This month's Star Letter
Being able to think for yourself, assess risk versus reward and take responsibility for yourself are life skills that mountain biking helps teach kids.
Roughing it with the kids
There have been a couple of recent articles on introducing the Gen Z to the beauty of trail riding, and I really enjoyed the ‘Like Father, Like Son’ feature. I’ll never forget taking my two boys to Afan, aged 8 and 10, feeling great anticipation and trepidation. Would they love the thrill of the down as much as I do? Could they manage the grind to the up, and what if they hurt themselves? We all learnt our limits together.
During the climbs I explore more of my children’s minds than any other time as I converse with them to keep them occupied. Yes, they have come off, and yes, they have hated their bikes and the climbs and me, and yes, I have been exasperated. But after that first serious ride on their little Islabikes down The Wall, I knew, despite the sore arms and hands, that they would be fine.
Promising and delivering a good ride makes us work harder as we plan the routes. They do not yet have the stamina for miles of climbing, but give them a technical challenge, and they will talk about it for months. Now they are 12 and 14, they fly round the MBR trail at Coed y Brenin in record time, think the Blue Pig at Hebden Bridge is the best downhill ever and race up The Blade like a pair of pros. Not bad for brothers from Berkshire. The thrill that they get from the ride is as big as the buzz when they make it to the inner circle of Fortnite.
Will I be beside myself when they really hurt themselves, well yes. But neither my husband nor I are going to let that hold them or us back as we work our way to the next challenge and family outing. And I can guarantee that with a bit of effort, a real life adrenaline rush stays with them longer than the temporary fix of winning on PlayStation. So, let’s unpack the kids from the cotton wool, because they will keep us company for years to come on the trails.
– Helena Nimmo
mbr – Well said Helena! Being able to think for yourself, assess risk versus reward and take responsibility for yourself are vital life skills that mountain biking helps teach kids.
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