Bike Report: Biking for kids
Any first timer on a bike expects a few stumbles, but repeated scrapes can take a toll on a kid’s confidence. It turns out, falling isn’t the mark of a poor rider, but rather a lack of control.
Ski Hut manager Brent Stone said, "Falling down, or control, is always an issue with any age of a rider, and especially kids, we don’t want to scare them. We’d always like more control."
The good news is, that lack of control is something we can control.
"It’s probably a fit issue with the bike. Either the seat is too high or too low, maybe the handle bars are a little too far away or too short," Brent said.
With kid’s, the problem is usually that the bike is too big. Brent says this is because a lot of parents think they’ll get more use out of a bike the kid can grow into, when in fact, the opposite is true.
Brent said, "We can change the fit of these bikes to accommodate kids as they grow, and parents actually enjoy the fact that they can get a few years out of a good fitting bike."
A better fit means better control, and ultimately, a more confident rider. When accidents do happen, they’re less intimidating for a child equipped with biking gloves, knee and elbow pads, and of course, a helmet.
"You definitely want to be protected. And it makes the kids feel a little safer as they’re learning how to ride their bike, too,” Brent said, “And as they progress into a little bit more speed and the mountain biking side, the pads are just kind of mandatory along with the helmets."
Brent says the best place to take a new rider is an empty parking lot or a low traffic trail. With some practice, they can dip their toes in downhill trails.
"We love taking the kids to Spirit Mountain. They have free things there like the Pump Track, they have little jumps that the kids can go on, and then they can also graduate to the trails."
Every Thursday, WDIO News will bring you a story about the sport of bike riding. We will focus on the trail systems in our viewing area as well as equipment and bike maintenance.
If you have a biking story that you think we should cover, e-mail Brandon Weathers at email@example.com.