Saturday, July 2, 2011

Mountain Biking with Kids

On Friday my boys and I went mountain biking at the Catamount Outdoor Center. It was a good sign that the parking lot was nearly empty - we were new at this sort of thing and I wanted lots of space around us. Catamount is a wonderful family run center of mountain bike trails, ski trails, and they also run camps, rent bikes, and hold a Tuesday night running event which now attracts 300 people. I used to run there when there were 25 people, so it's grown into a great revenue source for the owners. There are 500 acres  - I'm guessing about 15k in trails.
Right off the parking lot there was a pump track. It's a short loop of rolling, and very tight turns and banks, probably more geared for the little tikes, yet we saw teens negotiating it well. We couldn't get far. I squealed and quickly steered off course, not knowing how to roll over the hills without burying my crank into the dirt. My boys weren't fairing any better.

We choose a 5k course and set off in the woods. We were whooping and hollering following blue arrows, bouncing over roots. My youngest son immediately claimed the lead, easily working his way, and thankfully stopping when we were too far behind. I was expecting to hear a scream from ahead as he is my rather fearless one, but the forest was unfamiliar and he didn't have anyone passing to egg him on. At some point we took a short break and discovered the mosquitoes were on us like kids to a pool. My youngest took the above photo of me and my oldest boy, but couldn't hold the camera still because he was being ferociously bitten.

If we kept on pedaling it was great fun and we learned to hit the roots at a 90 degree angle. But there were few roots compared with the nice dirt and only few muddy areas.  I especially liked that you climbed and descended only a bit, and it was mostly meandering on numerous S-turns. My oldest lamented that he forgot his inhaler which would've helped him a bit but by the time we were finished we all decided to come back soon. 5k was too far, so we'll learn which trails are shorter, take a break, and go back for more.

My 12 year old doesn't want his picture taken.
Afterwards we gobbled chips and salsa at a picnic table, It was hard not to notice the testosterone laden teens nearby who were munching on goldfish and trying to bunny hop with bikes on top of orange construction cones.

1 comment:

  1. Your 12 year old didn't want his photo taken? I just don't get it. Just like mine!


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