Tag Archives: IMBA

Kid’s mountain bikes: tips and tricks to get them on the trail

by John Brown,

I love riding my Mountain bike and want to share that passion with my boys. I am dedicating weekends to kid’s mountain bikes, to teach them to love the sport too. The sense of freedom and excitement it gives me has been amazing to experience through their eyes. Here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way.

Kid’s mountain bikes

Dozens of companies produce kid’s mountain bikes. They often have suspension, brakes and gears similar to adult versions. The kid’s bikes usually have either 20″ or 24″ wheels that will determine the overall bike size. Be sure to find the right size at your local bike shop.

Teach to shift

One big difference between riding around the neighborhood and on trails is the need to shift quickly and frequently. Most kid’s mountain bikes have between six and 21 gears with the higher gears being used on pavement and the lower gears for off-road conditions. By teaching your kid(s) how and when to shift will them become more comfortable while riding over varying trail conditions. I find it is easy to teach this on the sidewalks in front of my home. Have your child ride down the sidewalk in one gear, then shift to an easier gear and ride on the grass back. By shifting between gears and conditions, kids can get a great feel for how the gears work.

Teach to brake

Stopping on kid’s mountain bikes is about balancing two things; stopping power and control. Most brakes can easily produce enough stopping power to skid the wheels, but when the wheels skid, you lose control. I found an easy way to teach this balance is to find a short but steep hill with a clear run-out at the bottom. Stand at the bottom of the hill as a safety precaution and have your kid head down. The first time down, tell them to squeeze the brakes (front and rear) as hard as they can.  On the second trip squeeze a little less and feel the difference. Have them apply the front brakes more or more rear brake on each successive trip. After a little while, they will have a good feel for the way the brakes work.

Standing position

When kids learn to ride a bike they do so sitting down. While sitting is fine for smooth roads, it can become uncomfortable when riding over rocky trails. Try to teach your kid to stand while riding, using your legs to absorb bumps. You want to encourage them to have some bend in their knees and elbows and keep their weight back over the seat. This position lets them absorb all the rough terrain they might encounter.

L-r: Matt Johnson and his sons Jack 10, and Cole, 9, mountain bike in Salem Park in Inver Grove Heights on Sunday June 12, 2011. (Pioneer Press: Scott Takushi)

Board trick

A fun trick to teach some skills involves nothing other than a board. A 1×6 piece of wood that’s about six feet long works best. All you need to do is set it on the ground and have the kids ride over it. Riding perpendicular helps them work on absorbing impact in the standing position while trying to ride along its length, helps teach control. A great part about the Board trick is that it gives a visual indication of where to ride without any penalty if they can’t stay on.

Up and Over

Once they get comfortable with the standing position you will want to teach them how to get over objects. To start, find an object on the trail that might be challenging for your kid to ride over. Take a minute to show them where to ride to get over it. Have them back up, get a moving start, and take a run at the object. By standing over that object, you can be a safety net in case it doesn’t go to well. Reach out, straighten them out, and congratulate their try. If your trails don’t have a good place to practice this, you can build an obstacle with a pair of two by fours and some lengths of PVC (see picture below).

Short and sweet

Do your best to keep it fun. Pack treats, snacks and drinks and take a lot of breaks. If a section of trail was super fun, turn around and do it again. Keep the pace slow and have fun. If you meet a puppy, stop and pet it. Do anything you can to keep it fun and a big part of that is keeping it short. Rides over an hour can start to wear out new riders, and take some of the joy out of it. And regardless of the duration, be sure to encourage the things they did well.

Bribery

Kids are like politicians, in that they aren’t above bribes. I always take my son for a treat after the ride (our current favorite is a Smoothy from Wendy’s). This Pavlovian exercise can do wonders to reinforce the fun experience that is a mountain bike ride and encouraging the fun is the most important part.

In this bike pic, shot in Lakeville MN, if life were a mountain bike trail and a wheelie or Bunny Hop Wednesday helped smooth out your day-to-day ride or aided you to drop into your sweet spot, why not review the following tips to make your week an adrenaline high?

Bike Pic Aug 22, Wheelie Wednesday into your sweet spot

In this bike pic, shot in Lakeville MN, if life were a mountain bike trail and a wheelie or Bunny Hop Wednesday helped smooth out your day-to-day ride or aided you to drop into your sweet spot, why not review the following tips to make your week an adrenaline high?

Get into the zone and plan your next bike outing with family and friends at one of Minnesota’s HaveFunBiking Destinations. View all the fun ideas and bike destinations in the latest Iowa or  Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide.

Thanks for Viewing Our ‘Bunny Hop or Wheelie’ Bike Pic!  

We are now rolling into our 10th year as a bike tourism media. As we pedal forward our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun while we highlight all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more places to have fun, we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. Enjoy the information and stories we have posted as you scroll through.

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to: [email protected]. Include a brief caption (for each) of who is in the photo (if you know) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger to be considered. If we use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continue to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your #NextBikeAdventure – Also, check out the MN Bike Guide, now mobile friendly, as we enter into our 8th year of producing this hand information booklet full of maps.

Smooth Out Your Day-to-Day Ride with Bunny Hop Monday, and:

Remember, bookmark HaveFunBiking.com on your cell phone and find your next adventure at your fingertips! Please share our pics with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the corner with one of our cameras ready to document your next cameo apperance while you are riding and having fun. You could be in one of our next Pic’s of the Day.

Have a great day!

In this bike pic, if life were a mountain bike trail and a wheelie or Bunny Hop Wednesday helped smooth out your day-to-day ride or aided you to drop into your sweet spot, why not review the following tips to make your week an adrenaline high?

Bike Pic Aug 15, Wheelie Wednesday into your sweet spot

In this bike pic, if life were a mountain bike trail and a wheelie or Bunny Hop Wednesday helped smooth out your day-to-day ride or aided you to drop into your sweet spot, why not review the following tips to make your week an adrenaline high?

Get into the zone and plan your next bike outing with family and friends at one of Minnesota’s HaveFunBiking Destinations. View all the fun ideas and bike destinations in the latest Iowa or  Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide.

Thanks for Viewing Our ‘Bunny Hop Monday’ Pic of the Day!  

We are now rolling into our 10th year as a bike tourism media. As we pedal forward our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun while we highlight all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more places to have fun, we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. Enjoy the information and stories we have posted as you scroll through.

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to: [email protected]. Include a brief caption (for each) of who is in the photo (if you know) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger to be considered. If we use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continue to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your #NextBikeAdventure – Also, check out the MN Bike Guide, now mobile friendly, as we enter into our 8th year of producing this hand information booklet full of maps.

Smooth Out Your Day-to-Day Ride with Bunny Hop Monday, and:

Remember, bookmark HaveFunBiking.com on your cell phone and find your next adventure at your fingertips! Please share our pics with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the corner with one of our cameras ready to document your next cameo apperance while you are riding and having fun. You could be in one of our next Pic’s of the Day.

Have a great day!

This Wheelie Wednesday, Bike Pic June 20th and the last day of spring, take a chance! If life were a mountain bike trail a wheelie could help smooth out your day-to-day ride. Also, are you ready to rumble for Penn Cycle’s Thursday Night Mountain Bike Races, at Buck Hill in Burnsville, MN, tomorrow night? 

Bike Pic July 18, Wheelie Wednesday into your sweet spot

If life were a mountain bike trail and a wheelie or Bunny Hop helped smooth out your day-to-day ride or helped drop you into your sweet spot, why not review the following tips to make your week an adrenaline high?

Get into the zone and plan your next bike outing with family and friends at one of Minnesota’s HaveFunBiking Destinations. View all the fun ideas and bike destinations in the latest Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide.

Thanks for Viewing Our ‘Wheelie Wednesday’ Bike Pic  

We are now rolling into our 10th year as a publisher of bike guides. As we pedal forward our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun while we highlight all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more places to have fun, we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. Enjoy the information and stories we have posted as you scroll through.

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to: [email protected]. Include a brief caption (for each) of who is in the photo (if you know) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger to be considered. If we use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continue to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your #NextBikeAdventure – Also, check out the MN Bike Guide, now mobile friendly, as we enter into our 8th year of producing this hand information booklet full of maps.

Smooth Out Your Day-to-Day Ride with Bunny Hop Monday, and:

Remember, bookmark HaveFunBiking.com on your cell phone and find your next adventure at your fingertips! Please share our pics with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the corner with one of our cameras ready to document your next cameo apperance while you are riding and having fun. You could be in one of our next Pic’s of the Day.

Have a great day!

With these tips, ticks wont haunt your next bike adventure

by Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking.com

Unless you are entering a tick in the annul Cuyuna Woodtick Races, these blood thirsty parasites are annoying and could be hazardous to your health. If you are biking or hiking on trails through the woods or in tall grass, beware as you have fun! These little critters, especially if they are deer ticks can be nasty. Like the wood tick, the deer tick also lurks in natural wilderness setting. However, they are small as a freckle, have tiny black legs and may be loaded with disease-causing pathogens or Lyme Disease.

Two wood ticks and a deer tick pose with Roosevelt dime for reference. photo by David Bosshart

Two wood ticks on the left pose with a deer tick next to a Roosevelt dime for reference. photo by David Bosshart

There is a remote possible that you could get a deer or wood tick in a city park or on a paved bicycle trail, but the probability is very low. Especially on trails with the grass mowed along the edges.  Generally, these blood sucking critters are only a problem if you are off biking or walking through tall grass and brush. Ticks tend to crawl up on vegetation, tall grass and wood and wait to grab onto a passing animal or human.

Once attached to people or pets, deer ticks can be hard to find. Plus their numbers are on the rise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and are carrying harmful pathogens. Thanks to the CDC’s website here are several things everyone should know about ticks to stay disease-free.

Preventing Tick Bites on People

Before You Go Outdoors

  • Know where to expect ticks. Ticks live in grassy, brushy, or wooded areas or even on animals. Spending time outside walking your dog, biking, camping, or hiking could bring you in close contact with ticks. Many people get ticks in their own yard or neighborhood, in rain gardens and natural areas
  • Treat clothing and gear with products containing 0.5% permethrin. Permethrin can be used to treat boots, clothing and camping gear and remain protective through several washings
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone. EPA’s helpful search tool can help you find the product that best suits your needs. Always follow product instructions
  • Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old
  • Do not use products containing OLE or PMD on children under 3 years old
  • Avoid contact with ticks, especially in wooded or brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter
  • Ride and walk in the center of the off-road trail.

After You Come Indoors

Diagram from the Center for Disease Control

Diagram from the Center for Disease Control and prevention (CDC)

  • Check your clothing and gear for ticks. Ticks may be carried into the house or your car on clothing or gear. Any ticks that are found should be removed. At home tumble dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing after you come indoors. If the clothes are damp, additional time may be needed. If the clothes require washing first, hot water is recommended. Cold and medium temperature water will not kill ticks
  • Examine gear and pets. Ticks can ride into the home on clothing and pets, then attach to a person later, so carefully examine pets, coats, hydration saddle packs
  • Shower soon after being outdoors. Showering within two hours of coming indoors has been shown to reduce your risk of getting Lyme disease and may be effective in reducing the risk of other tickborne diseases. Showering may help wash off unattached ticks and it is a good opportunity to do a tick check
  • Check your body for ticks after being outdoors. Conduct a full body check upon return from potentially tick-infested areas, including your own backyard. Use a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body. If you are comfortable, another set of eyes to check is a good idea. Check these parts of your body and your child’s body for ticks:
  • Under the arms
  • In and around the ears
  • Inside belly button
  • Back of the knees
  • In and around the hair
  • Between the legs
  • Around the waist

Now that you are more aware and knowledgeable of the prevention of being bit by these blood sucking parasites plan your #NextBikeAdventure and have some fun!

Tips for a fun bike ride on or off the paved riding trail

With warmer temperatures drying out the bike trails for another riding season we thought it be a good to repeat a message developed by the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA). These tips work well for courteous conduct on both shared-use paths and lanes. Keep in mind that procedures for yielding and passing may vary in different locations or with traffic conditions. By following these six ‘Rules of the Trail’ everyone should have a fun and memorable season.

Bike trail etiquette for a safer ride

Bike riders enjoying the Root River Trail with the majestic bluffs in view and whispering in the breeze, "Come Explore."

Bike riders enjoying the Root River Trail with the majestic bluffs in view.

  1. Ride open trails:

    Respect trail and road closures — ask a land manager for clarification if you are uncertain about the status of a trail. Do not trespass on private land. Obtain permits or other authorization as required. Be aware that bicycles are not permitted in areas protected as state or federal Wilderness.

  1. Leave no trace:

    Riding the red dirt of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trail, north of Crosby, MN. photo by Aaron W. Hautala

    Riding the red dirt of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trail, north of Crosby, MN. photo by Aaron W. Hautala

    Be sensitive to the dirt beneath you. Wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to damage than dry ones. When the trail is soft, consider other riding options. This also means staying on existing trails and not creating new ones. Don’t cut switchbacks. Be sure to pack out at least as much as you pack in.

  1. Control your bicycle:

    Here a father and son are out on a Mountain bike trail enjoying some quality time together. Photo taken on a trail near Lakeville, MN.

    Here a father and son are out on a Mountain bike trail enjoying some quality time together. Photo taken on a trail near Lakeville, MN.

    Inattention for even a moment could put yourself and others at risk. Obey all bicycle speed regulations and recommendations, and ride within your limits.

  1. Yield appropriately:

    A little bit of traffic congestion near a local Minnesota mountain bike trail head, as everyone is having fun.

    A little bit of traffic congestion near a local Minnesota mountain bike trail head.

    Do your utmost to let your fellow trail users know you’re coming — a friendly greeting or bell ring are good methods. Try to anticipate other trail users as you ride around corners.                                                                                                                                                           Bicyclists should yield to other non-motorized trail users, unless the trail is clearly signed for bike-only travel. Bicyclists traveling downhill should yield to ones headed uphill, unless the trail is clearly signed for one-way or downhill-only traffic. In general, strive to make each pass a safe and courteous one.

  1. Never scare animals:

    With a full moon gracing the night skies the next couple days, even in the daytime it is not uncommon to see a deer or other wildlife pop out from the bushes onto a road or trail in front of you.

    It’s not uncommon to see a deer or other wildlife pop out from the bushes onto a road or trail in front of you.

    Animals are easily startled by an unannounced approach, a sudden movement or a loud noise. Give animals enough room and time to adjust to you. When passing horses, use special care and follow directions from the horseback riders (ask if uncertain). Running cattle and disturbing wildlife are serious offenses.

  1. Always plan ahead:

    Here a mountain biker walks his bike back to the trailhead after missing a technical turn along the trail.

    Here a mountain biker walks his bike back to the trailhead after missing a technical turn along the trail.

    Know your equipment, your ability and the area in which you are riding and prepare accordingly. Strive to be self-sufficient: keep your equipment in good repair and carry necessary supplies for changes in weather or other conditions. Always wear a helmet and appropriate safety gear.

Search here at:  https://www.imba.com for more riding information in your area or see the new bike guides at: HaveFunBiking.com

 

Last year at this time, we caught this biker dude out on the trail with his road bike. With skinny tires and a frame that did a lot of flexing he did pretty good testing his skills in Lebanon Hills Park, in Eagan, MN

Bike Pic May 08, who says you need a special bike for off-road fun?

Last year at this time, we caught this biker dude out on the trail with his road bike. With skinny tires and a frame that did a lot of flexing he did pretty good testing his skills in Lebanon Hills Park, in Eagan, MN.

View the new  National Bike Guide and all the fun rides coming up in 2018.

Thanks for viewing today’s ‘Spring Fun’ Bike Pic

Now rolling into our 11th year as a bike tourism media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun. While highlighting all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more destinations you can have fun at we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. As you scroll through the information and stories we have posted, enjoy!

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to: [email protected]. Include a brief caption (for each), of who is in the photo (if you know?) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger, to be considered. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continues to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure – Also, check out the latest  Bike Guide, mobile friendly as we enter into our 9th year of producing print and digital guides.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure. Please share all our pic’s with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the next corner with a HFB camera ready to document your next move while you are riding and having fun. Capturing you in one of our next ‘Pic of the Day’ posts.

Have a great day and a memorable new year!

With the trees budding and trails soon opening its time to get ready for some spring fun! In a normal year, here is what the trail should look like. Last year at this time, we caught this biker chick enjoying some time testing her riding skills in Lebanon Hills Park, in Eagan, MN.

Bike Pic May 05, yeah another perfect day for spring fun

With the trees budding and trails soon opening its time to get ready for some spring fun! In a normal year, here is what the trail should look like. Last year at this time, we caught this biker chick enjoying some time testing her riding skills in Lebanon Hills Park, in Eagan, MN.

View the new  National Bike Guide and all the fun rides coming up in 2018.

Thanks for viewing today’s ‘Spring Fun’ Bike Pic

Now rolling into our 11th year as a bike tourism media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun. While highlighting all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more destinations you can have fun at we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. As you scroll through the information and stories we have posted, enjoy!

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to: [email protected]. Include a brief caption (for each), of who is in the photo (if you know?) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger, to be considered. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continues to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure – Also, check out the latest  Bike Guide, mobile friendly as we enter into our 9th year of producing print and digital guides.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure. Please share all our pic’s with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the next corner with a HFB camera ready to document your next move while you are riding and having fun. Capturing you in one of our next ‘Pic of the Day’ posts.

Have a great day and a memorable new year!

Bike Pic May 03, as the trails dry out get ready for some family fun

With the trees budding and trails soon opening get the family ready for some spring fun! In a normal year, here is what the trail should look like in the upper Midwest. Last year at this time, we caught this biker family enjoying some time testing their riding skills in Lebanon Hills Park in Eagan, MN.

View the new  National Bike Guide and all the fun rides coming up in 2018.

Thanks for viewing today’s ‘Fun’ Bike Pic

Now rolling into our 11th year as a bike tourism media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun. While highlighting all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more destinations you can have fun at we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. As you scroll through the information and stories we have posted, enjoy!

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to: [email protected]. Include a brief caption (for each), of who is in the photo (if you know?) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger, to be considered. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continues to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure – Also, check out the latest  Bike Guide, mobile friendly as we enter into our 9th year of producing print and digital guides.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure. Please share all our pic’s with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the next corner with a HFB camera ready to document your next move while you are riding and having fun. Capturing you in one of our next ‘Pic of the Day’ posts.

Have a great day and a memorable new year!

Fond spring bike pic memories on #10 of 30 Day of Biking in April. In this photo, here is what the trail should look like here in the upper Midwest. In this pic we caught this biker dude enjoying some time testing his riding skills in Lebanon Hills Park in Eagan, MN.

Bike Pic April 10, what the landscape should look like this time of the year

Fond spring bike pic memories on #10 of 30 Day of Biking in April. In this photo, here is what the trail should look like here in the upper Midwest. We caught this biker dude enjoying some time testing his riding skills in Lebanon Hills Park, in Eagan, last year at this time.

View the new  National Bike Guide and all the fun rides coming up in 2018.

Thanks for viewing today’s ‘Bike Pic

Now rolling into our 11th year as a bike tourism media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun. While highlighting all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more destinations you can have fun at we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. As you scroll through the information and stories we have posted, enjoy!

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to: [email protected]. Include a brief caption (for each), of who is in the photo (if you know?) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger, to be considered. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continues to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure – Also, check out the latest  Bike Guide, mobile friendly as we enter into our 9th year of producing print and digital guides.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure. Please share all our pic’s with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the next corner with a HFB camera ready to document your next move while you are riding and having fun. Capturing you in one of our next ‘Pic of the Day’ posts.

Have a great day and a memorable new year!