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My DH wants to take DSS out on his new motorbike

(14 Posts)
mmrred Sun 27-Sep-09 18:06:38

My DH recently bought a motorbike. He passed his test years ago, but we could never afford one before. I have no problem with it, and am quite looking forward to going out on the back.

Anyway, he has now been talking about taking his DS (my DSS) for a ride on the back of it. Apparently it's legal if the child can reach the foot support things. However, DSS is only 7.

I feel really uncomfortable about it. His Mum would go mental (DSS's Mum, obviously, not DH's)but then she goes mental when we let DS do all kinds of normal things like ride a bike or go on a trampoline or sleep out in the tent in the back garden (accompanied by his Dad).

DSS is also not terribly well co-ordinated and I'm not sure he can be trusted to hold on for any length of time.

DH points out that I'm quite happy for DD to have a go (but she's 15) and that my Dad used to take me to primary school on the fuel tank of his bike.

We've agreed to talk about it again when DH feels confident enough to have a passenger. I would genuinely like some other people's perspective on this as I'm not sure how strongly to object, after all, I'm only the SM here.

clop Sun 27-Sep-09 18:18:02

I don't think it's worth it for the ructions it will create with the birth mother (I'd be with her in objecting, and I'm very lax about kids taking risks, believe me, I get told off by other parents for it). I'd work that angle of family harmony.

I guess it also depends on what you mean by 'Take out'. A casual toodle to the corner and back, or a blast down the motorway? Big difference, you know?

colditz Sun 27-Sep-09 18:21:40

hell no.

I RIDE a motorbike but you would never get the correct protective gear to fit a 7 year old. If he fell off the back, lost concentration for a SECOND, he could die.

Also, if he does it, and his BM finds out, she may cut contact entirely and make him go through courts, who may not look too kindly on a man endangering a child in that fashion.

Disenchanted3 Sun 27-Sep-09 18:23:55

Agree with Colditz completely.

mmrred Sun 27-Sep-09 20:09:47

We've already been through the courts, so I think she would find it extremely difficult to cut contact (without losing Residence, anyway)but that's not really the point, or at least not the entire point. If we avoided any activity that caused ructions with BM, we wouldn't do anything at all. In fact we wouldn't even see the child.

He's only talking about a tootle round the block, clop, but I'm glad other people feel the same, particularly those who ride bikes themselves. What sort of age would others feel was appropriate?

colditz Sun 27-Sep-09 20:37:08

Avoiding activities that piss the mother off is one thing. Avoiding activities that endanger the life of a 7 year old is another entirely.

A 'tootle' is about 30 mph - do have any idea how many bones you can break hitting the road at 30 mph? his helmet would come off, because you cannot buy helmets for 7yos, because manufacturers assume nobody would be idiotic enough to put a 7 yo on the back of a motorbike. He would therefore hit the ground at 30mph with a BARE HEAD - he would probably die.

Seriously, don't do it, your dh is a twat for even considering this. She would find it difficult to cut contact with no warning but she wouldn't find it at all difficult to inform the police and social services that she is cutting contact for this reason - and they would back her up. It's SO dangerous.

mmrred Sun 27-Sep-09 20:46:00

Thanks Colditz, that was my initial reaction. What would you consider to be a reasonable age?

colditz Sun 27-Sep-09 20:50:17

When the kid has and fits in a proper EU standard crash helmet, protective back pads in protective jacket and protective trousers ... so, 12 minimum?

Child also needs ability to concentrate for long periods of time, the strength to hold on, and the discipline to follow instruction.

ElenorRigby Mon 28-Sep-09 09:40:38

Totally agree with Colditz.
I've taken my motorbike test, so I have some experience of biking and there is no way I would bring a child of any age on a bike.
Way way too dangerous.
If DP suggested he wanted to take DSD on a bike, I would hit the roof! Thankfully DP is not and never will be a biker.

mrsjammi Mon 28-Sep-09 10:06:33

Message withdrawn

mmrred Mon 28-Sep-09 16:22:12

Thanks mrsjammi, good to get a range of views. I do abide by DSS mothers wishes in many areas (she's a very strict vegetarian, for example) we only ignore the elements that are clearly designed to spoil DSS's time with us.

In this situation I think it will some considerable time before DH feels confident enough to consider a passenger, and I'll certainly be discouraging the idea.

mrsjammi Mon 28-Sep-09 16:46:52

Message withdrawn

Snorbs Mon 28-Sep-09 16:59:45

mrsjammi is right about the accident stats for born-again bikers being substantially higher than for those who have been riding for years. Riding with any pillion is noticeably different than riding solo as well. I'd suggest he'd need to get a good few thousand miles under his belt before even considering taking any pillion.

That being said you can get child-sized protective clothing as children compete in motocross where helmets, gloves, chest protectors etc are all mandatory.

To put the actual risk into some kind of perspective, bikers have fewer injury-causing accidents per mile travelled than horse riders.

mmrred Mon 28-Sep-09 18:56:52

That's a bit of an eye-opener, comparing bike and horse riding injuries.

DH has taken a refresher course at our local bike training centre, and has booked himself in for several day sessions training with a local group on town or slow biking. He's not an irresponsible Dad. He wouldn't just stick DSS on the back and go for it.

I still think I'll encourage him to leave it for a few years.

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