Cam MTB - the Cambridge Mountain Bikers' Forum

Click on the "return to website" button to see our new website with loads more details of who we are, where and when we ride and much more.



  • Wear a helmet. Despite recent advances in medical science, brains still cannot be mended nor replaced.
  • Wear gloves or mitts. Hands often hit the ground first. Cuts and grazes invite infection and a hospital visit.
  • Wear eye protection, it only takes a twig or thorn to lose an eye. Crud catchers are a good idea in mucky weather.
  • When downhilling, for your own protection, allow plenty of space behind the rider in front.
  • Bring a bare minimum emergency tool kit and a spare inner tube.
  • Breakdowns are a bore. Plan not to have any by ensuring your bike is in perfect working order.
  • Punctures are also tedious. You can minimise them by fitting latex tubes, slime tubes or running tubeless tyres.

Photo: CAMMTB rides have restarted.

Start a New Topic 
Teenager riding along?

Hi riders. Can my son, 14, come along on your night rides? I'd come with him but I'm much slower and less skilled, so you'd be waiting for me! I can offer backup by phone to collect him if he brakes down. I will drop off & collect him (unless he rides home, he can't really do the pubs! He's an experienced cyclist, formerly national level road and 'cross rider, and was Under 12 East Anglian MTB champion. He's did 2-hour races at Thetford when he was 9 (and came mid field with adults). Not showing off, just saying he's not a nube :-)

He's started night-climbing buildings in town, I'd prefer him to get his adrenaline on a bike. He has a super-light hardtail, also an Enduro-style heavier full-sus (YT Capra), tell me which is best. We have a 600 lumen Night Cannon and a 400 lumen commuter.

Any rides going out later this week? (half term) Otherwise, he can do Tue /Thu most weeks.


Re: Teenager riding along?

I can't answer for the club, however ability wise I know a 14 year old will not struggle as much as I do as my lad comes along (or did until he broke his shoulder) and he was / is faster than I am.

The main issue that springs to mind is the same issue as we had in our RC plane club where unless a parent or guardian was with them they were not legally allowed to be there, as you can't leave a child with adults who have not legally been checked over, so to speak.

Is it possible for you to come along? I am slow and they always wait for me at intersections so I go along at my own pace, I am pretty sure you would be faster than me as I have only had an MTB for a couple of months and only been cycling since April in the last 5 years.

I am sure someone on here will give you a more definitive answer from a legal stand point, but with PC as it is these days it will probably make things very difficult.

I personally think this is a shame, but I do understand the reasons for it, just not sure how it applies in the case as its not a club and is just a turn up and ride from a meeting point?

Over to those that know

Of course the easiest thing is for you to come along too

Re: Teenager riding along?

Hi Geraint,

Originally when I started in 92 we were the CTC off road section (now Cycling UK)then as time went on the CTC told us we had to have a designated ride leader which then puts responsibility/pressure on that person so we became a loose collection of people called CamMtb (mostly because we have to have a we?)who meet and ride as and when we want to. We have no runs leader, no AGM, etc etc most people don't even know who organises the runslist (The runs list fairy). This way we hope there can be no issues of blame or responsibility if things go wrong. This year we have had two broken collar bones, a leg & then last Thursday Mark (Steve's teenage son) broke his upper arm in a nasty way. If Steve had not been with him I'm sure a lot of questions would have been asked although I'm sure as Steve is a jolly nice chap there would have been no other action. This puts too much responsibility on everyone else (as does riding without a helmet). I personally am covered through Cycling UK for what I might do to third parties, walkers etc (good idea) but not for looking after others.

It's great that your son wants to come out night riding but unfortunately been under 16 he is still a minor and so without an adult to take responsibility for him it would be unfair on everyone else.

So Geraint, get your bike out, get your arse in gear and bring your lad along. With his level of ability He'll find at least 2-3 people to have a good ride with but like everyone will wait for the less fit people at regular stops.

Re: Teenager riding along?

I support Duncan's comments but would just like to add that we don't usually break this many bones.....

Re: Teenager riding along?

Thanks Duncan & Steve, all makes sense, thanks.

I will get my arse into my gear & come along with him.

The only fly in the arse ointment is that I have one hand (ie not the other one too), which means I'm not going to be too sharp at handling unexpected jinks of the bars. I can do fast club rides OK on a road bike, bit less good on MTB, and MTB at night is unexplored... So it might be my son taking me to A&E, not the other way round :-)


Re: Teenager riding along?

You will be fine, sounds like you are plenty fit enough, you will be streaks ahead of me so don't worry. As for it being night, just make sure you have very bright lights and all is good, its actually amazing how quickly your eyes and mind adjust to it. It can be bit scary at first, but you soon get used to it and then all is good :)

Look forward to seeing you maybe next week?

Re: Teenager riding along?

I used to ride regularly with a chap who only had one hand. He had two bar ends connected together with a sort of flat bit and a strap that he would put his wrist in at an angle then as he straightened it it held in place. He also manages to mount the front brake lever so that it's usable. He was/is still a great rider with some serious alpine down hilling under his belt, just turned 58 and is still at it.

Re: Teenager riding along?

Haha, we all have our own "fixes"

Duncan, I few posts ago you said "anyone up for the weekend?". Are these also night rides, or do you do daytime at the weekend?

Otherwise, we'll shoot for a Thursday (he does too much school sport on Tue & is knackered), hopefully next week


Re: Teenager riding along?

I tend to do whatever I have time for last Saturday everyone was away so I did a 6hour 68 mile ride, but some weeks I'll do a ride starting at 5ish when family stuff is over and ride til 8ish all depends on what I have on.