When you watch his helmet-cam footage of his first trip down the first ramp on the Hellion trail at the Highland Mountain Bike Park in Northfield, New Hampshire, it's easy to assume that Malcolm's been riding mountain bikes for ages. Then, in a moment that may cause helicopter parents to clutch at their pearls, you find out that he's just 4 years old.
After sending his dad down the ramp -- "Go! You're first," he says -- Malcolm takes a deep breath and starts riding.
"I'm doing it!" he yells, almost in surprise. Then, elation: "I did it, Dad! I LOVED it!"
Then he starts in with the type of constant commentary that any parent of a 4-year-old will find familiar (and hilarious).
"I can do it just the same as those guys do it!" he shouts. A few seconds later, he's cheering himself on.
"Yeah!" he tells himself. "Oh yeah, buddy!"
Halfway through, he's so excited that he passes his dad and takes the lead himself. When his dad stops to check something on his bike, he's raring to go. "Are you ready?" he asks. "I want you to try to do the drop. It's just like ours at home!" When his dad points out that it's bigger than the one at home, Malcolm gives him a little encouragement: "It's fun, Dad, trust me!"
As parents, we'll admit that when we first watched the footage we were holding our breath at bit. (Those ramps look steep! Malcolm is so tiny! Some of those paths seem awfully narrow!). But Malcolm's excitement is infectious, and there were plenty of times during the 9-minute video where we were cheering right along with him. Take a look and see for yourself.
Would you let your 4-year-old try this?