READ THIS....important!

This article I found on RacerX makes me damn near cry...I have seen things like this happen (not as bad as this though) and my heart goes out to this family, as well as any other family that has to suffer an incident like this.

THIS is exactly why we need some regulated practice sessions, I for one, would not mind sitting out an hour or two session during a full day of practice to let the kids is a small price to pay for the safety of our sport!

The track I ride at in NW Pa. DOES have an entire practice day set aside each week for the little riders. NO big guys allowed during that practice session. Hearing something like this breaks my heart I hope the little guy gets through this. Something like this should never happen!

I have a daughter I am teaching now and will be gieeting her first bike in a week. Yes this pulls at the heart string, yes all tracks, OHV's should be mandated if not insisted on by the USERS "US" to set aside areas / time for younger up and comers will be safe.

Hollister has several small tracks /designated riding areas set aside that are for kids only and have begining to more advanced terrain.

On the other hand of this there is also a responcibility of the parent to determin his or her childs ability. I am not making like of this at all it is a tragidy in itself. But look at the other side of the coin and maybe this tragidy may not have happend if

1: the parent did not allow his child to ride with more advanced riders

2: fully understand the dangers of bike riding

3: fully equip his / her child with as mush guidence, training and a watchful eye as possible.

Please I am only trying to add another view nothing more nothing less, I see kids all the time stoping in the middle of a trail (Adults Too) in the worst spot they could be in. I have also seen people air lifted out becouse they do not think about what they are doing on the trail.

Our sport has become very dangerous, but it is great that so many americans can buy a bike and go riding on a weekend, However with the great rise in population in motorcycle riders and the weekend warrior, What we need is a training program to teach the fundamentals and do's and dont's.

I see it no differant then people who put on make up, talk on car phones or read newspapers while drivig, the point is concentration, respect and training. Face it this is not a game someone's life can be at stake.

Sorry for tiraid just one of my many pet peevs :)

[ April 07, 2002: Message edited by: EgoAhole ]

I feel for the Wysongs and hope Jason recovers quickly! David is a real nice guy that rides a KTM520.

I saw a BAD crash yesterday. A guy on a WR426 wrecked on a 90ft triple and was laying on the landing (it was a blind landing) Well about 30 secs later a guy on a CR500AF cleared the triple but landed right on top of the WR426. It totally bend/busted/broke every part of his front wheel. Both he and the bike were drug off the track.

We all know practice sessions are annoying, but after reading/seeing wrecks happen. We need some flaggers or practice sessions, to help avoid this. It is very sad that this had to happen to Jason Wysong, he is only 7-8 yrs old, and is a nice kid who was just having fun!


I am sorry to hear about the little fella, I have one myself, and it was a story that no parent wants to hear...

I was flag marshall for a round at our local track yesterday, and even within the 65cc class there is a big discrepancy in riders... I was pulling my son out of a mud hole, and a KX 65 missed me by 2 feet maximum, he had it pinned, even after passing a yellow flag... this kid was so keen to win at all costs, that he almost endangered my life and my son... I had words to his parents, but they are that type who reckon their son is a wonder kid and nothing should hold him up... the parents couldn't give two sh*ts about anything else except their son winning the race... Like hitting your head against a brick wall...

There were a few other stacks on the day, worst incident was a broken arm, but we always have a full compliment of flag people and an ambulance on standby...

I hope that Jason makes a full recovery, My thoughts go out to him and his parents...

We all have to be responsible, unavoidable accidents do happen sometimes, but if you are out there with kids, perhaps you need to speak to the person in charge of the course and see what you can do to show some responsibility, the track owners have got you to sign the indemnity form, they don't really care sometimes, we need to take the initiative... what difference does a few laps practice make in your whole riding day?

I agree that some places need a bit more qualified supervision of to change the rules - and some people need to go out and learn some track rules... Like abey the flags, look ahead and around corners for trouble, if you gooff the track, pull back on safely, like driving a car, turn your head and look sideways, check for traffic...


[ April 07, 2002: Message edited by: yamaha.dude ]

The track where I typically ride (thundercross in Okeechobee, Fl) has started splitting practice sessions into classes with a separate class for the smaller bikes. I am very glad to see this! Fortunately all of the people that I have been near to this point have reacted appropriately to yellow flags, but I don't doubt that some people will ignore them for whatever reason. I would hope that the people in charge would take appropriate actions. I hate to see kids get hurt and I hope that Jason recovers fully and has a chance to ride again.

I just finished a wonderful day practicing with my 7 Y/O son. He's begining to really jump his KX65 and I have to admit, this article scares the crap out of me. We all inherently know the dangers, but we ride for the true passion.

I'll pray for Jason and hug my kid a little harder tonight. But the truth is, he would rather be riding with me than anything else in the world.... And visa/versa.

Fight hard Jason and soon you'll be back living life to its fullest again with a dad who currently hurts worst than you.


There is ABSOLUTELY NO reason why every practice should not be split into groups, ie..50,60,80 big bike beg/nov and int/exp! There should be flaggers at every big jump and blind jumps.

There should always be a paramedic at the track too.

We don't race/practice unless all the above are present.

Whats the really irresponsible thing here is this kid supposedly had NO insurance.

If you can't afford the $50.00/$60.00 a month for healthcare you don't let your kid ride.

I make sure my kids insurance is paid before my house payment or my utilities! (slight exaggeration)

A good bud of mine Justin Smith was in a similar situation and so this hits hard.

For all of you: Get Insurance, and if you have kids riding, please don't put them into a situation like riding/racing without Insurance!!


I second that! No insurance, no ride! No paramedics, No ride!

One thing I dont understand is that the article on Jason makes no refreance to this being a Race Practice controlled by any event. It sounds like just a bad accident at a local track while Dad and sone where making the rounds.

I am concerned with the way we are giving our children Motor Vehicles and think they have the mental capacity to make judgement calls at the age of 4, 5, 6 or 12 Like my daughter. I am working on my daughter now before she has the bike, I ride her around in full gear showing her the ropes hoping she is taking the info in. Like what to do if she stps the bike on the trail, making sure she is well of the line. Or if she crashes to make darn sure she has a free access to the bike waiting for all others to pass.

As Yama.dude points out so well, I see the same parents that think there little Jonnie is the next ricky charmichal and will jeperdize his life and others for a 5 buck trophy.

My personal pet peieve is this We can buy or children "ANY AGE" a motorcycle with out any instruction or training "NOTHING" and I would bet that 70% of the paernts buying bikes for there kids have not a clue about riding safty at all. Simple things like flaging yourself to let others know your pulling off.

I said enough, this is very distressing, I am hopeful and pray that Jason recovers quickly and that his mom and dad find strengh to see him through it..

[ April 08, 2002: Message edited by: EgoAhole ]


One thing that I always stress to new riders or kids is...


I've had some close calls that could have been real bad if I would of hit them.

I just cringe thinking about Jason.

I am full of sympathy for Jason and his folks.

We are still at least nominally free people, and are free to make decisions, even mistakes, even with our kids. And accidents, even terrible accidents will happen. The thinking on this thread angers me. No insurance, no ride. If that is your rule, fine. It may even be a good one for many or most. But it should not be a rule that is forced on everyone. Being self employed and with individual family policies being very expensive, I have been without insurance. It was a risk, my risk, and I made the decision myself. No one else (outside my family) should have any input on my decision. Given that risk, I should not have been banned from any activity. This is not liability insurance that protects others, this is for my protection.

Flaggers are great, but can't be afforded in all cases. I belong to a club with a private track. Often there are only one or two people on the track during weekday working hours. With the rhetoric on this forum, I wouldn't be surprised if we had legislation proposed or passed requiring flaggers. Or even worse, lawsuits when there are no flaggers. Then we wouldn't be able to practice unless we had enough people to justify flaggers for a 1.6 mile course. That might only happen on weekends, and only summer weekends at that, not 365 days a year we have now.

Mixed classes work for some locations. The don't at others. Again, at my club's private track we would often have twenty adults of mixed classes waiting on 1 KX80. And how would you schedule for a thin crowd? In fact, I ride commercial tracks mostly in the evening after work. How would anyone get any riding done between 6 and 8 o'clock with 6 classes of riders getting 30 minutes each? I would have to quit patronizing these tracks, except on weekends. Most are barely hanging on now.

Please, encourage people to use reason and sound judgement for themselves and their kids. Don't kindle the flames of those in government (and those in the green movement) who are chomping at the bit to regulate us with coercive one-size-fits-all legislation or lawsuits. We have few enough places to ride already.

This is a dangerous activity. Treat it as such. Don't take your kid into crowded high speed tracks on a small bike. Accept the risks for how and where you do let them ride.

I am in no way down on the Jason, his parents, or the track he rode at. I am down on the rhetoric in this forum.


p.s., also, self flag. If someone is on the ground, don't ride around him, flag others off. It won't protect the guy on the ground from the first bike, but it will from the next 100.

pps, After requiring flaggers, they would next have to be trained and licensed, then have to have liability or malpractice insurance, and all tracks would go out of business.

ppps, If a track has so much business that it is crowded, wouldn't it have enough business to put in a track for kids? In Ohio, (except for NE Ohio) we have a low density of riders and infrequent good weather to ride in. I can see a difference in what is reasonable for us and for a SoCal track with lots of local riders and 300 clear sky days a year. But a government regulation wouldn't.

I am so disappointed. And angry. But my anger isn't your problem. I re-read my post and agree with it, but it is in the wrong form. I appologize.


I have the experience here in Australia, and it obviously is different to the situation in the US.

Here, the club has to get a permit from the State body to run meetings. Some of the criteria that have to be met are flag persons at each nomintaed point, riders all licensed and bikes scrutineered, and an ambulance on location.

In order to get a racing licence, you need to be a subscriber to the ambulance service, but that isit - private health insurance etc is optional.

The way to get the required flag people is that each rider is asked if it is possible to provide a friend, relative etc on the day to do at least one round of the 4 usually held for each class... These people all know what the yellow and red flags are for, and how to use them... and if anough people are in attendance, (and it is usually once a week maximum, on weekend) that there are enough riders to make it worthwhile. The flag people are not paid, it is just a part of the whole sport...

It is also a condition of running an event that there is a clear division of classes, and that is the way it is, and everyone accepts it... it is good fun watching the Pee Wees running around when the track has just been watered... LOL

Obviously we do it different here than Mark's experience, and he may see it as the thin edge of the wedge for government interference, but it is the sports sanctioning body that applies these rules... and in turn, all licenced riders, practising or racing on a track with a current permit, are all covered by insurance for accidents, death, disablement etc...

There are trail bike 'parks' and they have unsupervised riding, although the trails are one way, and are not the same as used by the 4WD cars... but you are on your own insurance wise there...

I think we all agree that it can be a dangerous sport, but for those involved, we , as the adults, have to take a common sense line to protect the young kids... they neither know the real dangers, or have the power to tell adults what to do... this is our responsibility, to look after our own, and our young...



No need to appologies, this is the cool thingof a forum like this, One can express many feelings, anger or funnies and make a point. In some cases people take things way to serious adn can not see the obvious.

I agree with you on the No Insurance, No Ride statement, Would that include fishing, hiking, biking in national forests or you local park .... Hummmm Didnt think of that one. But we are emotional beings and react accordingly "Thats the Way We Are".

One point though you state is taking responcibility, I too have riden with no insurance, I was single, Not a Father and most the time drunk :)

But I myself "MYSELF" would not put a helmet on my kid, wife or dog if I did not have the ability to support them. I make no appologies for the next statement,

If in fact the money was not spent on buying a bike, clothing, gas and all then possibly the insurance could have been bought.

In a sociaty today that we live in, that is based on what I "WANT" then What I Need and personal immediate satisfaction we loose track of what is the right and responcible thing to do.

So the next question is obvious

What right do you have to tell me what I can or can not do



But Why should I pay for someone else lack of judgement, yes I will pay , you will pay we all will pay in our own insurance premiums, hospital bills and so on to support those that did not could not support themselvs. This is ok to me to a certain point, which I dont have enough time to get into.

Here is my point, I took almost 10 years off from bikes, Why

1: Insurance and could not afford a bike

2: My Family Came first

3: My Health Came 2nd (3 Back Surgurys)

4: Maturity (No Flames Broad Stroke of the Brush here)

Can we legislate judgement NO

Can we force or own ideals NO

Can we make a diff YES (HOW)

1: DEMAND Changes at the loacal track (Get Involved, Stop bitching about it)

2: Form an Aliance with the local riders, get sponsers from around town (You would be surprised who will donat 50 bucks to get a sign up at the track)

3: Inforce rules, detail the unclear ones

4: Volinteer, We are a lzy sociaty, work weekdays beer on weekends.

Bottom Line is Jason is fighting for his life, is his father responcible yes, he knows it, are we to responcible yes, somewhat, we allow are local tracks to neglect safty protocal. Garruntee you stop paying gate fees by not showing up, results will happen

[ April 10, 2002: Message edited by: EgoAhole ]

This is exactly why I have been & will continue to be a advocate for separating the the 50-65cc/ in some cases the 80-85cc classes from any of the other classes here in Ga. The practice days do not typically have enough flaggers or saftey people to assist kids that crash especially when there are 125/250/400-450 or larger bikes out there. I guess it is gonna take someone getting killed or mangled as this poor kid is now to get the attn. of these track owners. I have almost landed on a peewee before, so I know how easy it can happen. This just pisses me off to read this & realize that the track owners, who take no responsibility for anything would allow this kind of practice. God Bless Jason!

If I was ever lucky enough to have a child, & one that wanted to ride dirtbikes, on the tracks with "open" practice, I would follow directly behind him or her at low speed to make sure faster riders don't plow into him/her. This is the only way to protect these peewee's on open practice tracks. But, I believe they should have there own practice time to ride. My 2cents.....


This is what I mean in my last reply,

If the local riders, start and aliance you can do this, Most all I would say 99.99% of the riders will support doing this on there own if have to. It is called mutual assistance.

Here is what I would do

Gather the local riders in a town meeting better yet the next riders meeting, The local track promoter may or may not give you 5 minutes for an announcement (Politics Suck)

Anyway, ask what they think about having all the bike that are say 85cc and Higher lay off the track while the lil ones go out. With that all available hands can manage a corner and flag. After all most the PWees out there have a dad mom big bros watching them. What does it take off the schedual and hour 30 minutes 15 minutes. Small price to pay for saving a kids life.

It only takes one person to stand up and start the fight, others will follow if the cause is a rightious cause

For Jason's all over the Nations Tracks :)


I have had a family without medical insurance. I have never driven without liability insurance. At the time, I obviously didn't have money for bikes and boats and other things I have now. But that shouldn't have disqualified me from participating in anything I saw fit to do. If my cousins invited me to ride one of their bikes should anyone have been able to say I couldn't? I have always paid my bills, although some have taken a long time.


In the States, powerful interests would like to eradicate our sport. They include environmentalists, child activists, safety activists, and people offended by the way we look, sound, and act. I frequently have my and my daughter's bike in the truck when we go to her soccer games, riding before or after the game. Some parents give me strongly disapproving looks or make comments about how they would never let their kids do anything so dangerous. If there were a ballot initiative 'Ban all dirtbiking', they would vote for it. Even on this forum, a dirtbiking forum, many would vote for government regulation, coercive government action, to regulate it. Then a very busy SoCal track that could afford flaggers etc. would do OK while all of my local commercial and club tracks would go out of business.

We have rules in the same vein here for sponsored meets. If a track or a club holds an AMA sanctioned event, flaggers, ambulances, etc., are part of the package. For events of that size, most would anyway. But what about tracks with open practice every day and frequent days or periods during practice days when there aren't enough people to flag the track if all of the riders quit riding and all flagged? This is what a government regulation leads to, one size fits all laws.

Customers of tracks (and to a greater extent members of clubs) have the right to make suggestions about increased safety and to complain about problems on the track. But their last recourse should be to not patronize the track. Not to sue it and not to pass regulations against it. One track here opens early during the week just to let the night shift from a overnight shipping company ride after their shift. I doubt if there are many 50 or 65 class riders out there from 7:30 to 9:00AM on a weekday. Government regulation would not take that into account. Not in the US.

I have had several hobbies, guns, airplanes, and dirtbikes and the government has been the biggest problem in each. I understand that all guns are illegal in Aus but I bet the government has plenty. I grew up in a rural setting at a family sawmill, just imagine how the goverment gets involved there (safety, cutting trees! the horror, draining land to get to trees).

What starts out with a 'I for one would not mind sitting out an hour or two...' which was stated for a busy track when he would be there a full day often starts government regulation that reads 'No track will operate with mixed classes...' which affects all tracks, all times of day, all days of year, regardless of the mix of bikes there.

If at my club, we didn't have integrated classes, how could I have ridden with my daughter as she started out. The track is 1.6 miles long with natural terrain and woods. She would have been out of sight for 10 minutes when she first started. How could I have been there to point out hazards, make safety or riding tips, or get the bike off of her if she fell under it? Would I have been subject to fine, arrest or confiscation of our bikes if caught riding the track with her?

I'm sorry, but our government is no longer a tenth amendment government. We pass laws on personal choices and to enforce personal safety all the time. Please don't let the 'we need rules' crowd make this sport worse. Self regulation, fine. Government regulation, no.



Just reread your post. There has been a call from the greens in our EPA here to ban all dirtbikes because of pollution (I know, I'll try not to get started on that but think snowmobiles in yellowstone). When closed competition (tracks) was brought up, they came up with 'you have to have a federal competition license to buy a bike like this'. Who is the government to 'let' or license me to buy a bike. My purchase or use of a bike should be my choice, not theirs. Having to have their permission, when I already distrust them, really irks me. Especially when they can withold that permission, not give me a license.


Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now