In a message dated 97-04-16 16:27:37 EDT, you write:
<< and this relates to endurance how?
Well, I'll tell you - this anti-children sentiment appears to be absent form
endurance. Indeed, it is a pleasure to see so many FAMILIES sharing in the
sport. I think this sport and its participants are to be commended for an
attitude that not only promotes the SPORT but promotes family participation -
something lacking in so many families today. KEEP 'EM COMIN' MOMS AND DADS!
The issue of children in the sport does certainly bring up some
issues. Last year my daughter did her first 25 mile ride, and
was very proud she completed. I did not force her to do this ride.
At some point though, I did require her to make a committment to do
the ride, and then insisted she follow through, once she said yes.
She was almost 9 at the time, and I knew she was capable of doing
the distance, and I also knew the course. I hope she continues to
want to ride with me, but it is her decision.
On the other hand, a good friend went to a ride, and also took her
kids on their first competition. Her kids were 12 and 8. They also
had a good time. At the ride, was the daughter (also 8) of a very
prominent, high-mileage family. My friend asked the daughter if she
had had "fun", on her 50 mile ride. Her reply was an indication
that no, it had not been "fun", but expected of her (rack up mileage
for the famnily)
I also remember some discusison here months ago about the youngest
ages kids had completed rides. I seem to remember some 4 and 5 year
old kids completing 100 mile rides!!
Now parents out there, here is the question. Is it right for small
children to be participating in this sport, when they don't want
too, or taken on these excessive distances? Having raised kids, I
seriously doubt that ANY 4 or 5 year old kid would enjoy ANY
activity for 24 hours, especially something grueling like a 100 mile
ride. Why are parents doing this!? To me, that verges on child
abuse! Why are there AERC restrictions prohibiting overiding young
HORSES, but nothing protecting junior riders, from their parents
egos or ignorance?
I realize I am probably opening a whole can of worms here, but am
interested in others thoughts.