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Some people get it, some don’t

April 29, 2013

My first blog post about Tadhg fatbikepacking has gotten some super positive feedback.

2013-04-06 15-01-14 1340324

When I arranged to get Tadhg his Mukluk, a couple of people questioned the wisdom of buying a kid a real bike.  They thought I should get him a BSO for a couple of hundred dollars because:

  1. It is spoiling him.
  2. He will just grow out of it.
  3. He won’t take care of it.
  4. He will just wreck it.
  5. It costs too much.
  6. Anyone that buys a kid a real bike is an idiot.

I am not about to argue these points, but I will point out that my kid is the one who rode 100km of gravel in a day as an 8 year old – maybe it’s because he is spoiled.

Fortunately, the people who understand, really get it.

When I proposed to Sean at bikebike.ca getting a Mukluk for Tadhg, he had some rational questions.  He was supportive and saw the logic of setting kids up on the path to good health.  He brought in an extra small Mukluk even though I was not sure it would even fit Tadhg.  He worked out a deal with me to help me  afford it.

Fast forward to our first winter bikepacking trip.  Tadhg and I wanted to write it up.  We were thrilled to have shared and adventure.  Sure, I had it in my head that maybe we could help inspire others, but mostly we just wanted to share the fun.

Wow.

People, including his school principal, friends, and others left nice comments, sent encouraging emails and told Tadhg how much they liked hearing about his trip. And then it got better.

I guess Tadhg is now at least a partially sponsored rider.

It started with Scott Felter from Porcelain Rocket.  I have had a set of his bags for over a year and I really like them.  I met him when he moved to Calgary a few months ago, and he is a really great person.  When he heard about Tadhg bikepacking, he was thrilled to see the next generation being introduced to the joys of bikepacking.  He wanted to come with us and tried to make it back from a trip to the US in time to come along.  When he heard the story, he was so impressed with Tadhg’s tenacity that he built a custom set of bike bags for Tadhg.  Tadhg loves them and wants to get out using them as soon and as often as possible.  He packs them full of groceries, spare clothing and whatever else kids carry around.

We got a message from Mike (Kid) Reimer at Salsa that he wanted to send Tadhg something.  We thought a pack of stickers would be nice.  What came was a set of Salsa racks for Tadhg’s Mukluk, some ball caps, straps, a limited print, and yes, stickers.  Again, Tadhg is thrilled, he will use the racks for more adventures.

While the cynic in me sees the advertising value in all of this (though no one asked me to write this), the fact is that no one sends kids stuff for sitting around watching TV, Tadhg does cool stuff and I am happy that people are recognizing it.  I am really happy that Tadhg gets to see that people think highly of him.  I am extremely happy that the people who are giving him recognition are the people that I like.  Tadhg and I are both very grateful for the free stuff, but we are just as grateful for the encouragement to have fun and be outside.

Hopefully at least one parent sees what we are doing and gets inspired to do whatever they like to do.

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12 Comments
  1. dexey permalink

    My two eldest daughters used to cycle with me when they were10 and 12. Unfortunately, they discovered boys at about 15 and their cycling stopped :0)
    It is good to see youngsters getting good support as they enjoy life. Well done the two of you.

  2. Active kids make active adults. Humans are designed to move. Keep up the great work. Now I just need to convince my wife that I can get my kids fat bikes.

  3. I’ll sponsor T&F for backcountry biking M&M’s!

    😉

    Vik

    • That’s a favourite fuel source. Fiona got some for easter and said, “we should go for a 10km hike tomorrow so we can eat these!”

  4. Kelly permalink

    Anything specific you used in the bike set up for your son that has worked because of his size/age? Also, the tires look to be a 26×3. Was that to help with weight on the wheels and stand over? My son is 11 and I would like to get him out with me as well. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • The 3 inch tires are 1.5 pounds each lighter than the stock Nates, also he was running with basically no air in the nates and they were falling off the bead seat. He has a short stem and the Jones bars give him a little more rearward reach. The seat is a junior size that he likes. I bought some 145mm profile cranks with a 23 inch chainring to replace the stock 170mm crank which hurt his knees. Feel free to ask anything else, I had meant to talk a little about that. I may get around to an actual article on fitting the bike to my kid.

  5. I get it. My kid is now 22 and before college played 12 years of national level ice hockey. We camped, biked, and rollerbladed together. Yes I’m blessed with a wonderful daughter and the outdoors contributed to that. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  6. Awesome.

  7. The beauty of getting good gear for your kids is that it will last a long time and can be handed down to younger kids. I have fleece jackets that went through all five of my kids. Same with backpacks, sleeping bags, bikes, etc. I’m hanging on to some of the stuff to use with future grandkids.

    • I don’t have five kids, but I have gear that went through other kids, then mine and then got passed along. I also made a baby snowsuit when I couldn’t find one that met my requirements – it has been through at least five kids.

  8. Mercedes permalink

    Buying Buying a good quality bike and the equipment needed to do the outdoor activities you both enjoy demonstrates you value your children’s safety and comfort. If they feel comfortable and they will keep on doing the sport. When my son was young we bought the Burley piccolo to attach to our bike, it was expensive but the best and most stable of all. He loved changing the gears and peddalling fast. My son is also a ski racer and those skiis are expensive but he takes very good care of all his ski equipment so it last longer.

    I enjoyed seeing the photos and reading about your adventures.

  9. I’m looking to do the Elbow Loop or a portion of it with my 8 year old at the end of summer.

    Thanks for sharing these stories and truly inspiring those of us struggling with the decision to take the leap and get our kids doing what we enjoy.

    Happy trails to you both!

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