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.