Sport children are healthy and develop physically and mentally and interact healthily with other children. In short, there are many reasons why every child should have a bicycle and introduce them to the practice of mountain biking. It is an ideal activity for such purposes.
It often happens to us that we want to motivate them in cycling, but maybe we do something wrong that makes children hate it, instead of loving it as we do; A feeling that can break our hearts by not sharing the same taste for cycling.
For this reason, in this text, we will tell you the keys to introducing children to mountain biking and even applicable in any type of cycling or sport.
Make it fun
A child just wants to have fun. We have to achieve the same by introducing them to mountain biking. Because as soon as a child has a bad time, he will no longer be interested, and therefore, he will stop liking it. Avoid making it feel like an obligation or a chore. For that, every cycling ride we want to integrate children must be fun.
Plan games during the ride, let them know about the forest, contemplate nature. Let them explore if they find a river in their path, look for animals to observe, etc. All of these activities become positive experiences for children. Do not force a child to do something that he does not like. Instead, guide him to find a real and fun interest in cycling.
Mountain biking is like a stroll with your child, and the bike must be proportional to him and appropriate for his size and strength. You can always ask your local bicycle shop if they have adapted bikes for children, which you can try out in the store or rent for a day. It’s a way to make them feel the bike.
Offer him a helmet that fits perfectly and is comfortable, gloves with an extra layer of protection on the knuckles for falls you will have to face. If he does not wear knee pads, it’s time to buy, because they are great safety helpers when learning mountain biking. Get a good bicycle that fits the child and is comfortable like the mongoose 26 mountain bike.
Teach instead of imposing
Children are a sponge ready to absorb new knowledge. So teaching instead of imposing is how we should teach them in mountain biking. Explain what and how is the best position to grip the handlebars, how to sit, pedal, how to brake safely, etc.
When teaching them, remember to reinforce the position they must take to face the downs. For example, if during the shoot he did it wrong, do not scold him, correct him but without imposing, without raising his voice, without despair. Patience is your best friend when teaching kids to enjoy mountain biking.
Give him small challenges: “I dare you to stand on the pedals,” “I dare you to do the attack position.” These little techniques love children. In this way, they try to get the best out of themselves, and they will learn without even realizing it.
If you go with a group of children who are friends or siblings, try to avoid comparisons between them and tell them that others do better than him. Better tell him to imitate his position, try to reach him, pay attention to where he goes, etc. This way, you don’t make him feel bad or put him down. Instead, you just give it a push to make it more exciting.
Plan the route
You must consider a route that children can take. It should be short. We recommend starting with distances between 1km for the little ones and the older ones between 2km and 4km, considering the round trip.
If they do not complete the route, do not despair; nothing happens if you don’t get to the endpoint. You can also opt for a small circuit of between 1km and 1.5 km approx. And in any case, repeat it one more time (or several) so that the child feels and shows himself his improvement in the second round. The most important thing is to never show your frustration if they do not reach the point you had planned. Children are very susceptible to failure.
Repeat the route for the child to work on his physical condition and improve his technique on the bicycle, but try to do it differently: take another secondary path or the other way around. In order not to make it routine or tedious. Remember that children get bored or fed up very quickly. Visit other routes that you know that children can ride. They love to know new places.
Shot on the mountain
Remember that we are introducing them to mountain biking. Therefore, the ride must be in the forest, mountain, hill, whatever you want, less asphalt. Do not be afraid of small falls or the path with small stones; this is mountain biking.
To avoid scratches, make sure to equip them with the basic protections: helmet, gloves, and knee pads. All this equipment is very important that it is of its size, it is useless if it is too large.
If the child will fall or scratch slightly, try not to give so much importance to the blow, distract it, remember that if we give it too much attention, they will be more scared than necessary and begin to cry. You have to support him to face the small falls because it is common to fall when we are learning in the mountains.
Choose the right bike
We know in advance that they will leave them very quickly, but there is always the option of putting it up for sale on second-hand sites or even giving it away or giving it to a family member or friend.
Load your provisions
For the mountain walk, the one who must carry the spare parts and even the food is you. If the bike has space for an amphora, you can let the children bring their own hydration. Leave them with their backs free to have fun and move freely. You should bring type foods: nuts, snacks, sandwiches, etc. Children use a lot of energy and recovering is important. It is also a good occasion to have a picnic in the middle of the shoot.
Celebrate small wins
Children love to improve themselves. Therefore, we must celebrate every great little triumph. For them, each km traveled, each climb achieved and each round is a triumph, even if they fell trying something new. Therefore, we should always celebrate those little steps children take to improve themselves in every activity.
Make it look like a game
Kids love games, and mountain biking must be a game for them. It should be fun. You should be able to enjoy it and want to practice it many times. Therefore, we must manage to turn mountain biking into a great game where you learn, grow, have fun and share with your friends or loved ones.
Even if we want to introduce children to mountain biking as a discipline or professional sport, we must make them see it as a game, not an obligation.
Children are the best way to get into mountain biking. They are curious. They want to explore and experience everything new. Their body is still sufficiently flexible to practice sports very early in life. Their small stature means that they can accomplish more things on a bike with ease compared to an adult. However, remember that children are not athletic by nature. We hope these tips help you enjoy mountain biking with children (be it your children, nephews, grandchildren, etc.).