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What Were the Parents (Not) Thinking

by The "Professor" Gary Bailey

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You may not think this is an important subject because you don’t have kids or maybe it just doesn’t sound like a cool title. If you ride or know or love anyone who does, it is probably one of the most important articles you will ever read.

The little guys are the future of the sport. But there won't be a future if parents don't take a bigger role in teaching them the rules of the track.

I know you are busy. Please take five minutes and read this.

This has been a very hard week with several motorsports’ deaths. It is during these weeks that the sport we all love gets a bad rap in the mainstream media. It should also be a time when as racers and riders we all take a minute to stop and think.

Racing accidents for the most part cannot be avoided, but a crash on a track because a small child does not know or follow the rules can be prevented. If you ride, I am asking, no begging, for your help with this issue. I feel it is part of your responsibility as a rider no matter what your skill level.

This past weekend I spent three days at a practice track with all levels of riders out riding. Actually, this facility had three practice tracks open and there were upwards of 200 riders during open practice. The facility had flaggers present and the flaggers were “heads up” and doing a good job responding when anyone went down.

Let me set the scene.

Of the 200 riders there were riders on 50’s, beginners, all size big bikes and even some pretty quick A riders and pro level riders in the mix. This is not what bothered me though because for the most part all of the riders were doing a pretty good job watching out for others. Although my preference is for beginners to ride on a separate beginner track or for practice to be split (so that big bikes and little bikes are not on the track at the same time, especially when there are a large number of riders on the track), this is not what bothered me about what was going on out on the track.

What did alarm me was the young riders that entered and exited the track without regard or looking when pulling on or off the track. Most had absolutely no clue what was going on around them when they got the urge to enter or exit the track. They just entered and exited the track at will with no regard for where they were.


Then, it almost happened … Incredibly, no one around thought anything about it. But it scared the hell out of me.

After watching quite a few close calls (even though I have spent all of my life on the motocross track) by the end of the day I got so nervous all I could think is one of these little guys is going to get killed or cause someone else to be killed. Then, it almost happened … Incredibly, no one around thought anything about it. But it scared the hell out of me.

Picture this: a little guy on a 65cc bike with basic riding skills rides over this 6o’ table top on the right side of the track; then, as soon as he rolls down the backside of the table top he makes a hard left turn at the bottom of the ramp. Scared yet? Have you seen this before?

It gets even worse. As he pulls off the track, he is looking for his parents. Then, he spots them in the infield on other side of the track. They are just standing there, dad, mom and little sister. So, without looking he crosses the track again, at the very bottom of the down ramp of this blind tabletop to get to the infield where his parents are. I watch to see what the parents do. They do nothing. They didn’t even get it!

I am torn and finally decide, I have to say something to them before something bad happens. As I walk over, the little rider is pulling up. I proceed to tell the parents what I just witnessed and the mom just stands there like all is cool. So, I turn to the dad and tell him what just happened and he says, “yeah, I know we tell him all the time.”

What? I am thinking, you tell him all the time and you still let him ride? I ask the mom, how do you think you are going to feel when you are standing right there and watch your kid get hit and maybe even killed? I get the feeling they just think I should mind my own business, so I walk away in disbelief.

I have to wonder if this same kid had run into the street without looking, would the mom be so nonchalant or would she have screamed her head off? What is it about the rules of the road of motocross that parents just do not get?

I love this sport. It is my life’s work as a top racer when I was a pro and as a teacher and mentor. I still teach but I also share this sport with my family and grandkids. In our family though with the fun there are still some basic rules that must be followed. If one of my grandkids did what I witnessed this weekend, it would have been a very big deal. I would have been pissed. I would have had a long hard talk with him and set some “no ifs, ands or buts” rules. If necessary, his bike would have been parked until he was mature enough to understand and remember.

As riders and as part of the motocross family, I feel we all have an obligation to hold parents accountable to make sure that young riders are taught to appreciate the danger of entering and exiting the track and to learn the rules of how to do so safely.

Let’s keep everyone safe. If you are a parent, before you put a kid out riding you must teach these basic rules.

  1. Look both ways before entering or exiting a track.
  2. Do not cross the track without looking. Never cross the track at the bottom of a jump.
  3. Do not ride the track in the wrong direction.
  4. Do not to stop in the middle of the track.
  5. Get yourself off of the track if you crash and can move. You must also teach them how to pick up their own bike.
  6. Hold your line when riding and listen for bikes coming up behind you. Do not suddenly change your line in front of an approaching bike. Do not change your line at the bottom of a jump.
  7. Watch for flaggers or dust ahead to signal someone that may be down in the track ahead.

If you are a rider and you see a little-one breaking these rules, you must alert the parents. Please help me get this message out and make this sport safer for the kids. Say something even if you don’t think it is your job. If you ride, it is your job. I would rather offend a parent than have them bury a child and you should too.

Over fifty-three years of riding and racing and forty-three years of teaching, I have been pretty lucky. But, I have seen one rider killed in front of me and I cannot tell you how much that sucks. I can tell you that you don’t get over it if you witness it, which is why I guess I had to say something this weekend. I cannot imagine how it would feel to hit a little guy or to be his family.

Please speak up and pay attention and help educate parents and young riders for the future of our beloved sport. If you are going riding this weekend, please review these rules with your kids before you go. If you are a rider, please print this and post at your track.

Thank you for checking out this article. Other similar articles can be found in the archive section. I hope all of my articles help you become a better, safer rider no matter what your skill level. Because I am in semi retirement after 43-years teaching full-time, I only do private one-on-one coaching or with a small group of riders. Most of my time is spent in Virginia, however, if you are on the west coast I do spend some of the winter months in California visiting my kids and grandkids. If you are interested in scheduling a coaching session shoot me an email gbmx@kimbanet.com or go to my website. You can come to the mountain or the mountain will come to you!

That's it for now, until next time, good luck with your training and remember, if you have a question, log on to the Virtual Trainer Expert Forum and have your question answered by a panel of experts. In addition, be sure and check out the Racer X Virtual Trainer archive section. Your complete one-stop information zone for motocross fitness. VT Signature

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Discussion

  1. Gravatar
    jssuzuki October 27, 2011 at 9:08 am

    A similar incident happened to me at a local track. I almost landed on a 65, because he decided to stop on the landing of a blindside triple to see where his dad was at, and if he was taking pictures of him. I proceed to to go back to the pits to and try to tell the father how dangerous it it, and he tells me I should mind my own business. The next month a rider is killed on the same jump.

  2. Gravatar
    Mark Swart October 27, 2011 at 9:09 am

    My daughter tipped over in a muddy spot at the base of a tabletop on her 50 at an open practice, and before I could get back to her (I was also riding a 50 on the track with her to keep an eye on her) a quad was coming around the corner and lining up for the tabletop. Fortunately for us, there were spectators who waved the quad rider off and he rolled the jump. If he hadn't, she would have probably been crushed.
    Pee wees should have their own practice areas, or at a minimum, their own practice sessions.
    Mark Swart
    GBMXS '87

  3. Gravatar
    Christopher Coy October 27, 2011 at 9:13 am

    Nice work Gary!
    I have seen many of the same situations and the parents and people hold no accountability. I have been asking people this question for about a year now and they just look at me like I'm nuts!

    "When were humans relieved of the responsibility of self preservation?"

  4. Gravatar
    John October 27, 2011 at 9:15 am

    I agree ....I see parents that don't get the dangers that their kids are in. I love the sport but there has to be great respect for the danger.

  5. Gravatar
    smitty856 October 27, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Personally I think the parents dont understand their rights once they pay the fees for the lil one to ride and get offended if someone sais they should do or the kid to act differently on the track or around the pits.. be it for the most part, because some of them get it, alot dont.. Is seems they have the mindset they paid their $20 to ride and is free to do whatever they want and dont understand what they are doing could be the wrong thing and they just dont understand and think you are butting in and downing their parenting skills not that u are trying to help every one involved. SO if someone sais something to you please dont take offense.

  6. Gravatar
    Jade October 27, 2011 at 9:45 am

    This reminds me of a front page newspaper article in the Des Moines Register. It was about parents wanting stricter rules for kids riding quads. They were talking about all of the deaths involved with kids riding quads. As you continue to read the article most of the kids were around ten years of age and they were all riding big utility quads. It was frustrating reading the article, because the parents should never have allowed such a young kid on such a large quad and now they are trying to blame it on the fact that there are no laws that restrict quad riding age. It all comes down to the parents not wanting to buy their kids the proper sized quad. Parents need to take more responsibility when it comes to kids riding dirt bikes and quads.

  7. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer October 27, 2011 at 9:59 am

    I can tell you this much, my kid (a Pee Wee rider) will NEVER share a track with a 250 or 450. Period....end of story...load 'em up and take 'em home. If the track owner won't take responsibility, I sure as heck will. The only time the little guys should be on the track at the same time as the big boys is when they are on a Super Mini and can ride like Cooper Webb. Otherwise, mini's and smaller bikes should not be on the track with bigger bikes.

  8. Gravatar
    Eryk October 27, 2011 at 10:02 am

    I must say my local practice track does a great job of ensuring the safety of it's riders. They have a small track for just mini bikes. 85cc and under.. More skilled 85 riders are allowed on the larger track. So that there keeps these little guys safer. If they do get time on the bigger track (and it very rare) all the big bikes are pulled off the track and they give the little guys a 15 min session. Keeps the little guys safe and inspired.. But even with these measures, it amazes me that parents will do some stupid stuff and not realize it. Gone are the days of lead by example at times. I see parents ride in the pits with no helmet. Now they aren't going fast but it set's a bad example and let's face it you don't need to go fast to whack your head an become a vegetable or killed. Either way I don't care how these parents feel I say something when I see something wrong!! At least I can sleep at night knowing that I may have made a bit of a difference.

  9. Gravatar
    Justin October 27, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Wow, such a great read. I couldn't agree more with Gary. Its mind blowing how ignorant parents can be, this ignorance trickles down to the lil rippers! Thanks again Gary for taking the time to write this. Its much appreciated!

  10. Gravatar
    John October 27, 2011 at 10:30 am

    I just read a post above. I would never ever let my kids ride a track with quads on it. I have seen to many close calls with bikes and quads and I don't think it is worth the risk. This is just my opinion.

  11. Gravatar
    Troy October 27, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Great Article. I know a few friends with Kids who ride and they do a great job at teaching their kids awareness when they ride. It seems that the kids who are the worst off are the kids of parents that don't ride.It's just like those crazy baseball parents they have no real experience themselves but hink their raising the next RC or JS, so they send their kid out there and tell them to "GO FAST" without any idea of the risks or any idea of what their kids need to know.

    I'd love to say "We need to regulate these parents' but that's just dumb and regulations are usually not the solution. If we as riders simple look out for the morons at the track and gently try and bring them along side us in riding responsibly and teaching their kids to do the same we might have some real success and build the sport at the same time.

  12. Gravatar
    Jimmy October 27, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Gary the Idiots are everywhere! I watched a kid do this very same thing @ Glen Helen Raceway and trust me I see this same things going on all over.

    It was an open practice day and this 12 or 13 year old just comes flying onto the track near the landing spot just after a 100 ft table top. My riding buddy and I just about killed this clueless punk. He tried to get smart with me so I waited till the perfect spot on the track and then came in HOT and straight armed him right over the berm!

    Soon after I had to deal with his White trash Freestyle Metal Mulisha Uncle and Father. Before they killed me, I asked them if they had any clue what really happened. After I informed them of what took place, I think they all finally realized it's time to actually teach Jr. some track safety.

    This sport is Awesome yet very Dangerous if not done correctly. These inattentive Parents and Punk Kids that "know it all" need a smack in the face. Really!!
    Don't be afraid to make a point when any of you see this nonsense going on @ our local tracks and favorite riding spots....

  13. Gravatar
    billiard ball October 27, 2011 at 10:39 am

    This hit home... (years ago)...I'm a 250 expert on a brand new bike at one of my favorite tracks after a rain (get the picture) in practice lovin' life ,on a SIXTH gear straight away tapped out a total beginner on a clapped out 125 entered the track through the snow fence careening off me. I did a giant wobble tank slapper and went down...knocking the s*it out of me and basically destroying my bike , the lucky kid wobbled around and fell over as he was not at SPEED. When I regained my senses I went over to have a nice talk and the Dads comment was I should have been paying more attention.......from there on out was not pretty. Today At the races I see kids who CANNOT ride learning ON THE TRACK. I don't get a parents reasoning for this except they are rookies also. Everybody has to learn but there is a time and a place. Practice should be like old TT days ...you line up wait until it your turn (try to go out with similar skilled riders) and enter and exit IN ONE AREA. 65's and down should have their own time and should be highly watched and instructed in the rules of the road every session until they get it. It's racing stuff happens but a little would go a long way in the area of track etiquette.

  14. Gravatar
    884 October 27, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    I've almost been a victim of it on numerous occations, I hold back if a kid is on the track and wait for a safe place to pass them, but even with the sound of a 450 right behind they will just cut across the track for no reason (and it's definitely not line selection) Had one kid in front of me on a tabletop, goes up on the right side then rides from right to left across the table and down the left side!!!

    It's not just MX, the groms at the local BMX track do it as well, seen many a nasty crash in open practice, and it's the same thing they just don't look, but the poor guy that crashes into the kid is the one who gets shouted at by the parents for flattening Little Johnny!

  15. Gravatar
    'T' October 27, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Great article and after reading the comments above, it is clear that this happens all the time. I do have to say that my experience didn't involve a 50 or 65 rider though.

    It was a beginner on a 450. The scenario you describe about the little one above going over the table top on the right and taking a hard left at the bottom was the exact thing that took me out. I was coming up on this rider and kept a wide birth, staying to the far left and jumping to the "stepped" table tops second landing, he only jumped the table itself on the right side. When I came down he was on the left side of track trying to exit. I ended up breaking my collor boned in enough pieces that they plated it (I know not very uncommon) and broke my shoulder blade as well.

    Anyway, the point is that it is not always the little ones that need to be taught the things we think are common sense. You would think any adult old enough to purchase their own motocross bike would not need this type of instruction, but some do.

  16. Gravatar
    Ian October 27, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    i agree, beginners should have their own track. For example, while practicing one day at the local track, there is and 80 foot table top right out of the corner, well there weren't enough people to split the practices. So as I was coming over this jump, a beginner 125 rider stalled at the very bottom of the jump(remember it is a blind jump) and the flagger did not see. When I came over the jump he was just sittin there and I just hit her, I couldn't go anywhere. We were both lucky that neither one of us got hurt. it just scared the living hell out of me

  17. Gravatar
    Gus October 27, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    It sounds like you were at Milestone? I escort my son on and off the track. Some of these mini parents that never rode or raced, just don't get it! Once their kids get hurt, they can't take it back. They got their kid the dirt bike, the gear and brought them out to ride. Then to get to the track and forget safety, c'mon!!!

  18. Gravatar
    jon Delagnes October 27, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    It's not just parents

  19. Gravatar
    jon Delagnes October 27, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Sorry, It's not just kid's

  20. Gravatar
    Gary Bailey October 27, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Thanks guys, you are all right. No it's not all the little guys it can be anyone that has no clue. I see it at tracks all the time, and for those that have never been riding out in the open desert areas out west. Oh my God, you have no idea how crazy that is, no rules, no direction, and no direction what way to go, no guidance and no care about others. No matter how old you are, just get on and ride? or try to ride.
    All we can do is spread the word. Let all work together and hope God is looking after all of us.

  21. Gravatar
    JR Berardinelli October 27, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Thank you Gary, you are right this message needs to be heard loud and clear. I was airlifted out of the now closed LACR because a TEENAGE rider decided to exit the track at the top of the triple step up out of the pit. Believe it or not this happened at a private track rental...and it has forever changed the way I ride when there are people I do not know on the track.

  22. Gravatar
    Rick Thompson October 27, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    Here in Australia, it was roughly about 10 years ago when a senior rider landed on and killed a kid on an 85. Since then all Motorcycling Australia registered tracks, (where you are required to have a license) all have different sessions for capacities/ages. Sure this can drag out your ride a bit but as a dad that races and my son that rides/races it gives me a break to watch and instruct him. These sorts of regulations should be implemented, I am actually surprised that a country like the USA doesn't have something like this in place.

  23. Gravatar
    ryan hughes October 27, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    Gary I'm with you 100% ! We need to do something about safety all the way around motocross from tracks, equipment how to and track knowledge. Our sport is the most dangerous sport in the world! We all can talk about what they have seen or experienced but how do we truly help the safety problems? Yes I know that what is meant to be is meant be just like Simoncelli. The only way I know how and can help is by teaching riders how to ride these bikes that are so good now that it allows riders to ride over their heads so easy with no know how! You see it all the time and its scary as hell to watch! I would say that every rider should take a motocross school and there are many schools around the country. You take one to drive a car and that is like walking compared to moto. So I feel that all of us as a community need to work together on what we all love so much. Motocross is my life and I don't want to see it go away because of safety and finance reasons!

  24. Gravatar
    Tom October 27, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    My son had this same problem. I then went to zero tolerance, he pulled on the track without looking. I pulled him off the track and loaded up and went home. He road one lap, he has never done it again. Problem solved!

  25. Gravatar
    Tom October 27, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Oh and we were the only one's at the track at that time. But the zero tolerance worked, my son pay's very close attention now when entering or exiting the track. Try this it works because they will know the result of not watching and following safe rules.

  26. Gravatar
    MXdad318 October 27, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    Gary,
    I agree beginners should have their own track. NO MATTER WHAT AGE! Back in '98 a guy should up at the track I was at. He had never been an MX track before. Gets on his brand spanking new YZ400f and heads out on the track...THE WRONG WAY! Next thing I know, I come over a 4th gear jump, 10ft in the air, staring at a FRONT # PLATE coming at me. We hit. I broke several bones. He lost a few fingers. The people that witnessed it were screaming at the guy to stop. When we collided they couldn't believe we lived. So it's not just kids, it really all levels of skill that need to be address at the tracks, with the parents, and the individuals. GBMXS '04

  27. Gravatar
    czrider October 27, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    Was the riders first name James? Was the bike #7. Before you blast me reread the numbered statements. I agree on the safety part. But it also goes all the way to the top. You can be one of the fastest riders ( any pro ) and do something in poor judgement and dangerous. Beginners do it for a variety of reasons including lack of experience. Pros do it for another reason , I just haven 't figured it out yet.

  28. Gravatar
    Tad October 27, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    Watch this. http://www.youtube.com/user/rldirtbikeguy?feature=mhee

  29. Gravatar
    tad October 27, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    watch the close call at speedworld video

  30. Gravatar
    Wes October 27, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    Gary
    This is not just a problem at the motox track it is a problem in everyday life accross the U.S. People are ever more increasingly unaware or what they are doing. They do not think of anyone else just themselves....Like the world revolves around them...It just transfers into everything they do, walking at the mall, driving down the street or riding at the local practice track. This trend will not change until people realize the sun does not rise and set on them....just my opinion..

  31. Gravatar
    Gavin Young October 28, 2011 at 5:07 am

    Gary
    I have ridden in the States many times and I have always been amazed that there are no ropes or banners to define the race/practice track that I am riding on. Over here in England the practice tracks are roped off and you can only enter in one place and exit in another. This seems much safer to me. Also generally minibikes are not allowed on the track at the same time as big bikes.

  32. Gravatar
    Bart Lucas October 28, 2011 at 6:53 am

    Gary you are THE PROFESSOR period. You did the best thing you could have done. Not saying anything would have been ridiculous. Keep being Gary, you may not save that family from grief but you will save many more. Thanks for still caring about our sport and the people that "just don't get it".
    bml

  33. Gravatar
    Mr. Ted October 28, 2011 at 7:00 am

    I totally agree. My son has been struck by a child suddenly crossing the track, luckily he had good enough reactions to swerve to makeit a deflected hit, otherwise he would have t-boned the kid and it could have been ugly. I have also taken track owners to task for letting flaggers go to lunch during the 50cc RACES because "there are enough parents out there we don't need flaggers". I generally apply the same rules of observation that I expect if I was having my children ride on trails. You have to keep your head up and pay attention.

  34. Gravatar
    Joel October 28, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Great read. Nothing feels worse than hitting someone, I can't imagine what it must feel like if they actually died. At my local tracks in canada there isn't open practice, and I loved going to the states because I could ride way more the way practice was. If I had a child however, nothing would come before their safety, and I wouldn't let them out there.

  35. Gravatar
    Kent October 28, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Some tracks have no policy on this. If they do, it is rarely enforced. I posted this as a link on the Facebook page of our local track. It was quickly deleted.

  36. Gravatar
    Motomark October 28, 2011 at 9:58 am

    I met Gary once, sat next to him and his wife at the Phoenix Super-cross a couple of years ago. I believe that if GB talks to you about motorcycles, and you don't listen, you're an idiot. Those parents should have thanked him and then soaked that moment for all the knowledge they could squeeze from him. I know I did.

  37. Gravatar
    Doug October 28, 2011 at 10:06 am

    50's should never be allowed on a track with larger bikes. Regardless of everyones skill level from C riders to Pros this shouldn't happen. These little guys are not skilled enough to ride with these bikes and mistakes can happen, some 50 riders can barely stay on the bike let alone hold a line on a jump! What happens when one of them gets a little air on a table top and crosses the track? I've been racing for 19 years and just should not happen.

  38. Gravatar
    bob morgan October 28, 2011 at 10:56 am

    What the hell sort of system do you run in America? In the UK riders go out in ability groups to practice so all the autos and 65s will be in one group and then there are 3 other groups for beginner, intermediate and expert riders so that at any one time the riders on the track are all roughly the same ability and going the same speed which makes it alot safer. Who in their right mind lets 50cc riders out at the same time on the same track as pro 450's and quads?

  39. Gravatar
    wkdwtch October 28, 2011 at 10:56 am

    As a former track owner, I applaud Gary Bailey for this article.

    Been there, done that. There's a reason I became known as a "witch" which was one of the nicer names. After pulling a kid off the track for not having his helmet strapped, I had his parent tell me "He's claustrophobic!". I looked at her and said "I'm paranoid. Guess who wins?".

    My own kids were not allowed on the track until I was sure they knew the rules AND could pick their bikes up and get them out of the way if necessary. I had parents park as far away from the track as possible. They were willing to bring the kids to the track as long as THEY didn't have to watch them.

    As much as I dislike the idea of licensing & regulations in some ways, it is going to come to that. If we don't set the rules ourselves and make sure they are followed, someone else is going to do it for us.

  40. Gravatar
    professor October 28, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    All I can say now is THANK YOU GUYS and don't let this thing die here. Get the word out, we need to make something happen. This is not all about getting riders to a motocross school because we are not going to and this is not about that. Sure helping riders be better riders and improving their skills is important. I was not trying to do that I want all of us to take charge and do something being smarter and safer. Maybe even ask the track to stop practice once or twice a day for 15 min and get everyone at the track to come togather and bring up saftey to help all of us stay safe. Simple tell them if they care, come spend a few mins with us. Take a brake. Make this sport safer. Did you get that word SAFER

  41. Gravatar
    Jim Abramson October 30, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Great article Gary. This needs to be taught at EVERY practice session somehow. I have been hurt in the past trying to avoid a mini rider. I would rather be hurt than hurt a little kid. I've pulled my son off the track for not paying attention. In fact, he no longer has a bike because he couldn't learn "Situational Awareness", at least that is what I call it. Keep this going people, there is a serious lack of Courtesy at our tracks now a days!

    Jim Abramson
    GBMXS 1979

  42. Gravatar
    concerned citizen October 31, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    This happened at motoland.com few years back. A young rider moved over into the landing of a jump resulting in a Pro rider [travis or was it shane sewell one of the brother] landed on him.. Luckily the child was not hurt how ever the pro rider ended up with a broken color bone!

  43. Gravatar
    Dustin October 31, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    This is happening more and more often. The young kid is this video was a beginner quad rider on the main track at speedworld in az and was not paying any attention to the other riders on the track. This could have ended very badly. http://www.youtube.com/user/rldirtbikeguy?feature=mhee#p/a/u/2/5zbei_CWBAE

  44. Gravatar
    henry metzgerw jump November 01, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    i wont let my son ride open practice, and even when the 50s biginners have there own track you have the fast 50s and 65s wanting to ride because they can easily jump everything and are the big fish in the little pond.

  45. Gravatar
    Rick November 04, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    I agree some kids have no clue, But the tracks should know by now that practice days need to be seperated. I hear all the time riders bitch when practice is broken up. Get real people. Unless you are a factory rider you have no need to run a 30 minute practice moto, Therefore you need to take a break anyway. I think that kids ride faster when they get 15-20 minutes anyway. They ride hard and take a break. Otherwise they screw around and get nothing acomplished

  46. Gravatar
    Mikey O. November 06, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Parents and kids need an SOP (standard operating procedure) for crashes. One weekend while running timed laps at Thunder Valley I came up a blind up hill ski jump and much too my surprise I was looking down on a little girl and a grown sissy (guy) standing beside there bikes conversation. I landed square on both bikes and the little girl. I bounced off and nailed a T post. After immediately removing my bike from the track and finished rocking back and forth in agony I noticed talk of getting my but kicked and how it was no ones fault but mine. Note there were no flaggers and plenty of A riders. Point being, Don't be that guy. Use your noodle!

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    Gerald Craig November 06, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Face it Gary. This is 21st century America and the parent who is NOT afraid to chastise their child you have to admit is far and beyond an increasing rarity. It's not that what you say is not correct but, like so many other parents who are living vicariously through their children...are to focused on junior becoming the next RC instead of providing them sound guidance OFF THE TRACK! When my kids were spoken to about things that were virtually mirror of what you state here...and they did [it] again...they were punished and the PRIVILEGE was taken away. Whatever the parents reason are these days for not teaching them when it counts is indeed one thing. But, as the comic Ron White has proclaimed, "You can't fix stupid," as we too often see in society it's hard to state the obvious to anyone...if THEY haven't been taught in the first place. ("THEY"...being the parents of course!) Than again, we also talking about the same 21st century parents who still consider certain pro mx/sx riders as role models for their kids...even though these same pros are out on the highways of my home state, playing fake cop and than FLEEING from REAL cops! A felony committing pin-head has no place in the list of role models in this logical family...JS7.

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    Marie808 November 07, 2011 at 9:34 am

    We have two main moto tracks in Hawaii, Kahuku Motocross Track and The Sandbox Track. I haven't been to the Sandbox yet, but I go up to the Kahuku Track every weekend. There are rules for using the park and each of the tracks, practice ones and main racing one. There is a separate 50cc/peewee track for the little ones to practice and race on. The "big" track is for racing and for bigger bikes. There is also a separate time for the smaller (60-65cc) bikes and new riders to go on. The Marshalls close the track to the big bikes and the smaller bikes practice for 15 - 30 mins every two hours. There is only one way on and off the track, and when entering, the riders watch for other riders. All safety equipment must be worn, including helmets. If the rules aren't followed, the rider is told to leave the park. I feel we have a safe track for our kids here in Hawaii to ride. I'm happy that all of the local parents here watch each others kids and make sure that everyone is riding safely. I think we're lucky that, for me, I haven't witnessed that kind of riding on the "big" track.

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    Racer X Virtual Trainer November 08, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Marie808....we need more tracks run like yours!

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    clay667 November 14, 2011 at 10:54 am

    The sad part is, its not only small riders making these same mistakes, some parents are teaching these bad habits to their kids, I personally have witnessed this first hand, I was at a local track in Nelsonville, Ohio called Fasttraxx, its an amateur qualifier every year so most people have probably heard of it, They have moderate jumps for a motocross track, aside from the 90ish ft finishline triple. Which is for the most part pretty blind on the downside, and is one of those big jumps if you decide to roll you get off it pretty quick and hold your line. Well I was coming up on the downhill and jumped up a little double into the inside rut and passed another rider i had been in a short battle with the turn before. I looked out ahead and saw a rider (on a 450) he was rolling it i could tell but he was already to the top of the middle hump on the triple, and i was pumped from the pass so i decided he would be rolling down the landing by the time i got there (you can usually judge where people will be after riding a track so long) and i doubled up and the SOB was still there, quite literally sitting on the blindside of the double downside<b> looking for his kid!!!</b> then if that wasnt bad enough he heard me coming and decided to move right into my path!! If he woulda held his line i would scathed right by him and maybe bumped elbows or bars, but i straight got cleaned out, I mean i hit his right peg full on with my front rotor, and ended up sailing off the right side of the jump. I mean I hit the ground and was about ready to fight this guy lol, like what was he thinking, a grown man stopping on the downside of the triple to look for his son?Long story short because he was using the triple as a lookout it put a hole in my radiator and trashed my front rotor. I got to finish the day out on my dads 450 and as my dad was watching me ride he saw the guys kid that i hit do almost the exact same thing to a pro clearing the full triple and he nearly avoided getting landed on completely

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    Haydugjr November 15, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    @clay667 I ride there too, once in a while. I don't ride on the big track because I don't feel like I'm fast enough yet, but even on the little track with only one blind jump (the jump next to the road) people still find ways to do dangerous things. I've almost landed on 50s, almost been run over by quads...but luckily I haven't had anything like what happened to you happen to me. Hopefully that guy learned his lesson and maybe mentioned some track etiquette to his son as well.

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    SJ April 24, 2012 at 11:06 am

    I agree, I've been in the motocross deal for 13 yrs now. I've competed from here in West Virginia were i live all way to aspens Colorado... starting out on the 50 cc bikes i use to hate the lectures my father an trainers gave me of watch what I'm doing then one day at home on are private track riding with my dad i doubled a triple on my kx65 dad tripled on his yz450f.. "smack" I got hit by complete accident broke my collarbone but at first people though I damaged my aorta. I look back and think well if I'd listened to my dad i wouldn't had to lay of riding for 3 months I could have been just that munch better at the sport I love.. now that my father owns his own team an I'm one the main riders I strive with or lil men guys an girls on the smaller bikes even are beginner riders on 125cc that they need to be aware of all surroundings that they will an could be approached with in the competing factor... so now when we go to races we ask that all of are team members are there early so that we get a walk through of the track an visually see everything that we have to conquer for that day or weekend even.. so i as a fellow rider an AMA member ask u parents please strive all rules to ur children. I at the age of 18 and an A class rider on 250 an 450"s even still read the rules that are posted on the board at signups to this day

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