I have a rather timid 11-year-old son. He's brilliant (test score prove it!
), 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
Now I'm browsing the vendors looking for replacement parts.