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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm 31 years old and love to ride my mountain bikes. I've got a steady job despite a bum market, a wife who fully accepts my cycling habits, a family who supports me at a few local races a year, friends who ride regularly with me and I have to ability to plan and accomplish trips to some of the best trails in the US. I also have a newborn.

My son is 2 months old, healthy, beautiful and recently vaccinated for all sorts of lethal diseases. I have dreams of pedaling with him around trails with names like Sink Hole, Cowbone, The Vortex and the like.

It's been a challenging transition from 20-something and married (to a hot wife who dabbles in cycling) with lots of free time to train regularly...to new dad struggling to get in even 6 hours a week on the bike.

I'm curious to know how the mtb crowd manages family life, careers and a love for all things off road. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
 

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what bweide said and learn to sleep less! I get up really early before the wife and kids are up to get in my saddle time. I'm back when they are getting up and getting ready for the day. It get's alot easier as the kids get older and more independent.
 

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bike trailer for kids and fire roads. Not optimal but I see kids getting towed around a lot. Its hilarious when they are on those bikes with just one extra wheel that get attached, and their face is covered with mud from their parents back tire
 

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your in a great spot hillslayer. bless you for your family and of course your hobby. i'll i can say now as an empty-nester is the time will come again for more trail time. by that time, grandchildren will take up the slack. enjoy every moment.........life is that important.
 

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Yup, been through this same struggle myself and I feel like it gets even more difficult as your kids get older. We now have a 2 & 4.5 year old. My wife is an avid rider too so we have gone from being riding buddies to switching off ride time. Here's a few tricks I've tried
*Buy lights. Lots of riding to be done early morning or later at night, especially in the low sun months
*Road bike (heresy). I'm able to get in some long lunchtime rides from my office
*Commute. Likewise some of my rides are commuting
*Kids rides. In a few months your tike can roll with you in a Chariot. At about 3 or so a tag-along bike is good option too. This isn't a replacement for a fun trail ride but at least gets your legs turning and is fun for the kid too. Hook a 40lb tag-along to your MTB, add 30lb-40lb kid & do some hill repeats :(

Unsolicited kid/bike tip- Buy a balance/glider bike. They are an awesome way for a kid to learn to pedal and you don't have to suffer through the training wheel anxiety.
 

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For me it's always meant riding more on the road than on the MTB. Sometimes that's been before work and sometimes after work for intense one hour rides. When mountain biking I included the family as much as possible turning races into weekend trips and regular rides into camping trips. We also used to have great family oriented group rides and cookouts.

Of course when they get older you can look forward to this...my daughter at 4 years old about to get her first taste of single track on River Loop at Alafia.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Words of encouragement from experienced parents help immensely. I've considered the early a.m. rides with the lights on. Maybe as my son gets older that will seem easier to accomplish. I realize that at 2 months old we are still deep in the weeds of transitioning from younger married couple to younger married couple with a newborn.

My wife and I were talking about the chariots that are pulled behind adult bikes. Any ideas of approximate ages the kids have to be, or where they should be developmentally to be pulled around paved trails. I don't want to rush into anything that will be detrimental, but the idea of a tractor pulling the kid around will certainly increase the intensity of my training rides.

Fly2Hi...that picture is worth a thousand words. Kudos to you for making a hobby a supportive event involving your family. Truly inspiring. I've always enjoyed my trips to Alafia.
 

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I think everyone has given some good advice. Ride early. Live somewhere close to trails so rides don't take too much time away from home. Take the kids with you. Plan rides around family activities.

I ride every morning before my family gets up and before work. I leave at 5:30-6:00 and am back by 7:30 for breakfast with the fam. Drive my son to school at 8:00 on my way to work. My weekend rides are a bit longer (2-4 hours) but it still leave plenty of time for yard work, honey do's, and family time. And I take Sunday's off. No rides. Total family day.

I really enjoy taking my kids riding with me when I can get them to go.

Here's a link to a trip I did with my 12 year-old son last spring break. We had a great time.
DSC00719

The year before we hit the California coast and did a few family rides on some terrific bluff trails overlooking the ocean at Wilder Ranch near Santa Cruz and Montana de Oro SP near Moro Bay further south. It was a bit of a hassle hauling all the bikes just for the few rides we did but I thought it was more than worth it.

Spring break 2010 010

Spring break 2010 018

Congrats on the new baby. Welcome to the adventure of child rearing. It'll be the most difficult and rewarding thing you will ever do. And, in the end, way more important than riding a bike. It's all about keeping things in the proper balance.
 

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You are blessed. Now that my "newborns" are 23 and 28, it has become quite a hobby to watch how other people raise their kids-especially in areas where I screwed up. Sorry I can't remember exactly who to credit, but one of the coolest things I've ever seen was a photo of a dad racing his kids around the dining room table on tricycles:D Priceless.
 

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Enjoy every minute of it, after all it is just riding, your child is your flesh and blood. I am 44 and my son is 17, he kicks my butt every ride and I love him and am extremely proud of him, as I of my daughter, who doesn't ride. In no time, you'll have more time and you will wish they were younger!
 

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Welcome to the club. Get an iBert seat, then upgrade to weehoo trailer, then make a nice 20" incher. Trade weekends off with your wife. We need some time for ourselves on a regular basis.
 
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