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Spring break had great weather so we changed plans, putting away the skis and loading the dirt bikes. Searching for areas that were clear of snow led me south and I ended up striking out for Moab. It was an experiment in taking the entire family. The kids are 5, 8, and 9 and they do well on dirt but I knew the sand would be a challenge and didn't know how it would play out on the rock. Anyhow, we had a great time and it was a complete success. But when I searched online I could not find any info about experiences with kids around Moab and never see kids riding there so I thought I would share. We rode:

3D Jeep Trail to Bartlett Wash loop, Flat Iron Mesa loop, 7 Mile Rim, Monitor and Merrimac, and Wipe Out Hill loop, Slick rock, Hell's Revenge, Fins n Things, and maybe a bit more.

Bikes are as follows: 5 yr old on a TTR50, 8 yr old on a CRF70, and 9 yr old on a CRF80

As I expected, sand was a great challenge on the little wheels. The kids quickly figured out the slick rock and managed to avoid any bad falls. My 5 year old has logged a lot of miles in front of me and we would park her bike whenever she wasn't having fun and pop her on mine. The first day I was trying to find out if this experiment had any legitimacy at all, and it was promising aside from some of the long soft sand in Bartlett. My wife took a fall and hurt her ribs on Flat Iron Mesa, so the kids and I rode the rest alone. We had a blast, except one long loose hill climb and then immediate descent, which was very hard with the little bikes (you can dodge it if you are paying attention). They gained a lot of confidence on some of the rock ledges at Flit Iron. 7 Mile is always a great time, as was M&M. My 5 year old got to ride a few miles of this loop until the sand was bad. The sand sections are simply a drag for them, but by then I heard few complaints as they were getting better at handling the sand and were having fun. Slickrock was more stressful, as I let my 5 yr old try the Practice Loop. She did great and was very upset that I would not let her ride the rest of the trail: "Did I do good enough to ride the whole trail?" She ended up doing 3 laps on Practice Loop. Tears were brief as I parked the bike. My older kids did really well on the main trail with me spotting in a couple of locations. I missed the cut-off into Fins n Things and we rode the whole trail, which put is in some deep, dry sand sections. The rock sections were great. We rode Hell's Revenge last. I needed to see how they were riding first due to the exposure on that trail. I was nervous but they were not. They had another great time on Hells and had plenty of confidence by then.

All in all, the riding went better than I could have hoped. The kids did managed to learn how to ride the new terrain types and ended up riding everything I threw at them. If I was giving advice to someone thinking of trying this I would work harder to avoid the deep sand, especially in the beginning. I would insist that you had ridden and knew the trails pretty well in advance. Protective gear is important on rock--knee guards can turn a small tip-over into a laugh instead of a big bruise. One risk I was concerned with was a simple fall scaring one of my little riders and creating a mental block. There are also easier and harder trails but we all know our kids best and know what they are capable of. These are not special kid trails--they are just what I deemed appropriate for the day and the kid. And our day off was a big hit. The kids loved the petroglyphs and dinosaur tracks along Potash Rd. The new museum at 313 was a bit of a flop for us, but the rock shop was a great spot to visit. I hope this helps someone plan their trip.

I posted a couple of videos:

 

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I'm sure your kids will be talking about their first trip to Moab for a long time. That was excellent! They did great and it sounded like they had a fun time.

Of course, the next time I go to Moab, I'm going to want to say "Tweety Bird" when I ride Hells Revenge now.

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Thanks for sharing, this is excellent input. I ride down there several times a year so it's hard to put perspective on how hard is would be on my 6 year old. Now I can tell her that other kids are doing it too

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10 hours ago, tonkaman said:

Thanks for sharing, this is excellent input. I ride down there several times a year so it's hard to put perspective on how hard is would be on my 6 year old. Now I can tell her that other kids are doing it too

No problem! What is she riding? The 10" wheels were the hardest to accommodate.

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No problem! What is she riding? The 10" wheels were the hardest to accommodate.

She's on a '16 KTM 50sx. It's a bit of a handful in the bumpy stuff for her, but she loves getting butterflies in her belly. I can't wait to take her on the trails with me! FullSizeRender 4.jpg
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wow...i am very impressed your kids went on slickrock.  While the traction is great, it is visually intimidating.

Also impressed your wife was a good sport about it given she hurt her ribs and you were taking your kids on what I'm sure she considers death defying terrain.

 

 

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Tonka, I like that chest protector with the elbow protection. What is it?

I ride trails exclusively with the kids so I've stuck with the little thumpers so far. I love that bike but I don't know if it will be harder on technical stuff. The bigger wheels will help and the suspension--the suspension on my kids' bikes is crap.

Silvfx, thanks for the kind words. My kids have developed maybe an unhealthy trust in their ability to follow me. I'm trying not to take advantage of it too much!

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The chest protector is made by Bilt. It's a cheapo from cycle gear but it certainly gets the job done.

The smoker will definitely make those trails a bit more tricky, but it's good to know it's not way out of her league. It's funny how things seem so different when you think about them through your kids perspective.

I just bought her an Oset trials bike so maybe that would be the right choice...

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On ‎4‎/‎10‎/‎2017 at 9:40 PM, tonkaman said:

The chest protector is made by Bilt. It's a cheapo from cycle gear but it certainly gets the job done.

The smoker will definitely make those trails a bit more tricky, but it's good to know it's not way out of her league. It's funny how things seem so different when you think about them through your kids perspective.

I just bought her an Oset trials bike so maybe that would be the right choice...

Thanks, I'll look into them.

It is really hard to tell how they will do until you turn them onto a trail. I was nervous taking my short ones on these trails! I hope you will let us know how she does.

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wow im impressed your kids rode all that at their age, you must have some little rippers on your hands

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Great Post! I'm headed to Moab next week with a 78 year old uncle looking to ride a dirtbike in Moab....bucklist! I will consider your routes! Hopefully we can ride together again someday.

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On ‎4‎/‎20‎/‎2017 at 1:59 PM, Charles De Mar said:

Great Post! I'm headed to Moab next week with a 78 year old uncle looking to ride a dirtbike in Moab....bucklist! I will consider your routes! Hopefully we can ride together again someday.

Mike,

I'll call you next time I'm heading that way sans the short ones. Let us know how uncle does!

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10 hours ago, mikea 2 said:

Mike,

I'll call you next time I'm heading that way sans the short ones. Let us know how uncle does!

Sounds good. I'm on a new bike 

 

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Edited by Charles De Mar

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