If you are a parent reading this, you might be ready to drag your daughter out for a ride immediately. While that enthusiasm is great, beware of a few common pitfalls. Make sure to nurture a love of riding the right way.
Your daughter just might not love what you love. If you’re a roadie, your daughter may prefer the pump track, and vice versa. Make sure she has the chance to try out different types of riding.
, DON T JUST MAKE IT DAUGHTER AND ME TIME
While parent-daughter time is a huge part of the equation, your daughter shouldn’t just be riding with you. Try to get her friends out on bikes. Try to find a local program for young riders, or even just show up to bike parks that will have other kids her age hanging out. While that parent-child time is priceless, someday she’ll be faster than you and will need some peers to ride with.
SNEAK IT IN
If your daughter/niece/little sister isn’t interested, don’t push cycling on her. But subtle hints – such as leaving the Shred-girls.com site open in your browser (or buying the book when it’s out in Summer 2019!), or leaving your copy of Canadian cycling magazine open to an article about Emily Batty on the kitchen table – may help foster an interest in cycling.
FOCUS ON SMALL STEPS
If you’re trying to coach a young rider, remember to focus on small progressions. Keep in mind that 20" wheels won’t be able to do the same things your 29" wheels can. “The skills of mountain biking aren’t going to magically appear your first day. It takes years of small progressions,” Meeuwisse says.