Henry has been riding his pedal bike for a few months now, but in the last week, his confidence has really grown, especially after he had “wheelie day” at nursery on Thursday. He was a bit reluctant to take his pedal bike, and I am glad he did because, after a full day of riding it at nursery, he kept asking to ride it. Building on this enthusiasm, I decided it was time for another family bike ride to Hicks Lodge.
Hicks Lodge, near Ashby-de-la-Zouch in Leicestershire is perfect for new mountain bikers, the trail is relatively short, and mostly flat, but has lots of features like berms and rollers to keep the enjoyment factor high. For the littlest riders, it is possible to ride the last two sections of the trail without committing to the entire loop. This was where Owen got his first taste of mountain biking.
The plan was that Owen would ride a lap with Jen, whilst Henry and I did laps of the last section of trail, then we would swap and I would ride a lap with Owen. However, even just riding out of the car park it was clear to me that Henry had made some serious progress. So we joined Jen and Owen for the ride to the trailhead – with Henry confidently leading the way! After leaving the others to ride the full blue-graded loop, Henry and I joined the last two sections of the trail – Henry loved it and coped so well with the rollers and berms. At the end of the trail Henry did not stop riding, he wanted to do it again! We had a stop for a biscuit and a selfie, but only briefly, as Henry wanted to get back on the trail.
On the second lap, Henry was even more confident, although I could tell he was getting tired. He took some convincing to stop and let me take a photo, but I am really pleased with the photo at the top of the post. After the photo Henry carried on, whilst I packed the camera away, I could still see him through the trees, but thought it was good that he was confident enough to ride off. I had to sprint to catch up, but found him waiting for me, because he needed a wee. As Henry was relieving himself by the side of the trail, Owen and Jen whizzed past and I managed to grab my iPhone in time to get photos of them. Henry was most put out that they had not stopped for him, and pedalled his little legs off to catch them up!
The plan had been for me to do a full lap of the blue trail with Owen, but he did not fancy it, so Jen rode back to the van/playground with the boys, whilst I did a solo lap. It has been a while since I rode at Hicks Lodge on my own, so I enjoyed blasting around the trails, setting a lot of Strava PRs in the process, including for the full lap!
Even though we barely rode together, it was a good family trip out, and I think that Henry’s riding has come on enough that maybe next time we will all be able to ride the full lap together!