Mountain Biking: Making it a Family Affair


My family and I have recently gotten into mountain biking. We are lovers of the outdoors so it was our next logical step. Since we have two young boys we are constantly looking for an outlet for their energy. My husband has been talking about getting a bike for years, and we finally bit the bullet. Just a warning, this hobby is not inexpensive. I didn’t realize how much gear you need.

Mountain biking

Last month we had a hitch installed on my car. Funny story: the dealership misunderstood what we wanted. We ended up with a very expensive hitch that we could use to tow a semi truck. But at least I can feel good that we can safely tow our bikes through a tornado. Last week we bought a bike rack. My husband poured through reviews for hours. He did research and was all set. Before buying one I wanted to go to the bike shop to get a professional opinion. They told us to go with a completely different style than John had researched. I am so glad we stopped in!

We got all the accessories needed: helmets, water bottles, water bottle holders, bike locks, hitch lock. I told you it adds up but all in the name of fun, right?! After getting everything we needed we decided to take our maiden voyage. We loaded up the new rack excited to finally go mountain biking. I have to say it was pretty easy to load. A little frustrating at first but I’m sure once we’ve done it  few times we will be smooth sailing. I googled bike parks. Bingo! Found Town Run Trail Park and it looked good to try. The description stated it had beginner trails. Perfect!

We pull up to the park. Get unloaded and go over to check out the trail map. It was not very descriptive. Thankfully a more seasoned rider came up to us and gave us some great info. Apparently it is a just a big loop. No biggie. However, that means there are parts that are beginner but the whole trail is not. We decided to give it a whirl. What’s the worst that can happen while mountain biking? We can turn around if need be. Wrong! You must always stay going clockwise on the trail to make sure you do not ride into oncoming bike traffic.

The trail was an experience. John and Nathan took off a little bit ahead of Logan and me.  Logan can’t ride as fast, so I stayed behind him. Every time we came to a hill he would slam on his brakes. We came close to crashing several times. 

I forgot one little detail. My bike is a road bike. It is not made for trails or mountain biking. So every time I would hit a slick spot it was like ice skating on a bike. My tires do not go over the terrain like a mountain bike. I was fighting my bike the whole time.

About half way into our ride Logan tells me his pedals won’t work. I tell him to pull over so I can take a look. Mind you these trails are very narrow, so pulling over is easier said than done. I check out his bike and the chain has come off. I’m yelling for John and Nathan hoping they weren’t too far ahead to hear us. I finally get their attention and he tells us to keep coming. Logan and I had to walk our bikes until we caught up. We know nothing about bikes. John figured we would just have to walk the whole way back. Thankfully another rider stopped and was able to pop Logan’s chain right back on. 

We all made it back to the car in one piece. A little scraped and muddy but all in all it was a good time. We definitely learned a few things:

1. I need a mountain bike

2. We need to find an actual beginner trail

3. We need to bring tools in case something goes wrong with a bike.

I am super thankful the biking community was so nice to us. Everyone was great on the trails and willing to help. So my question to you is: do you bike with your family? If so, what are your tips and recommendations?