Parents: did you all continue to ride immediately after your child was born?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Grad, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. Grad

    Grad Wannabe

    Dec 7, 2004
    Athens, GA and Blairsville, GA
    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.
  2. RxZ

    RxZ Legal Drug Dealer

    Mar 27, 2010
    Tyler, TX
    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)
  3. The Walrus

    The Walrus Gone and back again.

    Nov 9, 2003
    Newly minted Millcreek
    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

  4. Wentjo

    Wentjo Been here awhile

    Aug 9, 2012
    Lakewood, CO
    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.:D My 3 year is riding now too, but mostly in the back yard. I guess it's a family affair.
  5. ragtoplvr

    ragtoplvr Long timer

    Oct 18, 2007
    central USA
    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.
  6. gravityisnotmyfriend

    gravityisnotmyfriend Long timer

    Jun 1, 2012
    ((kg*m)/s^2), IA, USA
    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.
  7. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

    Oct 25, 2004
    India Wharf summers - Boulders winters
    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.
  8. Bucho

    Bucho DAMNrider

    Dec 10, 2006
    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.
  9. UrsaMobili

    UrsaMobili Canoodian Expat

    Sep 17, 2010
    Back on the left coast, on island with no ferry
    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.
  10. Eddy Alvarez

    Eddy Alvarez Long timer

    Oct 21, 2008
    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.
  11. Valker

    Valker Long timer

    Dec 5, 2003
    Pampa, Texas
    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.:clap
  12. AC909

    AC909 Great Job!

    Oct 30, 2009
    Bloomington, IN USA
    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!

    DADODIRT Long timer

    Jun 25, 2004
    Durango,CO(not quite Purgatory)
    You're gonna need that 'get away' time more often after the kids than you ever dreamed.:deal
    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.
  14. urbanXJ

    urbanXJ Long timer

    Aug 19, 2008
    Pearland, TX
  15. fierostetz

    fierostetz Been here awhile

    Feb 27, 2010
    Orange County, CA
    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).
  16. sieg

    sieg Wearing out tires......2 at a time, day after day.

    Jul 9, 2008
    Southern Illinois USA
    I didn't ride any less after my son our born, except for the fact that sometimes I just had to take the truck when he was just too little to ride on the bikes. When he got to where he could ride on the bikes with us then it was back to normal. As for my wife she did day rides when he was a few months old and she felt comfortable leaving him at grandpa&#8217;s for the day. When he was 3 or so she started doing overnight and vacation street rides and racing enduros again. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    The best came when he was 4 and could race AMA MX and dirt track. We could all go together. Then camping and trail riding. Of course we had to back the speed down a little. (but by the time he was 14 or so he could leave us in the dust) It&#8217;s all 25 years behind us now, we all still ride and we&#8217;re all still very alive. Never really thought of motorcycling and death together, kind of morbid actually. If you think you might get killed, maybe you should quit riding, kid or not. I mean you&#8217;re ok with being dead, just don&#8217;t want to leave a family behind right?:eek1<o:p></o:p>
  17. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

    Apr 5, 2011
    Western Sierras
    First off, you should have life insurance whether you ride or not.

    The next thing I would consider is the difference between the risk factors of overall motorcyclists vs. those not drinking or speeding. Sober riding is easy, but do you like to speed? You mentioned the "rush", so I would say probably. What about a slower bike? Maybe something vintage with a top speed around 60 mph?

    Another route to take would be to switch to dirt riding only. My friend did this, and now he and his young son ride together and often. It really seems to satisfy his need for acceleration nicely.

    If none of that sits well with you, and you end up giving up riding, that S2000 can provide some serious thrills. Have you ever autocrossed it? Risk to the car (and you) is minimal, but you get to push to the limit and beyond. Certainly the most fun I've had on 4 wheels.
  18. BigDoc

    BigDoc Been here awhile

    Jan 26, 2011
    Leland, NC
    My wife had a VW bus to ride to work; I had a Triumph Trophy 500. Our son rode strapped to me almost immediately. By the time he was 1 y/o, he insisted on riding in front of me. He had his first bike, a Yamaha RM50 before he was 5 y/o. He still rides and so do I.

    If you care what your wife thinks about it, I cannot help you.
  19. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

    Oct 25, 2004
    India Wharf summers - Boulders winters
    Good story. Thanks. Here's to Mom and Dad :freaky
  20. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

    Oct 25, 2004
    India Wharf summers - Boulders winters
    Wise man here. High Country knows the trials of a motorhead...:clap

    Autocross is fun if you get serious about it and produce results. No doubt off road riding is one of the best elixirs. Might even inject some hobby hare scramble racing to make your experience more soulful. No question you could get hurt, but the speeds are low for the most part, so the catastrophic risk is less.

    I liked weekend motocross, but when I got hurt, my decision to quit was more about focusing on maximizing my career to be the best provider for my family. It wasn't about risk.

    As family men, we want to be good providers above all else. :deal