Author Topic: A short tour with my eleven year old  (Read 3230 times)

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Offline mbishara

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A short tour with my eleven year old
« on: January 09, 2014, 09:52:47 am »
I'm thinking of taking a short two day tour with my eleven year old son.

He's accustomed to riding the bike with me around town.

I realize that there are different views with regards to riding with our children but I'm wondering what feedback anyone has who has done this with one of their children in the past...

Offline DVanecekOld

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Re: A short tour with my eleven year old
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2014, 01:56:01 pm »
Been wondering this myself, I think appropriate riding gear, fitting helmet is the biggest problem, most likely available but unless the kid was also riding dirt bikes or ATV's not cost effective.  Would be nice to be able to rent-but I'll bet that's not an option.   Well, see if anyone else something on this.  I myself don't have children of this age but my kids do, it would be fun to start taking some of them with us-but this may just have to wait a few more years till they can start fitting into adult stuff. 

Offline Ranger Jim

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Re: A short tour with my eleven year old
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2014, 03:03:10 pm »
There have been a number of threads along this line. Some primary issues that have been discussed:

1. Properly fitting riding gear. This was brought up by an earlier poster but is easily the most important concern.

2. Safety on the bike. Many (most?) children can and will fall asleep if they are not being actively stimulated. This means that you will have to adapt your riding style to their needs.  You, as the rider, are looking for hazards, estimating speeds, etc., they are looking out to the side or at your back. Frequent stops, shorter days than you are used to may be required.  An intercom system can be a big help in letting you know when it's time to stop.

3. Some way to hold on.  They need something to hold onto. That keeps them safe and you will (or should) know when they let go and you can find out why. There are numerous belt systems that will meet this need. I do not favor "tying" the child to you.

I'm sure others will chime in but those are some that just jumped out at me.
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Offline juve

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Re: A short tour with my eleven year old
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2014, 03:38:39 pm »
Do you have a tail trunk with backrest?  Two helmets with intercoms so you can talk to each other?  I have those on my bike for giving folks rides when they come into town.  Youngest was 14, and she enjoyed being able to talk to me even though we were gone less than an hour, not a two day deal like you mentioned.    He'll either love it or hate it I'm guessing.  Good luck :great:

Offline ChipDoc

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Re: A short tour with my eleven year old
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2014, 07:08:24 pm »
When he was 11, I took my younger son on a 3-day trip.  He already had the gear, since the bike was my only transportation at the time.  Anytime we went anywhere, we took the bike and it had been that way since he was seven so he had lots of pillion experience, and was comfortable enough to fall asleep on the middle of my back on the way to karate practice every afternoon.  This trip was also the shakedown run for my new Harbor Freight trailer and the HitchDoc hitch on my C10.

Day 1 took us 350 miles up I-75 from Tampa to Americus, GA where we got a hotel room and a pizza and then went to cruise through Jimmy Carter's town of Plains.  It really is so small you could throw a rock from end to end.  The next day we toured the Andersonville Civil War Prison Site and its spectacular National Prisoner of War Museum - the very best single-issue museum I have EVER experienced - then took the back roads about 200 miles to the Steven Foster State Park where we camped for the night.  It was his first time camping and he loved it.  In the morning, 70 miles of backroads took us to I-75 and another 150 miles home. 

He had a great time.  We were even chatting about it a couple of months ago as we went through the pictures; he's 21 now and finishing up an Education degree at USF.  The trailer was great too. 

Take reasonable precautions and everything will be fine.  Remember to stop more often than you need to; a kid will find wonder even at a highway rest area if he's in the right frame of mind.  Let him pick the food and stop to see anything he expresses an interest in.  Get little things like refrigerator magnets.  Take pictures.  Take the time to talk.  I'd say you should do it; it'll make memories that'll last a lifetime.

Offline SantaCruzRider

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Re: A short tour with my eleven year old
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2014, 01:33:18 am »
I started taking my son on rides on the back of my C10 when he was probably 11. He was tall enough to comfortable reach the pegs (with enough leg bend to be secure).

I bought him a decent full face helmet, gloves and jacket. Gear was cheap because the super gaudy stuff always seems to be available on sale somewhere -- and that's typically exactly what a preteen boy thinks is super KEWL!

We went on numerous multi-hour rides and he loved it. He was forever asking to go for another ride.

+1 on ChipDoc's recommendation to make frequent stops. I always felt like his attention span was more limited and it was nice to be able to stop every hour for a soda or to take a picture.

I highly recommend it as well.

Dan
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Offline smithr1

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Re: A short tour with my eleven year old
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2014, 06:00:52 pm »
3 long summer trips with my son at age 11-14 each over 3000 mile.  Just take the steps to be sure he and you are as safe as you can be and go enjoy.  As soon as he turns 16 it might be all over like it was with my son.  He got a car and forgot about riding.
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Online works4me

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Re: A short tour with my eleven year old
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2014, 06:51:07 pm »
To paraphrase someone wiser than me:
Do not dwell in the past. You can't change it.
Do not dream of the future. You can't predict it.
Concentrate the mind on the present moment.
And live your life to the fullest.

IOW, enjoy the time spent with your son, he'll
only be eleven once. Take this time to fill
both your lives with priceless memories.
Take him on a trip. We all know you'll never
do anything to jeopardize his safety.
Tell us all about it when you get back.

Offline ZG

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Re: A short tour with my eleven year old
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2014, 03:01:23 am »
To paraphrase someone wiser than me:
Do not dwell in the past. You can't change it.
Do not dream of the future. You can't predict it.
Concentrate the mind on the present moment.
And live your life to the fullest.

IOW, enjoy the time spent with your son, he'll
only be eleven once. Take this time to fill
both your lives with priceless memories.
Take him on a trip. We all know you'll never
do anything to jeopardize his safety.
Tell us all about it when you get back.

 :iagree: :beerchug:


BAD A$$ isn't cheap, and cheap isn't BAD A$$...

Offline Old Man on a Connie

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Re: A short tour with my eleven year old
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2014, 03:41:18 am »
I'm 53 years old and I will never forget my Dad taking me on a camping trip on the CB450. 3/4 helmet that was my moms. Canvas pup tent and the saddle bags were USMC Korea vintage back packs. No back rest. Don't remember how old I was but it was younger than 12. TO THIS DATE, with all the advancements in gear and bikes, one of my fondest memories. You'll only have 1 chance. The clock don't stop tickin'. Do it!
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Offline ZG

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Re: A short tour with my eleven year old
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2014, 05:09:31 am »
I'm 53 years old and I will never forget my Dad taking me on a camping trip on the CB450. 3/4 helmet that was my moms. Canvas pup tent and the saddle bags were USMC Korea vintage back packs. No back rest. Don't remember how old I was but it was younger than 12. TO THIS DATE, with all the advancements in gear and bikes, one of my fondest memories. You'll only have 1 chance. The clock don't stop tickin'. Do it!

Sounds like good times OMC, nice!  :great: :beerchug:


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Offline mike

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Re: A short tour with my eleven year old
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2014, 10:16:17 am »
If you're looking for gear that's made for kids this would be a good start.

http://www.kinderriderinc.com

Offline mbishara

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Re: A short tour with my eleven year old
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2014, 11:22:01 am »
That's the reason that I want to do it. By the way he's used to riding on my bike.

I've been picking him up from school for the last three years by bike and going for short dudes afterwards.

I've got the backrest and the comm system.

What I will do is go for a few short highway rides (two hours at a time) to see how he reacts to that.

I know the arguments for and against strapping a kid to us but I think that I will do so. I never strap him in town because of the slower speeds and there are lots of things happening in town that can cause an accident. But I figure that highway riding is a bit different and I'd rather be confident that he doesn't fall asleep on me.

Offline Ranger Jim

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Re: A short tour with my eleven year old
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2014, 12:20:18 pm »
He's probably more likely to fall asleep on the highway than in town: steady speed, constant drone of the engine/road, fewer visuals, etc.  I'd still advise against strapping him to you. Worst case, if you go down at highway speeds you're likely to tumble. Having him strapped to you will probably increase the injuries to both of you. JMO.
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Offline ChipDoc

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Re: A short tour with my eleven year old
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2014, 04:02:12 pm »
I drove mine around from the time he was seven and he'd sleep all the time once the excitement of riding a motorcycle wore off.  It was never an issue; he'd lay his head in the middle of my back and, if he started to shift around, a little shoulder-blade action would get him centered again.  But that was around town.  On that trip he was so excited that he sat up looking around and taking pictures and jabbering the whole way.  If he had chosen to go to sleep, I'd think it'd be a lot safer burning up the interstate in a straight line than when driving to karate class every afternoon.

But another option is to simply stop and let him sack out in the grass at the side of the road.   The idea will be so novel to him that he'll do it enthusiastically.  He'll probably wake back up in 20-30 minutes ready and rarin' to go again. 

Certainly do NOT tie him to you - in the event of an actual emergency, both of you will end up worse off.

I'm not trying to say that sleeping in the pillion is a GOOD thing, but it's really not as out-and-out dangerous as it seems.  We did it pretty much every day until he got a car.

Offline Old Steve

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Re: A short tour with my eleven year old
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2014, 11:45:24 pm »
That's the reason that I want to do it. By the way he's used to riding on my bike.

I've been picking him up from school for the last three years by bike and going for short dudes afterwards.

I've got the backrest and the comm system.

What I will do is go for a few short highway rides (two hours at a time) to see how he reacts to that.

I know the arguments for and against strapping a kid to us but I think that I will do so. I never strap him in town because of the slower speeds and there are lots of things happening in town that can cause an accident. But I figure that highway riding is a bit different and I'd rather be confident that he doesn't fall asleep on me.

If he's already got the gear, and he's used to being on the bike AND you've got a backrest and comm system, why haven't you left yet?!! :great:
I haven't studied it, but just going on intuition, I would agree with the no-strap crowd.  An 11 year old rolling & bouncing down the street is a scary thought.  The same kid rolling & bouncing with a grown man strapped to him just seems worse to me.  Between the backrest & the intercom, I think you'll be able to work rest stops into the schedule & make sure he doesn't doze off.

That's it for my $0.02 - post pictures when you get back!

Offline 2linby

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Re: A short tour with my eleven year old
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2014, 12:03:16 am »
That's the reason that I want to do it. By the way he's used to riding on my bike.

I've been picking him up from school for the last three years by bike and going for short dudes afterwards.

I've got the backrest and the comm system.

What I will do is go for a few short highway rides (two hours at a time) to see how he reacts to that.

I know the arguments for and against strapping a kid to us but I think that I will do so. I never strap him in town because of the slower speeds and there are lots of things happening in town that can cause an accident. But I figure that highway riding is a bit different and I'd rather be confident that he doesn't fall asleep on me.

My Grandson started to ride with me as soon as his feet could firmly touch the passenger foot pegs.  He rode with me for over 20k before wanting to get his own bike. When we rode together two up He developed a good line of communication, he'd hit me and I'd ignore it.  :nananana:

 No really now. If you have a comm system that is great.  You have to make sure he is not bored and the best way of doing this is stopping often and planning shorter routes. He will fall asleep on you if you ride too long or have a heavy meal then ride. Heat will dull his senses faster than cold so as others stated good gear helps in this. Do not assume he will do all the right things, they don't, heck I don't!  :-\  NO STRAPS!! DO not go there. I built passenger armrests that where attached to my Givi box. Helped him out a lot. If he has a portable gamer (game boy or equivalent,) bring it.  Have your GPS positioned so he can read it. Put a map on your back, anything to keep him engaged in the experience. Music helps, but only if it is something he likes.  Best of luck as this is something the two of you will be able to share for the rest of both your lives.  :)
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Offline mbishara

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Re: A short tour with my eleven year old
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2014, 12:25:01 am »
Ok I guess the straps are really out of the question.

My bike comes out of winter storage on March 15th.

A few short rides from Montreal to Vermont will do the trick to gage where we're at.

The comm system is really important because my boy lives to yap away :-).

Offline mattchewn

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Re: A short tour with my eleven year old
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2014, 02:41:52 am »
mb,
How about a velcro type strap that would hold for the purpose of maintaining the pillion rider in place but would not "bind" him to you in the event of something happening? I don't know if there is something available like this or not but would be worth looking into.
Matt
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Offline Old Man on a Connie

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Re: A short tour with my eleven year old
« Reply #19 on: January 14, 2014, 02:45:50 am »
Maybe some type of fanny pack like waist strap for a grab point?
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Offline 2linby

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Re: A short tour with my eleven year old
« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2014, 04:57:10 am »
Maybe some type of fanny pack like waist strap for a grab point?


There are several variant to these. A little research should come up with many more options.

http://www.cycleworld.com/2011/10/05/2wheelride-passenger-safety-handles-product-review/

http://www.amazon.com/Outlaw-Racing-Motorcycle-Passenger-Handles/dp/B00B1FXB3Q
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Offline SantaCruzRider

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Re: A short tour with my eleven year old
« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2014, 03:11:39 pm »
+1 on no straps -- I've seen them used and they look incredibly dangerous.

If the trip is getting so long and/or boring that the kid is dozing, you're doing it totally wrong. Maybe it's time to stop for a Slurpee, or plan to stop at every rest stop and read all the info about the area's history, pull off and take a quick picture of oddball signs and then snapchat them to friends -- whatever it takes to keep the trip engaging and fun.

If you instead think you need to cover max miles, pile into the car -- it will be safer and more fun (for that kind of trip-IMO).
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Offline Ranger Jim

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Re: A short tour with my eleven year old
« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2014, 11:00:23 pm »
 :iagree:  Now go do it, post the trip up on here and write it for CONCOURIER.
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Offline MizzouMike

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Re: A short tour with my eleven year old
« Reply #23 on: January 18, 2014, 12:38:00 am »
Great Info...  I take the kids around town, but really worry about them falling asleep if I were to ever take them out on the road.
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Offline mbishara

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Re: A short tour with my eleven year old
« Reply #24 on: January 18, 2014, 02:42:53 pm »
+1 on no straps -- I've seen them used and they look incredibly dangerous.

If the trip is getting so long and/or boring that the kid is dozing, you're doing it totally wrong. Maybe it's time to stop for a Slurpee, or plan to stop at every rest stop and read all the info about the area's history, pull off and take a quick picture of oddball signs and then snapchat them to friends -- whatever it takes to keep the trip engaging and fun.

If you instead think you need to cover max miles, pile into the car -- it will be safer and more fun (for that kind of trip-IMO).

That makes a lot of sense. The essence of motorcycle riding is the journey and not only the destination anyways.

Good advice thank you.