Question For Dads of Riders - Honda Motorcycles - FireBlades.org
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post #1 of 45 Old 10-22-2003, 1:23 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Question For Dads of Riders

Thanks to the generosity of a good friend, earlier this afternoon I was able to ride with my 19 year old son on several different bikes including a CBR600 and a SV650. My son just got his permit to be able to ride on the street after several years away from bikes (we owned trail bikes when he was much younger).

I must admit it was a blast to ride with him - I've been dreaming of sharing this great sport with him for a long time. I know how incredibly exciting and exhilarating it can be, and I want him to be able to enjoy it as I do, and for us to enjoy this great thrill together.

He had a blast too, which was awesome.

Here's the part I'm conflicted about. I was constantly stressed out about his safety as we rode. He's a smart kid and a pretty capable rider, but I couldn't fully enjoy it because I was too worried about what might happen. I'm not a natural worrier, it's just a parent thing I guess.

The question for the parents of riders is this - Did you have the same feelings when you began riding with your kid? Does it ever go away? Do you want it to?
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post #2 of 45 Old 10-22-2003, 1:39 AM
 
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Re: Question For Dads of Riders

B,
As I have no children I can't offer any 'experienced' advice but remembering how I was at his age...I'd never let the sucker near a motorcycle or a car! But...he can't grow without experience. I'm guessing your worries will be somewhat relieved after he becomes 'very' proficient on the street and that riding with him will be a HOOT...but I also think, you'll never stop worrying. FWIW Best of luck and I'm happy he's home where he belongs.

J
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post #3 of 45 Old 10-22-2003, 1:39 AM
 
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Re: Question For Dads of Riders

Bwhip, I don't belong in this thread 'cause I've never been a parent. However, by going by my life experience, I say let your son share your love of motorcycles. You will definitely NEVER be comfortable with it, because you are a parent. Parents worry. 'Nuff said! It's natural! But as I've posted before, life is too short as it is. Enjoy your time together with your son and don't stress too much. This is where you have to make the sacrifice - you worry a lot, and your son enjoys his youth and fun times spent with his Dad. I really understand your concern, really, but I think you have to loosen the reins at some point. (God, I'm glad I'm not a parent!!&#33.
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post #4 of 45 Old 10-22-2003, 3:14 AM
 
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Re: Question For Dads of Riders

Not a parent here either, but I taught my best friend of 21 years (Im 23) how to ride a motorcycle because he saw how much fun my Dad and I were having riding. Since I didnt want him to learn from the wrong side and end up wearing a tshirt and shorts I took him riding when I went and taught him all the right ways. Before he bought a pipe or started modding the bike, I convinced him to buy gear from head to toe. Even though he wasnt my flesh and blood, he is like a brother to me, and when I would go into a corner, and not see him come out as soon as I thought he should, I would freak out. After taking him to the Gap last fall I could barely stand it anymore. I asked my Dad how he dealt with it teaching me to ride, he told me that he just had to trust that I had listened to him, and I would make it though just fine. I knew that I had done well when I took my pal to the track this summer and watched him blow by everyone on the track with a smoothness like that of a 10 year rider that knew what he was doing. Now I get to watch him race and enjoy the look on peoples faces when they ask how long he has been riding and my reply is a year and a half.... He has gone from a newb who I taught the basics to in a parking lot before he took his MSF course to this in a year and a half...


Good Luck BWhip, just start with the basics and go from there. Work on smoothness and speed will come.

Chris
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post #5 of 45 Old 10-22-2003, 3:23 AM
 
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Re: Question For Dads of Riders

I've been riding with my dad, offroad and duelsport, since I was 13. Its about the only thing we have in common and luckaly, we have it as something to bring us together on a regular basis. I doubt you can ever get over the worry, hell, he's probaly worrying about you as well, but at least he will be learning and gaining experience under your supervision instead of 20 year old squids on gixxer 1k's. Just remember that the fact he is your son, has no bearing on the fact that riding on motorcycles more risky than not, and you may very well have to witness him hurt, injured, or killed someday. And vice versa. Its the risks of the game, accept it or take up golf. Good luck!
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post #6 of 45 Old 10-22-2003, 7:38 AM
 
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Re: Question For Dads of Riders

I haven't got kids I can ride with yet but that feeling is
with me every day.I still don't know how my wifes mum would
let her get on the back of the bike with me all those years ago!
teach as best you can the set them free even if it is very
difficult.(try not to watch to closely! you'll get a ulcer)

Good Luck and enjoy his company

Coxy

Must remember don't hit poles!
Broken 02 954 R/B
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post #7 of 45 Old 10-22-2003, 8:16 AM
 
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Re: Question For Dads of Riders

A longer reply will follow later when I'm home from work. Hoever, having just invested some money in my son's first big bike, a 1994 BMW F650, the answer from me is that I worry all the time. Terrified. You'll just have to find a way to deal with it.
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post #8 of 45 Old 10-22-2003, 10:48 AM
 
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Re: Question For Dads of Riders

Yeah, it's the same feeling as when you ride with your SO, wife, husband, etc. I don't think you get over the fear that something will happen, so you have to learn how to manage it. Make sure (as you are) that he gets good training, wears gear, and starts on an appropriate bike. Worrying about loved ones is natural and will always be present to a degree. He could also get hurt doing lots of other non-motorcycle activities, even driving a car. Just instill in him the sense of respect that risky activities deserve.
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post #9 of 45 Old 10-22-2003, 11:32 AM
 
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Re: Question For Dads of Riders

I couldnt do it. Would not have gone as far as you did. I guess Im an even bigger worrier.
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post #10 of 45 Old 10-22-2003, 11:32 AM
 
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Re: Question For Dads of Riders

When I was 17, I wanted to get a motorcycle. My mother went balistic! She was head nurse at the Intensive Care Unit at the local hospital, and proceded to relate the sad stories of every kid that had been killed, crippled, or otherwise injured while riding a motorcycle in the previous ten years. Those stories took a while 'cause it was a long list... A motorcycle was absolutely forbidden, end of discussion.

Well, when I turned 21 I was home from college three days before I bought my first motorcycle (Honda 350CL, does that date me or what?). She didn't like it, but LEGALLY couldn't do anything about it. She never said anything to me about it, much to her credit, but I knew that she worried everytime I rode the thing which was all the time.

More than 30 years later she still worries, probably more now than ever because she knows I take my machines to the racetrack for trackdays. She still has never said anything to me, but she has to my wife (looking for an ally no doubt).

I don't have kids of my own, so can't speak from personal experience, but I believe it's just human nature to be concerned about the welfare of your kids. That's a good thing! The hard part for you now is to step back and watch them make their own choices, trusting that you've raised them such that they have the necessary skills to negotiate life's challenges, thrill in the experience, and live to tell the tale!

Courage.
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post #11 of 45 Old 10-22-2003, 11:45 AM
 
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Re: Question For Dads of Riders

I can't speak as a father, but I can speak as a son. Having said that, you have no idea how much I wish to be able to share the joy of this sport with my dad. Instead, I get the opposite. Constantly get ragged on, yelled at and discouraged as much as possible. And all this because of horror stories that some friends/neighbors have told him, and keep telling him, none of whom have ever ridden a motorcycle. It bugs me to no end. When I go drag racing, I can't tell him, and I have to get the numbers off the bike before I get home. I couldn't tell him when I went to Beaver Run a few weeks ago because he would've gone berserk on me.

In my opinion, you're doing the right thing. Educate him as much as you can, and with the holidays coming up, it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to get him enrolled in some safety schools next year.

Best of luck, and let him get started on a smaller bike. He'll have more fun.
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post #12 of 45 Old 10-22-2003, 11:54 AM
 
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Re: Question For Dads of Riders

I felt the same way riding with my dad. I've been riding for years and finally convinced him to get a bike last year. I'd feel responsible if something happened to him since he wouldn't be riding if it wasn't for me. Strange huh?!

Craig
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post #13 of 45 Old 10-22-2003, 12:16 PM
 
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Re: Question For Dads of Riders

well, being a new dad myself and all, I can honestly say that teaching my son(and my daughter if she is so inclined ) to ride is one of the things I am looking forward to the most...I have only been riding for close to two years myself, but I have found that it is one of the few things I can do to truly escape life worries and troubles....I even worry about my children now and they are only a month old!!! imagine my worry when teaching them to ride!!!....so I say all of that to say B, I think worrying is a part of being a parent...all you can do is teach him to proper skills, pray he takes them to heart and trust that employs them when riding and if he does, the rest will take care of itself....

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post #14 of 45 Old 10-22-2003, 12:23 PM
 
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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......
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post #15 of 45 Old 10-22-2003, 12:38 PM
 
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Re: Question For Dads of Riders

Well I can't speak as a parent on this one YET as my little one is only 9 but I can add something as a daughter!
I grew up on the back of a bike and was taught from the get go how to be a responsible rider. Both of my parents enjoy riding and passed that along to me BUT when I told them I was going for my license they both had reservations. Although they've been through their fair share of good and bad experiences on a bike, they both immediatly focused on the bad and what could happen to me. The worry will never go away! Guess that's just part of being a parent. Try not to let it get the best of you and just enjoy the fact that you guys can share something you both love!!

Good Luck
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