They say that in road biking if you crash often you are doing something wrong and with Mountain Biking if you don't crash fairly often you are not trying hard enough. Well I did not have that in mind when I took my kids out for their first mountain bike ride last weekend.
Daughter 1 who is 6 just learned to ride a two wheeled bike just three weeks ago. Daughter 2 and I have been shredding on the tag-a-long bike for a year but #1 never really took to it. She is a control freak at an early age. Well, D1 has at least 5 miles and 30 hours of riding under her belt it is time for her first Mountain bike ride.
We headed out on Sunday to a local trail. There is a loop that the chickenhawk and I can do in about 10 minutes if we hurry. Single track contours around a big hill most of the way. There is very little elevation gained or lost and the trail mostly smooth packed dirt. Mostly.
Rolling out the girls were amazed by the amount of horse poop on the trail. I had to talk to them about not yelling about it every time they saw the stuff. After about 10 yells in .5 mile it was getting old. We rolled along through the woods. Me leading with D2 on the tag-a-long with D1 on her hand me down single speed 12incher with some sweet coaster breaks brining up the rear. I keep talking to D1 as we go, "Are you OK?"
"Are you having fun?"
"This is great Daddy!"
"Are you back there?"
"Wait up Daddy."
And so it went for a mile or two. Then we came to a small downhill. The kind that would make a rather boring single track ride interesting. Maybe 10 feet of elevation lost in 30 horizontal feet, and there are some small rocks exposed.
I slow down and start yelling for her to slow down. Stop at the bottom, yell warnings again, and here she comes full speed no brakes. She bumps down the incline and crashes and burns at the bottom. Daughter 2 and I set the bike down and run to her. D2 starts talking about the cut lip. I dont see it. I just hold her to my chest in my best daddy bear hug. After a minute I hold her away a little and see she's has got a fat lip and about 1/8th of a thimble full of blood.
Disaster narrowly averted. We regroup and the trouper D1 gets back on her 12incher and rides the 1.5 mile back to the car. The crying kept going for a while but afer she started focusing on the riding she was laughing again.
We stopped for popsicles on the way home. I figured the cold would be good for the swelling and we all needed a little treat. I've got some tough kids, they must have got it from their mother.