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  1. #1
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    appropriate age to start riding on the road?

    my son is twelve and it looks like he is going to inherit my old bike, or at least the parts off of it. He desperately needs a smaller frame, but handles the bike quite well.

    I am very excited to see him excited about riding something other than his BMX bike and at the prospect of us riding together, but am leery of him going out on country roads with me.

    I ride the roads mainly because it is so much more peaceful and because I can keep a good pace without having to worry about trail collisions, dog entanglements, etc.

    We live on the outskirts of town, so it is easy to find a quiet country road, easier than the five minute ride to a trailhead.

    I am curious who here has a son/daughter that rides with them, what age they started, and where they ride.

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Well I rode with my boys when they were about eight years old and up. We would do organized rides together and started with 25 mile routes and later we did a metric century. For a couple of months before the rides we would do weekly rides of 12 miles.

  3. #3
    Not a rocket surgeon.
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    He is your child, you make the call.
    My son is 6 and we make 12-14 mile rides on the MUT often. He has a great time.
    Isnotimpressedbystoreboughtplasticbikes

  4. #4
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    If they are able to pass the written test of the driving test with nothing wrong, then they are old enough because they know all the rules of the roads.

  5. #5
    Not a rocket surgeon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longhair-NL View Post
    If they are able to pass the written test of the driving test with nothing wrong, then they are old enough because they know all the rules of the roads.
    I wish this was a rule. Half of the morons on bikes would be walking.
    Isnotimpressedbystoreboughtplasticbikes

  6. #6
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    At the risk of sounding like someone's father...

    "Why, when I was 12 I rode my bike everywhere!"

    My son is 8. I take him for 10-15mi rides on country roads around here all the time. I don't take him on 20mph rides or hill repeats on twisty-turny roads. I have him in front of me so I can keep an eye on him. (He's too small for me to try to draft.) He has a ball "riding with dad."
    "It ain't a teacup that the Queen gave you - it's a bike. Ride it!"

  7. #7
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    I dont have any kids but if I did I would have them riding as soon as they were able to ride the bike (as early as 4 if possible). I think its very important that you get them out on the road as early as possible and teach them how to ride safely. We all know that riding on the road is an inherently dangerous thing and every time we go out we risk injury or worse. I would want my kids to have the knowledge they need to keep them from harms way and the only way I can teach them is by example.

  8. #8
    Bus wrestling roadie.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longhair-NL View Post
    If they are able to pass the written test of the driving test with nothing wrong, then they are old enough because they know all the rules of the roads.
    BIG "wrong"!
    The written test "rules of the road" don' t begin to cover all the rules of a cyclist's road. Only time in the saddle on the road with an experienced rider can give a kid the knowledge they need to survive the selfish, self-absorbed morons on four wheels.
    "I'm on my beater bike."
    Translation:
    I had this baby custom-made in Cambiago using carbon-fibre blessed by the Pope. I took it to a wind tunnel and it disappeared. It weighs less than a fart and costs more than a divorce.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJP Diver View Post
    At the risk of sounding like someone's father...

    "Why, when I was 12 I rode my bike everywhere!"

    d."
    that was my first thought when I read the op too.

    As said it's your call but on country roads with you, or any responsible adult, 12 seems plenty old enough to me.

  10. #10
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    My daughter started with her first real road bike at 10. Rode a 50 mile event with me at 11. Taught her how to draft early so she could make better pace with me. Except for descents where I have her ride in front where I can keep an eye on her. She does fine and she loves the organized rides. Finding a frame to fit her was a challenge - but got her a nice little Novarra with 650s, and she's been happy with it.

  11. #11
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    me and my son rode hotter n hell last year, he is 13 years old, he commutes to school everyday on his bike.. teach your children the rules of the road and they will do just fine. he did the 100 in 6.35.18 was our time..

  12. #12
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    I rode my bike to school starting in 3rd grade...so about 8 yo.

    but, that was thru a fairly tame residential area...to be out in 'real' traffic with the range of distracted nitwits that are prevalent today, I think 20 is a reasonable age.
    eff all y'all...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatiredflyer View Post
    BIG "wrong"!
    The written test "rules of the road" don' t begin to cover all the rules of a cyclist's road. Only time in the saddle on the road with an experienced rider can give a kid the knowledge they need to survive the selfish, self-absorbed morons on four wheels.
    Bicycles are suppose to follow the same rules of the road as cars.

    The selfish, self-absorbed morons on two wheels are the ones that creates the problems for all cyclists.

  14. #14
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    My boy is 4 and I just took the training wheels off a couple weeks ago!

    Anywhoo, If itís a quiet road with a nice shoulder, I think 12 is probably OK Ė depending on his maturity and such. But youíll be with him so Iím sure there wonít be any clowning around. I was riding my BMX with my friends in my residential neighborhood at that age and it would have been even safer if I were with my father, much safer.

    I think 12 is a fine age so do it now and do it often. Once he gets a bit older he probably wonít want anything to do with you unless you can grow a pair of bewbies.
    I ride mostly in the honorable pursuit of being kissed on both cheeks at the same time by one blond and one brunette. But not redheads, they scare me.

  15. #15
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    He has enthusiasm, some athletic ability, a bike that can be adjusted to fit (if just barely) and a willing and able teacher (you).

    Hit the road. Teach him how to ride safely, and enjoy.

  16. #16
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    Acutal research

    Quote Originally Posted by TickDoc View Post
    my son is twelve and it looks like he is going to inherit my old bike, or at least the parts off of it. He desperately needs a smaller frame, but handles the bike quite well.

    I am very excited to see him excited about riding something other than his BMX bike and at the prospect of us riding together, but am leery of him going out on country roads with me.

    I ride the roads mainly because it is so much more peaceful and because I can keep a good pace without having to worry about trail collisions, dog entanglements, etc.

    We live on the outskirts of town, so it is easy to find a quiet country road, easier than the five minute ride to a trailhead.

    I am curious who here has a son/daughter that rides with them, what age they started, and where they ride.
    There is actually research done on this topic. Go to National Center for Safe Routes to School for more background, but the short answer is that between the age of 10 and 12 most kids are capable of being taught how to safely ride on the road. Anyone who has raised kids knows that there is a wide variation in "learning readiness" from one kid to the next so you have to assess each kid's readiness.

  17. #17
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    Good to know I have the support of all my Internet bike-nut buddies, but convincing the wife will be another matter entirely.

    My only concern is the redneck nature of the other drivers and the lack of shoulders.

    My son has a decent head on his head and is very cautious, his mom....a little too much.

    I'm going to take him to the trails first, then we'll gradually branch out from there.

    He's only been riding ultegra for two days and already mastered it before I have red

  18. #18
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    My father took me out cycling routinely on city streets (well, twice a week) beginning when I was I'd say about, eight years of age? sounds about right. He told me to just stay about half a foot behind his wheel & listen to what he had to say/follow the rules of the road. I didn't get an interest in cycling again until I was 18, but I'd like to think that my father laid the initial groundwork for my interest/responsibly in my riding today.

  19. #19
    Realist
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    Quote Originally Posted by TickDoc View Post
    Good to know I have the support of all my Internet bike-nut buddies, but convincing the wife will be another matter entirely.

    My only concern is the redneck nature of the other drivers and the lack of shoulders.

    My son has a decent head on his head and is very cautious, his mom....a little too much.

    I'm going to take him to the trails first, then we'll gradually branch out from there.

    He's only been riding ultegra for two days and already mastered it before I have red
    Make sure that he wears a bright fluorescent color safety vest when riding so he could be seen by others.

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