While everything from Striders and training wheels to trail-a-bikes and Burleys help get your children’s wheels turning, there are a few more unorthodox techniques as well.
Monday mornings at our office are always time to catch up on who did what where over the weekend. While the days of hard-core solo pursuits are slowly but surely giving way to more family friendly pastimes, sometimes the two overlap.
Take my friend Bill Gamber, for instance, president of tent and sleeping bag manufacturer Big Agnes (and whose kids, Max and Bennett, are cited frequently in Outdoor Offspring). Turns out that this weekend he decided to take his youngest, Bennett, a couple thousand vertical feet up a dirt road on Buffalo Pass in order to ride a seven-mile singletrack trail all the way back to town.
How did he get young Bennett up there, you ask?
He tied a 20-foot-long piece of climbing rope from his bike to Bennett’s and towed him.
You’ll excuse me if I didn’t outline this technique in Outdoor Offspring. Gamber holds the 12-hour solo record for the Rios 24 Hours of Steamboat mountain bike race, and has competed in more than 100 triathlons, including 16 Ironmans. But even he could feel the resistance.
“Oh yeah, I could definitely feel him back there,” he said. “And we got some pretty weird looks from the cars passing us.”
Bennett, for his part, was smitten with the helping hand. “Come on, let’s catch them!” he chided his dad when they saw another group of non-tugboating riders ahead of them.
The moral to this start-of-the-week tale? There’s more than one way to skin the proverbial cat when it comes to getting your kids outside – even if it means the occasional hernia.