Trek Bike’s ABC’s of Bike Safety

Summer biking season is in full sway!  One of our absolute favorite things to do is hit the trails for a family mountain biking adventure.  But logistically, we most often find ourselves riding the streets in town. Did you know that 600+ cyclists a year are killed by cars, and 80% of the accidents happen during the day? Riders overestimate their visibility by 700%!  So how do you stay safe, and make sure you don't have any issues with cars spotting you?  June is Safety Month, and is an ideal time to asses your family's bike safety tactics. Alarmed by these statistics, Trek embarked on a mission to cut cycling deaths by 50% by the year 2020. As a first step, Trek partnered with Clemson University on a visibility study, and from the study’s findings created the ABC’s of Bike Safety.  Below are their valuable tips, which map out the must-dos to remain safe on the road. Trek’s ABC’s of Bike Safety Always On: At the very least, riders should install front and rear-facing daytime … [Read more...]

9 Things You’ll Need for an Awesome Family Mountain Biking Adventure

It's that time of year again.  EXCELLENT family mountain biking weather!  As a family, our kids have reached an age (5 and 11) where we are ready to fully embrace this outdoor activity together. We've picked up a few family mountain biking tips along the way.  Here's my best advice on things you'll  need for an awesome adventure. 1. Find a Safe Space for Family Mountain Biking My family recently headed out for a weekend of camping and family mountain biking.  We chose a public lands area where the spaces are wide open, trails are plentiful, and the rules are fast and loose. The unexpected downside?  Motorized vehicles are also allowed on all trails, and the ATV action was in full swing during this busy holiday weekend. Bottom line, the trails weren’t really safe enough for a family with two young kids to ride their bicycles.  We improvised by sticking to our own loop we forged through the trees near our campsite.  Had we known in advance, we would have selected an area … [Read more...]

Nutcase Helmets ~ “I Love My Brain”

In the past I had read good things about Nutcase Helmets, including their slick and easy "magnet closing" clasp.  Peruse the website and you'll quickly detect a creative and funky vibe, via their atypical and fun helmet designs.  And last but not least, because we concur with their motto.... "I love my brain"... we were quick to jump on board with a gear review! Nutcase Helmets for Kids Nutcase has a great line for the wee ones called Little Nutty.  I absolute adore some of their styles in this line.  But be sure to check their sizing guidelines. My just-turned-5 year old son was outside the top measurement for Little Nutty, and got bumped up to the regular, full sized biking Nutcase Helmets.    (Which was too bad, cause just look at that adorable dinosaur one!  Oh well... he has a big head for his BIG BRAIN.  We've come to terms with it.) In our experience as parents of kids who love all-things-wheeled... there are two crucial elements to getting them to wear a protective … [Read more...]

Family Mountain Biking, Whining, and Wrecking

For 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 … [Read more...]

Points To Consider When Buying a Mountain Bike

So you've been thinking about buying a new mountain bike, hitting the back-trails and getting a little muddy; or maybe you’re more interested in coasting down a paved river-path, or riding the gravel road that brings you to your favorite beach. Well, luckily the modern mountain bikes market has no shortage of variation, and places like Tesco have plenty of options for all styles of riding. What kind of rider are you? The three main categories of mountain bikes are: Recreational Bikes: Rec bikes are your “all-around” style mountain bike. They are just as suited for cruising paved roads as they are for riding over gravel and dirt paths. These bikes usually have front suspension and occasionally rear, and they are great for beginners, but not suited for major off-roading. Trail Bikes/X-country Bikes: The difference between a trail bike and a x-country bike is subtle. They are both excellent off-road bikes, capable of handing all but the steepest descents, and though both are usually … [Read more...]

Skip the Trike, Toddlers Can (Balance) Bike!

Have you ever seen a tiny tyke dashing along on a two-wheeled bike, looking barely old enough to have left the baby stroller behind?  Behold the power of the toddler balance bike, a new outdoor play phenomenon that delivers some easy, worthwhile, and exciting benefits. My son just turned 3, has truly found his stride on his balance bike, and loves every minute that he spends on it.  Frankly, he sheds almost daily tears whenever we need to remove him from it and head back indoors.  But that's a good thing. I can't take credit for the initial discovery of balance bikes.  It was my parents who had admired wee riders from afar, in their local parks, watching them impressively darting along on their Strider bikes. Grandpa thought this was a very cool trick, indeed, and had the balance bike purchase all planned out.  (I'm pretty sure this occurred a few  hours after my son's birth.) Toddlers Can Balance Bike! I won't get into the engineering details here, I primarily wanted to … [Read more...]

Lazer Sport Bike Helmets ~ Kids “Skoot” & Womens “Kiss”

Lazer Sport has been in the business of making bike helmets for 90 years, and describes itself as "the most experienced helmet manufacturer in the world".  Their objective is to to find synergy between design, comfort and technology.  Although they also make eyewear and snow helmets, I was interested in trying out some of their kids bike helmets. I think most parents would agree that it's a good idea to have your kids wear bike helmets when riding.  Keys to the success of pulling this off include finding them a properly fitting helmet that's comfortable... and setting a good example by wearing one yourself! My two kids currently fall in the toddler and gradeschool age ranges.  One of the really cool things about Lazer's kid helmets is their unisize feature.  More on this below, but in essence it means both of my kids are now wearing the Lazer Skoot helmet, which will provide them with protection for years to come.  And I also tested out a similar style, but for women - the Laser … [Read more...]