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Trail riding with my 7 year old daughter

Steve St.Laurent

Mi. Trail Riders
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Feb 6, 2006
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#1
I'm beaming!! Some of you may remember me posting about my 6 yr old daughter getting started riding last year and her needing some encouragement - http://www.dirtrider.net/forums3/showthread.php?t=135430 . She's been practicing and back in June and July of this year Samantha (now 7 years old) and I attended a couple CCC events here in Michigan and she finally hit some real single track trails at them. Only a couple miles at the first one, and about 4 miles worth at the last one (on a group ride with 6 other kids on 50's and myself and 3 other parents). We had planned on going out earlier but it's been so hot, schedules, etc. Last night the weather looked like it was going to be great today so I asked if she wanted to go trail riding today and she said yes. Got up early this morning and loaded everything up, drove 2 hours to the trail, stopped on the way and picked up some sandwiches to have a picnic on the trail, then hit the trail about 10:45. She did GREAT! We rode about 10 miles and she crashed 4 or 5 times (mostly tip overs). She's kick starting her bike all herself now, shifting up & down, riding over roots, etc. I was beaming and having a blast! We stopped halfway through the ride and sat on a downed tree and had our lunch and just enjoyed the sounds of nature. What a great way to spend time with her - we both had a blast and she wants to go again ASAP. Sorry for the video quality but I didn't plan on shooting video and all I had was my cell phone - I was riding one handed and holding the phone in the other shooting the video. When she's paddle walking it's because there's sand in places and those little tires on the 50 don't do very good in the sand - but she's getting better at it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dae4E0CzZ3U
 

MXGirl230

Stupid tires and trees
Mi. Trail Riders
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#2
That's awesome! Sounds like you two had a great day!
 

WomanRider

Mi. Trail Riders
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#3
10 Miles!!!! Great! She is ready to run the Family Enduro series now.

I envy you both for just being able to ride. I watched your video and just wished I could be out in the woods riding too. I'm hope my knee heals fast. I was able to sit on my bike today and dream about being in the woods on single line trail.

Was that at Cedar Creek? If so it did not look like there was too many whoops.
 

Steve St.Laurent

Mi. Trail Riders
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#4
Nope, a little north of there. It was the White Cloud ORV trail - it's part of the MCCCT trail. It's pretty wide (four wheelers can fit down it and DO) but it was perfect for her. Very few whoops and wide enough that the trees didn't freak her out. It's very busy with quads on the weekends so I only plan on taking her there during the week. Holton (part of Cedar Creek) is VERY whooped out, Horseshoe isn't too bad but there are still a lot of whoops there too.
 

WomanRider

Mi. Trail Riders
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#5
I did not know the the MCCCT trail was like that. I just assumed it was all single line (bike width) except for the 'road' sections. I just stayed away because I my bike was not road legal. Here I was thinking I rode all the trails on the west side of the state. Now I have something else to look forward to.

I like the fact your daughter wants to get out and ride again, soon. Enjoy every moment you can with her.
 

Steve St.Laurent

Mi. Trail Riders
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#6
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#8
I wish I had a dad that would've been cool enough to take me on trail rides!

Okay so I did get a lot of tractor time, but I was more interested in motorcycles than sugar beets and wheat...

Always fun to see young women (I say that like I'm old or something!?) getting some quality riding time in!
 
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#9
Your video was so cute. Samantha rules. Sounds like you both had a great time. Let me know if you want company during the week. I'd like to ride more trails but know I shouldn't ride alone.
 

squeaky

Roosta's Princess
Damn Yankees
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#10
That's great! She's doing wicked awesome! It's so cool to see a dad and daughter out on the trails riding like that - have fun on future rides!!!!
 
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#11
Congratulations. My daughter started at 7 and is 9 now. She goes hot and cold with riding now. I hope she sticks with it, we love riding as a family too. Good report.
 
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#12
That's a cool video, it's always fun to see young kids riding.
I live in Ontario and want to bring my kids to MI for some riding next year. What do I need to get besides ORV stickers and insurance? My kids are 13 and 11 years old.
 

Steve St.Laurent

Mi. Trail Riders
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#13
ORV stickers and your kids need to get their safety certificates. Anyone under the age of 16 has to have a safety certificate to ride in Michigan. Here's a handbook from the DNR - http://www.offroad-ed.com/mi/handbook/table_of_contents.htm . The CCC ( http://www.cycleconservationclub.org/ ) puts on classes where kids can get their safety certificates at pretty much all of the kids rides which are also great events to take your kids to. You can also get a certificate from an MSF dirt bike school - http://www.dirtbikeschool.com/ . The CCC classes are far cheaper. My daughter has taken the CCC class twice now and attended the dirt bike school as well. She learned a lot more at the dirt bike school because there were 2 instructors and 2 kids - the CCC classes had 2 instructors and more like 16 kids. But if your kids already ride well the CCC class will take care of them.
 

Steve St.Laurent

Mi. Trail Riders
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#15
They only have to do it once. They get a certificate that they have to have on them - hers is laminated and is inside her helmet. They give you two copies. The ccc and the msf keeps track of it too so you can get it replaced if lost.