My latest adventure centered on my five year old son Theo. I have been riding since I was eight years old (now 47) I dabble in moto, hare scrambles , woods riding ,flat track and ice riding in upstate New York as well as street riding. Theo got his first bicycle at three and wanted “the training wheels off” after he saw his mom riding without them. He got an electric quad at four and has mastered “numerous stunts” on it. This past winter I even had to stud the plastic tires so he could come out and “play on the ice” with us. Last summer for his fifth birthday I purchased him a used Yamaha PW-50 with training wheels he rode it sparingly, a little intimidated I guess.
This last spring it was a different story. He started riding, now without training wheels and I can’t keep him off the thing. In fact, he’s burned more fuel this year then I have just “riding in circles” around our large yard. We also ride in the fields and apple orchards behind our property; I ride a KTM 250 XCW.
Now to the Adventure
This last Wednesday evening I took Theo to our local dirt track. It was a practice night and I wanted to break my new motor in. I put his bike and gear in the trailer just to appease him. Once at the track I couldn’t get him to stop begging to “hit the track”, “come on dad, come on dad I just want to race” he was saying. I finally gave in and the rest is history…
I don’t know who was more nervous him or me (probably me). He did great!!! No fear at all as he portrayed the style and speed only a 50cc rider could display. If only I could bottle that pure excitement and smile. He rode three sessions without a glitch, even going around a downed rider without being “collected” himself. I was scared, nervous, happy and proud of him all at the same time that night. He pulled up to the other rider’s side as he lay on the track and encouraged him to get up and be okay. I can only hope he holds that compassion for the rest of his life.
On the way home I asked Theo what he liked the most about his first night “at the track” his response, “ I just liked going really fast and being with you.” A perfect ending to a great night. I’m looking forward to many more evenings like this one…..