Mountain Biking with a Toddler

Mountain Biking with a Toddler

I’ve been suffering from cabin fever as of late.  The snow for skiing and winter sports isn’t great, but the trails close to home are covered in ice and mud.  Add to that a few bouts of croup and flu, and our family has been spending more time in front of the TV than I would like.

We needed to get out mountain biking–toddler and all!  On Saturday morning we headed to new-to-us trails on Antelope Island.  It was cold—39 degrees at the trailhead—so we had Little P bundled up with his snow coat, hat, etc.  We brought his Haro balance bike so he could get some exercise, and also his iBert bike seat so Mr. B and I could get some exercise.

Antelope Island is the largest island in the Great Salt Lake, and is home to abundant wildlife, including buffalo!  There’s no way Lil P could have had any idea what buffalo were, but he was excited to see some—and we did—a whole herd about 50 yards from the trail.  Very cool!  The singletrack was dry and I felt like we were back in the Arizona desert.

To our surprise, we were still getting ready at the car when Lil P took off down the trail.  It was a narrow singletrack, but had a mild downhill grade that proved to be a great child-friendly mountain bike ride.  He was on his balance bike, but that kid was moving!  He rode almost 2 miles with minimal stops before he wore out and asked to get in his seat with dad.

Toddler Mountain Biking

Of course we still had the issue of what to do with his balance bike, so I strapped it on my back and we kept going.  After a few months without much mountain biking, it felt AWESOME to be riding on dirt.  Behind me I could hear Mr. B and Lil P chatting away about the geography, the lake, and the animals.

Mountain Biking with a Balance Bike

Part of mountain biking with a toddler is lots of stops and chances to explore.  We pulled over several times to climb boulders, eat snacks, pee on rocks, and dig in the dirt.  It’s not the epic mountain biking that we did before having kids, but it is pretty special.

Mountain Biking Antelope Island

Outdoor adventures with toddlers don’t always go smoothly, but I’m calling this one a win.  We made it out with no tears, a little one ready for a nap, and a great mountain bike ride for mom and dad—oh and some beautiful moments as a family that we’ll always remember.


Kristen is a project manager and writer. She spends all her free time mountain biking with her family on the trails in Salt Lake City and Park City, UT.

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