Friday, August 3, 2012

Single Track to Keeping Active

This week we tackle the sport of mountain biking and other various athletic activities including a family triathlon. To get in on the action, stick around and come back often. But more importantly, hit the trails and get a little dirty. 

Above all, beware not to over look the importance of exposing kids to a variety of activities. They don't have to be experts or even have an ounce of experience. After all, it is all about getting outside and having fun.

All greatness starts with a beginning.

Below I have posted a video of my 5 year old son riding single track by himself for the first time in a group ride.

What's in Store Today:
With the school year quickly approaching, it's the perfect time to get outside and enjoy the freedom of long summer days. Keep in mind, that "Keeping Kids Active" is a safe bet to creating an early bed time that kids have a hard time resisting. And as an added bonus, it might just mean a few extra minutes of grown up time.

For those just joining this blog, for the past four weeks my family has shared in various recreational activities that encourage families to keep physically active in moderate to vigorous activity for at least 60 minutes a day. This is the national standards of exercise that children should be getting everyday. Children should also be encouraged not be engaged in sedentary activity for longer than 2 hour spans. The posts on this blog illustrate ideas on how to keep the whole family active through outdoor recreation.

From tennis to parks, pools to obstacle course racing, repelling to caving, zip lining to crossing rivers, we have saved the best of our events for last. As avid mountain bike racers, it's hard to find a sport that makes you come more alive than biking. Perhaps it's the versatility of it all: from asphalt riding and popping wheelies up sidewalk curbs to cruising down mountainous single tracks and enjoying long rides pulling kids behind in bike trailers. It's an activity that whether going uphill or down terrain has you on the edge of your seat and body conforming to every angling turn.

As for me personally, I grew up on mountain bikes. Since then I have also gravitated towards road bikes and downhill mountain bikes. Yet, still my favorite is a full-suspension bike that offers a forgiving ride. As universal as the mountain bike has become, it only made its debut in the 1970's.

History of the Sport:
By 1974, the sport of mountain biking had been born and the group of rowdy bicyclists (known as the founding fathers of mountain biking) had created a bike that sported fat tires, grafted gears, and motorcycle parts collected from scrap yards. The newly created "mountain bike" filled the void of being able to race a bike that could remain intact while riding off-road, away from “cops, cars, and concrete."

With a history like that, how could one resist taking the advancements of technology and not trying the sport out for oneself. So here is the mission for the week: dust of the bike (either because it has been hanging in the garage too long or because you have been riding it) and get back on the saddle. And keep in mind, the best way to break being saddle sore is to hop back on the saddle the next day.

Fun Fact:
Bicycling is an efficient way to burn excess calories, shed body fat, and improve cardiovascular health. The amount of calories you burn bike riding depends on your body weight and the intensity of your ride, but a person weighing 150 lbs will burn an average of 576 calories an hours.


  1. I love the post, biking is an all American sport that families should always do together.

  2. Thanks for your comment. Hitting the trails is a great way for families to enjoy the day.