Late summer, we met up with the Goodson’s at Sandy Ridge to meet their family’s star mountain biker, Ryder. Ryder is the son of Sandy and Brad, and big brother to Kaydence (age 1). We discovered Ryder when the family entered our #NWTAridesfromhome Social Media contest. We wanted to know how he started riding at a young age. When we say young, we’re talking about 3.5 years of age, already ripping down the trails on a front suspension bike.
We pulled into the parking lot to greet Ryder and family as they were gearing up. With a full-face helmet, chest protection, neck brace, knee pads, and the tiniest 5.10’s you can imagine, a mini mountain biker was doing laps around us before we were even ready. Ryder (@Ryder_bikes) is supported by GoPro, Leatt, 7protection, and Veetires.
We half expected for the parents to know how to do backflips with their eyes closed. However, we quickly found that the Goodson’s are all learning how to mountain bike at the same time. Every weekend, the family piles into their car with 3 bikes on the back, one stroller inside, and drive an hour to get to the trails. The Goodson’s typically ride Sandy for the easy access road to tow Ryder up, Timberline Bike Park, Post Canyon, and LL Stub Stewart for trails. To work on skills, they typically go to the Lumberyard and Hood River Pump Track (Golden Eagle).
Sandy doesn’t feel comfortable biking with Ryder herself, mainly because she’s picking up on skills too, however, riding at skateparks, pump tracks, the quarry, and, of course, the Lumberyard, Sandy can keep an eye on Ryder while learning herself. “We are so excited for the next phase of Gateway Green to be finished! That will be such a fun place we could ride, and both work on our skills without having to drive over an hour to get to! And all the skills that We will pick up riding at Gateway Green, Lumberyard, skatepark, pump tracks, and bike parks will be totally transferable to mountain biking,” Explains Sandy.
Ryder first started riding a bike when he was 14 months old. ‘Riding’ as in, standing over an oversized pushbike for a little one. The gliding came into place when Ryder was two years old. From there, he picked up pedaling after visiting the Lumberyard with lessons from Coach Susan. “On a ski trip to Bend last spring, we came across a BMX race, so we entered Ryder in a race (we had no idea how the racing even worked). He came in Last Place (by a lot), but he was hooked, so we started taking him to ride at BMX tracks and to do some BMX races.” Said Sandy. From there, COVID hit, and the BMX races were no longer a thing, which prompted the Goodson’s to get out on the trails. “Ryder loved it immediately, and soon, I found myself purchasing a mountain bike so I could join in on all the fun.” Says Sandy.
The Goodson’s own one car, which means a mountain bike excursion takes some planning, especially with a one- and three-year-old. While driving to the trailheads an hour out of town is do-able, it just adds another layer of tasks to do on top of being parents. “We would love to go more often if there were more options in Portland. We live less than a mile from Forest Park, but other than Leif Erikson Trail, the other trails bikes are allowed on are too far out and difficult for Ryder and Me. If there were some bike trails in Portland, we would go several times a week. I also think a lot more people would try mountain biking if it were something they could do closer to home because it wouldn’t feel like such a big commitment to ride or drive a short distance to do,” Sandy explains. The Goodson’s are looking forward to the opening of Gateway Green in mid-November. We asked the Goodson’s if they are in support of Measure 26-213, and they responded with a “yes! We fully support this measure.”