HOW TO FIGURE IT OUT
IS IT USEFULL FOR YOU OR FOR YOUR CHILDREN?
It was really difficult for us to decide, how to build up a rating system for the various trails that we ride.
The focus of this website is intended to be on traveling with children and also mountainbiking with children. Therefore we need a rating system that shows, how easy/difficult the trails are, so you guys will not have to drag your children out on trails that are not kids friendly. This is where, we often end up – being maybe a bit too ambitious on behalf of our two girls, and this was also how the idea to the website came up.
Why not try and rate various trails – when seeing things from our girl’s perspective?
So this is what we are trying… We have learned now that a good idea is to let one of us parents try the trail first to see, if it is rideable for Lærke and/or Sofie. Then we can decide, if we want to bring them along. We have tried too difficult trails in the past, and it is just a really bad experience for everyone.
So this is our system…
We rate the trails based on “fun factor” for the person that riders the trail. Furthermore, we have thrown in the Vanlife experience of that particular spot.
This rating system means that you guys need to know, who we are. Maybe you have read the “about” section on this page, but this does not quite cover, how we ride bikes.
So, here goes:
Katrine rides a Santa Cruz Tallboy 3, and it suits her perfectly with the 120mm up front and 110mm in the back. It can absorb a lot of things but it is still a fast bike – also to pedal… And it the perfect bike for Danish trails. She rides aggressively and it not scared of going quite fast downhill. She has, though, experienced her limits when riding red or black trails in the alps. So when it gets really rocky and/or rooty, this is where, she will get off her bike and pull it down to the next flow section – some would say that the bike might also be one of the limiting factors here.
Jakob rides a Santa Cruz Hightower LT (Long Travel). It might actually be a bit too much for a lot of the Danish terrain with 150mm front and back, but he loves this bike, as it always inspires confidence. It can handle almost anything, he throws at it, since none of us are true downhillers. It is not the fastest bike uphill but still pedals quite well, and when the nose is turning downwards, this bike is perfect fun. Jakob prefers technical stuff – both up and down and handle all the terrain in Denmark but also most of the terrain in the mountains of Europe. He likes going fast downhill and the only problem might actually be too much confidence in the bike’s ability to save his a..
Sofie is 7 years old and in a really good shape. She can ride pretty steep uphill but is not especially fond of going downhill. A lot of the flatter Danish trails suits her good though, and she can keep up a good pace, if the terrain is just a little bumpy up and down flow stuff.
Lærke is 5 years old and tries to ride as her bigger sister. She has accepted, though, that she does not have quite the same strength in her legs yet. But she is actually more eager to try stuff, and she is not scared. The limitations here are power and distractions. She talks all the time – also when riding – and she gets interested in various things on the trails – like flowers, berries, animals and nature in general, so it is always stop and go with. (One of the reasons both parents are riding flat pedals.)
The both ride a 20″ Orbea kids bike, which suits them really well. Lærke’s might be a bit large to her, but she needed a bigger gear ratio for riding with her sister, than what most 16″ and 18″ bikes could offer her. So we opted for the 20″, and she really likes it.
Check out some of the videos from the Danish trails to see their riding capabilities in order for you to decide, whether a trail suits your child or not. Here is an example:
So some of the trails suit the parents, some suit the girls and some suit both. But the rating is based on the “fun factor” for the individual person.
This does not mean that a 1-star trail for Lærke necessarily is a bad area. Maybe the surroundings are really nice to do other stuff in for the girls, while one of the parents is having a blast on the trails. So make sure to read the description of the trail, before deciding to go there or not.
The rating system is the quick way to see, if our girls like the specific trail or not, so if you have children riding bikes, you will have an idea, if your child will have fun on the trail as well…
Based on “fun factor”
The Vanlife Experience