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12 y.o. killed while riding a motorcycle - yes, HR

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  • #21
    500cc is a fairly large engine and you wouldn't put a beginner on a bike that big but if the child had been racing and riding for a lot of years then it really isn't all that big.
    You also wouldn't put a beginner rider on an firey OTTB but if that child had been riding since they were 4 then maybe you could.


    • #22
      That author is a sentimental fool, and such, not worth of treating his view as anything but a view of a sentimental fool, or regarding that article worthy of any intelligent consideration.


      • #23
        This discussion is not about the "nanny-state"; it's about personal choices.

        There is no answer to this question because every parent will draw the line between "too risky" and "safe enough" in a different place, based on their knowledge, prior experience, gut instincts and so on. Most people would agree that "bubble-wrapped-on-the-couch-till-18" is a sad, bad approach to parenting. Most would also agree that allowing a 4 year old to fly a fighter jet is irresponsible parenting. It's the middle ground that's trickier to negotiate.

        Risk is about uncertainty. You can die stepping off your front porch; you can participate in a dangerous sport without sustaining a scratch. Sometimes getting a few scratches is part of what makes the activity a great growing and learning experience. Add parental ego, kids' own ambitions and their desire to please their parents into the mix and it's impossible to know what is right and wrong in every situation. Only time will tell if the choice was a good one.

        My kids are involved in moderately risky sports -- eventing, hockey, football, snowboarding. At 15, my son has had 3 significant concussions, but he is at the moment snowboarding in Quebec with some friends, and is counting the days till he can start doing what he loves best -- playing football. With apologies to the Serenity Prayer, all I can do is minimize the risks I can, accept the risks I should, and hope to hell I have made the right choices.

        My heart goes out to the parents of this boy -- I cannot imagine their anguish. However, I feel for any parent who spends the rest of their lives wondering about the path not taken -- either wishing they had let their kids live a little and experience the joy that comes from following a dream, or wishing they could turn back time and say "no, you can't do that". That crystal ball sure would be nice sometimes.
        I don't mind if you call me a snowflake, 'cause baby, I know a blizzard is coming.


        • #24
          That said I dont agree with putting a 12 yr old on a 500cc motorcycle. This is lime putting your 12 yr old on a ottb that has more fire than brains. Would you do that? Knowing a lot about motorcycles that size is not appropriate IMO for a child that age. I rode an xr 80 at 12 yrs old. The point is we as horse people find the closest mount possible for or child's level and development. A 500 cc is not it IMO and my eyes got huge just seeing that that was what the child was riding.
          If I am reading the article correctly, it was a 250cc bike.

          That being said, I completely disagree with this author as well. Now, if children are being forced into riding when they don't want to (which we all know happens once in a while in motocross AND horses) that is simply wrong. You can't live your life through your child and if they are telling you they are afraid of their "sport" then it is your responsibility as the parent to listen to them and find something else for them to do. I would NEVER force DD to get on a jump around if she was frightened, especially on an animal that can sense that fear.

          Aside from the scenario above where the child doesn't want to, if the kid is all for it and they know what they are doing and are properly protected then as parents we need to learn to let go.

          I agree with the poster who pointed out that adolescence is now lasting until kids are 35 - I was married and moving across the country with my new husband at 19 and a mom at 21. 19 years later I look at my own kids and realize that DH and I may be housing them for at least their college years if not longer just based on their maturity levels.

          Kids need to be allowed to grow up, to do things we may see as "risky" as long as precautions are taken, to live lives without us holding their hands. Otherwise they will never have the self confidence to become adults who know how to be on their own.
          If you love me let me go....


          • #25
            I admire Stoneymeadow's point of view.


            • #26
              NOT a 500cc full roadrace bike.

              According to RRW

              Anderson crashed during an AFM 500cc Twins race while riding a rented Kawasaki Ninja 250R March 3 at Buttonwillow Raceway Park, in Buttonwillow, California. Earlier in the day he had won the 250cc Production race. Then in the 500cc Twins race, according to a Facebook post by his father, Anderson got into a "big tank slapper" going into the final turn and the front tire dug into the ground, sending the racer over the handlebars. Anderson suffered a head injury in the crash and had been comatose since.
              He was riding a 250cc STREET BIKE. The fact that he was racing in a Production race means it had minimal changes from the stock version- probably just tires, shocks and safety prep.

              Very much analogous to the pony races at the steeplechase meets.

              Then he rode it "up a class" in the 500cc Twins race (i.e. restricted to two cylinder engines). This is a pretty low speed class within the range of typical races. Often considerd the "old mans race" as it often has quite a few older racers who are no longer comnfortable with the "big bikes".

              Maybe analogous to the foxhunters race at a steeplechase.

              Yes they are racing. Yes they are going fast. But NOTHING LIKE the fully race fit TBs, or the MotoGP you watch on TV.

              This is his family's statement (I added the bolding)

              Kenny was declared brain dead today. He died doing what he loved, and what he excelled at. I have no doubt that there was nowhere on Earth Kenny would rather have been last weekend than at the racetrack, racing his motorcycles and hanging out with his friends. I'm sorry that all the thoughts and prayers we have received were not enough to bring him back, but please know that your love and comforting words really helped us get through the past week. Please keep Kenny The Iceman #12 in your thoughts. Live your lives to the fullest, and hug your children every day.
              ETA that this is NOT motocross, but proper raod racing.
              Last edited by Janet; Mar. 14, 2013, 04:31 PM.

              chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


              • #27
                Originally posted by Canaqua View Post
                The author also makes it sound as if parents are forcing their children to get involved in potentially dangerous sports...I've never seen that be the case. It's more often the kids begging to do something that scares the parent and the parent struggling with the decision. I know when I begged and begged and begged for riding lessons when I was about 8, my father was freaked out because some high profile man's (Governor of NY, maybe, I don't remember?) daughter had recently been kicked in the head by a horse and killed. I finally wore him down, but I was most certainly not pushed against my immature judgment to do something potentially life threatening.
                I've seen it in gymnastics and while usually gymnastics isn't usually life threatening it does have a high injury rate for competitive gymnastics. Too many parents try to relive and remake their childhood through their children. JMO.


                • #28
                  Life was meant to be enjoyed, and lived, not sitting in a plastic bubble afraid of what might happen. This kid was wearing all the required protective gear, a helmet, and was not an inexperienced rider. He was young and his accidental death is a tragedy. The best thing we can do for our kids is make sure they are taught well and all the bases are covered as they venture out and do the things they love. The overprotective phobia that I see now- a -days is shocking. Kids riding on a bike with training wheels wrapped in so much protective gear it is amazing they can see let alone learn to ride a bike!! We need to make sure our kids are protected against injury, yes, but we have gone way overboard. I remember my growing up and learning to ride bikes, roller skating, ice skating and horses without being in bubble wrap and that is how my kids learned too.


                  • #29
                    I misread. A 250cc for a child that has been doing this his whole life is not crazy. 500 IMO is but 250 not as horrible. Still a lot of bike but not horrible for a child that has been riding.
                    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by Christa P View Post
                      Racing 500cc bikes IMO is more like the race-fit TBs than ponies.
                      He was not racing a 500cc bike.
                      They make smaller bikes that a kid would have a better chance of controlling.
                      He WAS riding a SMALLER bike, a 250cc.
                      He crashed because of a tank slapper, whihc is not generally considerd "lack of control"

                      FWIW, my brother had a dirt bike when we were kids (not sure the cc, but definately way smaller than a 500) that he rode in the fields and woods and I was frequently a passenger.
                      Dirt bikes are very different from raodracers. Motocross uses smaller bikes thatn raodracing for a variety of reasons.

                      Nowadays even a 500cc bike (which he was NOT riding) is considered a pretty small bike for roadracing. The most popular classe are for 650s, 750s, and open.

                      He still rides a street bike and I am getting ready to learn to ride a 650cc street bike - 500cc is a good sized, powerful bike and IMO not appropriate for a 12 year old especially on a dirt track in company.
                      which is completely irrelevant, since he wasn't riding a 500 and he was not on a dirt track.

                      chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by Gloria View Post
                        That author is a sentimental fool, and such, not worth of treating his view as anything but a view of a sentimental fool, or regarding that article worthy of any intelligent consideration.
                        Oh my. That's pretty harsh and disrespectful. You, of course, are entitled to your opinion.
                        Equine Photography in the Northeast


                        • #32
                          A friend of mine has two sons that race in Moto-X - and have done since they were about 5years old (on appropriate bikes and tracks - quite regulated).

                          Jo is an ex-horse-rider and has laid down quite strict rules about what is and is not acceptable. Her biggest one - no riding without safety equipment. IE at a minimum - full face helmet (correctly worn), full length leather boots (zips and buckles), heavy denim jeans and full length denim shirt. And that is just to tootle it up and down the driveway to check on whatever they check on. If going further? Leather trousers, jacket and full body protector. If they dont comply - well, the bike is locked up for 1 week. She has only had to do that once - her boys LOVE their Moto-X and the more they do it, the more they love it, the more they listen to their Mum

                          Then, she takes a deep breath, steps back and lets them go!

                          I will say, Jo absolutely loves it that her oldest son doesnt like motor-bikes except as a means of transport out to the farm where his horse grazes . Now he is turning out to be an awesome horse-rider - really loves endurance racing on his OTTB. The farm owner is also into endurance and takes him out with their team. Jo says she doesnt worry about him anywhere as much as his two brothers.
                          Still Working_on_it - one day I will get it!


                          • #33
                            Many kids here ride "bulls" in little britches rodeos.

                            Those are mostly sheep for the littlest to small calves for those a bit bigger.
                            Once they grow some more, they participate in all rough stock events for kids, bucking horses and bulls, small ones for the younger set.

                            There are less injuries in those kids than in football, basketball and track, from all places.

                            A friend's hs kid just had knee surgery, the second knee in two years, from track and basketball injuries.

                            I would not know, scary as it is for kids to be hurt, some killed, I don't see how we can insure there are NO accidents in life, growing up or any other time.
                            Accidents come with the territory when we are alive.

                            Now, should kids be riding bulls, racing motorcycles, or sitting there watching adults only do that?

                            That is for the parents and kids to decide and each family will come with a different answer to that, no need to second guess what others do and make them feel guilty when accidents happen.


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by Gloria View Post
                              That author is a sentimental fool, and such, not worth of treating his view as anything but a view of a sentimental fool, or regarding that article worthy of any intelligent consideration.
                              I have to concur: The author is a ninny!

                              You can't protect children from life. Or you raise children afraid of living.

                              Heck, we lose a few to things they love doing. We lose more to things they hate, like traffic accidents, school violence....

                              The boy probably enjoyed more life in his short 12 years than the author did in his whole life....


                              • #35
                                risk is with any activity, some activities have greater risk then others

                                Our children all showed their horses nationally, the youngest started at age five. The two old kids by age ten were spending summers with trainers showing and doing catch rides for other trainers.

                                By the time any of our four children were fourteen they all were being mistaken as mid twenty plus year olds due to their level of maturity.

                                Other than the other normal kids sports on their own they also took up skydiving

                                There were some injuries along the way, they just didn't dance along a paved sidewalk.

                                Our oldest son, riding in the backseat of a car, died after being involved in an auto accident with a drunk driver which is much more common than a 12 year having died in a motor cross race.


                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by clanter View Post
                                  Our oldest son, riding in the backseat of a car, died after being involved in an auto accident with a drunk driver which is much more common than a 12 year having died in a motor cross race.
                                  NOT motocross.

                                  chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by Janet View Post
                                    NOT motocross.


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by clanter View Post

                                      Our oldest son, riding in the backseat of a car, died after being involved in an auto accident with a drunk driver which is much more common than a 12 year having died in a motor cross race.
                                      I am very sorry for your loss, Clanter.
                                      Last edited by downen; Mar. 14, 2013, 07:15 PM. Reason: spelling
                                      Graphic Design & Websites


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by Alagirl View Post
                                        Road racing is a different from motocross as, say
                                        saddleseat is different from dressage, or
                                        showjumping is from endurance.

                                        MUCH more than semantics.

                                        chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


                                        • #40
                                          Here is a thread form the WERA Roadracing forum


                                          In particular, see post 180 from his father.

                                          chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).