Motorcycle riding moms. Your opinions?

by Steph
(East Coast)

I just got my first bike (arriving this week) and am a newbie rider. At 30 years old (ahem 29 3/4) and married I'm used to people asking me about having children. Hold on, let me whip one up for you, boy or girl?

When people found out I was getting a bike I received mixed reactions which ranged from terribly happy for me, jealous, to nervous and flat out against it (which was expected).

Underlying it all was the opinion that once (I should say if) a child comes, the bike goes away and doesn't come back for 20 years. If I'm not willing to do that for my children, then I will be a selfish and irresponsible mother. I got sat down (by a coworker) and told "When you get pregnant, no more bike."

I just wanted to get the opinion of other female riders; those with and without children, who ride as moms and those who gave it when raising children. What is your take on it?

I can see both sides of the argument but not being a mother and not sure when or if I will end up having children I'm not sure how I really feel about this. But I can tell you the idea that I could only get to ride for one season and not again till I'm 50 is depressing.

Comments for Motorcycle riding moms. Your opinions?

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Sep 02, 2011
mom of 2 youngins
by: Sandi

I got my first bike when my daughter was 8. She's a tall girl, so no worries about being big enough to ride with me. I purposefully got a cruiser (Shadow 750) and a back rest for safety for her. I figured i must've given up on more babies if i got the bike. but then a couple years later, baby #2 came along. Per doctor's advice the bike was stored in the garage for most of the pregnancy, and then while she was very little. When she was 11 months, i decided to get back on. Now I take both girls to school/daycare, they're 11 and 16 months, then come home, get the bike and go to work. It gives me a little me time that's not quite the same in a car.
Also, 3 months after i got the bike, my daughter and i had a crash on the way home from school. A guy opened a car door in front of me and we went down. The angels picked up my daughter and she was unharmed. I fractured my knee. Everybody assumed I would give it up at that point. But i got right back on after healing. She took a few months of convincing but loves it again.
My opinion is kids need to see mom doing things they enjoy and if you can share it with them, so much the better.

Jun 15, 2011
I did it.
by: Anonymous

I caved. I had a bike and a pick up truck before I got pregnant. I caved in to my mother's insistence that I needed to "grow up." I sold both and got a *car* (yuck), which I promptly sold and got another pick up as soon as my daughter was in a booster seat instead of the full infant seat.

I then did not get back into riding until my daughter was 24 years old. On one hand, even though I always want to be there for her, my responsibility of turning her into an independent adult is done, so the risks I may be at are my own. On the other, was it really necessary for me to be so over-protective of myself? I don't know.

At any rate, those people have no business telling you these things, it is A PERSONAL DECISION. And besides, being a parent isn't really the end-all purpose to everyone's life... you just may prefer to be like my two sisters - "child-free" (not childless...see the difference?).


May 30, 2011
by: Anonymous

You need your me time, no matter what your hobby/passion is. So it's riding a bike. Sometimes you can only get an hour to yourself, that's a nice little blast. Sometimes you may get longer. There are no rules, just common sense. Enjoy your me time, and your summer.

May 30, 2011
Not a Mom
by: Cathy

I?ve never had children, so I really don?t know if I would?ve ridden a bike with young kids at home or not. I?m 46 and have been married for 24 years. Not having children was a decision we took early on, and have never changed our minds about that. Boy, did we take some flack ? ?When are you having children? Why not? You?re selfish?, etc, etc, etc. Eventually people gave up on us and accepted that we knew what we were doing!

I think the bottom line here is, as has already been said, that it?s a personal decision that you and your husband will make. People will always try to convince you to do what would be right for them, not necessarily for you! I know quite a few women with older kids who say they wish they'd listened to the little voice in their head when their kids were young, not to what everyone else was telling them!

You?ve just got your first bike, this is an amazing time for you ? you?re going to have some fantastic experiences, so go for it (safely, of course!), and IF you do decide to have children, by then you?ll have a whole lot of riding experience under your belt, and you?ll know what?s the right thing to do.

May 30, 2011
Families that Ride
by: jp

My first date with my husband was on a motorcycle in 1967. We rode a lot. I wore out my buns and obtained a few scars from the raked out, no shocks, choppers of that era but loved it. The one time I tried to ride one I rolled the throttle the wrong direction when I wanted to slow down and flipped it upside down with me on the bottom.

We started having kids (three) and we lived in the country with no family or babysitters nearby. And, we moved to our 'hippy farm' and the driveway was way too rough for the street bikes we rode.

So, we spent 20 years raising family and farm before moving to Nashville and a suburban area. With kids able to take care of themselves we went back to riding two up.

I've run into families who's kids grew up riding motocross and off road bikes and biking is a 'family affair'.

If I had it to do over I'd like to think we would have done the same. But, my husband was never really into doing stuff with the kids and it's probably a fantasy.

Now, after divorcing and learning to ride my own, my sons have daughters of their own. One son can't wait until his daughter's legs are long enough to reach the pegs and she can passenger. He's the only one of my kids who ever learned to ride but he's been too busy and too poor to ride while doing grad school and raising his kids. My other son would probably sue me if I mentioned going for a ride to his two daughters. My daughter has no kids and is glad I'm having fun and staying out of her hair. She occasionally dates bikers but has never expressed any interest in riding her own...what a waste as she's 5'9" and could handle any bike she would want, unlike her mom who's vertically challenged and doesn't have so many choices.

My only advice is to follow your heart, make sure you and the children's dad are on board. Kids who grow up riding off road develop into super experienced riders when they are old enough to ride on the streets. Off road riding is fun for adults too and learning to wrench bikes is part of the family fun.

Kids who are passengers sometimes love it and sometimes could care less when they get older. Be careful when taking kids as passengers as they tend to get bored and fall asleep. I've seen some hairy situations with riders having to pull over for a sleepy kid falling to the side. There are harnesses made to keep them secure.

Do what's best for you and your family. IMO you have choices.

May 29, 2011
Riding and Children
by: Anonymous

That is why you need a side car to ride the kids around. One of the guys in my class would put a helmet on his 2 year old and ride her around his property and she would fall asleep. He has 5 bikes and found that if he didn't have a side car he would not ride as much but he did commute to work on his bike.

I think it depends on your life style. People told me I was a terrible mother as I raise my kids on a sail boat and went sailing in the ocean when they were babies. They both are alive and well and thank me for the experience. It is hard to give a part of yourself away but you can always make a promise to yourself to ride at least a few times a month when the kids come along. Like a date with you and your husband. You kids need to know that you also need adult time. I always told my kids that we needed adult time and they started to understand. The kids will see that you have a passion rather than sitting in front of the TV . It is all how you plan your life. There was one lady that posted a few months back that rode her bike til I think she was 8 months pregnant and never really gave up riding.

It is all up to you.

Best of luck!

May 29, 2011
Riding Mom
by: hippie grnaola chick

I used to ride with my first husband with my own bike. Then the kids came and only he rode but with my third husband, the kids were older and I used to take them on the back as passengers. My youngest thought it was rather cool that his mom drove a bike. He especially liked it when I took him to camp or somewhere that there were a lot of his friends present so they could see him ride in on the back of the bike. Most thought I was his father because I wear a full face and am completely covered and do not look like a female.

May 29, 2011
Good intentions...
by: Sandra

This is my 2nd summer w/my own bike. I rode, passenger from age 13 (w/my older brother - a LOT) through 24 or so. My 1st husband had a bike, too. I never needed to ride my own back then - I was happy being on back. Now I'm staring at 50 next year. Two kids out in the world and my young teen left at home. My husband of 15 years has been talking of getting a bike - he had a 550 a few years back, but did NOT like having a passenger - and I told him NO BIKE! For 3 years. Just because he does not want a passenger, and I knew my love of riding. Several of his friends have HD's and were really pressuring him...

One day he said he had a bike in mind, used, at a GREAT price from his boss. I told him there was no way he was getting a bike and leaving me at home - maybe I should just get my OWN bike! He was okay with that and within 8 months we both had a bike. The first time I sat on mine, and attempted to leave the driveway, I had a brain fart and completely lost control of her, careened out of our drive, across our street and I swear, she laid HERSELF down on the first piece of grass we came to. The bike suffered some grass stuck in her foot board; not a scratch or dent on her pretty white body. But she left me a bruise the size of a football on my thigh.

From that moment on, even though I went to the MSF course and passed, took extra lessons w/my brother on the 800 cc bike, after the 250's in class, and have never even had a wobble or close call (knock on wood) since then, he doesn't want me on it...partially because he could not stand to have something permanent happen to me, and because our 13 year old really needs a mom more than a dad...per his opinion.

I don't ride much yet; we don't ride together because he's just a bundle of nerves worrying about me. But I ride - currently within parameters that are acceptable to both of us; I am hoping that someday he is able to let go of his fear, and we will be able to enjoy the ride together. That day may never come, and truthfully, I love him more than the bike...

My dad never says a word against it, but he really wishes I didn't have a bike - mom told me. My brother is just like me - what's the big deal??? I could fall in the shower and die, but I still bathe daily!!

My co-workers think I've lost my mind - the ladies - the guys are shocked, but I can't tell if they think it's crazy or cool...

No one's opinion matters to me EXCEPT my husband's. I'd LOVE for him to be proud of me rather than in fear of my life and safety - and he is the ONLY thing standing between me and the open highway. I guess what I am saying is EVERYONE will give you advice and tell you exactly how to live and enjoy it. Only you can decide whose advice and opinions you give value to.

Incidentally, my 13 year old wants to ride, but is afraid. Her dad has offered to take her, but she wants ME to take her...yeah, like he would let THAT happen! LOL

May 29, 2011
Well Said Ladies
by: sassy2731

I agree with the others here. I would go ahead and ride the ride for now. You will know when the time comes to put the bike aside for your family. I rode with my husband for several years and then had my family, but that was a time way back when it was only cool to ride as a passenger with your man. After my sons were grown, did I decide to go for it and learn to ride my own after seeing more and more women riders. I love my wind therapy! But on the other hand, I don't have young children any longer or for that matter any grandchildren yet. Things may change in the future who knows. I was once asked that you would think that after losing so many of our friends to accidents and some others permanently injured I would stop riding.,,My answer to this God fearing man was: I love to ride and if or when God calls me home it won't matter whether I'm riding my motorcycle or laying in my bed asleep he will come and take me home. He hasn't talked to me about my bike since then. I think I made him question his own faith that day. Anyway I tell my younger moms I know that to at least think of your children first and ride safe with your riding gear on and maybe think of having good medical and lots of life insurance that will take care of your children if God forbid something was to happen to you, but then again any responsible parent would do that even if they didn't ride. Because YES anything can and will happen.

May 28, 2011
Riding Moms
by: Jeanne

I am a mother of 6 mostly grown children. The ones still at home are 20, 17 and 15. I rode (as a passenger) before they were born and until my oldest was about 5, then I stopped just because I had no money and no time to get out for a ride. I got a bike last fall and started riding again (I am riding my own this time around). My 20 year old thinks it is ridiculous and complains often about how the bike takes up room in the garage and it is unnecessary. The 17 year old thinks I am a "tom boy" but he appreciates that I enjoy riding and he is interested in a bike of his own. My 15 year old doesn't even really know I exist at this point in his life (typical 15 year old). I have friends who ride and have young children. I am not sorry I put the riding on hold for 15 years, I enjoyed my kids and I was too busy to even think about riding, but I also think that if I had started my family later in life, had more money, and been more responsible I would have kept right on riding, even with little kids.

May 28, 2011
Being Mom
by: RandiZ

My guilt and not riding as a result came in waves. When the girls were tweens and I felt like they really needed me, I stopped riding for a bit. Of course when they were toddlers it was just hard to justify the time and money. It has all been personal choice based on gut and family dynamics at the time.

Now one girl is in college, another midway through high school. One has ridden on all three bikes I've owned and loves it. Another refuses to sit on them. But I like the fact that they've seen their mom ride and all that comes with. They've also seen me get my BA and masters.

Always remember that you are your child's first teacher no matter what you decide.

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