taking kid mtb'ing – do you ride in front or behind?

Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)
  • taking kid mtb'ing – do you ride in front or behind?
  • chomp

    So as per thread title, I’m taking my son MTB’ing next weekend for the first time on proper marked trails (Bedgebury, so nothing too technical).

    The question I have is, would it be better for me to ride behind him (so I can see how he’s doing, maybe shout some instructions etc) or go in front and let him follow my lines etc (while obviously checking behind me and keeping it at a nice pace he’s comfy with)?

    I’m torn as I’d like to let him go in front so I can keep an eye on him but think he’d probably get on better watching where I go and letting me keep his pace steady (and slow on anything that’s downhill as he does have a tendency to just bomb along and not worry about what is coming ahead 🙂

    What’s the general stw consensus of those that take their kids on rides with them?

    Premier Icon tthew

    Behind. For the reasons you say. As long as he doesn’t bomb off anything fast enough to do any proper damge in a tumble, he’ll soon learn!

    Premier Icon grizedaleforest

    Mostly behind otherwise you’re constantly looking behind and you’ll find yourself going too quickly for him. On occasion you might want be in front if you don’t know the track and are worried about road crossings and the like.

    I always follow. Better to offer advice and to gauge speed.
    Thinking a little more, it lets them set the pace. Nothing will cheese them off that not being able to keep up. Trying to keep up might also see them fall off also.

    Premier Icon mintimperial

    The only problem with riding behind is if you go flying over the bars for no apparent reason your kid might not notice and may ride off blithely into the sunset whilst you’re trying to retrieve your stupid bike from a ditch, which can be a bit annoying. Apparently, so I’ve been told, ahem. 😐

    But yeah, I usually follow along behind to keep an eye on things.

    He’ll probably tell you what he prefers. I took our kid round the blue at Coed-y-brenin recently and he wanted to go behind me – I think it helped him to follow a line, and you can keep a check on the pace.


    I always lead if I’m riding with my nephew. That way I see what’s coming first and can warn him (if needs be) of what’s coming up and set the speed.

    I work on the basis that the danger is likely to come from behind at a trail centre. So I’ll put him in front.


    thanks for the input – I’ve ridden Bedgebury a couple of times and I think I can recall where the ‘trickier’ bits are so I might lead him on those bits (and then route back to give him a go in front if he wants to).

    There’s not a lot that could totally send him flying, and given he’s keen to give it a go I think I can convince him to keep it gentle to start with 🙂

    Premier Icon BillOddie

    Ride behind him.

    Better for heckling!

    Riding with your kids can be frustrating at times but genrally it’s awesome fun!

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout

    It depends on which bit of trail.

    Behind – for all the reasons you stated.
    Alongside – social, can demo bits now and again.
    In front – restrict speed and demo lines. Remember they cannot hear you speak….
    Off and spotting – bigger drops and steep climbs, just for a laugh.

    Premier Icon Speshpaul

    A bit of everything i’d say.
    don’t forget chocolate and emergency chocolate.
    and to stop and smell the flowers etc


    Always behind, including on the road slightly further out. Take Chocolate Bourbon biscuits. Chocolate taste without the mess.

    Premier Icon BillOddie

    Take Haribo too!

    Also a bottle with some of those low cal effervescent electrolyte stuff in it for “energy”. It’s the drink equivalent of the football magic sponge when the little lads get tired.

    In front of course, how else are you going to drop them on the next climb? Winning is everything.

    Premier Icon StirlingCrispin


    Plenty of encouragement and a wee bit of advice when required.
    And enjoy being able to keep up whilst you still can!

    I was slightly torn on this one, thought that being in front would help show the best lines etc and keep them from stalling on tricky bits.

    But after not noticing him having a minor stack behind me on one occasion, it’s behind all the way now. 😳

Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)

The topic ‘taking kid mtb'ing – do you ride in front or behind?’ is closed to new replies.