the-geekFrom the reasoning of the Dawg name to the best comic book authors, from the history of the Hot to a timeline of industrial music, Cory has the trivia, and the opinions to mouth off about it.

Monday, October 8th is IMBA’s Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day. Parents seem to be much more risk-adverse than parents of earlier generations, so I know many parents will be hesitant to show their kids an actually mountain bike trail. To argue that point, I’ll present the coolest video currently on the internet.

As a dad myself, I think this dad and his kid are two of the coolest people around. Too many people keep their kids away from bikes, or only let them ride in areas so controlled that it’s not even fun. What can be done to alleviate this? Here’s some ideas.

First, realize that life is full of risks, and semi-risky behavior like bicycling can still be safe and fun without being terribly dangerous. The kind in that awesome video had all the proper gear, and had been instilled with the confidence to absolutely dominate that trail.
Speaking of confidence, that’s the most essential ingredient. If kids are comfortable and confident on their bikes, they can do more, and do it more safely. Here in (currently) sunny Bellingham, WA many of us family folks try to ride as many places as possible, and get our kids to do the same.
Chris Newell, one of our reps and his wife Kate have their Ute set up to tote around their 2 year old, and their five year old rides behind them when they head to the park or a restaurant.

This has taught their daughters that riding is a normal, safe and fun way to get around. They love being on and around the bikes, and that’s the main way a few of us families choose to get around town. We have also taught all of our kids safe cycling in and around some traffic, so they’re not erratic or skittish around cars.

The kids, of course all see us on our bikes all the time. There was a cyclocross race in town last weekend that a bunch of us participated in, and us dads had the greatest cheering section ever. Hearing my kids yell “Go daddy!” was probably what kept me from quitting, and definitely what kept me smiling.

So this Monday, take a kid riding. Or this weekend, or some time soon! You’ll have tons of fun, and you’ll be amazed at what these little tykes can do. On top of all that, you may just help make another cyclist out there, and that’s something that’s good for all of us.