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Father & Son Dirt Track Ride - Fan Report

Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Fan Report
Theo with his Yamaha PW-50 
ready to take on the track riding.
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

Fan Report
He looks like a natural on the track.
Fan Report
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…..

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Comments
David Reid -kids on bikes  September 1, 2010 09:43 AM
I love stories like this! When I go to places that I ride my dirt bike, one of the things that I love most is seeing families together. Yes, there is danger. There is also danger riding in your minivan across town. The danger of NOT living life to the fullest is far more fatal than doing things that you love with your family. When I was a kid I desperately wanted a motor bike and never got to have one. It never fails to warm my heart when I see kids riding (provided of course that they are wearing proper gear).
Rick -advice to MX4ever1  June 12, 2010 09:21 AM
Motocross is a great sport. It takes skill and commitment just as much as any other sport. It is dangerous, but so are almost all the other sports. I have never held my children back in anything they want to do. I am not a pro rider, so I found some other GOOD riders to teach me and my son about riding techniques to help keep from crashing and ride better. But, since crashing is a part of the sport, we also wear our riding gear. I've seen riders in races wearing little more than a helmet and sturdy boots. But the rule at our house is "full gear before the engine starts". Minimum gear for my wife and daughter (they don't race) is motocross boots, helmet, goggles, gloves, & roost protector. For my son and I who ride a bit more extreme, our gear also includes knee braces, elbow guards, and a neck brace. Yes, the gear is not cheap, but, how much is your life & health worth? If you go through life letting fear decide what you do, you will never realize your true potential. My last bit of advice is to ride on a track, or other designated riding area. Its too dangerous to ride a dirtbike on the street (illegal too) and tearing up the wilderness just gives motorcycles a bad name. When you are on your bike, you are a spokesperson for EVERYONE who rides a bike. Happy riding!
Rick -Similar story in Wyoming...  June 12, 2010 08:53 AM
I got a PW-80 for my son about 7 years ago (he just turned 14 in April). I have been riding for about 25 years (I'm 47).We have never raced until my son wanted to race the last race of last season. Last spring I bought him a Honda XR-80 and he rode it in the race. He did horrible! Only two entries in his class and the other kid almost lapped him twice, but my son was hooked. He came off the track a bit dissapointed until I mentioned the fact that he took second place. The trophy was all he needed. He talked me into getting an actual race bike for him (and one for me), and we took up motocross racing this year. He rides a CR85R and I'm on a YZ450F. He is currently 6th in his best class and I'm 5th in my best class (we both ride two classes). The time we spend together during practice and at the races in more valuable to me than anything. Race days are family days. My wife takes pictures (for us and other riders) my daughter volunteers as a flagger and my son and I race. Enjoy your time together with your son. They will be memories that last a lifetime for both of you!
MX4ever1 -Love and danger  June 11, 2010 08:19 AM
I love this kind of stories. But I am confused caught between love of my sport ( MX ) And my children and the danger of this sport. You know horrible news about kid died at the track ..... My daughter 4 and my son 2, Both love dirt bikes. Asking me all the time to take them for ride. My son even watch the mx videos and imitates the sound of the mx bikes ! But the fear stops me from doing so. What you all think and how to deal with this is best ?
Andy Van Herwynen -That is SO cool, especially his comment at the end!!  June 9, 2010 01:49 PM
A response like that from the heart of a child can make any day brighter! Good for you and your son that you get to share this together.

Years ago I would attend the local dirt track races in Wisconsin, and I marvelled at the Pee Wee racers. On some of them, the helmet was almost bigger than the rider. After one weekend I told my engineering boss about my weekend at the races and the Pee Wee racers. He had a fit! He thought it was ludicrous that any responsible parent would dare to do that to his child.

I asked him, "what about football, baseball, fishing, skiing, biking, things at which kids are doing daily, mostly without parent involvement?" Here is a case of close bonding and activity between a parent and child, with the child in FULL protective gear in an organized family event. Probably no more likely to be injured than most of the stuff kids do without their parents.

Great report and keep racing. He'll never foget these times!
David -How Oregon views kids on mini bikes  June 8, 2010 08:50 PM
I think it's great that your boy is riding and doing having some great bonding time with Dad. If you were in Oregon as I am the State of Oregon has passed legislation that children under 7 years old cannot ride motorcycles of any kind on any of the public lands in the state. The consequences for non compliance is that the parent can be charged with child endangerment. Isn't that lovely, that the state is so concerned. My boy started riding at 4 and we used to go out and ride all the time, this law impacted our riding only minimally as he turned 7 just after these silly laws were passed.
This is a thing of the future where people who don't have a clue are forcing their will on those that do, with the idea that they're protecting children from irresponsible parents.
It's just rediculus what's going on.
Anyway, for us riding together has been one of the best bonding activities that we could do together.

Rob -Little kids on dirt bikes....  June 8, 2010 12:22 PM
are the cutest thing I have ever seen.