THE family that rides and gets dirty together stays together.
Well, that is what I am telling my wife as we sell the 50cc and purchase a TTR110 for daughter number two. Growing also means a new helmet, armour and it goes on.
Many of us started riding trail bikes at a young age and for me I certainly remember loving it from age eight.
The big difference is I used to ride off into the bush and basically only return when I ran out of petrol or the sun was going down.
My old man would make it very clear that I better not be starting my bike up and riding it before I get to the bush.
And he meant it.
I guess there are many reasons why this has changed.
So here begins a little yarn of the logistics involved when I announced to my family that we would be taking the bikes out on the weekend. The three of them, all females inform me they were going to the pool. It’s Friday afternoon. I decide to sit down, have a couple of adult beverages and plan my next move.
I dig out the bikes from my overcrowded shed. Basic look over, check tyres, give them a kick.
So far, so good.
Suddenly it is quite late. There is stuff all over the shed. My wife wants to put her car in and she makes an observation regarding my sobriety. Oh no I must be tired and I forgot to eat tea. I better go to bed. Next day up early. I drag the box trailer around and load three bikes in. Tie downs everywhere. I wish I had a bigger trailer, shed and wallet. I throw in the BBQ and we are off.
I let a couple of mates know where we will be riding which for the record would be private property or a motorcycle club.
Like I said things have changed. Coffee stop on the way which annoys the family, but I also mention the bikes need fue…whoops.
We finally arrive and the call goes out, “Hurry up dad, get the bikes off.” I just manage to avoid having the biggest off whilst unloading the bikes. That would have been embarrassing. One of my mates, who is 30 odd, was out for his first ride on his new TTR250.
He is a regular road rider and wants to enhance his skills with some trail riding, which I think is a great idea.
Finally we line up for the race start, five Yammies and one Honda. The latter is ridden by daughter number one and is a 30 plus year old XR80. Gees I love this bike. It takes me back to days where I sold my Kirby and dad bought me a gun metal grey XR75.
What a bike. Seems I was talking and missed my wife’s signal, so in the photo it appears that I was last off the line. But what a day we had. I had a few rides with the kids who did not stop all day and a couple with my mates.
Smiles all round.
The only little piece of carnage to report was a Pee Wee 50 going into a deep puddle.
And this little fella just kept hitting those puddles all day, without any fear. It was fantastic.
It appears both my daughters were trying to clean up the wet and muddy trails by putting their bikes in every available mud hole.
At one stage I had my front wheel buried almost to the mudguard. Yes I stayed on, but I had to physically drag it out of the rut from hell.
You gotta love it.
My wife cooked a lovely BBQ and our six month old dog was almost taken by a huge Goanna. Educational-wildlife. Another box ticked. Load up, drive home, unload and begin several hours of cleaning. Just when I thought I was about to hit the wall, my lovely wife enters stage left with a cool adult beverage in hand.
Don’t mind if I do, thanks very much.
Bit of a debrief with the girls how we carved everyone else up.
Much later, around 8pm I was continuing these thoughts absolutely smashing my mates on the trails when I feel someone touching my arm.
I awake from daddy slumber to look at my 9-year-old who says, “Thanks for a great day dad, can we go again tomorrow?”
My eyes start to close and I reply, “Goodnight honey, ask your mother.”