We introduced our family to dirt bike riding for a new family “thing”. My husband, Sandy, had ridden as an adolescent and can tell you all kinds of wild stories of screaming up the powerlines with friends. Don’t ask to hear about the time his father painstakingly tweezed gravel out of his back. Sore subject. Even though his own family had no prior history of any kind of motorsport Sandy had begged his father to allow him to get a dirt bike, a ’92 Suzuki RM125. It didn’t matter that his feet couldn’t touch the ground, starting out Sandy would take off by leaning his bike against a tree and kicking off. It’s a mental image that prompts me to giggle, given how much care and nurturing we’ve given the little kiddos we’ve taught to get off the ground.
From a desire for freedom, Sandy obtained a 2014 KTM 500 XCW after not having ridden for years. In true casanova form, he asked me to marry him with a 2016 KTM 350 XCF-W – because you can’t ride an engagement ring. Romantic, huh? You bet it was!
Our first year of riding together as a family was filled with long days of riding around our yard, which turned into barbeques, adding friends- and their bikes, and more repairs than I can recall. It wasn’t long before a “track” had begun to emerge; dirt lines tracing what was once our lawn. “You don’t have to mow a track!” Sandy would often say. Days of maintaining a manicured lawn transcended into cultivating tabletop jumps, berms, and other obstacles.
Two Adirondack chairs oversaw the lion’s share of the property, which manifested the perfect “observation deck”, and was where the parents spent most of their time. A cooler and a grill placed at the ready not far away fueled whoever happened to be joining us. It was something we could do all day every day, and we did it every chance we got.
It wasn’t terribly long before everyone outgrew the home terrain. As most good things do, the experience evolved into something new- into long days at a “real track”. Which brought an exciting whole new world of adventure, great friends, and learning opportunities. Don’t get me wrong– I love witnessing this world turn- the way it’s intended to. But if you ask me: My happy place will always be those long warm sunny days at the “home track”. The place where my nostalgic heart remains.
Maybe you’re wondering if you should get your kids into riding dirt bikes. Maybe you’re looking for something to do together as a family. Maybe you’ve been doing a little research on the risks and gains of motocross overall. Is the cost of maintenance and potential bodily harm worth it? You have to decide for yourself, but if you’re on the fence- do it. From this moto-mom’s perspective, riding motocross together has been the best thing that’s ever happened to us. Find a local track, meet some families, look at bikes and gear (here are a few examples), and attend a race. Your adventure awaits.