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Old 11-27-2012, 10:10 AM   #1
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Location: Athens, GA and Blairsville, GA
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Parents: did you all continue to ride immediately after your child was born?

I have a newborn and I have gotten more and more nervous about riding my motorcycle. The thought of me being gone and my wife having to raise him alone just tears at my heartstrings, yet it is so hard to let go of something that I love so much (riding). I realize I could be killed in a car accident or crossing the road, but the latest stats say it I am 35 times more likely to be killed riding a motorcycle than driving a car, which is not something to be scoffed at.

So parents, what did you do when your child was born? Did you stop riding for a while? My wife hasn't asked me to stop because she knows how much I love it, but I know she worries about me a LOT more than she used to. My sister pulled me aside over Thanksgiving and very tearfully told me how much she worries about me riding, especially now that I have a little baby. I do have an S2000 that is still a lot of fun to drive, but it just doesn't compare to the rush and thrill of riding.

I've been riding for 10 years and over 100,000 miles without an accident, so I am not some careless squid, but at the same time I know it is a risky activity and so I am not taking this decision lightly. Honestly, my biggest concern is deer because they are everywhere around here and completely unpredictable. They can come out of the woods in a split second, making them almost impossible to avoid if they are in full sprint. I hit one with my truck and I saw him about 0.5 seconds before he caved my driver's door in. That has really hit home over the past several years, because if I was on my bike I wouldn't have even had a chance to pull the brake lever before impact.

Just trying to get different perspectives on this as I sort out what I should do.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:15 AM   #2
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It is totally up to you and your wife. None of us can tel you what to do. That and you sound like you know, and are well aware of the risks involved.

And last I heard, the stats were 17 times more likely, but that takes into account the fact that 60-70% of deaths on motorcycles can be attributed to alcohol and/or speeding. Either way, roughly 5,000 people died in the latest reported year on the NHTSA website. 5,000 pedestrians died being struck by other vehicles as well for what its worth.

RxZ (has a 6 year old, 3 year old, and 1 year old; rides when he can which isn't much other than commuting)
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:26 AM   #3
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These are some of my standard lines....

The secret to being married and having a motorcycle is: Get a motorcycle before you get married and never, ever give it up.

When my two sons were 4 and 2 years old, I went to do my annual maintenance and discovered I had only put on 500 miles that year.....I thought about selling the bike since it just wasn't getting used much......BUT I DIDN'T!!!

I had an XS1100sj for 18 years while my wife and I raised our sons. She doesn't ride but hasn't ever requested that I stop. It's all part of the mix of who I am. We've been married over 30 years.........

of course, YMMV

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Old 11-27-2012, 10:30 AM   #4
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My wife and I still ride quite a bit and we have a 3 year old and a 1 year old. Granted I get more riding in then she does. My 3 year is riding now too, but mostly in the back yard. I guess it's a family affair.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:32 AM   #5
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I can only tell you my decision, and it was not to ride. I know for me it was the right thing to do. Hell yes, I missed it.

And the riding is just as sweet now, 50K 5 years later.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:35 AM   #6
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Never even considered not riding. I have changed my attitude about protection, though. I used to think that I could leave the helmet at home if it's just a quick cruise in town. Now, the helmet goes on every time I get on the bike - no exceptions.

I've got a 3 yo, 2 yo and 9 month old. I'm not giving up riding, just being smarter about it.

Oh, and for me, riding is just commuting to work. I just don't have time for joy rides.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:45 AM   #7
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When #1 son was born I was racing D36 and CMC motocross in the vet class. I even have pics of me in my race gear holding my toddler in the paddock. I had a real career going and when he was about 1 y/o I hurt myself bad enough to require rehab. I decided I needed to focus on my career and sold all my race stuff. That was early 1982 I think.

When #1 son turned 17 he had his own money from his various jobs. He came home with a street bike. So I went out and bought one too. I thought we might ride together. We did once. 3 months later he rented a Penguin EX500 school bike, got his road race license and finished mid pack. The following year he was racing Aprilia Cup at Daytona! That was 2000. He raced all over the country for the next few years. He even won his class in the Mexican 1000 last spring aboard a KTM 350. He's an IT exec in San Francisco these days.

There must be a lesson there somewhere.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:46 AM   #8
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I still rode, maybe not as much. At the time I did sell my dirtbike and bought a commuter just to get some riding in.

My wife actually got her mc endorsement the year after our son was born. I remember following her around in my pick up with our baby sleeping next to me.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:14 AM   #9
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I thought I'll never give up riding, however in real world things are different.
It is an easy decision actually - how much do you want to be a part of your family's life.
It isn't about being killed on the motorcycle, this can happen anywhere, anytime in any vehicle. It is about being there and helping, especially in the first 2-3 years. There is a bonding time that you'll never get back.
For me it happened naturally, can't ride after an all-night awakening every hour or when you take over to allow your wife few hours of sleep.
Long story short - kept the bike for year and a half and had less than 200 mi on it, mostly going to the store for last minute baby supplies. Sold it (got rid of the temptation and pain, looking at it). Seven years later got the new one. Wife was as happy as I was.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:16 AM   #10
Eddy Alvarez
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As the father of a 9 year old girl and 7 year old boy, I go through spells. At times, I am riding like mad doing dual sport rides, 1000 mile iron butt rides or out dirtbike riding near home. When I hear about someone being killed, seriously hurt or sentenced to wheelchair for life, etc, I do get a little freaked out, feel guilty about being selfish, I end up backing off for a few days and consider selling my toys and giving up on bikes until the kids are on their own.
A few years ago when my son was born, I did just that, I sold all four bikes that I had and I bought a BMW M-Roadster convertible. It was fun, I did enjoy it for a while but after a few months my wife told me "you're miserable without a bike, go get one!" So I did.
Only you can make the decision to stay on two or four wheels. I have been riding for almost 28 years. I do my best to manage risk by never drinking when riding, I wear the best gear I feel money can buy, I take refresher courses, professional riding schools and practice emergency braking, turns, etc in empty parking lots, avoid riding after 11:00 pm on weekends, I avoid the rain if possible and have enough lights on my bike that my friends tease me and say that it looks like a 747 landing. I also maintain disability and enough term life insurance to supply my family with 15 years of my salary. (yes, I trust my wife with my life, lol)
Now, my boy is riding a little PW50. I am thrilled that he wants to ride with me in the woods. The thought of him riding a streetbike in 15 years makes me nervous have to LIVE life. What's the point in a boring 90 year life!?

My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimers at 59, yes 59, and was very demented by 67. That woke me and pushes me to live and love life NOW while I can.

*On the other end of the spectrum, my wife hasn't been on a bike in 9 and a half years since we brought our daughter home.
Me: Honda CB1100 BMW R1200GS KTM 525EXC. Gabriel: KTM 50. Elena: Honda CRF70. Lynn: Sugar Momma and Gatorade/snack girl!

Eddy Alvarez screwed with this post 11-27-2012 at 12:38 PM
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:24 AM   #11
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I had 5 kids.....

I married at 30 and before I was 39 had five babies. I never quit riding (my wife and I discussed this VERY thoroughly prior to marriage). I did take out a million dollars worth of life insurance to get them raised with no debt all the way through college. The youngest turns 21 in 2 weeks. Four of the five ride their own bikes. My wife very seldom rides with me.
"Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending." -Carl Bard
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:30 AM   #12
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I have been riding motorcycles since I was three years old. Motorcycling is as much a part of me and my life as my family so I did not give it up when I had my first or second child. In fact, when my first was two weeks old I took a week long ride out to Colorado and back for the MX of Nations.
Everyone is different but no one expected me to give up riding and I never gave it much thought. I will say though that I am more cautious now in all aspects of my life.
If it did concern me enough to really consider stop riding than I would becasue an overly cautious person is just as dangerous behind the wheel or handlebars than a total lunatic in my opinion.
Best of luck to you and your family with whatever decision you make!
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:53 AM   #13
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You're gonna need that 'get away' time more often after the kids than you ever dreamed.
I was riding for about 10 years when the first was born. That was almost 14 years ago. I now take the younger boy for rides on the KTM and the older boy has a XR100.
I find your lack of faith in the force disturbing.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:56 AM   #14
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:59 AM   #15
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my mom rode until she was 8 months pregnant with me and couldn't throw a leg over her bike any more ;)

unfortunately, after me she never tried riding again (which she reminds me of constantly!

My dad never stopped, except for a period of time when he had to sell bikes to make ends meet. My mom managed a kawasaki shop and my dad was a master mechanic there. They had to give up bikes because life gets in the way (that was enough money for the two of them, but not to start a family). Dad's turning 60 soon and still rides 25k a year (commuting).
I buy all my stuff at, formerly newenough.
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