Re: Question For Dads of Riders
As a father of a 'to be' rider and a son of a motorcycle hater, I can try to give you two perspectives.
As my father's son, I was NEVER allowed on or near motorcycles of any kind growing up. Kinda strange because I was always told I could do whatever I wanted (drugs, tattoos, drinking, whatever) EXCEPT get on a motorcycle. As a result, I grew up pretty much on the straight and narrow (no tattoos, no serious alcohol/drugs, etc) but now I own a motorcycle. So, if you look at it from that perspective, the thing you tell your child they can't do is probably exactly what they are going to do. My dad and I have a great relationship, but to this day, he hates the fact that I ride. He never says it to me, but my mom tells me on occassion what he says to her. I try to get him involved (trying to get him to come out to a trackday) but I think it's too much for him. However, he never pesters me about it.
As a father to a 1.5yo, my boy will most likely ride someday. He's always pointing out motorcycles to me when he hears them, he's always pointing at my bike in the garage....he seems interested, and I will foster that interest. And that (to me) is the key to being a good father. Foster the interest...teach them what you know (even at 19 when they know 'everything' like I did when I was 19) but in an unpreachy manner. Ride with him and lead the ride to control the pace and the route. Talk about the ride afterwards (did you see that moron in the red car? Can you believe what they did? That's why I try to stay out of blind spots and always give myself two avenues of exit from any given situation.....etc). Try to convey your experiences to your son so that he'll be better equiped to handle riding situations.
But there's only so much you can do, so it is paramount to insist or require that your son wears gear at all times. You can't protect him from life, your worrying is natural (as mine will be), so the best you can do is prepare him mentally for the situations that may occur and prepare him physically for the situations that do occur. Do these well and he will come to know the enjoyment that you get out of motorcycling...and it's something that father and son can share in a day and age where common bonds are harder to come by. Good luck......