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Discussion Starter #1
On the weekend I was talking with a kid from the area, he's 15 and wants to get a motorcycle licence when he turns 16. Kids in our area start driving things shortly after weaning but not many vehicles involve clutches. His Mother is not keen on a dirt bike and here there is logic in that thinking. Traffic on the roads isn't bad, so new riders don't need to deal with many things at once. Where as with stepping off a dirt bike out in the back country you could lay there a long, long time and that's his Mothers worry (aside from the usual). And as I have a daughter that ended up at the bottom of a ravine with her ATV while blistering through the woods by herself, I get it. Trail riding alone is common around here they cross 10's of thousands of acres.

So with the parents blessing I said I would get him going but he would still need to complete proper training. The problem today, with Sunday shopping, is where do you do it? Any large retail parking lots have traffic. At one time the mall/plaza parking lots were a hub of motor sport and learning on Sundays. My road bike experience began in a parking lot, first time I was leaning far enough to scrub a pipe, first wheelie, first time I really cranked the brakes to see what was going to happen...so I didn't need to find out in practical application. First racing, against the clock, in an SCCA slalom. First time in a non rental go cart, first shifter cart. I understand the fastest way around a track, why it's the racing line, because of riding in parking lots. It was where we experimented without physical obstacles to avoid until we knew how to avoid physical obstacles.

It's a real problem. If there is no grass there's no grass roots. And office car parks aren't quite the same, they are generally chopped up with lots of curbs. It's has got to be a problem for those parents who's kids will put down the smart phone. Where do you take a young person who wants to learn, a bunch of orange cones and a motorcycle (motorized anything) for those first Sunday experiences?
 

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How far away is the proper training you refer to? They will have a location Y/N?... maybe you could use that if it doesn't take a day to get there.
 

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Around here I would go to any of these;
Industrial park
School parking lot
Sears/Big K/Etc parking lot
Do the theaters near you operate on Sunday mornings?
Ball field parking lot (no one is there off season, may be too late now I suppose)
We've also got a private test track where I work but I suppose that's not a typical situation. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
How far away is the proper training you refer to? They will have a location Y/N?... maybe you could use that if it doesn't take a day to get there.
There are a few options for courses but everything is a couple hours away and because the courses are 2 days it means a hotel and meals as well. It may be that he has to start from scratch at the course, the instructors may prefer that anyway. Once he has a licence there are lots of quiet chunks of back road we can go to for practice. His Dad was cursing me the other night about me being a bad influence on a kid that loves motorized stuff. He said "by the time I get the kid geared up, a licence and insurance I'll be in the thousands, so I expect his gang leader will provide the bargain first bike". My son rides but isn't interested in motorcycles, my daughter is a 4 wheeler, so It'll nice to have a kid around that has a keen interest bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Around here I would go to any of these;
Industrial park
School parking lot
Sears/Big K/Etc parking lot
Do the theaters near you operate on Sunday mornings?
Ball field parking lot (no one is there off season, may be too late now I suppose)
We've also got a private test track where I work but I suppose that's not a typical situation. :cool:
Ducatis and a test track...you are spoiled plain and simple.:)

We still have snow so not to late for the ball park if it actually had pavement in the parking and I'm not sure we have the same picture in our heads when you say ballpark. The theatre is in a field and only runs in July and August. The open spaces industrial in our industrial areas are full of stumps and skidder ruts. It's funny, I don't know how much pavement is at the schools. We're in the middle of nowhere so options are limited to about 2 large paved parking lots at retailers, which are open Sunday and maybe the schools. It would be so simple to find a place without Sunday shopping.

Are Sears, BigK and such open Sundays in Michigan? K Mart had our favourite lot when we were young.
 

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We've got the mega churches around here with big flat parking lots. I've never used them though.
Minor league sport stadium parking lots but they are usually fenced off.
 

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Smart phone is a pretty good lifeline, you just have to make sure you don't fall on it.

It only takes about a week of riding before you realize the benefits of a riding partner.
My dog used to run with me but he was pretty useless, when I crashed he just licked my face.

If you do become a mentor to him that might be the best thing that could happen for both of you. That's exactly the way it worked out for myself and the friend I've been riding with for a very long time now. I taught him for years starting when he was age 15, then he turned expert and ended up teaching me to take it to the next level. What goes around comes around ;)
 

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the kid will learn more faster in dirt and for sure be less prone to injury early on
that said where do the rc plane clubs go
what about any kind of gov parking lot
abanond airstrips
ask the pole-eese
ask the security outfits that have patrol contracts
 

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lol that might be a little tough to find in Canada ;)

Some nearby lakes might still be frozen thick enough to ride on for another week maybe two, mine is.
Those pictures of posies that I took yesterday are in Canada...... from the land where folks ride all year. #geocentricthinking #wedon'tallliveinigloos #wearen'tallpolite
 

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Good on ya for taking the time. For me I'd start in the yard. 4 acres to get the start stop shift balance obstacle maneuver thing down. The police dept isn't a bad idea actually. They might have some insight. Government buildings are usually closed Sundays. I`m in the stix as well so not much around but a car dealer in town closed a few years back and it`s been sitting empty. Lots of room to practice tight turns. Good luck with it.
 

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Those pictures of posies that I took yesterday are in Canada...... from the land where folks ride all year. #geocentricthinking #wedon'tallliveinigloos #wearen'tallpolite
Well isn't that nice. Woke up to snow this morning but yer flowers just made it all better. No really. /$"% "*
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well isn't that nice. Woke up to snow this morning but yer flowers just made it all better. No really. /$"% "*
We may have to disown BC, they really are the weird sibling aren't they? I mean who the fuck does gardening before the 24th of May.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I really appreciate the input on this. I do worry that the younger generations will miss out on learning simple mechanical thinking that develops through playing on mechanical shit. I was shocked to find out they don't teach basic mechanical principle in school here any longer. Pullies, levers, fulcrums etc. I can't imagine not understanding those ideas.

I think I may have found a place to go and spend a good long day getting him going. About 40 mins from here is an old cold war base that the pavement is still in reasonable shape, according to local legend. However now that the word is spreading through his friends there evidently have been calls between parents who think there kids should knowing how to drive a motorcycle is a life skill (gotta love rural thinking), it may end up a bigger event. It could actually work out pretty well. We have many older riders, most ride the farting couches but they have a lot of miles of real world experience and time to spend on the further education. Nothing beats this place for businesses stepping up if the community is doing something so I'm going to put together a proposal that would have us (the not yet formed commitee) pulling together some community dollars, buy bikes and cars, teach the kids the basics and then raffle the machinery off, the proceeds goes to next years event. In my head the plan is brilliant, let's see what reality brings.
 

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When searching for support, don't forget the manufacturers. Unfortunately, the farther off the beaten path you are and the smaller the numbers, the less likely it is that they will throw resources your way, but still worth a shot. Same for closer M/C dealerships if they are interested in cultivating younger customers. Is there a M/C organization that is involved in safety that would help out?
 

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Around here I would go to any of these;
Industrial park
School parking lot
Sears/Big K/Etc parking lot
Do the theaters near you operate on Sunday mornings?
Ball field parking lot (no one is there off season, may be too late now I suppose)
We've also got a private test track where I work but I suppose that's not a typical situation. :cool:
When my wife wanted to get familiar with her first new bike, we went to the parking lot of a local college's satellite campus, which was originally built as an office park. Within 20 minutes a security guard came out and politely but firmly told us to leave the property.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
When my wife wanted to get familiar with her first new bike, we went to the parking lot of a local college's satellite campus, which was originally built as an office park. Within 20 minutes a security guard came out and politely but firmly told us to leave the property.
Liability laws at work there. I have never understood how me smashing myself, while having fun doing something dangerous, on your property is your fault and not my own. My Dad gave me shit one day, while I'm still whimpering, because I had lost control of my dirt bike while tearing through the neighbours property. I did a full swan left onto the fence row (read rock pile) the bike cut hard right and went through the fence on the other side of the lane I was on. It was one of those done for today thud to a stop deals. I was going to live so the only thing that matter to my Old Man was the neighbours fence. I was on his property (which was ok) so I was liable for any grief I caused the owner.
 

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Ducatis and a test track...you are spoiled plain and simple.:)

<snip>
Are Sears, BigK and such open Sundays in Michigan? K Mart had our favourite lot when we were young.
Well at this place, "test track" is a straight section with loops on the ends, nothing fancy. When I was putting together my RD350 track bike I worked at a place that was on an old airbase. I did shakedown runs after work. An almost one mile long straight with taxiways. It just occurred to me the only place I've worked since college that didn't have some form of a track was Victory Motorcycles. We used the local airport when we ran the first prototype. As for my formative Ducati years, a guy could do a LOT worse than the roads around southern Indiana. (Unrelated but have to say it anyway - anyone who thinks there are nice roads in SE Michigan has never been on a truly nice road...)

All the Sears and BigKs around here have gone under. Permanently closed.

I didn't realize you were in such a rural area. Put the kid on an enduro and go nuts!
 
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