Henry and I spent Saturday morning riding our dirt bikes. Henry brought both the 2-stroke PW50 (which he learned on, and loves) and the bigger 4-stroke TT-R 50 which he is learning to operate. Henry rode the PW50 for about 4 minutes before switching to the bigger bike. He stuck with it for the rest of the day and made big strides in in his shifting and braking on the more complicated machine.

I got to ride a little on my bike, but spent most of the day tagging along behind Henry. He’s really building his confidence, and his initial reaction to most tricky situations seems to usually be the right one.


Mighty Little Man

Henry had a challenging day of riding. Wednesday night was his first time out on a three speed dirt bike. It’s hard to get the hang of shifting with one foot and braking with the other. He loves the bigger bike, and it fits him well, but the extra coordination it requires sapped enough of his concentration that he crashed twice.

Henry alternately mean mugs me and enjoys a snack

Henry alternately mean mugs me and enjoys a snack

He didn’t let it get him down though. Henry dusted himself off both times and jumped right back on the bike. He’s my mighty little man.

We retired to a well deserved and much anticipated dinner at Arby’s. But before we could go eat, Henry had to sit on his bike for a minute in the parking lot.

Henry had to straddle his bike on the trailer before we could eat our dinner

Henry had to straddle his bike on the trailer before we could eat our dinner

Zipping Fifties

Henry got to ride with his buddy Jayden yesterday after school. They zipped all over the place, riding on the flat track, the pit bike track, and even taking a lap of the GP track. Henry had a great time despite a minor crash on the flat track, hopping back up and continuing like it was no big deal. He’s getting more proficient and more adventurous each time we go ride.

Fifty degrees, fifty cc’s

Saturday morning, the first real fall weather and light – it’s 50 degrees and windy, but Henry and I are undaunted. We returned to Ride Organic for some more father/son dirt riding.

Henry and I took a helmeted selfie

Henry and I took a helmeted selfie

Henry spent time on the Pee Wee track while I muddled around on the MX track.

Henry practicing on the Pee Wee track

Henry practicing on the Pee Wee track

Then Henry suggested we ride on the flat track. It was totally fun, and Henry picked up some speed.

New Obssession

My son Henry, age 7, noticed I had been packing up my Husky to go ride lately – “Where are you going, Dad?” he asked.

“I like to go ride at Ride Organic – it’s a place to ride dirt bikes.” I told him.

“I wish I could go to Ride Organic.” (This is the first time he has really shown an interest)

“Do you want to go after school on Wednesday?”

“Yeah!” – thus followed two straight days of questions about riding and declarations that he couldn’t wait to go.

Henry is so ready to get on the bike

Henry is so ready to get on the bike

As promised, I met him after school with the trailer and car fully loaded and ready to go. We arrived at Ride Organic, and Henry practiced his starts and stops (a ritual we created with his sister years ago). Then I set Henry loose on Ride Organic’s great little Pee Wee track.

Henry loved the Pee Wee track

Henry loved the Pee Wee track

Henry had a blast, and even made a friend. Together these two boys on their 50’s explored the pit bike track and the GP track in the woods – far more adventure than I expected for day 1.

I got to ride a little bit too, working on whoops and rutted turns on the Pro MX track. The dirt was really perfect, and I found I had to really get my inside foot way up as I railed through soft loamy ruts… a real treat.

It was hard to get Henry off the bike and back in the car, he was having so much fun. When we got home, he was so pleased with his day that he actually hugged his motorcycle on the trailer.

Henry hugged his motorcycle when we got back home

Henry hugged his motorcycle when we got back home

Family Tradition

It’s New Year’s Day! Time to ride!

Helen and bill ride their TT-R s in the back yard

Daughter and father enjoy excellent New Years Day riding weather

In our family, we try our hardest to get at least a short ride in on New Year’s Day. Today, it was easy – temps in the mid 40’s, only spoiled by wind over 20 mph. Helen, and Henry, and I started off the celebrations by riding around the back yard on our off-road equipment – I on my TT-R 230, Helen on her TT-R 50e, and Henry on his Kawasaki branded Fisher Price PowerWheels KFX quad.

After a half hour of circulating the back yard, we all had lunch. Then Helen and I rode the Kawasaki Z1000 over to her cousins’ house to wish them happy new year. Road speeds and the wind proved more uncomfortable than our suburban trail ride in the back yard. But that’s all part of the New Year’s tradition – ride the ride, even if it’s a little uncomfortable.

Evening in Europe

My daughter Helen, my dad, and my brother John decided to go to Moto Europa this evening. It’s a beautiful new motorcycle dealership close to the SLU campus and the Fox Theater, and adjoining the wonderful Triumph Grill restaurant. The plan was to meet there, have a little appetizer from the restaurant, and just chill in the presence of beautiful European motorcycles. Dad rode his Triumph Bonneville T100, and Helen and I rode on the Kawasaki Z1000.

Dad and Triumph Bonneville

Dad readies the Bonneville

We crossed the Mississippi river into downtown Saint Louis just as the last orange rays of sunset were diminishing. It was a very pretty time of day, very fitting for Helen’s first Interstate motorcycle trip.

Moto Europa is a great place to look at motorcycles – Helen had the Milwaukee’s Best soft pretzel appetizer dish from the restaurant, and we looked over beautiful bikes together.

Helen Ducati Monster

Helen agrees that Ducatis are lovely

Dad Ducatis

Dad fancies some Italian machines too

Mark Oldham of Moto Europa took good care of us, telling us about Moto Europa’s many upcoming events, and giving Helen pointers on racecraft. Mark is a very gracious host. Before we left, the General Manager gave Helen a Michelin ball cap and advised her to insist on Michelin tires for all of her bikes. Does Michelin make 10 inch off road tires? No matter – Helen looks good in her new cap.

Helen Hat

Helen sports a Michelin ball cap