The Cycling Gear My Kid Is Obsessed with This Summer
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Introducing my five-year-old daughter, Jojo, to the sports I love is a delicate balance. I want her to fall for the same activities as I do—kayaking, skiing, and mountain biking—without pressuring her. So when she gets obsessed with outdoor gear on her own, I take notice. This summer, she’s been incredibly jazzed on her new Woom 3 Automagic bike and Camelbak Mini M.U.L.E.—all without my prodding.
It’s not quite magic, but this automatic two-speed kids bike from Woom does feel like it was created with alchemy in its rear hub. The slightly larger rear hub houses internal gears that shift up when the bike hits around seven miles per hour and shifts back down to the lower gear when it goes below that speed. The result has been seamless smaller hill climbs and more power on her flats and downhills—in other words, more fun and usability without learning how to shift, yet. Her previous bike (also a Woom product) had proper toddler-sized geometry and hand brakes that served Jojo well as a learn-to-ride bike but she rarely left a quarter-mile loop in our neighborhood. She cruises all day on the Automagic. The $499 Austrian-designed bike is admittedly pricey, but it’s a worthy investment for anyone trying to level up their kids’ cycling game.
Jojo got the Automagic before she got the Mini M.U.L.E and had a series of heat-related meltdowns while riding in our blazing-hot hometown of Ashland, OR in June. One time, I had to drive to a BMX jump park a mile from my house to pick her up and found her lying under a tree, beet red, stripped down to her bike shorts. Fast forward a few months: she’s been riding her bike with the Mini M.U.L.E strapped to her back for 4-hour stints almost every day. On a recent camping to the far Northern California Coast, Jojo rode around the campground in her pajamas every morning before I even had time to make coffee.
The recycled 200-denier polyester reservoir pack hugs her like an extra clothing layer. The adjustable sternum strap, coupled with stretchy body materials, delivers a fit that it never throws her off balance as she rides, even with the 1.5-liter bladder filled to the brim. The tube slinks easily from the pack to the top of her right arm strap where she sips from it continuously. The Mini M.U.L.E’s two exterior pockets hold a sun hat, snacks, and even a pocket notebook and colored pencil case that Jojo uses to journal with. It’s breathable enough that she barely notices it while riding in 90-plus degree days thanks to mesh arm straps, a harness, and a cushy, porous back panel. And, of course, the tie dye/pink colorway matches all of Jojo’s favorite clothes.
Would we still have had a fun summer on a less fancy bike and sharing a water bottle? Of course. But, so far, these two kid-focused products have made our warm-weather rides almost, well, magic.