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cvd6262 06-25-2013 08:22 AM

Shortest trip ever... with my 11-year-old
I have a rather timid 11-year-old son. He's brilliant (test score prove it! :deal), but he's not overly athletic. He is curious and a hard worker though.

So, when I discovered a disused 1980 XR80 in a neighbor's shed, I thought getting my son on that bike would be a great way to get him out of his shell a little. I made a low-ball offer, which the neighbor accepted (much to his wife's rejoicing).

We worked on the bike over the winter (my son did much of the work himself), and got it titled and OHV permitted last month. He rode it around our backyard (we have 1/2 an acre) quite a bit, but our state requires an OHV permit for kids to ride on public land. Luckily, you can get that permit through an online class, which he finished the middle of last week. He was stoked when I took him to get his own gloves and goggles.

Then last weekend we had an over-night family reunion up in the mountains. I took a half-day off work so we could get there early and have a few hours on the fire roads. We set off through the campsite (at the posted 5mph limit), and then a *little* faster on the road.

About 100 yards out, I waved to him and pointed to the turn-off we were going to take. I braked and then...


He swiped my right side and went right down. Once I saw he was OK, I tried to play the "awesome! your first crash!" card. He laughed, said something like, "I totally forgot about reaction time!" (Quoting from his online course).

I helped him lift the bike back up, and then noticed something dangling off the right handlebar. It was the brake lever and the throttle. He had snapped both clean off. A little duct tape got the throttle to stay put (but it was now a sticky throttle), but there was no way to repair the brake lever.

Given his lack of experience, I figured it wasn't safe enough for him to ride on that setup. Bummer. I rode my bike back to camp, then walked down and helped him get his slowly back. On the plus-side, we had the whole afternoon to hang out in camp with my in-laws :huh.

Now I'm browsing the vendors looking for replacement parts.

Scubalong 06-25-2013 08:27 AM

Spending time and riding with your son is priceless. Fix the Ole girl up and try again:clap

BanhXeo 06-25-2013 09:02 AM

Vendors is a good spot. Also maybe your local Craigslist for a second bike to pull parts off of. If your looking for new parts to fit, I've had luck with before.

Rutabaga 06-25-2013 11:27 AM

Fix it, ride it, fall. Repeat as required. This will be lifetime memories in the making.

CloneBoy 06-25-2013 11:37 AM

Get it fixed and back on it!

I remember my first crash, my dad bought a mini bike off a neighbor for $50 and got it runnin for me. I had NO clue how the throttle worked, and I ran it striaght out our drive way and straight into the back of our neighbors caprice classic

Luckily, no damage to anything, but oh man the memories of riding with my dad, starting with that one

Get him back on and get back out there ASAP! Good on ya

Ghostie 06-26-2013 10:51 AM

aww...I used to be that kid (quiet and didn't care much for other sports, but man I could ride a bike ALL DAY long)

Looking forward to more RRs from you guys

ALinUTAH 06-26-2013 04:34 PM

Some years ago I got one of those cheap chinese hardware store bikes for my nephews and nieces when they visit. 50cc with auto clutch. One of my nephews was ecstatic when he saw it, as you would expect. I'm guessing he was about 8 at the time. Every kid wants a dirt bike but they live in the city. I live out in the sticks where they can just ride anywhere. I'll never forget its maiden voyage. I got him all suited up with helmet and gloves and pads on all his pointy parts, he climbed on, and mashed the throttle wide open, because the throttle on a video game is an on-off switch I guess. The bike left without him and landed in a heap. I was surprised how much it shook him up. I let him calm down and worked on him throughout the day but couldn't convince him to get back on. He didn't get hurt, heck he didn't even move, he just stood there while the bike left him behind. I didn't really understand the problem, but I knew he really wanted it, and at this point I decided he needed it just to learn some confidence. The next day I finally got him back on the bike, walked along beside him with my hand on his throttle hand to show him how to modulate it instead of cranking it WFO. A few yards down the road I just let go and he was off. After that he wouldn't get off the bike all day, I couldn't hardly get him to come inside when it got dark.

What's funny is another nephew never showed the slightest bit of interest in it. Go figure. -al

cvd6262 06-26-2013 05:03 PM

Great stories, all.
My son already wants to get the bike fixed. We'll be back on the trail in no time.

My wife told me that my son only kept a stiff upper-lip when I was around. She said he was pretty upset when I wasn't looking. I'm actually quite glad because that means 1) riding is something he really wants to do and 2) he learned a valuable lesson that didn't cost more than a few parts and a lost day of riding.

Unclescar 06-27-2013 08:25 AM

No pics of the crash or campfire? :lol3

redog1 06-28-2013 02:09 PM

+1 which means it didn't happen,,

Originally Posted by Unclescar (Post 21738886)
No pics of the crash or campfire? :lol3


My first time on a bike (old ct90 back in the late 60's, I was 9yo) my father put me on the bike, gave me a few pointers and told me where NOT to ride, which I promptly did, ended up going through a ditch which resulted in me laying on the ground with the bike on top of me. After being extracted from under the bike and seeing the I was ok, my father proceeded to beat my ass all the way back to the house for not doing what I was told. :lol3
Good memories, a life time ago. :D Miss ya pa.

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