|If there was a Strava File for kids...It would declare this young band of Cyclova XC riders the Kings and Queens of Mileage!|
Here they are looking fierce, (above) L to R: Luke Velaski, Justin Wynne, Abby Wynne, Ingrid Lundeen, Doran Velaski, and Charlie Livingston. This amazing crew biked from St. Croix Falls to Centuria for a tasty reward at the bowling alley and then biked back to St. Croix Falls in a cold drizzle. HARD CORE! With a few short rest stops along the trail, a stash of Honey Stinger Waffles, and the smell of french fries wafting down the Gandy Dancer Trail this group rallied to the finish! Riding eleven miles is a feat worthy of honor! The kids were stoked about their achievements and couldn't wait to ride again!
The idea behind the Kids Gandy Ride was to get a group of kids together for a fun destination ride that would hopefully inspire them to want to ride more. The Gandy Dancer Trail is the perfect rail-to-trail path to enjoy with your kids- no traffic, firmly packed limestone surface, with less than 2% grade.
|Here we are enjoying some deep-fried deliciousness at McKenzie Lanes in Centuria.|
A few days after our group ride, my son asked me to ride with him to Grandma's house which is on the Gandy just south of Milltown. It's about an eight mile ride from SCF one way. Before we left town we shared a smoothie and a burger at the Dalles Bakery and Coffee House. Charlie was feeling especially "pro" this ride because I loaned him a sweet Cyclova XC kit to rock all the way to Grandma's house!
We got a little "hangry" around mile 5 and I was thanking the heavens that I had tucked a Dalles House monster cookie in my jersey pouch before we left SCF! I broke that precious little bribe into four pieces and it brought Charlie back from a melt-down a few more times before we arrived at our destination!
I had mistakenly told Charlie that Grandma's house was between Mile Marker 7 and 8 so when we arrived at this marker and realized Grandma was still a half mile beyond here we had a small disagreement. Thankfully I had a single piece of monster cookie left in my pouch and he was spinning the pedals and smiling minutes later.
Tips for parents to get kids riding:
1.) Keep it fun- start small and incorporate destinations with little rewards like an ice cream shop or a park to play at.
2.) Pump them up- Stroke their ego! Let them know how tough they are and how they ride their bikes faster and farther than other kids their age!
3.) Pack a few snacks- when attitudes are challenging, give them a cookie. Because let's face it, even adults smile when they get a cookie!
4.) Get them together with other kids to provide some healthy, fun competition and encouragement- there was much less whining on the Kids Gandy Ride than the day I was riding solo with my son.
5.) Get them a few cool cycling accessories to make them feel really rad when they ride their bikes- we have a hamburger-shaped bell, riding gloves with flames, a few handed-down cycling jerseys- other great items include streamers, baskets, and spoke ornaments. Let them trick out their bikes and ride with pride!
I am exceptionally proud of all the kids that have been riding with us this summer! The reward of helping them achieve goals and set personal records exceeds limitations! As any parent can imagine, there were moments of whining, a few tears, some close calls with the "Hangry" monster, but overall there were smiles, shouts of acclamation, and pride! Each ride gets easier for them and they have new confidence.
|8.5 miles of Gandy Dancer!|
Get your kids on bikes with you today! Join us for the next installment of the Kids Gandy Ride. Watch the blog for details.