08 December 2011

Fine For Me, But For You? Not So Much!

How do you know you've been a successful parent?
I won't even attempt to answer that. Jerry Sandusky's parents probably thought they had done a decent job raising their son. If they're still alive, they must now be reconsidering.

But our son has been on his own for almost five years now. He supports himself, and we're often made proud by remarks we hear from those associated with him at work and play. Thanks to Verizon, the 2000 miles that separate us are almost eliminated by several cell-phone calls daily.
He talks with his Mother often...
He calls me (not so often), when he wants advice or reassurance.

He has watched with interest how his old man has gotten back into motorcycling now that he's moved to Arizona. Last Fall he even rode behind me on the GoldWing about a half hour to see what that experience would be like. It was chilly and he wasn't dressed properly, but still he seemed to enjoy the ride.

I think he's been talking motorcycles with his friends in Arizona, because one of those friends just GAVE him the Yamaha 400 "Special" that has been sitting idle in his garage for a couple years.

His drive from his Casa Grande, AZ home to his workplace in Chandler, AZ takes about 40 minutes and is spent mostly on Interstate 10. His Ford Explorer "Sport Trac" gets a little over 20 m.p.g. on the highway, so he's burnin' about 4 gallons of fuel each round-trip.
Driven sanely, the Yamaha should get around 50 m.p.g. and will cut his fuel costs in half. Great Arizona weather should allow him to ride the bike to work much of the year.

When his friend gave him the bike our son called and was excited.
We are excited, AND concerned.
In my head I'm thinkin', "It's okay for me to something slightly dangerous and fun, but I'm not so sure I want you doing the same thing, my son!"

So we have to do what we have done in the past...
Try to educate and instill the proper amount of respect he needs to have for the bike-riding experience.
He has always listened well and put our advice to good use. I see no reason he won't do that again.
And now I'm lookin' forward to our next trip to Arizona...
I hear there are some wonderful roads to ride East of "Apache Junction"!


Ed Bonderenka said...

Yep. One of my kids wanted my crotch rocket when I stopped riding it, and I thought of why I stopped riding it (late blooming sanity) and said no.
Now another son (CPO) has bought a small Yamaha to start out on. Hoping for the best.

Brady Steffl said...

Mr. Beard,

I definitely understand the sentiment. I taught my little brother how to ride this summer, and he's almost eight years my junior. The whole thing scared the crap out of me. But, the best thing my father ever did was stay out of my hair when I got into bikes. "Well, be careful." was all he said, even if he said it 1,657 times. Remind him that everyone on the road is out to kill him, that's basically how I've survived. It's not 'explicitly' true, but it works not to trust anyone.

Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life

ddf said...

When my son was preparing to go away to college I encouraged him to get involved with intramural sports and activities. Always a good student he didn't have much experience with team sports, so I suggested, Tennis, golf etc, but nothing really appealed to him. One bright Saturday afternoon we got a phone call: "I joined a team! Skydiving!" ...and he did very well.

jinksto said...

As with all things proper training and application of skills will go a long way. Advise him to take the MSF course and pay attention to it. Especially on the interstate...

My biggest two pieces of advice for Interstate riding are these:

* Don't ride beside cars... always make sure they have room to blindly change lanes without looking because they will.

* Don't tailgate but more importantly don't worry about whether YOU have time to stop... worry about whether the guy behind you has time. The closer he gets to you the more you slow down to give you both time to stop in an emergency. Essentially, drive the car behind you and leave lots of room for error.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Youngest son's car was still in my name (he had the signed off title; hadn't transfered it). Received a photo radar ticket from Idaho showing his speed at 115 mph. You could clearly see him with one hand on the wheel just cruising.

I wasn't that upset about the speed. I was upset he was driving that fast on marginal tires. That prompted an intense father/son dialog.

When he was sixteen, spent the money to put him in a two day class at the local race track. Let him buy a very hot Dodge Charger. Put a restrictor plate on. Took the plate off when he was eighteen.

His older brother drives like an old lady. No interest in fast cars.

The ticket? Ignored it. None of lived in Idaho.

Old NFO said...

You've raised him well, he takes advice... Can't ask for much more!

CnC said...

it drove my mom crazy when I started riding as a kid, she had an uncle get killed on a bike when she was a kid, she never got over it, I ride anyway, but thinking of my son riding? I would need more xanax. dont do as I do do as I say,

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

People either love or hate bikes. My wife, a former coroner's deputy, calls them Murdercycles.

Me, I love them. Recently bought a Yamaha TW200 for local funning around.

In moderation, with safety, there's nothing wrong whatsoever with an enhanced awareness of the driving environment, such as is proffered on a motorcycle.