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Where are the younger trail riders?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, tkipp96 said:

 


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.

 

The field of dreams is the reason in the south...my kid goes but I watch and pick up the pieces at the end of the day...single track is still huge down here in Atlantic/Cumberland county plenty of trails and state land for a tagged bike

 

Fish & game land I mean...the state parks are overridden just whoops for miles

Edited by JerseyJack

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1 hour 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.

lol and it seems they are all moving to Colorado!  I totally agree with you sir. 

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I'm 52 and i ride track and trails, although I'm not fast.  i just enjoy it so much.

My observation is this: Many adults who are raising kids these days are spending all their 'free' time with the family...not riding, but playing rec league baseball, soccer, softball, etc..  And don't forget travel sports as well.  most of the late 30s--mid 40s crew i know are at the ball parks EVERY weekend except for dead of winter.

so it's not really the expense...dirt bikes are cheap.  you can find them used all over the internet and they are reasonable.  Traveling team sports.....cha-ching!!!!! Gas, food, lodging, registration, pay to play.....

just my thoughts.

Thanks.  Good topic.

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The field of dreams is the reason in the south...my kid goes but I watch and pick up the pieces at the end of the day...single track is still huge down here in Atlantic/Cumberland county plenty of trails and state land for a tagged bike
 
Fish & game land I mean...the state parks are overridden just whoops for miles


Yeah it seems that down south you guys have a better mix of types of riding. A couple popular tracks and some cool trail networks and such down by you, up north it’s basically just trail riding unless you want to travel 2+ hours to a track

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, pn49390 said:

I'm 52 and i ride track and trails, although I'm not fast.  i just enjoy it so much.

My observation is this: Many adults who are raising kids these days are spending all their 'free' time with the family...not riding, but playing rec league baseball, soccer, softball, etc..  And don't forget travel sports as well.  most of the late 30s--mid 40s crew i know are at the ball parks EVERY weekend except for dead of winter.

so it's not really the expense...dirt bikes are cheap.  you can find them used all over the internet and they are reasonable.  Traveling team sports.....cha-ching!!!!! Gas, food, lodging, registration, pay to play.....

just my thoughts.

Thanks.  Good topic.

I agree with the part about the parents spending their free time with their kids, I know that it is all I want to do.  

I also agree that most are into all the organized sports.  It is just what most of the population does, at least the part that has the income to do so.  

I'm not so sure about a family getting into riding being cheap-er though.  There is the cost of the machines, and yes, they can be gotten cheap, at the risk of stuff breaking, and stuff does, of course, break and need maintaining.  

Then there is all the riding gear/protective equipment and the kids outgrowing it all, and the bike(s).  The family needs the truck, or the trailer, gas to the trailhead and if the riding area is far enough, either camping or cheap motel.  

 

How about snowmobiling where the true lunatics pay incredible amounts to ride around in the snow and freezing cold? 

Edited by Ben500RR-S

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Lot of good answers here.  One observation made is that most of the posters talking about younger riders getting out there and riding are parents taking their kids out.  There are a lot of young kids riding, thanks to their parents.  What I have noticed is what the OP was posting about.  It does seem that the younger riders, those now out on their own, seem to be in smaller numbers that their older counterparts.

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I think the biggest thing that sort of affects everything is that there are too many people. When you have too many people then there is less room. Then more people bitching about everything. Then more laws and more enforcement.  Then there is the computer and the phone. Distractions are everywhere. There are less people that are willing to donate their time to the sport. More people want stuff for me me me and less are willing to just give to pay it forward. People get burned by the takers and there are more takers. My Dad used to make trail races and he would cut trails for maybe up to 6 months sometimes for a race.  So many would bitch and moan about whatever. The ones who bitch the most never made a race. They think it’s all automatic and they are unaware of the pain and effort to make. No appreciation.Well these days there seem to be less and less races for kids. At least around here.  To have a race for kids ya gotta have a bunch that are willing to give. That’s harder to find these days. And motorcycles take way more time than other sports. No one has time for others. Well some do but those few are overworked and burning out.  

Bike maintenance and getting parts from shops and figuring out hop up and figuring out fixes took tons of time. Lots of people aren’t willing to spend the time. My Dad was a motorhead and motorcycles were everything. Super bowl I was riding with my Dad in the mountains. There were no other sports for me. I was raised at the drag strip when I was young and from 7 years old and on I was in the mountains and racing. For my Dad and his friends and their kids who were my friends thats all there was. Less guys are that hard core these days. It’s a different world. Everything is radically different. .. Too many people.. less room.. Sugar cane fields and pineapple fields are replaced with large areas of housing tracts. Large areas of riding area are gone. My Dad and his friends would also just let me ride with the other dirt bike sons and  my Dad and friends would go riding  a loop and come back. Of course these were also the years where my Dad would tell me towalk in the bar and buy him some pall mall reds from the cigarette machine.  The world is different good and bad. 

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56 minutes ago, Gflo said:

Lot of good answers here.  One observation made is that most of the posters talking about younger riders getting out there and riding are parents taking their kids out.  There are a lot of young kids riding, thanks to their parents.  What I have noticed is what the OP was posting about.  It does seem that the younger riders, those now out on their own, seem to be in smaller numbers that their older counterparts.

Thought about Ben500RR-S's post.  Yes alot of kids and their parents do the travel ball stuff which is $$.  But you also have the same with dirt bikes.  The difference is that too many people see $$ in motocross and supercross and that is the heroes their kids want to be.  When was the last time you heard a kid want to be the next Johnny Walker.  These parents and kids are at different tracks every weekend,  met families from the Midwest that are in CAfor winter so son can ride and get noticed.  Much better chance to get noticed at the track.

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25 minutes ago, hawaiidirtrider said:

I think the biggest thing that sort of affects everything is that there are too many people. When you have too many people then there is less room. Then more people bitching about everything. Then more laws and more enforcement.  Then there is the computer and the phone. Distractions are everywhere. There are less people that are willing to donate their time to the sport. More people want stuff for me me me and less are willing to just give to pay it forward. People get burned by the takers and there are more takers. My Dad used to make trail races and he would cut trails for maybe up to 6 months sometimes for a race.  So many would bitch and moan about whatever. The ones who bitch the most never made a race. They think it’s all automatic and they are unaware of the pain and effort to make. No appreciation.Well these days there seem to be less and less races for kids. At least around here.  To have a race for kids ya gotta have a bunch that are willing to give. That’s harder to find these days. And motorcycles take way more time than other sports. No one has time for others. Well some do but those few are overworked and burning out.  

Bike maintenance and getting parts from shops and figuring out hop up and figuring out fixes took tons of time. Lots of people aren’t willing to spend the time. My Dad was a motorhead and motorcycles were everything. Super bowl I was riding with my Dad in the mountains. There were no other sports for me. I was raised at the drag strip when I was young and from 7 years old and on I was in the mountains and racing. For my Dad and his friends and their kids who were my friends thats all there was. Less guys are that hard core these days. It’s a different world. Everything is radically different. .. Too many people.. less room.. Sugar cane fields and pineapple fields are replaced with large areas of housing tracts. Large areas of riding area are gone. My Dad and his friends would also just let me ride with the other dirt bike sons and  my Dad and friends would go riding  a loop and come back. Of course these were also the years where my Dad would tell me towalk in the bar and buy him some pall mall reds from the cigarette machine.  The world is different good and bad. 

35¢ and a book of match's,good thing your island growing new places to ride,just gotta what till lava cools!

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Wow I thought I had it rough here! I had no idea that some states have no riding whatsoever. I have 4 riding areas within an hr drive from my house, one is 15 mins away. All free to use. I used to ride right from my old house 6 yrs ago. Unfortunately this place has been discovered by the rest of the world so we are slowly losing areas to ride in and the cost of living here has shot up to the point that a lot of people simply can’t afford to ride. An entry level fixer uppper single family house is $500k here, 1 bedroom rental suites are $1000/month, taxes are around 40%, new ktms are $11,200, etc. Do the math and it’s easy to see why young people aren’t getting into riding, they can barely afford to survive let alone have a hobby as expensive as dirtbikes. I got my first dirtbike when I was 25, rode mtn bikes for years before that since they were (at the time) way cheaper then a dirtbike. I’m now 42 and ride with people mostly around my age, but I see younger guys out riding a fair bit so it’s not totally lost on the younger generation, they usually just can’t afford it. I know I’ve made life choices to afford riding, like no drinking or smoking, almost no holidays, do work on the side etc. I tried to get my kids involved in riding but they just weren’t into it.

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4 minutes ago, dittohead said:

Wow I thought I had it rough here! I had no idea that some states have no riding whatsoever. I have 4 riding areas within an hr drive from my house, one is 15 mins away. All free to use. I used to ride right from my old house 6 yrs ago. Unfortunately this place has been discovered by the rest of the world so we are slowly losing areas to ride in and the cost of living here has shot up to the point that a lot of people simply can’t afford to ride. An entry level fixer uppper single family house is $500k here, 1 bedroom rental suites are $1000/month, taxes are around 40%, new ktms are $11,200, etc. Do the math and it’s easy to see why young people aren’t getting into riding, they can barely afford to survive let alone have a hobby as expensive as dirtbikes. I got my first dirtbike when I was 25, rode mtn bikes for years before that since they were (at the time) way cheaper then a dirtbike. I’m now 42 and ride with people mostly around my age, but I see younger guys out riding a fair bit so it’s not totally lost on the younger generation, they usually just can’t afford it. I know I’ve made life choices to afford riding, like no drinking or smoking, almost no holidays, do work on the side etc. I tried to get my kids involved in riding but they just weren’t into it.

I'm here in Massachusetts.  Lawrence=the butthole of the entire state.  

 

There is one old railroad bed, like 12 miles long, 16 miles from the house.  It is great for kids but long and straight and boring for experienced riders. 

There is another area, 50 miles north. 

The next closest is 80 miles away. 

 

The remainder are 150 miles west or north.  These are the legal riding areas nearby.  

 

There is a lot of land but very little is set aside for riding.  

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10 minutes ago, Jonathon Coffey said:

35¢ and a book of match's,good thing your island growing new places to ride,just gotta what till lava cools!

Thats the big island.. Oahu is shrinking.. but yea my Dad would always say.. hey where’s the change .. Id be bummed thinking I had some candy money lol

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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
1. Get a vasectomy
2. Find a woman who will put up with being number two, or three if you have multiple bikes.

Choices.
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 This was an enjoyable read even if the topic was somewhat depressing.lots of good post about parents supporting the kids ,mine definitely were not supportive bikes became the forbidden fruit,got my first one well into adulthood . I have stacks of photos from many trips, some to the hospital  it’s a strange mix of feelings giving kids the power to enjoy themselves and grow their skills or hurt themselves  I could never fully relax knowing that we got so far from our trucks or medical help. It turned out to be lots of worry for no reason. 

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I am 61 years old and have ridden forever and I live in a beautiful part of Canada where I can have awesome riding from my backdoor. I have a dual sport KTM so I can ride legally between trails when I have to. The challenge for me is finding someone to ride with. No one locally is into trail/enduro/hare scrambles type riding, consequently I end up riding alone. I do not condone that, however that is the only option I have at this point. Consequently, I have a SPOT device, a cell phone and a first aid kit with me at all times. I do fear for our sport as the cost of entry is so high, the CAVE Citizens, (Citizens Against Virtually Everything) and the reduction in riding areas make it extremely difficult for an entry level rider to join the sport. I believe that the big 5, (counting KTM & Husqvarna as 1) should make a major effort to survive long term and introduce affordable, entry level bikes for the junior riders, (5 -13) that perform at a reasonably level but are reliable and cheap to maintain. My son started on a used $800 XR80 for which he paid half and he rode the wheels off it for several years before it was passed on to another lucky, entry level beginner. Many years later he now rides the A class in a Mountain Hare Scrambles series and podiums on a regular basis. My 5 year old Grandson also races every weekend with his Dad on an all electric bike and I believe that could be the salvation of our sport, long term. His bike is silent, emissions free, only minor maintenance required and his Dad can set the power level to suit his skill set at the time. A younger me could see myself on an future electric x-trainer type of an off road bike that could handle basic trials stuff while still able to blitz typical hare scrambles type terrain. Just remember, Malcolm Smith and Steve McQueen rode heavy British twins in custom frames off road and thought there must be a better way. Both ended up winning at the ISTDT, ( that's what is was called before they changed it to ISDE,.... yes I am old! ) on the then new, lightweight Husqvarnas. Evolution can't be stopped and our sport is starting the first phase of a step change and we will all be better for it in the long run.

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4 hours ago, HellzyaaBuddy said:

1. Get a vasectomy
2. Find a woman who will put up with being number two, or three if you have multiple bikes.

Choices.

basically my strategy on life, it's a little rough with her having to be number 5 or 10 but I have ridden all over the western US and a bit of canada and I am only 26. Always looking for another good riding place to visit.

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On 7/8/2019 at 11:18 AM, Kallendbor said:

it's a money thing.  and a storage thing.  between 18 and 30 I didn't even own a house (though I lived in a rented one for a bit) so I had no place to keep the motorcycle.  mountain bike won out during that time frame.  cost the same or more than a dirt bike, but I could bring it in my dorm/apartment.  then I bought my house, but still couldn't afford a bike.  got married.  still couldn't afford one (well, technically I could have gotten a use done).  had kids.  still couldn't afford one.  only reason I could afford one is an inheritance.

A lot of this. It's very rare for me to see guys under 30 ride on their own. Teens and young adults usually ride with their dads... Who bought them the bikes... And transport them in their trailer... And probably store them in their garages/shops. Once the kids move out, they can't take the bikes with them. And end up riding a couple of times a year when they visit with the folks.
The question is very much a boomerism like, "why don't kids these days have well-paying jobs and houses by the time they're 25?"

I started riding 7-8 months ago, and I've spent more on the bikes, parts, gear, and tools in that period than I have ever made in a year until about 22. And I thought RC cars were expensive...

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Posted (edited)
On 7/8/2019 at 4:18 PM, Highsided said:

Oh boy, now I’m triggered!!

  I live in NY, and we have 4, 881,648 acres of public land. Yet we don’t have ANY LEGAL PUBLIC RIDING AREAS. NOT ONE. 

   So I can tell you that unless you have a parcel of private land, or ride illegally, you are not riding in NY. So my friends what was once a family oriented and educational pastime has become an illegal activity. One that has in the past brought out HELICOPTERS as part of the enforcement effort. Can you imagine paying for AvGas to round up a few quads and dirt bikes?? All of which get impounded and generate income. Not that we don’t pay taxes already, sales tax on everything from bikes n gear n parts n food n liquids as well as GAS TAX!!!! 

   Anyhow, I digress. So with all this land and no legal riding areas, it makes it difficult for the average family to go out and spend a day riding. If we do, it’s several hours to the riding area in ANOTHER STATE!!! And that state gets all of the revenue from our excursions.  

   When my kids were younger, I would race 10-15 races a year and do about 4 dual sports as well. Now with bigger kids and less time & money, I hardly ride at all. It’s all very weak!! 

   Do in answer to your question, all the younger riders are

) in other more friendly states than NY

) on the football, soccer, lacrosse or baseball field

) going blind on their screens

    Government destroyers of fun be damned!!! 

  

  next?

NY is not America. That shit hole didn't belong from day one when they've abstained from voting to declare independence with the rest of the colonies. 

Edited by sorbales
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