Riding with Family

As many of you know I work at a local bike shop. I get asked often for tips, locations or groups people can ride with their families. I know there are several places that offer intro to riding programs for kids such as Sportwheels and Ride East.

However, where and whom do you ride with afterwards?

This is a spot for folks to post up and offer locations or tips on how to get young 'uns into this great sport. If you would like to meet up and show someone a great intro trail or maybe offer some sizing suggestions or a great technique to get your partner into mountain biking please post up.

If you happen to have any questions please post them here. There is always someone willing to help. Feel free to post up any used bikes or equipment on our buy/sell area so kids can have quality gear to shred on.

Happy posting and hope to see a lot of folks out on the trails this summer!


Kids short track races are a great place to connect with other kids and parents to ride with.


I’d like to point out if anyone with kids who ride wants to start a regular kids ride or event under the ECMTB banner, give us a shout.

We will do what we can to help promote it and could even pay for snacks and small givaways.

It would need to be a “parents present” event and the site leads probably would not have time to be there or organize it but we could support in other ways.


For those who haven’t met me I’m only 13. I’m definitely a bit of an exception here as I got my dad into riding not the other way round but I’d say (to a point) let them find places to ride. For example, I ride rocky/rooty moto trails all day but my friend finds his limits on the old Halifax road. I’ve definitely had some solo rides that turned out a bit rough (2hr ride turned into a 5hr ride) but I’ve figured out my limits. My biggest input would be to make sure they have some snacks (think granola bars), water, and a fully charged phone (with service). My rides often change from what was planned and it’s good to have a map and a way to tell my parents what the plan is. As for trails I think it’s good to remember that the 24 and 26” wheels on kids bikes struggle to get up big obstacles that 29ers float up. One big thing I’d like to remind everyone that some people just prefer solo riding and it’s no different with kids. I know a lot of my friends only ride in groups but you’ll rarely find me riding with someone.


Riding with Kids/Family is Great! A few random thoughts/personal experiences for folks just getting into it:
-Be prepared to Lower your expectations, then Lower them again - whatever distance/difficulty/stoke level you have planned probably won’t be correct, at least initially.
-Railyard, River Ridge Common, Brookvale, Minto and Cardigan are all personal family favourites
-mountain biking often works better when you frame it as part of the journey, not the primary focus. e.g. riding to a lake that has good skipping rocks or frogs to catch.
-never underestimate the power of post ride ice cream, pop, pizza, patio margaritas
-you can’t bring too many snacks. Also don’t forget the sunscreen/bug spray
-while you want to foster some independence for kids/partners to have their own snacks, water etc. Be prepared to be the family pack mule-carry extra water, snacks, layers, tubes, pumps tools etc.-free weight training to balance the slower pace!
-trail systems with multiple loops are great for bailout options
-trail systems with skills parks/pump tracks/playgrounds are great for letting kids mess around. especially if you have a kid/partner that wants to do another trail while the others want to relax/rest for a bit.
-If you have the opportunity have your partner get out riding while you stay with the kids. my partner wasn’t that keen on mtn biking until she went to a women’s getaway with SheRad. It totally changed her perspective, and now I make sure to prioritize her getting out for women’s rides above my own needs.
-Whenever possible pre-ride/know the trails you’re taking your family/kids on. Biking can be challenging enough without adding getting lost/extra difficulty to the dynamic of potential frustrations.
-make sure your kids/partners bikes are in good condition well before a ride. despite trying to stay on top of this, I’ve frequently discovered loose wheels, rusty chains, over/underinflated tires etc.
-If you can, a multi-day trip that involves biking can do wonders for kids skills and sense of adventure. Bike in the am, go to the beach in the afternoon. Also plan a day with no biking.
-recognize that kids stoke, or lack thereof for biking can wax and wane day to day and year to year and to go with the flow.


I’m biased, but I think Nine Mile is a good newbie/kids trail. Not very rooty (as long as you stay out of Hemlock Cathedral), decent flow. Climbs, turns, descents, boardwalks and a few optional tech features keep things interesting. Lots of benches to rest at, too.