Just wanted to share a ride report with you guys… My 7-year-old son has been itching to get onto a real motocross track since he got his bike for xmas. He rides a TTR-90 – a nice little bike for around the backyard, plenty of power for a learner, and he has sure learnt fast. Our backyard track is pretty flat, some rises, some sand, a few obstacles, but not what you would call a challenge. Anyway, last weekend there was a scheduled practice day down at the local MX track – he was champing at the bit to go and have a ride. It had been raining the previous few days, so there was a chance it was going to be closed, especially considering that they had just resurfaced and graded the course. We loaded up the bike, the tools, the gear and his sisters, and tramped down there, only to find that it was closed. He was pretty disappointed. “Never mind” I told him; there is a race meeting on next week. He was not quite so disappointed, he just had to wait another week… Saturday night, he has all his gear packed, ready to get an early start on Sunday. He is up at 5:30 Am, knocking on my door to get me up –“don’t want to be late” he tells me… We have breakfast, and get all the gear stowed away in the car. We are off. He can hardly sit still in the car… We get there and get a good position in the pits, and we take his bike over to scrutineering. We need to take the sidestand off. Apart from that, he is right to go. Back to the trailer, get the tools out and he is wrenching away… gets his chain oiled and gets his gear on… I have to hold him back, make him drink some water and relax. Just before the 65cc practice, they decide to water the track, to keep the dust down. Practice is a riot, bikes and kids slip sliding everywhere… he comes back covered in mud, and all you can see is the whites of his eyes and the big smile on his face… He tells me the jumps are bigger than they look from the car… LOL First race is on, and off he goes to the start gates. I have been walking around the track with him, coaching him about a few things, and he seems to understand what he should be doing… He lines up on the grid, all the little KX60’s are revving the hell out of their machines, and he is just idling quietly like a good little thumper should. The gates go down and he is off. The main opposition for him today is a PW 80. He has 3 or 4 bikes behind him out of a field of 10 by the first corner… he told me later he started in second gear and forgot to change into third… Anyway, the KX’s eventually catch him over the next couple of laps, but he has lapped the PW80 once, and by the end of the fourth lap, he is just 50m from lapping the PW again. Just a couple of spills, most of the riders went down a few times. Second round and he is feeling pretty good. Gets bad start, stalled it off the line, and team dad had to run up and help start him. He sets of in pursuit of the pack. By lap 3 he has the PW80 and one KX pegged. He crosses the line so please with himself and how much ‘air’ he got on the big jumps… Final race for his class for the day, he gets a good start, but then a KX comes right across the field and almost takes him out on the start straight. He is fine, and get on motoring. My advice to him was have fun, be safe, and stay with the PW80. He is having a ball, and I feel so proud and happy to see him out there, having fun, and knowing that I made it happen for him. He is coming last, but is close to the PW. He goes down on the face of a jump on the second last lap, and loses ground to the PW. He gets up, gets going and on the last lap, he makes his move on the PW and takes him on a jump. He cruises over the finish line, about 200m in front of the PW, and he punches the air. He is my little champ, and he feels good about himself. That is all we can ask of our kids, that we give them the courage to have a go and to feel good about themselves when they succeed. We pack up for the day, and when he gets home, decides he has to do a few more laps (he was in his riding gear all the way home, obviously he was planning the laps… LOL) he gets in 5 laps of the yard, and runs out of fuel. Flick it onto reserve and he gets in 8 more laps… how much energy can a 7 year old have? We eventually get him and his bike hosed off and put away for the night. He get into bed and goes straight to sleep. He was tired! Now, the funny thing is that this morning, I ask him how he slept, and he said he had a nightmare. I ask him what it was, and he tells me he dreamt that he was on the track with both green and orange snakes jumping up and biting him on the arm. Gotta watch those Kawasakis and KTM’s… I hope that you guys with kids can relate to what I was feeling seeing him going around the track, having the time of his life… memories that I will treasure as much as any other event in his life so far. Will we be back next race meeting? You bet!