Yesterday, my cupkeiki asked if we should go on an adventure. She suggested the Poudre River bike path, mostly because she already knows it, or downtown. I thought about it for a while and decided that, somewhere new might be fun. I have been wanting to go to, Coyote Ridge Natural Area for some time, it appeals to me as a prairie and mountainous hiking area. We loaded up the bike (her little balance bike) and off we went. We were pleasantly surprised by the fact that there were not a lot of people there (three cheers for weekday adventures), but enough people to make it not feel too isolated.
We really liked the informational boards along the way, especially the castings of critters that exist (lifelike rattlesnake anyone) or existed (prehistoric ocean dwelling fish) in the area. We made it to the first switchback and at that point my cupkeiki was done. Mountain biking, for the first time, uses up a lot of energy-especially when your bike has no pedals, gears or brakes! She did so good that a few of the cyclists we passed gave her compliments on her effort, which was pretty cool!
On the trip down the hill, my cupkeiki wanted to experience first hand, a little downhill action. After a tumble on the rocky path she was shaky so I helped her out a little, and got in some cardio myself, by running along side her and doing the mom thing – holding jacket hood firmly in hand while encouraging her to stay in control and confident about her choices- what can I say, I completely understand the desire to go fast, while also realizing the consequences of totally wiping out!!
We really had a great time out there, and I’m looking forward to going back and straight to the top!
A couple of thoughts if you are going to go with little ones:
1. It is rattlesnake country and there are lots of signs warning about it. Take the time to talk about snake safety, it’s just good practice.
2. The path is gravel, rocky and can be pretty muddy, so choose your day based on weather conditions.
3 Bring lots of water. It’s so open that the elements can really have an impact.
4. It’s also habitat for other animals, beyond snakes and Prarie dogs…deer, coyotes, bob cats, lions. My father, when I was a child, discussed once what to do if in a situation with an aggressive animal and I’ve never forgotten it. The informational boards also have that information. I think it’s good to keep your distance and know what to do. Lately, I see pictures on social media sites where people think getting closer (or getting their kids closer) for that “epic selfie” is a good idea and it isnt. Having a healthy respect for the animals and environment is smarter than seeing just how far the boundaries can be pushed.