Family Mountain Biking, Whining, and Wrecking

Family Mountain Biking in FruitaFor many, Fruita, Colorado, is a sort of Mountain Biking Mecca.  Nestled along the base of the Bookcliff Range, in wide open desert – there are miles of rolling trails, with a gorgeous big sky backdrop.  Although we live so close to the area, we hadn’t yet tackled taking our kids mountain biking there until last weekend.

This summer, my youngest son graduated from a balance bike directly to a regular bike.  Some friends gave us a cool Hot Wheels bike, in GREEN, his most favortiest color.  It’s a heavy little sucker, but he does pretty good on it.

My poor daughter is a tall 10 year old, and has definitely outgrown her Barbie bike.  We’ve been trying to hold off on that expense until next summer, when I’d like to get her a decent “real” mountain bike she can enjoy the trials with.  She’s being a trooper in the meantime.

We are in the very early stages of mountain biking as a family, but I have high hopes for us!  My husband loves biking, and used to spend hours doing so as a single guy.  Likewise for myself.  So it’s time to reclaim our love, and get the kids up to speed!

Hiking is just so much easier, when you don’t have to haul a bunch of gear, and has been our default outdoor activity of choice for the past few years.  Our first step:  Get a rack that can transport our bikes to the trail head.  We went with a cheap, but sturdy one.  I don’t even know what brand it is, but it does the job.

Family Moutain Biking in Fruita - bike rack

So off we went! At the sub-optimal time of 5pm, without having eaten supper.  (I hate that when that happens.)   Oh well.  Better late than never, right?

There are a series of three parking lots in this Fruita Mountain Biking Trail area, and we like to park in the first one you come to, which is furthest south.  That way any elevation gain while biking the trails (which primarily head north, towards the Bookcliffs) takes place mainly at the start of your ride.  Then you get to glide back home at the end… which is totally awesome!

Family Moutain Biking in Fruita

We head out, and try to find the easiest trial on the map.  Poor J is still a little unsteady, K is pedaling her one-speed with her knees bending practically to her ears… and we just don’t know the trails well at all.

First up was a descent into a small valley.  K heads down first, and waits at the bottom.  Dad gets a wild hair, dreaming of his former bachelorhood days of being in downhill mountain bike races… and flies down the hill.  Which, unbeknownst to us, has a 2 foot deep washout gulley at the bottom.

He does a spectacular endo, followed by a “Superman” through the air.  Total wipeout!

Approximately 3 minutes into our family mountain bike ride.

My poor daughter was right there with a ring side seat, screaming her little head off, thinking her father was about to die before her very eyes.   Yikes.  He gets up, laughs a little, and – bleeding from the palms and knees – assures us he’s alright.   Alrighty then!  How exciting.

We proceed on our halting journey, traversing across the Fruita trails in what felt like endless fits and starts.

Family Moutain Biking in Fruita at dusk

There was squabbling.  There were frequent stops.  There were frustrations.

About a half hour in…

Me:  This isn’t nearly as much fun as I thought it would be.

Him:  I knew it wouldn’t be.

For any who’ve tried mountain biking with their kids, and been discouraged, please be assured you are not alone, if things don’t go smoothly.  The reality is, it’s an adventure with ups and downs.  I want our kids to enjoy, and hopefully be good at, biking.  It’s more affordable for us than downhill skiing, and something they can enjoy and stay active with for years.  But it’s definitely a process.  Hang in there, because I guarantee you will also experience moments that make it totally worth it!  Read on…

Family Moutain Biking in Fruita - water break

Eventually the sun was going down, and we were getting hungry, so we decided to turn around.  Although we didn’t feel like we had been gaining elevation, we had.  Between that and the fact that the kids had a half hour under their belts getting comfortable on the trails… the ride back was FANTASTIC!

Family Moutain Biking in Fruita - Little Man Tears it up

Family Moutain Biking in Fruita - Barbie Bike Madness

Riding into the sunset, gliding most of the way.  Everyone kept their momentum.  Nobody crashed… not even dad.   There was a gigantic smile on every one of our faces, as we rode back to the trail head, into the setting sun.  It’s was golden.  🙂  We’ll be back, Fruita mountain biking trails!  Definitely worth the effort.

Family Moutain Biking in Fruita trailhead

*o*     *o*     *o*

Footnote:  Once we got back to the car, my husband informed me, “I actually think I may have broken my wrist.”  He’s at the doctors office this morning for x-rays…

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About COMtnMom

Hi, I'm Tami! Writer, Influencer, and mom of two who loves travel, the outdoors, staying active, photography, reading books, and eating desserts. We are pretty much always planning our next trip to Disney World.


  1. Oh my gosh this gets me excited about moving out to Colorado! What beautiful pictures. We live in Northern VA right now, and you do not get this out here.

    • We absolutely love having so many fun options to play outdoors and enjoy nature here! We’ve been here 10 years now. We’re in Western Colorado where there’s lots of wide open spaces. Are you planning on moving to Colorado? It’s a wonderful state… hope your plans go well!

      Thanks for swinging by, Danielle 🙂

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