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Thread: Riding Motorcycles When You Have Young Kids At Home....

  1. #1

    Riding Motorcycles When You Have Young Kids At Home....

    Hi All-

    This week's Moto Mouth focuses on the controversial issue of riding motorcycles when you still have young kids at home. Some give up riding altogether. Some curtail it. And some keep on going.... How did you handle it?



    -MKL
    Moshe K. Levy
    Moto Mouth Moshe https://www.youtube.com/c/motomouthmoshe
    1973 BMW R75/5 / 1987 Yamaha YSR50 / 2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer / 2015 BMW R1200RT

  2. #2
    Registered User 88bmwjeff's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, my responsibilities as Dad has left me with insufficient time to ride. While I haven't given up on riding, I just don't know how to fit it into my schedule. I would like to start taking my son out for Saturday rides, but he's still too short for the pegs.
    Jeff in W.C.
    1988 R100 RT (the other woman)
    "I got my motorcycle jacket but I'm walking all the time." Joe Strummer

  3. #3
    2014 R1200GSW Rich's Avatar
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    I raised 4 kids, and though I never gave up riding, I rode less than I would have liked. But it is a tough juggling act finding the time to ride and spending time with family.

    The funny thing is, the kids are now all grown up and I find myself riding even less. I just like spending all my non-working time with my spouse. She enjoys occasional rides, but not the long distance ones I prefer. And I am ok with that. And now having grandchildren, I would take time spent with them over a ride any day. Any day!

  4. #4
    I never quit riding because of kids. We have two. But more importantly, Voni learned to ride and began riding precisely because we had (at that time) two kids ages 6 and 8 and we wanted to ride together as a family. By the time the kids were 8 and 10 we were taking two-week motorcycle vacations together, in the great plains, with two bikes, two-up each. Now nearly 1.1 million accident free miles later she doesn't regret it a bit. Nor do I. Some members of our families may have disapproved but we didn't care. Priorities!

    p.s. Our oldest - son - turned 50 today.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  5. #5
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    I so love this! As Paul said, I learned to ride so we could share it with our kids.

    And, Wow, the family memories we have are priceless.

    But, there did come the day when our daughter was a teenager, and her friends begged her to have her Mom give them a ride. She, who saw it as just a way to get somewhere said, "No. Let's do something fun!"

    Voni
    sMiling
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  6. #6
    Happily Bent dieselyoda's Avatar
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    When my kids were little, I still rode. If I didn't have that space, the combination of always being away from home for work and coming home to the zoo could sometimes make me a bit crazy. Like insane like crazy.

    It was understood that it might be just a day a week and that the other times I was around, I was devoted. I did have times where I was home 24/7 for weeks.

    My kids never understood, they still don't, how I could be away for a month, be home just a few days and need to ride. When they got older, we could go out for days at a time. They loved that.

    As to the "sixth sense" comment and not riding for 6 weeks. Multiply that by five for a winter here. You bet, the rust is dangerous.
    1997 R1100RT (Restored Basket Case) , 1981 KZ 440 LTD (Restored Basket Case)
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    1983 K100RS for winter project, two K's sold and just acquired a very rough R80RT.

  7. #7
    Thanks for the feedback, all.

    Remember please that by definition, we're in a motorcycle forum, which is likely filled with (mostly) active riders. Obviously, as you saw in the video, I didn't stop riding either. And most of the folks in here, again by definition, are riders as well. But - for every one of us that kept going, there are over 25 that dropped out for many years. This has huge implications for the industry at large - which is what makes it such a controversial issue. I've received about 43x more feedback on this vid than any product review. People are passionate about it, it seems....

    -MKL
    Moshe K. Levy
    Moto Mouth Moshe https://www.youtube.com/c/motomouthmoshe
    1973 BMW R75/5 / 1987 Yamaha YSR50 / 2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer / 2015 BMW R1200RT

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by moshe_levy View Post
    Thanks for the feedback, all.

    Remember please that by definition, we're in a motorcycle forum, which is likely filled with (mostly) active riders. Obviously, as you saw in the video, I didn't stop riding either. And most of the folks in here, again by definition, are riders as well. But - for every one of us that kept going, there are over 25 that dropped out for many years. This has huge implications for the industry at large - which is what makes it such a controversial issue. I've received about 43x more feedback on this vid than any product review. People are passionate about it, it seems....

    -MKL
    Moshe, I'm curious. From the feedback you have received, does it seem that riders think they should quit riding, or does it seem that others (spouse, parents, coworkers, etc) think the rider should quit?
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    Moshe, I'm curious. From the feedback you have received, does it seem that riders think they should quit riding, or does it seem that others (spouse, parents, coworkers, etc) think the rider should quit?
    The responses are so biased that it's meaningless. 80% of it is internet swagger ("I'm not giving up riding for anybody! I'll get divorced first!") and self-delusion ("You could get killed at work when a stapler accidentally falls on your head, so what's the difference if you ride through rush hour ever day or not?") This truth is much more complicated than that for most people who take the time to think it through. There were a few who said they gave it up voluntarily when kids came. Most responses say they bought insurance and kept on going. I kept riding too, but I'm not kidding myself that this is just as safe as a car, or that my chances of getting squashed aren't greater than falling off my chair in the office and dying from it. Also I come from a relationship where she rode too - she stopped when she felt that was the right thing FOR HER - she did not issue any ultimatums to me, nor would I have accepted any. But for many (most?) guys, the wife isn't on board to begin with, and that goes on the double when kids are introduced. There is also a regional aspect to this - in the wide open spaces of the midwest, when you see two cars per day and there's no such thing as rush hour, you can talk about riding your kids on the back, etc. etc. Here, NOBODY does that, because it's certain death. So there's a bit of bias there too. It's a fascinating subject, and I'm getting around 45x (at last count) more feedback than a typical product review!

    -MKL
    Moshe K. Levy
    Moto Mouth Moshe https://www.youtube.com/c/motomouthmoshe
    1973 BMW R75/5 / 1987 Yamaha YSR50 / 2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer / 2015 BMW R1200RT

  10. #10
    Back in the saddle again mikegalbicka's Avatar
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    I had three wrecks in the first few years when I started riding when I was young and foolish. I was not at fault in the first two that could have easily killed me. In the other I was wasted and went down because of impaired reflexes and got badly burned from the exhaust manifold. I decided it was time to get off for safety sake. Then I got married and raised two kids. I got the fever every year but never even considered it because I felt the risk was too great for my family. It wasn't until a few years ago, after a 35 year hiatus, that I eventually asked the wife to pray about it and see what she thought about doing some long distance touring. I was very pleasantly surprised when she said she would like to. We had never rode together but now that we were empty nesters the risk really only involved us for the most part and while we do not know what our future holds we do know who holds it. It has been great sharing that joy with her but I never regretted making that decision. Just seemed like the right thing for me to do at the time. Parents make a lot of sacrifices for their kids and we all have to choose which ones are most important to us. I certainly don't look down on those who chose differently though. As with most things in life, different strokes for different folks.

  11. #11
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    My dad rode an Indian Scout during the rationing period of WW-II and for a while later. But, when Mom came along and kids.....the Indian went away (Burned, actually, from a leaking fuel line). But, with the new life, there was camping, weekend road trips, building the local Sportsman's Club, fishing, photography and competitive shooting. My best memories of youth are my parents doing the things they enjoyed and dragging us kids along to participate or run errands. It wasn't structured or kid centered. It was family.

    When Mom died early, Dad was lost and had two junior high kids on his hands. That's when the trail bike from the local Suzuki shop appeared. Neither Dad or I were lightweights at the time, but that overburdened little bike carried us around all the local back roads. Dad was reliving his 30's and the Indian Scout, I was spending time with my father and learning about motorcycles. When my sister turned 16, she got her MC certification soon after passing her drivers test and occasionally rode the trail bikes. Her, now adult, children still don't believe that their mom, the business insurance risk specialist, was a rider. In a few years, Dad's knees started to give out and I traded the trail bikes for a used Honda CB360, which begat a Suzuki 380, a ....

    Would life have been radically different without the trail bikes? Probably not, but it was a shared memory that in many ways was unique. I'm glad it happened and I think it helped Dad recover from the loss of my mom.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    My dad rode an Indian Scout during the rationing period of WW-II and for a while later. But, when Mom came along and kids.....the Indian went away (Burned, actually, from a leaking fuel line). But, with the new life, there was camping, weekend road trips, building the local Sportsman's Club, fishing, photography and competitive shooting. My best memories of youth are my parents doing the things they enjoyed and dragging us kids along to participate or run errands. It wasn't structured or kid centered. It was family.

    When Mom died early, Dad was lost and had two junior high kids on his hands. That's when the trail bike from the local Suzuki shop appeared. Neither Dad or I were lightweights at the time, but that overburdened little bike carried us around all the local back roads. Dad was reliving his 30's and the Indian Scout, I was spending time with my father and learning about motorcycles. When my sister turned 16, she got her MC certification soon after passing her drivers test and occasionally rode the trail bikes. Her, now adult, children still don't believe that their mom, the business insurance risk specialist, was a rider. In a few years, Dad's knees started to give out and I traded the trail bikes for a used Honda CB360, which begat a Suzuki 380, a ....

    Would life have been radically different without the trail bikes? Probably not, but it was a shared memory that in many ways was unique. I'm glad it happened and I think it helped Dad recover from the loss of my mom.
    That's cool!

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    My dad rode an Indian Scout during the rationing period of WW-II and for a while later. But, when Mom came along and kids.....the Indian went away (Burned, actually, from a leaking fuel line). But, with the new life, there was camping, weekend road trips, building the local Sportsman's Club, fishing, photography and competitive shooting. My best memories of youth are my parents doing the things they enjoyed and dragging us kids along to participate or run errands. It wasn't structured or kid centered. It was family.

    When Mom died early, Dad was lost and had two junior high kids on his hands. That's when the trail bike from the local Suzuki shop appeared. Neither Dad or I were lightweights at the time, but that overburdened little bike carried us around all the local back roads. Dad was reliving his 30's and the Indian Scout, I was spending time with my father and learning about motorcycles. When my sister turned 16, she got her MC certification soon after passing her drivers test and occasionally rode the trail bikes. Her, now adult, children still don't believe that their mom, the business insurance risk specialist, was a rider. In a few years, Dad's knees started to give out and I traded the trail bikes for a used Honda CB360, which begat a Suzuki 380, a ....

    Would life have been radically different without the trail bikes? Probably not, but it was a shared memory that in many ways was unique. I'm glad it happened and I think it helped Dad recover from the loss of my mom.
    Quite a story! Thanks for sharing.

    -MKL
    Moshe K. Levy
    Moto Mouth Moshe https://www.youtube.com/c/motomouthmoshe
    1973 BMW R75/5 / 1987 Yamaha YSR50 / 2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer / 2015 BMW R1200RT

  14. #14
    Registered User mikesved's Avatar
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    I did not start riding till after I had kids. Granted I was married at 21 and with kids by 24 so I really did not have time, nor resources to acquire a bike. When we moved from OH to NC I got my first bike, an 1150RT-P. I wanted a one seater till I got some skill under my belt then I would upgrade to a two seater (my current ride). We had the "talk" when I first brought it up about getting a bike when we were dating. She knew from the get go I wanted to one day own one and I was also very specific on what I was going to eventually get (a BMW R1150/1200 or Flying Brick K). The discussion of injury and death did not really come up since my career is surrounded by it (I am a Paramedic). I have been shot at, assaulted, in multiple wrecks, injured several times in the line of duty and so on. She reluctantly agreed to the purchase and once she saw the joy being on two wheels brought, the calmness and something productive to alleviate the stressors of my work quickly got on board. Now we plan trips together and I make plans with the kids to get them on the road as well. This goes along the vein of ATGATT, we take the risks we do based upon the risks others are willing to accept from us. My oldest daughter fell in love with the freedom of the road when she went on a 3 day, two nighter and eventually wants to get one for herself.
    Mike

  15. #15
    Registered User Rod Sheridan's Avatar
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    Hi Moshe, I've been riding for 42 years now, including the years when I had young children.

    Diann rides, in fact when I was thinking of stopping riding when the kids were young she asked me why I would ever consider giving up something I liked so much.

    When the kids were small, one of us would ride, one would drive, and we would swap occasionally.

    Later, the kids were old enough to ride pillion, so we rode even more.

    Now the kids are in their thirties, neither ride, yet Diann and I have purchased new bikes for our retirement years.............Regards, Rod.
    Work is the curse of the riding class

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