Almost "lost" my 7 yr old riding in the woods!

I generally overthink things and fancy myself as someone who is prepared for anything (hence my 30 lb camelback full of tools, levers, etc).

With my 7 yr old now good enough to venture off into the mountains, I have to pack addition rations, etc. But, it's all worth the riding with him!

I usually lead him, out of concern that if some crazy arse comes flying around a corner (like I used to), they'll see (or hit) me first. But, every once in awhile when we are going up a nasty hill, I'll let him lead so that if he falls, I can be there immediately to help. I've done this ever since he crashed, smashed his hip on a rock, and the bike landed on top of him facing downhill with gas pouring on him. He'd probably still be there...he was pretty stuck.

So, I'm following him up a rocky hill and once he cleared it, I continued to follow him (mistake). A few seconds later, my throttle just stopped working and my bike came to a stop. I immediately screamed, "Ryan, stop". Of course, Ryan couldn't hear me...and just kept plowing up the trail. I knew my throttle cable was either broken (unlikely) or detached from my needle/slide (yep). I shut her down and hopped off.

What a miserable and scary feeling to hear (I couldn't see him anymore in the brush) your 7 yr old ride away as his bike's thumping faded away. I wanted to freak out but knew there wasn't anything I could do but fix my bike, FAST. I whipped off my pack, took out my tools, pulled the top of the carb off, fixed the issue, etc. all the while trying to suppress my imagination (but not being able to). I was worried that he might crash and is laying there hurt...or would eventually turn around and try to come back to me but take a wrong turn.

Anyway, after about 20 minutes of major stress, I was putting the carb top back on, and I heard his thumping coming back toward, what a great sound! He eventually pulled up to me and screamed, "Where'd you go?!" He was on the verge of tears but was fighting like heck to be tough. It was only 20 minutes but we hugged like I hadn't seen him in a week.

So, my (and his) obvious lessons are 1) I need to lead 2) If he's leading, he needs to confirm that I'm behind him more often 3) I need to teach him exactly what (and what not) to do if we get separated (like stay put). 4) My trusty Cruz multitool sucks for working on a carb...I need to carry a small allen wrench and long, narrow screw driver.

Amazing, no matter how much you plan, there's always a scenario that you haven't accounted for.

I know the feeling. I was on some trails with my 5 yr old son on a pro jr and 7 yr old nephew on a kx65. The trail got too tough for my son so I helped him turn around after a fall. I told my nephew to turn around and was expecting him to stop and wait but he didn't. He took off. He's a good rider but I knew he didn't know where to turn and I knew the way he was going was the wrong way on a one way trail. I knew there was only one other guy on a 300 out on the trails so I was worried they might not see each other in time. I had to decide whether to take off and catch him or stay with with my boy. I led my boy back to the parking area where my parents were and expected to see my nephew sitting there. He wasn't and I didn't hear anything in the woods. I went all around for 10 minutes or so and my dad took off the other way on the ATV. A few minutes he came flying back up wide open like it was nothing. He had turned down a trail trying to get back and it turned out to be a really tight and technical single track. He'd only been riding the 65 for about a month so I was really impressed that he got his bike through that by himself. I had a hard time getting through it. LOL I told him next time pull to the side of the trail and rev the engine every now and then so we could hear where he was. I learned my lesson to not to try to take 2 littles one riding by yourself.

I couldn't imagine that feeling. Even not hearing my son his RM65 brap on the track when I can't see him makes my stomach start climbing. We don't go on many one way distance trail rides and use radios when we do, but I think we need a back up after reading that. Thanks for the eye opener!

I learned my lesson to not to try to take 2 littles one riding by yourself.

Yeah, things can go "wrong" so fast. Also, based on your story as well as my experiences, kids don't always understand exactly what we mean...I've learned to make sure that they know even if it means having them repeat it back.

Man, that was a scary story. I'm glad he was smart enough to turn around and find his way back. That's one of my worst fears!

Wow mowtown that's a pretty nerve racking story. Must have been scary as hell. I've never experienced anything of that magnitude, though I did lose a rider for about an hour once. That had me ridiculously worried as he was a beginner rider, can't imagine what it would be like had it been my son.

I got separated from my son once when he was 8 and can relate. I really freaked at first, but thank God I found him back at the lodge where we paid to ride. Another rider led him back (truly nice fellow) and when I got there, he was doing better than me lol. I try to ride with my friend now who has a son the same age now, (10). One adult in front, one adult in back with the two kids in the middle. Terrifying feeling for sure. I came away from that with two positives after the horror had faded.

1. My son handled himself impressively for his age. I was so proud of him.

2. There are a lot of really good, decent people that ride. This has been proven to me multiple times since.

I am glad everyone is fine.

One adult in front, one adult in back with the two kids in the middle. .

So problem is my one buddy's kid is faster/better than my son at this point and I hate to make them wait...and my other buddy's kids are slower/less experienced and can't "do" trails yet. It's hard to find that father/son combo that the abilities are the same. It'll work out in time.

1. My son handled himself impressively for his age. I was so proud of him.

2. There are a lot of really good, decent people that ride. This has been proven to me multiple times since.

I am glad everyone is fine.

I should have said the same (#1.) about Ryan...thanks for reminding me, he was a trooper. Hell, he was more composed than I was!

...and #2 is a great point as illustrated by some of the really good people I've met and ridden with from TT.:worthy:

I did this once, keeping an eye on the 7 year old and the 9 year old takes off. We had just started dirtbikeing they had only ridden fields untill then. We were about 5 miles out in the woods with trails everywhere. So i turned around and rode with the youngest back to the truck and then i was going to get a mad rush to find him. I was just sick with worry the whole time, but when i got back to the truck there he was.

I ride a WR250f and it has a horn, great for these situations. Even though they can't hear the yelling to stop over the engine the horn must be at the right pitch to hear.

Always good for when mates who think they know where they are going take off up the wrong track etc.

I thought about taking it off when I got the bike but for the tiny bit of weight its saved me chasing after people quite a few times.

What a eye opener... Today work w/grandson 6 1/2 years old on his first bike.. My son 12 wants to do a trail with me.. I think I will take one only...

Doesn't anyone look behind constantly?

Me and my riding buddies always ride closely together (sometimes 'racing'). But I'm constantly making sure I can see them or hear them. If I'm riding faster then them, I slow down/stop every 5 minutes or less to make sure they're still behind me.

I guess he's only 7 so probably wouldn't think about it but maybe something you should teach him to do for the future.

7 year olds are just happy to be riding, let alone be doing well enough. they havn't hit that point where they are keeping an eye on their surroundings and peopel they are with.

We used to take 5-8 kids out at a time on trails, had to have one person leading, one in middle, and one in back.... :worthy: fun but lots of work ...

Doesn't anyone look behind constantly?


Yeah .. I looked behind constantly when I brought my daughter riding when she was 7, but the minute I didn't crane my arthritic neck around to check on her, she would disappear. There were a few anxious moments when she was really young, but it turned out OK. Now she's 17 and faster than me, so she's the one looking back and checking .....

7 year olds are just happy to be riding, let alone be doing well enough. they havn't hit that point where they are keeping an eye on their surroundings and peopel they are with.


Definitely true...but I truly believe he learned a great lesson with this incident. It scared him sh*tless and he's also a quick learner in general. We've talked a lot about it...I suspect that he's going to be much more aware from now on...

...and dad will make sure that the little plastic keeper plug is properly reinstalled after changing his needle!:worthy:

Strap one of these babies to your handlebars when riding with kids. :worthy:


at a HS at miles mountain last year, a kid ran out of gas i believe, and got lost trying to get back to the pits, a course worker found him, staring down a black bear, yikes! another 10 minutes and who knows what that outcome could have been. even with a clearly marked loop, and lots of people that was a pretty scary event.

I have a similar story. This was in the desert out on the Mojave trail. Son (15) daughter (13) and myself hooked up with my sons girlfriends family to do some riding. All went well for majority of the day. My son and his girlfriend went out for a little ride together, figured they would be back in 30 min. to an hour. 1.5 hrs later her dad and myself went looking for them and our too youngest his son and my daughter decided to follow us, two miles into the search i finally noticed the two rug rats behind us. I stop and tell them to stay between the adult, cuz the last thing i need is searching for 4 kids in the middle of the Mojave Trail and it is getting close to dusk. Now they are all on quds and i'm on my WR. we search for about an hour after no luck we stop to look from a hill, and i decide to go back to camp and dump the younger ones and go out by myself, if the older ones aren't back. Well everyone get started and I told the three one adult and two kids on quads to go and i'll catch up. I take off 3 min. after they left me, not more than a mile away i see two of them stopped and 1 is not my daughter, asked what is going on the dad said he stopped to wait for me and my daughter just kept going past them, i asked why didn't u go after her and he said he was waiting for me:banghead: :worthy::lol: Now my little girl is somewhere in the Mohave Desert lost.....

I left the other two there told them to go back to camp and if we are not back in an hour call for a search. The sun is now down below the horizon. I travel 10 miles in every direction i could possibly think that she would have gone. I decide now to go up a wash that went directly up a rocky mountain, my last resort 2 miles in the wash and i see this yellow blip walking down the wash, walking!! Damn WR never went that fast before:ride: I get to hear dump my bike and grab her and give her the biggest hug ever with tears of joy :lol: :lol: . She got her quad stuck in the sand trying to turn it around when she finally figured out she was alone and went down the wrong trail. All was good though, because another 15-20 mins and it would have been pitch black.

Sorry so long, but that is my horrific story about losing a child in the mass desert.

Good thing you found him:thumbsup:

That is a scary story mowtown.

On the upside you found him, which means that it is a good story you guys can share forever. He'll be 23 and saying "hey remember that time I got lost in the woods when I was 7?".

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