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Dr.X

Where are the younger trail riders?

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It is something I have thought about for some time, and it is really several reasons, mostly stated already. Here in Tn, back in the day I rode my '83 XR200R all over the place. Timber company's, sand company owned many acres of mountain land and there were some trails. Jeeps and 4x4s there too but you could go all day and not see anyone else. Then the 4 wheelers got popular. They could haul coolers of beer and leave trash. Then a girl fell off a cliff and that was the end of it. People worried about getting sued. Plus the expense of a bike and not knowing where to ride (get a dual sport). And not wanting to do the maintenance or repairs on a bike. Plus just trying to get by, like I said mostly already stated are all reasons. Great to know there are riders still out there!

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I just ride on my property. I have a nice little short track I ride but I would like to go to a track\trail

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At least at one area I ride in, Hopkinton Everett/Clough State Forest, I had seen lots of dads and moms with kids trailing behind, and me with my 9 year old behind me.  
It could be because there are trails that are like perfect for kids, and that the area is the closest area around to ride in but there are parents that are bringing their kids riding out there.  

Me 45 and my son 15 are at Clough State park every weekend. Friends we ride with all have their teenage sons with which makes it even more fun to ride together. Just back from a 3 day trip at Jericho State park in Berlin,NH

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1 hour ago, likembikem said:

It is something I have thought about for some time, and it is really several reasons, mostly stated already. Here in Tn, back in the day I rode my '83 XR200R all over the place. Timber company's, sand company owned many acres of mountain land and there were some trails. Jeeps and 4x4s there too but you could go all day and not see anyone else. Then the 4 wheelers got popular. They could haul coolers of beer and leave trash. Then a girl fell off a cliff and that was the end of it. People worried about getting sued. Plus the expense of a bike and not knowing where to ride (get a dual sport). And not wanting to do the maintenance or repairs on a bike. Plus just trying to get by, like I said mostly already stated are all reasons. Great to know there are riders still out there!

Absolutely right. Same thing here in California, had a great area even on weekends could find empty areas all private land. Then someone on a quad broke his back and family sued.  Next closest riding was another hour away.  Realized I plated my 1980 DR400 back then in AZ to give better access.  Same thing all over again 3 street legal dirt bikes to make most areas "more" open.  Unfortunately most younger riders:  don't have a motorcycle license, would require insurance, and more expensive plate. Feel lucky to have been riding in the 70's and 80's.

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2 hours ago, SteveThe Snakes said:

My kid rides but it ain’t no sense in following him. 

 

lol...looks like "the day finally came" eh?

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my son rides with me. hes 6 now. I put him on a little trials bike when he was 4 now he rides a cobra cx50 and a gasgas EC. he did a BMX season of 24 races  lol he won every dang race because he wanted the big trophy..he got the trophy then said he likes dirt bikes better. he loves riding single track on the gasgas. there are no kids his age that ride around here. not sure why.. I think its because the parents dont want to ride.. or are into watching tv football. I've been thinking about going to his school to try to start some sort of legue?  

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Posted (edited)

I "grew up" in the police state of MD where they legislate and enforce how you can wipe your ass. There is NO place to ride there. None. I don't think there is enough room in the entire state to get a dirtbike out of 3rd gear unless you have a farm. Certainly no public land to ride. Dirtbikes were never an option. We did have a ball on our BMX's though as kids. If we weren't out riding/crashing bikes befor helmets became a thing, we were playing football or baseball growing up. I got my first taste of freedom when I moved to Colorado for a year at the tender young age of 12. Back when there was still hardly anybody here. It KILLED me to have to go back to Maryland. Nothing there would ever be the same after seeing the Rockies. I swore that as soon as I was old enough to make my own decisions, I was out of there. I made good on that promise when I was 16. 

By the time I was 17, I bought an old barely running Yamaha 175 for $50 and blew it up in short order. Then I ended up getting a 2 stroke polaris quad and had it suped up by some of the original slednecks guys when I was 18. I rode that damn thing with a death wish until life kicked me in the balls at 25. I'll spare you guys the details, but I had to sell it and go back east for a year or so because of some family illnesses. Then I spent some time in Montana before coming back "home" to CO. Snowboarding had became my love by that time. I have a bad ankle and a bad knee form multiple snowboadrd crashes that limits how many times I go, and frankly; It's just plain been getting too crowded at the resorts around here over the last few years. All the idiots on the hill now have headphones on and can't hear a damn thing around them. It's become too risky to snowboard around others people. Especially with my balls out style. Taking it easy is NO fun on a snowboard, and hauling ass through a crowd of tourists and posers ain't much fun either. When I go now, I usually stay in th trees where they cant follow. Can't ride park anymore due to my injuries.

I have ridden a few friends bikes/quads over the years in between owning them, but didn't buy another one until last spring. None of them have EVER come close to the sheer power that 400 2 stroke layed down.  I used to eat Banshee's, Raptors, and DS 660's alive. I was fearless, and borderline suicidal on that thing. I could have done well racing them.

From 18 - 25 years old, I rode mostly trails, but I did it as fast as I possibly could at all times. A few times, some of my buddies would talk me into taking that damn thing to an MX track where I'd clear huge tabletops, doubles, triples, whatever right along side of the YZs etc.. Although I could ride a track and keep up pretty well with MX bikes on my stupid friggin quad until the frame or trailing arm broke; I never really enjoyed riding on a track. I'm all about exploring and getting out into nature. Going around in a circle where there is a ton of support if you crash just didn't do it for me. There's no medical crew 20 miles from a paved road where I really like to be.... As far as possible from civilization.

I see plenty of 20 somethings out here on the trails still, but the old guys rule. I guess I qualify as an old(er) guy now that I'm almost 40?? I'm still young enough to get into psyco mode once in a while, but it doesn't happen on every ride like it did when I was young and dumb. Thank God there is no shortage of places to ride out here still, although our season isn't the longest. You could not pay me enough to move back to a crowded, authoritarian, east coast state. 

I understand the financial point you guys are making, and the cost of bikes nowadays is ridiculous. That's why I have a "cheap" older bike that I have massaged enough power out of to be entertained, but maybe it's more a regional thing than a young/old thing? I never really enjoyed riding a track. Not when the Rocky mountains are my backyard. In a state like MD or NJ etc.... I can see the allure of a track because there ain't much more out there.

 

Sorry for the novel and all the edits. Sometimes it's hard to stop writing.

Edited by Jack the Dogg

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There's to many factors to narrow it down. I am 25 and here in Michigan the number of young riders on our trails out numbers the older generation. All the older guys here seem to be in a SxS drinking beer. Rarely, aside from a few family members in their 40's and my father 57, do I see anyone over 40 on a dirt bike on the trail. However, when I travel to ride a destination spot, I tend to see older guys and gals up to 70 riding bikes. I thinks it's a combination of demographics, cost of living, what you grew up doing. 

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12 hours ago, Techee said:

Agree w/ most all the observations here.

Not mentioned is mountain biking.....its a huge sport here in Colorado & Utah.

 

I gotta agree I do prefer my MTB over my scoot now...but that's an expensive sport also...three yeti's cost me 21k...luckly my wife still rides a hardtail...the kids did Whiteface Mt in upstate NY this week and its pricey but they do use a duce & 1/2 to haul you up the mountain because they willn't let the bikes in the gondola....see politics are everywhere!

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As already stated on here I have to side with the fact that life gets busy at a younger age. I’m 20 and I don’t find nearly as much time to ride as I’d like to. I’d imagine when you have less going on in life (school, work, social life, etc) it might be a little easier to get out and ride. Plus a little disposable income might be a plus too.

Also a lot of younger guys just want to get speed and air time and hit the mx track. Been guilty of that a time or two myself. Plus mx tracks, at least here in fl, are much more abundant than quality trails to ride.

Being 20 I’m still living with my parents until I finish school so I was able to save money easily and spring for a 2017 crf250r but as I get a little older and get out of school and settle down I might have to reluctantly part with riding for a while.

I think it’s harder for guys in their 20’s to find the time and money to ride and don’t want to risk getting seriously hurt. It’s a very expensive sport to get into. You gotta get a bike and if you go new you’re looking at nearly 10k. Even if used you’re still gonna be dropping almost half of that if you want a quality bike. Fuel is expensive. Maintenance is expensive. Riding parks are expensive. And getting to some of these far away parks takes up half your day. I love riding with a passion and I don’t see myself giving it up, but I can see why others have

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I always wanted a dirtbike growing up (26 now) but my mom was too scared that we would kill ourselves. My dad used to ride back in the day but he wasn't passionate about it so he didn't push for us to get bikes. We rode quads all over our property and were a means of transportation to ball practice or what not.

Once I graduated college I bought a brand new four wheeler and me and a big group of friends take about 5 riding trips a year. All those places are about 4 hours away from where we live in Ohio. As soon as I had enough money I bought a used dirtbike to learn on. Then through various good trade deals and or buying and fixing used bikes, I now have a 2013 and 2008 KTM. Also, starting out it was easier to ride at the track because there is one 20 minutes away from my house.

Once I started getting into dirtbikes my friends started buying used ones too. Now we enjoy trail riding trips that split between quads and dirtbikes. I think we finally got over the wrecking portion of riding on 2 wheels. This is what scared us the most growing up on four wheelers. 

Also, we fit above description of country or redneck lol

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The vast majority of trail riders (on average) are 50+ years old. I have ridden with groups in two different states, and nearly every rider I have seen on average is >50 years old.
 
Make no mistake, I am certainly not complaining; quite the contrary in fact. I prefer riding with veteran riders. They are smarter, more experienced, more careful, more knowledgeable, and more responsible.
 
But I am simply curious as to where the younger riders are at? Certainly at the MX tracks none of the riders are over 30 (on average), so that’s one theory, but I refuse to believe that all riders under 30 ride at MX tracks.
 
Another theory is that since dirt bike riding is such an expensive sport, the younger population (generally speaking) simply can’t afford it. Between raising kids, trying to buy a house, and focusing on a career, there just isn’t much money (nor time) available.
 
As I read through what I’ve written, I’m now convinced that I have answered my own question lol.
 
Any additional thoughts though?
 
Full disclosure, I am 27 years old.
 


I think this problem you bring up might be regional. I live in New jersey and ride often with groups of 20 or so guys just in the trails. I’m 22 so i grew up riding with my fathers friends and their kids too, so it definitely trickles down the generations. I probably would’ve never ridden a dirt bike if i didn’t grow up seeing my dad ride and thinking it was so cool.

In north NJ i ride with roughly 20 dirt bike enthusiasts all of which ONLY ride single track/trails/woods.

But in south NJ, even though only about 2 hours away, it seems many more people are interested in riding motocross. There’s still a large trail riding interest in the Pine Barrens but moto is definitely bigger in south nj than north.

I can also attest to the money factor. Being 22 and having college to pay for, safe for a house, etc makes it hard to own a bike. So i think there’s a few things holding back the younger generation from riding.

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It is funny, how all the lament of the past is(and I'm also guilty of this too but)-" . . . way, way back in the day, we could ride on someone else's property and had a great time close to home but now it has all been developed . . . " but it is true.  All our collective riding has scarred the earth but, I have seen lots of trails now groomed and technology used to keep the trails as smooth as possible to make us trail riders happy.  

 

 

My parents never rode.  They would never get me anything with two wheels.  

 

It was by the luck of having a friend in high school who taught me to ride, then some 12 years later, another college friend got a cheap 1979 CR250R and knew another guy with a 1981 WR430 Husky and had a place not too far away to ride. 

I had no way to get a bike around.  This is another problem/expense. 

There are just few places to ride and most are far from civilization.  

 

I'm glad we can ride at all.  

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16 hours ago, Drummer Rob said:

Video games, Doritos & Red bull.

Millennials on Track to be Most Obese Generation in History

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/how-labels-and-instagram-fuel-obesity#Technology-makes-a-surge

“We don’t want to put up with their temper tantrums or them inconveniencing our meal, so we throw the iPad in their face. From a young age they are given things that make them sit there, be silent, watch a screen and really encourage being sedentary,”

i see way too many 2 year olds staring at a phone or ipad while the mom is dragging them around while running errands.

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8 minutes ago, elrontx said:

i see way too many 2 year olds staring at a phone or ipad while the mom is dragging them around while running errands.

It is hard to fault the "masses", when the masses are either chonically unemployed or under-employed, so all the electronics/screens/video games are often the only entertainment left  and often the easiest way to entertain a child.  

Just like back in college where others would brag about not opening books or taking up or starting substance abuse additions, if people want to take themselves out of the competition of life . . . that is their right.  

 

If anything, we should want less riders on the trails but more people buying all the stuff to ride.  

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19 hours ago, Dr.X said:

 

The vast majority of trail riders (on average) are 50+ years old. I have ridden with groups in two different states, and nearly every rider I have seen on average is >50 years old.

 

Make no mistake, I am certainly not complaining; quite the contrary in fact. I prefer riding with veteran riders. They are smarter, more experienced, more careful, more knowledgeable, and more responsible.

 

But I am simply curious as to where the younger riders are at? Certainly at the MX tracks none of the riders are over 30 (on average), so that’s one theory, but I refuse to believe that all riders under 30 ride at MX tracks.

 

Another theory is that since dirt bike riding is such an expensive sport, the younger population (generally speaking) simply can’t afford it. Between raising kids, trying to buy a house, and focusing on a career, there just isn’t much money (nor time) available.

 

As I read through what I’ve written, I’m now convinced that I have answered my own question lol.

 

Any additional thoughts though?

 

Full disclosure, I am 27 years old.

 

not sure in other states, but in CO I usually see younger ones on quads and SxS mostly. Dont know why people dont ride bikes more often. I mean if I can ride one, I think anyone can. I mean there are quite of few of them that ride bikes here as well. 

i know a lot of quad riders think they are dangerous or scary...which yeah its a large skill curve

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3 minutes ago, RideWithWill said:

not sure in other states, but in CO I usually see younger ones on quads and SxS mostly. Dont know why people dont ride bikes more often. I mean if I can ride one, I think anyone can. I mean there are quite of few of them that ride bikes here as well. 

i know a lot of quad riders think they are dangerous or scary...which yeah its a large skill curve

I dunno, it has been written/argued and debated, that racing an MX bike is the most difficult sport in all of sports and that while there have been numerous examples of MX riders who have gone on to excel in other sports, there were no examples of those from other sports who had crossed-over to MX as dirtbike riders are the APEX of (motor)sports.  

It is why there are so many on quads/ATV's and SxS's.  

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4 minutes ago, Ben500RR-S said:

It is hard to fault the "masses", when the masses are either chonically unemployed or under-employed, so all the electronics/screens/video games are often the only entertainment left  and often the easiest way to entertain a child.  

Just like back in college where others would brag about not opening books or taking up or starting substance abuse additions, if people want to take themselves out of the competition of life . . . that is their right.  

 

If anything, we should want less riders on the trails but more people buying all the stuff to ride.  

It "is" the "masses" fault.  Entertaining children with electronics is the easy way out.  Requires very little effort from the parents(parent).  It's not the only entertainment left.  Take your lazy, fat ass kid to a park.  Ride a bicycle.  Take a walk.  Like I said before.  This country is turning into a nation of pussies.

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10 minutes ago, Timmae said:

It "is" the "masses" fault.  Entertaining children with electronics is the easy way out.  Requires very little effort from the parents(parent).  It's not the only entertainment left.  Take your lazy, fat ass kid to a park.  Ride a bicycle.  Take a walk.  Like I said before.  This country is turning into a nation of pussies.

Why get all worked up over the facts.  

 

There is no changing the sheeple who choose to do nothing and bring up their children the way they see fit. What others do, or don't do, is none of my business.  

 

In a big way, we ride to get away from the rest of the crowd.  

 

 

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