Let me start by saying Madison (9) is a triathlete, soccer and basketball player - she is an athlete and avid bike rider. However, she (until yesterday) would not ride in the dirt. "Too scary" she would say. Being an avid mountain biker myself, this brought me much sadness.
In an effort to get her on the dirt last summer I purchased a used mountain bike from my friend Kathy.
It is a Specialized hard tail that is just her size and her first bike with actual gears and a front suspension. Brent and I took her out about a week after we bought it to the bike path that leads to our lunchtime dirt trails. In all fairness, she was still learning to shift but did try the dirt without much luck. We used the bike all summer to commute to summer camp and work respectively.
A couple of weeks ago Brent ordered her some new tires with better traction thinking that might help her concur her fear of riding in the dirt. Yesterday when she got home from her weekend with her dad I took her over to the bike path after I had already done my 9 mile solo ride so I was in post ride Zen mode - perfect for teaching.
We parked at the entrance to what I call the WNCC Marina and rode to the bike path. She was a bit nervous but excited to be out with me on bikes. She is still at the age where I know more than she does and I don't completely suck to be around. We headed north on the bike path til it ends and then made a left up the Observatory loop. She actually had a great pace going but did want to stop for water breaks. There were options to bail out but she did not take them she wanted to go all the way to the top. The downhill was a bit intimidating for her at first but she was ready to go once I told her I could take a video on my cell phone of her coming down.
My baby girl did the entire loop and did not fall once! She did better than I did the first time I rode that trail and her bike weighs more than mine does. I could not have been more proud of her than I was yesterday. We had a blast and she wants to go again next weekend. I think we will try the V&T.
I am counting the days....