Off road riding as an adult is fun; but have you ever seen the excitement from a child who rides?
My 9yr old son taking a quick pic before tearing up the turf.
Do you have a child in your life who loves to ride motocross? What are their reactions like after they preform a trick? Or not even a trick … something along the lines of: “Mom did you see how fast I was going!?” As they are already full of energy get them behind a throttle and it’s like they become the Flash; a bolt of lightening just went through them and gave them super powers!
Kids naturally are running around at a million mph. I know mine do! It is important to teach them how to ride. If your child is new to riding or recently got a new off-road vehicle; make sure you teach them where each part is. Also, when first getting on the vehicle let them get a feel for it. Give them a minute to get comfortable.
- Throttle – Ah, the part that makes us GO! And fast if I may add. Inform them when pulling/pushing the throttle that they don’t gun it! It could lead to a quick crash. Begin to push/pull the throttle lightly to start and then gradually work into it to make them accelerate a bit quicker.
- Breaks – Definitely show them this part as it is vital! It’s what makes us what? STOP! Need I say more?
- Kick start – So, not all vehicles have this feature but for some to start you have a kick starter. You will want to put your vehicle in neutral, hold the front brake, push down on the kick start. It may not start on the first try. DO NOT do anything with the throttle until your vehicle has fully started. (The majority of vehicles will start with a button or switch).
- Engine – For safety purposes make sure they locate the engine. It is important to keep your legs from touching the engine at all cost. It could leave a nasty burn.
What Should They Wear?
We have covered in past articles that this sport is dangerous. However, a lot of things in life are dangerous and that is why protecting the kiddos with safety equipment will make you feel a little easier as they cruise around. Out of all the gear you can choose from please, and I stress this… they need a helmet!
Safety equipment can be a bit pricey but in all honesty worth the price because it is made specifically for off-road riding. But if you do not want to go buy a bunch of gear that they will grow out of within the next year… I totally get it! My recommendations are as followed.
- Long Sleeves – Depending on the weather of course you’ll want to have your kids wear a long sleeve shirt. Whether it’s a long sleeve t-shirt, a jacket, hoodie etc… Long sleeves help protect from scraps and cuts. If it is a hot sunny day I still recommend long sleeves of course a more breathable material. This also prevents from getting sun burn!
- Pants – Pants will protect from scraps, cuts, and sun burn as well but while riding your leg is near the hot engine. And I mean HOT! You will want to avoid that completely! But accidents happen. For example, you could hit a bump and your leg clutches to your vehicle easily onto the engine. Wearing pants will help from direct skin contact on the engine.
- Shoes – By shoes I mean closed toe shoes and preferably a pair that are high tops to slightly protect your ankle. ALWAYS make sure your laces are tied! If they’re not tied, don’t ride!
Even though this sport is full of excitement we as parents/guardians must address the importance of riding to make sure our kids know how to prevent injuries and how to properly navigate their vehicles. Ride safely everyone and have fun!