, because the trains were still bringing in the merchandise. And we were riding heavy bicycles....but we didn't know that, and it seems to me that the tires lasted for years. I know that my Fleet Wing bike never had a new chain in over 11 years that I rode that bike, it was lucky to get oiled once every year or so. Oh, those were the days.

  9. #9
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    Kids can do much more than most modern parents believe.

    9yr old Oliver in our club did the Great Yorkshire Bike Ride last year - 70 miles

    My (then) 6yr old honorary nephew did the length of the Tarka Trail (UK Cornish/Devon coast and back (60 miles) - old railway with little in the way of slopes). Was completely knackered but really proud of himself.

    Other club kids regualrly do up from 30 to 50 miles on our occasional YHA weekends - even 7/8 yr olds.

    Good for her (and you)

  10. #10
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    You have all been very reassuring and supportive. I'll keep letting her ride up front so she can decide how far she wants to go. I always carry snacks and water, and find reasons to make her stop for a break.
    bh

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    I believe a 9 year old is the youngest to complete the biggest cycle event in our country - 160km (100miles), and I saw a 7 year old do a 100km (60miles) ride earlier this year...
    Sam

    a few b0b sh0rt 0f a p0p tart

    "What goes up, must come down, and it must come down at least 5x as fast as it went up"

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiliDog
    When I was 7 or 8 years old, we kids rode our bikes all day long. We rode all over town and out into the country and I think we probably covered more than 15 miles at a go. This was almost on a daily basis, as riding bikes was what we were about. We did it for fun, for adventure, and to get from point A to point B. Moms and dads did not drive us everywhere we wanted to go, like today. Most families only owned one car, and dad drove that car to work. If mom worked, they car-pooled. So the bike was MY transportation to anything I wanted to get to, unless I was with my parents.

    We never "hydrated", except to stop and buy a pop from a gas station dispenser or drink water from a neighbor's hose. We never "carb loaded", except maybe to stop and buy a bag of chips, if that. We did not carry water bottles, wear special clothing, or count the miles or the mph. We just rode our bikes. And I never remember being tired or tired of it. All the way through high school...

    At the end of the ride, we did not log our miles or make training notes. We went on to play outside until our mothers called us in, usually around 10pm in the summer, when the last light left the sky. On Saturdays, we got to stay out until 11pm and we played "Green Ghost" and pick-up basket ball on the only hoop on the street, dribbling under the street lights and counting the minutes until we'd be called in by mom.

    Life was simpler then, kids were not as soft as they are today. My point is, if your daughter wants to ride a bike 15 miles, let her. Kids need to be active and blow off steam. It is good that she is showing an interest in some outdoor pursuit and some physical fitness activity at all. Most kids today are not.

    I am so glad I was born 50 years ago...our generation got to be "kids". Life was good.
    Nice post. Brought back memories!

    I didn't even know that you COULD oil a bike chain. Pumped up the tires whenever they were so flat I couldn't ride them any more. I never bought a new tire - as far as I knew, they lasted as long as the bike. Talk about riding a FIXED SPEED bike - that is all we had - until I got a 3 speed Hercules (Sturmey Archer) with one hand brake. I guess that is why I don't get too excited about fixed speed bikes! They are nothing new to me.

    My friend was really into "bikng" and had a 10 speed FRENCH bike! Wow - all the way from France (this was in about 1949). I was impressed.
    Gone - email me at dnvrfox@aol.com for new group of old 50+ folks

  13. #13
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    Heh I remeber the 12 mile rides to my best friend's house a good 14 years ago (i was 10 at the time)...had a murray 18 speed mtb, some black and neon green splatter paint thing....but my god that bike was a tank..it rode fast, and took beatings no bike should ever take...pity walmart kids bikes arent that well built anymore.

    But yeah the onyl drink we hd was the can of pop we kept in our bottle cage, and the packs of beef jerky we had in our pockets. Clothes...bah! I would ride in a full out snowsuit....doesnt matter.

    I was also in teh best shape of my life when I was 16 and sold the bike (needed the cash to buy my first car..sold all my game consoles and my martial arts stuff)...160lbs and trim as all let out...bad part....i was thinner then the girls...so i kinda got hate from them

  14. #14
    Senior Member kerk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bakhurts
    You have all been very reassuring and supportive. I'll keep letting her ride up front so she can decide how far she wants to go. I always carry snacks and water, and find reasons to make her stop for a break.
    bh
    As long as you are doing this, she will be fine. As you can see from the above posts, and I did the same stuff, kids will go and go and go until they turn blue. Oops, that's in the pool, but same thing! Breaks and snacks will keep her going all day. If she wasn't with you, she would be doing it with her friends only with no water, snacks or breaks.
    2011 Raleigh International
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  15. #15
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    People at work can't believe that I took my 8 and 9 year old boys on a 12 mile ride this spring. I even thought that it was a big deal. After reading posts here, its not quite as big of a deal! Still, the biking season has just started, and I refuse to drive them anywhere that I think they can reach under their own steam. A hundred miles, though. Ooof, I don't think I could do that! I'm just an urban bike commuter.

  16. #16
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    This answers my question. Im taking my 12 year old nephew on a 10 mile ride. His mom didnt know if he could handle it. Im sure he can. Way to much energy in this kid not to be able to ride 10 miles.

  17. #17
    Senior Member ChiliDog's Avatar
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    I think this lack of activity, play, exercise, creativity, adventure...whatever you call it is what is lacking in kids today and is why so many kids are depressed, anxious, and "hyper-active" and many are put on Ritalin and now, anti-depressants for kids are the big thing. Ridiculous and so, so sad!

    Society and the medical realm has become so ignorant and lacking in common sense that this is not readily observed and concluded. Kids need to be active, to play, to interact with their peers...not to just participate in team sports accompanied by their parents, like it is some business transaction.

    Geez, Louise~my parents did not "play" with me...we played, adults went and did other things. We did not want them tagging along...play was our "culture" away from adults. I never saw either of my parents ever ride a bike...it was largely unheard of for that generation. My parents grew up during the depression...no one could afford bikes. When they got older, adults weren't riding bikes anyway, except maybe beach cruisers or pros riding in road races.

    Now you see our generation riding bikes and very few kids riding bikes. It's flip-flopped again. Next generation is not going to follow through with a fitness-oriented outlook...the look now is pasty-faced, bed-headed, bleary-eyed from sitting in front of a computer monitor and smoking cigarettes and swilling Red Bull. No health and fitness philosophy coming behind us here. It's all about Game Cube, PlayStation, PCs, Sega, electric scooters, Segways, and MTV.
    The bike for you is the one you will ride!

  18. #18
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    ah, then you got folks like me that got sick and tired of nearly passing out from climbing stairs..and bought a bike.

    Given...my generation is stupid lazy, but things will change once these folks get sick of their game consoles since all the games are like games from 3 consoles ago...they get sick of computer games for the same reason...and of course how bad TV programming is anymore...well now it's not TV shows, it's commercials with a program break in between. i think those alone will encourage change...but they gotta get mature enough to stop getting plastered on the wekends too...then they might have the drive come sunday for a nice bike ride

  19. #19
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    To ChiliDog: I think that exercise certainly helps ones mental health, but it is no panacea. I work with people who are depressed, and I assure you that many( not most) believe that exercise is important to them. Those who do exercise are trying to take care of themselves and would be worse off without it. There just is a whole lot more to mood disorders than taking care of the body.

    Catatonic: I pray that my kids lose interest in the screens in their lives. I limit the use of these, but they rather watch TV or play gamecube than go for a bike ride or do just about anything else. I'd get rid of the TV, but I can't because my wife is an addict. I wish there were more people like you who got bored by these things.

  20. #20
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    I don't think that is much of a problem..

    I'm pretty sure I rode, more or less, 15miles/day when I was a kid. But it was more of play and having fun than just getting these amount of miles a day. I used to ride to school and back(8kms both ways). I get off at 3 or 4pm, but it would take only several minutes (about 15~20mins) for a 5km ride home. When I got home, I just grabbed a sandwich or a cookie then went riding with friends, not bike buddies, for hours.. We used to play "follow the leader" where the lead bike will go through tough terrain, or over curbs and we have to follow him all day, well until about 6:30pm when my dad comes home. And in those days, I rode a BMX, no gears, no jerseys, no water. Just a shirt and shorts and my rubbershoes.
    Invest yourself in everything you do. There is fun in being serious.
    LETS GO BIKING!!!

  21. #21
    Senior Member Paul L.'s Avatar
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    My 5 yr old daughter does 20 miles rides on a trail-a-bike and she pedals most of the way. She loves it (especially if we stop by a playground at some point).
    Sunrise saturday,
    I was biking the backroads,
    lost in the moment.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiliDog
    When I was 7 or 8 years old, we kids rode our bikes all day long. We rode all over town and out into the country and I think we probably covered more than 15 miles at a go. This was almost on a daily basis, as riding bikes was what we were about. We did it for fun, for adventure, and to get from point A to point B. Moms and dads did not drive us everywhere we wanted to go, like today. Most families only owned one car, and dad drove that car to work. If mom worked, they car-pooled. So the bike was MY transportation to anything I wanted to get to, unless I was with my parents.

    We never "hydrated", except to stop and buy a pop from a gas station dispenser or drink water from a neighbor's hose. We never "carb loaded", except maybe to stop and buy a bag of chips, if that. We did not carry water bottles, wear special clothing, or count the miles or the mph. We just rode our bikes. And I never remember being tired or tired of it. All the way through high school...

    At the end of the ride, we did not log our miles or make training notes. We went on to play outside until our mothers called us in, usually around 10pm in the summer, when the last light left the sky. On Saturdays, we got to stay out until 11pm and we played "Green Ghost" and pick-up basket ball on the only hoop on the street, dribbling under the street lights and counting the minutes until we'd be called in by mom.

    Life was simpler then, kids were not as soft as they are today. My point is, if your daughter wants to ride a bike 15 miles, let her. Kids need to be active and blow off steam. It is good that she is showing an interest in some outdoor pursuit and some physical fitness activity at all. Most kids today are not.

    I am so glad I was born 50 years ago...our generation got to be "kids". Life was good.
    [wheeze]...Rosebud....

  23. #23
    O2B22AgainInFrance VeloSiDad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bakhurts
    You have all been very reassuring and supportive. I'll keep letting her ride up front so she can decide how far she wants to go. I always carry snacks and water, and find reasons to make her stop for a break.
    bh

    Dear bakhurts,

    You have done a great service to all of us in the BikeForums community, and to those we ride with, by getting this thread started. I can hear the laughter and the sighs in these little missives (a word frequently used by MI...Mechanix Illustrated).

    Maybe some new technology for her: some sunscreen on the back of the neck, on the nose and cheeks, and tops of arms and back of hands. We want her to avoid melanoma for at least the next fifty years.

    It sounds like she is doing all right with you. QUALITY TIME

    Neal the "VéloSíDad"
    "Just keep pedaling, just keep pedaling..." (paraphrase of Dorry in Finding Nemo, Disney, © 2003)

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiliDog
    When I was 7 or 8 years old, we kids rode our bikes all day long. We rode all over town and out into the country and I think we probably covered more than 15 miles at a go. This was almost on a daily basis, as riding bikes was what we were about. We did it for fun, for adventure, and to get from point A to point B.

    Life was simpler then, kids were not as soft as they are today.
    And we walked 18 miles to school, uphill both ways, in knee deep snow...

    Nostalgia ain't what it used to be

    Seriously though, I'm only 21, my parents would kick me out the door on any day it was nice, we jumped our Walmart specials 3-4ft off of crappy home made jumps, went to the store and bought all the junk food we could carry and then rode around all day. My kids will do the same b/c its the best memories of my life. We would ride to the park and run around like crazed savages for a few hours, go play baseball at the rec center, or stare at the highschool girls at the pool (still do but now I am old enough to go inside the fence!!!) .

    *Something to ponder...

    The people that aren't letting the kids go out and play are YOUR (speaking to all those 30+ in this thread) generation. Its not the kids, its the parents!

  25. #25
    Senior Member Hants Commuter's Avatar
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    Sorry for coming in late here but I recently took a cub scout pack for a 17 mile ride. The youngest was 8 and the eldest 11. Not a single problem with any of them - even the youngest who was riding a small wheeled BMX bike.
    "Fame doesn't await at the top of the hill, Fortune doesn't await at the top of the hill, the only thing that awaits at the top of the hill is the top of the hill"

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