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    An Interview with a Mac Ride Family: Angela Coates

    An Interview with a Mac Ride Family: Angela Coates

    angelamaryfoster
    Angela and her husband Steve love anything that has two wheels. In fact, downhill racing is how they met 10 years ago. So it should come as no surprise that their little shredder Jack has inherited this love for the outdoors and biking. The excitement of picking a new trail and exploring a new place is what drives this adventurous family. Thanks to this early introduction to riding, Jack gets to spend loads of time on his bike at a phase in his life where there’s no obligation pulling him away. While Angela and Steve have to juggle work and adulthood, Jack gets to blissfully ride his bike along without a care in the world. We’re all a little jealous of Jack and other kids biking without restriction in the world!
     
    Read on to find out more about Angela’s story.
     
    How long has your family had the Mac Ride child's bike seat? How old was Jack when he first started using the seat?
    Scrolling down my Instagram feed I kept seeing this new contraption popping up on my newsfeed, and I’m thinking hmm, that looks pretty cool, I’ll check that out when Jack’s gone to bed. Then my husband pings it over to me. Great minds or what?! We followed the link, and although it was a bit pricey, it looked so much better than anything we’d seen before. Jack at this point had just turned 2 years old and was really starting to understand his balance bike. The Mac Ride seemed to really help with their core balance, and so for us, the two things went hand in hand. We bought the MacRide that night.
     
    Jack had always been itching to get on Daddy’s bike and sitting on the uncomfortable top tube didn’t quite cut it. You should have seen his face when he saw the Mac Ride seat on there. We took him for a spin around the garden and around the block, and he was loving it, trying to manoeuvre the bike himself using the handlebars and asking daddy to wheelie upon wheelie all the way along the street.
     
    Where’s your favourite place to go biking with kids?
    Our local trail centre is Hamsterley Forest in County Durham. This is where we spend the most time using the Mac Ride, there are plenty of flowy single tracks trails and a variety of blue, red and black trails. The first day we went there, Jack went down Pikes Teeth which is a black run, we didn’t go that fast obviously, but the Mac Ride was more than capable over the rooty and rocky bits. We tend to stick to the more flowy trails for him though just until he gets a bit older and a stronger hand grip, he really enjoys the bike going fast over the smooth whoopy bits and bermed corners.
     
    What’s one of your favourite stories from a ride out with the family using the Mac Ride seat?
    A month or so ago I went to the forest with my husband, Jack and Billy (my two sons), and my cousin and his son. We had a whale of a time. We started out doing the Gruffalo trail and then rode alongside the river on an undulating woodland trail. Jack was on the Mac Ride, and Billy and Fox were in bike trailers. It was just really nice to be out riding as a family for once and all the kids enjoying themselves, especially with Billy just being 6 months old. It's difficult normally for everyone to be happy and enjoying themselves during a full day out. We stopped loads of times along the way to throw sticks in the river, hug the Gruffalo, and eat plenty of snacks. That’s another good thing about the Mac Ride, it’s so accessible – Jack can just hop on and off so easy, no faffing with clips or buckles. He just slides his feet in and out and off we go! Simples!
     
    My favourite ride with just Jack and not the rest of the family has to be this:
    My second son Billy was 6 weeks old when we headed over to the Northumberland coast in the camper for a holiday. Moms have a lot of emotions after they’ve given birth and I had quite a bit of Mom guilt that I wasn’t spending as much time with Jack. Billy was breastfeeding a LOT, and so it was hard to find the time to give Jack all of my attention and do cool things together like he was used to doing. One morning, Billy was having his nap, and so Jack and I jumped on the Mac Ride, we’d not had it that long and so Jack was so excited to go for a ride with me with his new seat. The ride itself wasn’t technical at all, it was more about the journey. We rode along some little country roads and then crossed the giant’s causeway onto Holy Island before watching the tide come in and cover the road trapping us in on the Island (Hubby had driven onto the Island too, so we weren’t stranded). We stopped along the way to climb some sand dunes and peek out to sea over a lush deserted beach. It was just so nice to laugh and giggle and spend time chatting up front in the cockpit with my little boy while pedalling with the sea air in our faces.
     
    How has the seat positively impacted your family’s adventures together on the trails?
    To carry on riding your bike when you have kids is definitely tricky, it’s difficult to find the time and the energy really. Taking your kids with you is a great option if they’re into it. I love taking Jack on trails that I enjoy in the woods or to places that would be too far for us to walk or use his balance bike. Yeah, there are rear and front seats for them to sit in but they get bored of looking at your back and end up falling asleep all lopsided and slumped. We’ve found the Mac Ride to be much more fun for Jack. He gets something out of the ride, too. He can react to the bumps, he can lean into corners with you, and you can chat to each other along the way and point out things that you see. It just feels like you’re both having as much fun as each other, and it's not just me dragging my son along for the ride.
     
    What advice would you give to other parents who may be nervous about getting their child on the Mac Ride bike seat?
    I’d say they have nothing to be nervous about, they really haven’t. If there’s one thing I have learned about kids, it’s that they are so so adaptable. If you’re nervous about them falling off because they’re not strapped in as such then just choose a flat trail, go really slow at first. Talk to the child the whole time and gauge how they are feeling. Your arms act as a bit of a cage around them and make them feel secure. I’m pretty sure the parent will be more nervous than the child.
     
    How would your child/children describe their experience with the Mac Ride seat?
    Jack is a pretty decent chatterbox and I could try and capture his feedback on video for you if you like? Lol
     
    He often asks to go on the Mac Ride and that in itself speaks volumes. When he’s on the seat and going fast he’s screaming wanting to go faster and faster. His smiles are from ear to ear and I’m pretty sure he’d describe the Mac Ride as Amaaaaziiing!! It’s his favourite word at the moment.
     
    We don’t think we could have said it better ourselves. This family sounds pretty “amaaaaaziiing” to us! It can be hard to give something up that you love for someone you love more than anything else in the world. Giving up mountain biking when you have kids doesn't need to be a reality. Like most things with life, it simply changes a bit. We created the Mac Ride seat so that we could have similar moments to what Angela and Jack have with their own children. We’re simply tickled to know other families out there are enjoying the trails with their own kids as much as we are.
     
    Ready to get out on an adventure biking with kids and using a more adventurous child's bike seat? Shop for your own Mac Ride seat online today.
     
    Find Angela on Instagram to follow her biking adventures.

    Tools & Tips to Avoid Getting Stranded While Trail Riding

    Tools & Tips to Avoid Getting Stranded While Trail Riding

    Unexpected things can happen on the trail, especially when you factor kids into the mix. As parents, we find ourselves spending countless hours trying to prepare for everything yet still manage to forget to go for that last bathroom break before leaving the house. We don't know about you, but we definitely ran into a few “oh-no” moments on the trail even before we had kids. Now, biking with babies or children has magnified the worry tenfold that we could get stuck on a trail with our kids.
     
    We've found a few helpful things to always remember before setting out on an adventure with the kids. They might help keep your mind at ease should anything pop-up unexpectedly.
     
    Flats
    The biggest and most common issue we've dealt with as bikers is dealing with an unexpected flat tire. A flat tire is a fast way to flatline any adventure (sorry, we couldn’t resist). We make it a point of factoring tire care into our pre-trip bike maintenance check. Are our tires pumped up? Are they showing any damage or wear and tear? Do we have a patch kit and a pump along for the ride? If we can answer these questions the right way then we breathe a little easier knowing we aren't going to get stuck trail riding with a flat — with or without kids.
     
    What to ALWAYS pack
    No matter how long our ride, we always pack a few necessities. When you're biking up a hill with your toddler’s weight and the weight of all these “in-case” supplies, it can be a bit hard not to day-dream about leaving some of them behind. We've found the peace of mind these items bring us irreplaceable.
     
    • Extra water - you can never have enough hydration. We have even heard of some people packing purification tablets or some form of water purification methods. Purifying river water on the trail can be an entertaining activity with your children as well.
     
    • Emergency Kit - a cut or scrape is as magnetic to a child as a bee to a flower. There's no real way to avoid those little accidents that happen on the trail. We always have a First Aid Kit and plenty of lights for after dark should we need them.
     
    • Snacks - We all pack snacks as parents to avoid the hangry child. What once was sweet and innocent is suddenly akin to the Hulk searching for a city to destroy. Snacks — you can never have too many we’ve found.
     
    • Waterproof Case - As much as we hate it, our phones are a massive part of our life and can provide a feeling of security and safety. I don't even want to think about running into trouble on the trail and not having a charged and working phone.
     
    • Basic Repairs Kit - This can be as intense or as basic as you like. We tend only to bring the tools along we think are necessary (a spare spoke, zip ties, multi-tool, a master link for the chain, spare tubes, and a pump). The longer the trip, the more we would bring. We also don't bother bringing things along for repairs that we ourselves don't even know how to do.
     
    • Clothing for the conditions - We don’t even want to think about being stuck on the trail with our kids against our will after dark. These unexpected situations are the ones we plan for though. We always make sure to pack for any kind of weather for the season. If it's a longer trip and walking back home or calling for help may become an issue, we bring even more, just in case.
     
    Trip Planning
    Before we had kids, our rides were a little more intense. Longer rides, more advanced trails, and even a lack of cell reception meant creating a trip plan was a must. Knowing the trailhead, the planned route, and the expected duration of the ride were all critical information to know and share with someone before the adventure itself. Now, as parents, we tend to stay a little closer to cell range and on trails that are more suitable with kids. This idea of letting someone at home know where we're going for those longer trips is still a reflex, though. And we're sure glad that it is.
     
    Part of our biking adventure preparation is making sure the Mac Ride kids bike seat is secure and safely installed. We make sure we have this seat even if the kids are bringing their own bikes. You never know when little ones will get tired or have a bad day. We may not be able to supply you with water purification tablets or spare tubes, but we can provide you with all the gear you'll need to install your Mac Ride kids bike seat safely. Shop online today and make sure you have everything to make sure your little adventurer is comfy cozy on the trail.

    An Interview with a Mac Ride Family: Martin Gaissert

    An Interview with a Mac Ride Family: Martin Gaissert

    We’ve known Martin since before the first Mac Ride child bike seat became public. We were still in the early stages of the invention when Martin reached out to support us through our Kickstarter program. When the Mac Ride bike seat finally came on the market, Martin was quick to get one. Martin moved back to Canada in September 2017 with his wife and children and immediately started getting out on the trail with his own Mac Ride seat. Clearly, the best things are worth waiting for as Martin raves about the Mac Ride seat so much that we have a permanent blush on our faces.

    Want to learn more about Martin’s fascinating experience with the Mac Ride child bike seat? Read on to see how he’s passed on his love of the outdoors and tree-hugging to his little ones.

     
    Where’s your favourite place to go biking with your kids? Describe why & the trail itself.
    I love using Mac Ride on rolling bumps on packed dirt. That’s a perfect trail setup for my older daughter and me. She defines this as Rollercoaster Riding, and it is her definition of a “single trail.”
     
    We get the most excitement from being outside in nature. We have ridden the urban network around Stanley Park, but as soon as the riding dynamics increase, the fun grows exponentially.
     
    What’s one of your favourite stories from a ride with the little shredder using the Mac Ride child’s bike seat?
    In the beginning, I was asking her to support me when we were climbing uphill to the trailhead. Her contribution was to squeeze my wrists and pretend to be working hard with some heavy breathing, copying me. Now that’s empathy!
     
    How has the kid's bike seat positively impacted your families adventures together on the trails?
    Well, I have to say that my wife and I both have eBikes which make Mac Rides even more enjoyable because the radius of possible excursions has grown with the assist. We can take more things, and the rides can be longer. Last summer, we ended up having a picnic at the river, biking another 10k to have another picnic under a tree, playing ball, and then we biked to the forest for a third picnic. Those breaks are important to give the kids some relaxation time.
     
    What are a few other items that are on your 'must-have' list for an adventurous biking family?
    Helmets! I think that is a safety prerequisite, but the one really cool thing I always have is an action camera [like the main blog image].
     
    The Insta360 camera is what I use. Having a picture or video lets the kids re-live the moments many times after the ride.
     
    What was your experience like first with using the seat, and then helping your child to get comfortable on the bike with you?
    This is the most beautiful no-brainer ever. Have not seen one child yet that did not like the experience. And I think I am now close to 20 Mac Rides that I basically “sold” to users. The amazing thing is that you can share the dynamics of the bike ride with your child.
     
    What advice do you have to other parents who are considering getting their kids biking with them?
    First, make sure that you as a parent also like riding the trails and make sure that you rode a particular trail alone before you take your kid on it.
     
    Later, explore the trail together when both are used to it. Of course, you can go and explore new stuff together safely.
     
    Dress appropriately — it can get chilly for the kid on the Mac Ride kids bike seat. Better to over-layer a little bit. The cold is memorable and might interfere with the next ride.
     
    In your opinion, why do you think that it’s important to get children outside in this way?
    That’s a longer and more philosophical question for me. I sense a fascinating and powerful energy when being in the forest. I would call it being close to Gaia.
     
    Have you ever hugged a big tree and felt its temperature and listened to its sound? It gives me peace. I love the colour of light as it breaks through a canopy of trees. I love the smell of the soil and the sound of life. Happiness is not worth much if it’s not shared! And the joint experience of those beautiful things in nature with your little one is sharing in its purest form. Creating memories, feeling the adrenaline, and experiencing sympathy and meaning for nature together. I see lots of beautiful purpose in it.
     
    If you want to follow along with Martin and his family on their many trail adventures, you can find him on Instagram. Ready to get this level of stoke and nature into your child's life? Shop online for your Mac Ride kids bike seat today.

    How We Manage Adventure Travel With Our Kids

    How We Manage Adventure Travel With Our Kids

    We love to travel almost as much as we love to mountain bike. Almost. What’s even better is when we can combine both activities in one! We’ve definitely found that travelling with kids is a very different experience than when it was just the two of us — go figure. There are a few things we’ve found that helped us along the way to go from adventuring in our neighbourhood to adventuring as far as Costa Rica and Vietnam!
     
    Expensive!!
    Yes, there’s the added expense of the kids’ tickets as well as extra food costs for extra little mouths. Thanks to services like Airbnb, it can still be very affordable to travel with kids. By renting a place with a kitchen, you can cook a lot of meals at home, which means familiar foods for the little ones. Not to mention, there are plenty of inexpensive countries out there just begging to be explored that are still safe for kids. Plus, we found that by packing the Mac Ride kids bike seat on our trip, we could save money on transportation and activities.
     
    Tantrums
    Travelling is exhausting for the best of us. Long days in airports, language gaps, and time changes are some of the most difficult obstacles we’ve faced with our kids in tow. We’ve found that not planning too many things in a single day was key. If planning is your thing, though, kids can be great at helping to pick out activities for specific days, especially if they’re each in charge of their own day. When you’re all tired and exhausted, instead of pushing through, a family nap could be the only adventure needed on vacation that day. For us, the biggest help with avoiding meltdowns from both adults and kids was maintaining a good routine even on vacation. Usual mealtimes and bedtimes are a must. When it came to long travel days, we made sure to have plenty of games and activities for the kids to help keep them occupied.
     
    Kid-Friendly Activities
    We were worried that there may not be enough to do with the kids everywhere we went. Some activities just aren’t suitable for little ones. Luckily, when it comes to adventure travel, a lot of activities are perfect for families with younger kids. Snorkelling, hiking, and biking are amazing activities for kids of all ages. We particularly liked biking to see volcanoes while in Costa Rica. Kids biking is something we’ve seen in many countries, and it was lots of fun for our kids to come along for the ride, seeing all the children biking in their own ways in new places.
     
    Is It Safe?
    There’s always danger when going to a new place. Food sickness and crime come to our mind when we think of some of the risks we worried about. Worrying about the safety of your kids in an unfamiliar place is enough to scare even the bravest parent! We tend to travel to safer places that are a little more expensive while still being cheaper in comparison to some of the most popular family-friendly destinations. We found that it was important for us to feel comfortable so that, by extension, our children would feel comfortable, too. We decided never to go somewhere that would have made us too nervous or on edge.
     
    Packing
    This is the biggest struggle we have faced — limiting the number of toys or special items our kids want to bring. Getting toddlers and young kids packed for vacation is like playing Tetris blindfolded. You can start by setting limits on how many toys or special items can be packed. Having a “must-have” list for your child is a great idea, too. That way, they can see how much room they have left over for their toys and special items they want to bring. It’s almost guaranteed that you’re going to have some of their stuff in your bags. And by some, we mean a lot. But as long as you keep this in mind, you can save a little space among the essentials for your kids’ extras!
     
    We aren't the only family travelling with our kids, either! We’ve been lucky enough to see other families jet setting off to adventurous new places for a vacation with their kids. @GetOutThereAustralia and @Jonasstefans are just two of the many families we get to watch exploring the globe with their little adventurers in tow every day.
     
    We’ve been lucky enough to travel with our kids to near and far destinations, and every time, we bring the Mac Ride kids bike seat along. Thanks to its small size and ability to fold up, the seat is the perfect adventure activity for any vacation. The kids feel much safer with this familiar method of transportation, and now, we’re able to explore new and unseen trails and places. This touch of home has helped our kids to feel more comfortable in unfamiliar places.
     
    So, how do you adventure travel with your kids?

    @GetOutThereAustralia: Our Experience with the Mac Ride Kid’s Bike Seat

    @GetOutThereAustralia: Our Experience with the Mac Ride Kid’s Bike Seat

    We’re so grateful to have such a strong community out there on the trails using our seat. One such family, who’s been there from the beginning, is @GetOutThereAustralia. This adventurous family is made up of Lynn (mom), Michael (dad) and Zachary — the little shredder himself.
     
    This intrepid group was also one of the original backers of the crowdfunding project and have been out on the trails with their Mac Ride seat since May 2016. Zachary was only two years old when he climbed up onto his parent's bike to start adventuring. Now, the family is travelling across Australia in their caravan and on their mountain bikes. We’re sure they’re enjoying every moment of their adventures, and we love to follow along! But you don’t have to take our word for it. Lynn was kind enough to let us know first-hand about some of their triumphs, tales, and bumps in the trail.
     
    Tell us about one of your most recent biking adventures.
     
    Our most recent Mac Ride adventure has us riding 30 km along the Australian coastline, ending up in a little town called Goolwa where we caught a steam engine trail back to our starting point.
     
    What’s your favourite thing about biking with kids?
     
    We always get quite a lot of attention with the Mac Ride when exploring various towns, and we are always happy to chat and share our praise for the bike seat. Influencing other families to get out and explore is something we enjoy, and the Mac Ride bike seat certainly helps to create epic adventures!
     
    How has the Mac Ride child’s bike seat positively impacted your families adventures together?
     
    It is always so much fun to hear Zachary squeal with excitement when we ride over little jumps, berms or technical trail features. He has never turned down an opportunity to come for a ride with us, and it has meant that my husband and I still get to ride together, which is something we did a lot of before having a child. Being able to get out on our bikes together helped a lot with my recovery from postpartum depression, and I cannot thank Ashley and the Mac Ride creators enough for making such an awesome, adventure-filled child’s bike seat.
     
    What are a few other items on your “must-have” list for biking with kids?
     
    We always carry an extra sweater in a backpack in case Zac gets cold while riding. We are always prepared with snacks, water, the Trailforks app to help prevent getting lost, and a sense of adventure. We also do a bit of geocaching at times which gives Zachary a bit of a break during longer rides while he hunts for 'treasure.'
     
    What was your experience like when you first used the seat and helped Zachary get comfortable on the bike with you?
     
    We honestly couldn't believe how easy the seat was to get onto the bike. We were also impressed that it didn't rub against our carbon frames like some other seats. Zachary took to it straight away and had no issues getting comfortable with it all. Our legs had to get used to pushing around a bit of extra weight, but since we have to ride slower with him on it, it still gives us a decent workout despite the slower speed.
     
    This family sure knows how to make memories, and getting families to go out and explore is something we enjoy, too! Zachary is growing up with a sense of the world, and his capabilities and the stories he’ll have are going to be pretty cool! If you want to follow the adventures of GetOutThereAustralia, you can find them on Facebook and Instagram.
     
    Have a story about your experience with Mac Ride? Want to tell us about the best trail you’ve been able to take your child on? Perhaps you have a funny experience to share that other parents could relate to. Contact us because we’d love to hear about your experience with Mac Ride and maybe even feature you on the Blog and our newsletter!