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How do I convince friend...

(7 Posts)
malinois Sun 16-Oct-11 17:10:36

...that she should not buy her DS17 a motorcycle?

Background: I have been riding bikes for over 20 years and had a mental 2-stroke 250 at that age. Bikes are my main form of transport and I rarely drive.

Friend is actually elder sister of a friend and DS17 has decided to take his CRB and she has agreed. This I find astonishing as he is not allowed to do anything remotely risky: ferried everywhere by car due to risks of public transport, not allowed on school ski trip, not allowed to stay overnight at friends etc. He wasn't even allowed to come mountain biking with us when we took pity on him.

She thinks that a bike will give him some independence hmm. And here lies the rub; I don't believe the lad has any concept of hazard or risk assessment.

I have tried to explain this to her but she just points out that I was riding bikes at the same age. Sure, but I was also rock climbing, caving and doing lots of other risky stuff that meant my risk radar was extremely finely tuned.

So what do I say to her? I really don't want to give her lots of scary stats about young biker casualties as I truly believe that sensible and aware kids are fine on bikes.

I also don't want to overly criticise her for mollycoddling her lad.

So how can I tell her that her DS should not be on a bike without sounding like a hypocrite?

GnomeDePlume Sun 16-Oct-11 18:03:42

Er.. I'm afraid for the reasons you have given you are being a hypocrite. I am sure you believed you had special powers when you were 17 but so do all 17 year olds.

17 year olds are dangerous, they dont have the same sense of consequences that someone in their 30s has. They dont have the same sense of their own mortality (which is why you were rock climbing etc etc).

Make the argument using the stats. Basically 17 year olds are high risk no matter what they are doing. Throw in additional risk factors like bike riding and you have a high risk mix.

malinois Sun 16-Oct-11 18:10:02

Hmm, you might have something there sad

But I still climb, snowboard, mountain bike etc now and I don't think that my attitude to risk has really change since when I was a teenager - I've always been very aware and calculated which is why I'm still alive smile

I really don't want to have to go for the scare tactics but might be the only choice. I can just tell that this lad will pretzel himself at the first opportunity.

GnomeDePlume Sun 16-Oct-11 18:37:37

Dont get me wrong, I dont think you are wrong to try to dissuade your friend. It's just that essentially saying it was okay for you because you did lots of risky things isnt justification.

If you have the stats specifically for younger riders then use them. I dont think you can judge what his perception of risk would be on a bike just that he will probably be typical for his age (ie have no perception of risk whatsoever).

malinois Sun 16-Oct-11 19:26:06

Hmm, might see if I can find some stats that are broken down by gender. Then, hateful as it is, I can point out that boys on bikes are however many times as likely to KSA themselves as nice, sensible girls like wot I was.

And I will gloss over the details of what happened at 2am one August night in 1989 involving myself, a friend on an RD400 and a 25 mile circuit around the Yorkshire Wolds grin On second thoughts maybe I did take more risks then...

GnomeDePlume Sun 16-Oct-11 19:54:12

grin

Maryz Sun 16-Oct-11 20:46:47

I'm seriously thinking of buying my son a motorbike. Not because I want him riding it (though both dh and I had small bikes as teens), but because he wants to buy himself a car.

Whatever about risk assessment on a motorbike, he will have no sense of danger in a car and is likely to kill someone else if not himself angry.

Anyway, I don't think any 17 year old ever has been convinced by a middle-aged woman that anything is dangerous grin so you are wasting your breath!

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