Motorcycles

JuLeah - posted on 06/06/2011 ( 25 moms have responded )

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So, the ex is planning a trip to Canada this summer. I resigned myself to this, given I have no voice. Ex’s time, ex gets to plan the activity.

But, now I have learned the trip will be taken on motorcycle with my nine year old daughter riding on the back.

I had to manually put my heart back into my chest when I heard this news.

The longest she has ever ridden was a half a hour.

Again, I have no voice to stop this from happening.

Is there someone out there that rides, maybe knows more then I, who can offer reassurance?

Is there someone out there who rides that might be able to help me prep my daughter so she is a bit safer?

Is there anyone out there with the clout to pass a law within the next month that disallows anyone under the age of 15 to ride that long on the back of a bike?

I am really frightened.

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Jenny - posted on 06/06/2011

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Wow what a wonderful experience for your daughter. I've been riding since I was 5 years old.



Kelly has already given great advice such as backrest, helmet, full pants, good solid shoes/boots, gloves, riding jacket. Mind you, I ride in a tank top and leather vest in the summer.



My first question would be, how good of a rider is Mom? Is she experienced? Is she confident? Does she ride like everyone is trying to kill her?



The second thing is I would find out her planned schedule. It might seem far but if it is broken up with meals and a hotel room or two, it is not bad. I would ride 2-3 hours at a stretch as a child but feel comfortable with about 6 now.



If she's a good rider, is planning on frequent stops, is geared up (you may be able to rent some if the service is available) and your daughter is comfortable with it I'll bet she is going to come out it with great memories. There's no better way to travel than by motorcycle in my opinion.

[deleted account]

I have no advice on the legal end, but my husband and I do ride, so I can provide some advice there.

Make sure your ex is on a bike with a full back rest, not just a "sissy bar" that your daughter can lean back on, not just hold on to--that will help relieve some of the back fatigue. The wrap around kind is best, but they are only available for some bike styles. Do you know what kind of bike it is?

I don't know about helmet laws up there but MAKE HER WEAR ONE. Also, make her wear jeans or riding pants, and a riding jacket. I have a cavlar (sp) jacket that lets the wind go through it so I'm protected, but I don't get hot--and I live in SC, it is HOT here.

She should be fine, but that is a REALLY long ride for a child. Make sure she develops a sign to give her mom if she is tired or needs to stop--like three pats on the shoulder, or something else other than words, which can be hard to hear without speaking systems.

If your ex has a speaking system, that can also help her stay alert because she will be part of a conversation, rather than just riding alone.

Krista - posted on 06/06/2011

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Oh duuuuhhh! Sorry, JuLeah. Force of habit of thinking of everybody's exes on here as male. No disrespect intended.

And that absolutely blows goats that you don't have the same rights, just because you weren't the birth mother. For pete's sakes, you are still her PARENT.

Man, the law still has a LONG way to go, when it comes to LGBT issues, doesn't it?

It may be worth contacting your lawyer, or legal aid, to see if they can do some research regarding the laws involving having a minor as a passenger on a motorbike, in the states/provinces in which your ex will be traveling.

As well, do you know if your ex is close with her parents? Are they close with your daughter? Your ex might not listen to you, but she might listen if her parents voice concerns about their beloved granddaughter being ferried about in an unsafe manner?

Krista - posted on 06/06/2011

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Yikes -- I don't blame you for being nervous! I have no idea how reasonable (or not) your ex is, but would he consider renting a bike with a sidecar for this trip instead?

Or, you could get a child riding belt, which would basically attach your daughter to your ex, so that her own strength and alertness are not the sole factors protecting her from going flying.

http://www.childridingbelt.com/engprod.h...

It's good for any kid up to 100lbs. On the where to order page, it looks like there are quite a few U.S. distributors. I think it retails for about $130.

I found out about it via this article, which also has some other good safety tips. http://www.motorcyclecruiser.com/streets...

And...he might not legally be allowed to do this anyway. I know there was a bill introduced in Ontario forbidding people from riding motorbikes with passengers under the age of 14. I'm not sure of the status of it, nor am I sure of whether the other provinces have similar bills/laws, but he might want to look into it before he gets too excited about this trip.

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Kimberly - posted on 06/06/2011

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i have been riding since i was two years old aroung the yard. it honestly is not as bad as what people say. there is a video on you tube that shows a bike being riden into a post the man jumps off before it hits the post. the bike hits and the bike sways back and forth on its own till its upright and going right down the road. bikes are actually quite safe as long as you trust his driving ability. it will be fine i took the exact same trip at that same age

Becky - posted on 06/06/2011

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I haven't read all the replies yet, so sorry if this has already been addressed, but I believe that if one parent is travelling across the border with a child, without the other parent, they require a letter from the other parent giving them permission to take the child across the border. I'm fairly certain that even being married, I would need a letter from my husband if I were to travel to the US with the kids alone. So, if that's the case, then you could just refuse to write the letter.
No matter how much I trusted a person, I don't think I'd let them take my 9 year old on a several 100 km. motorcycle trip.

Lady Heather - posted on 06/06/2011

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Holy crap, what a shitty situation. My husband is from a family of bikers and he's been riding since he was a little kid, but even they wouldn't do anything like this with a kid. Safety aside (and that's a big aside), it's simply exhausting to ride that much. I don't even think I could do it. It's not like you can just sit back and go to sleep like in a car.

Hopefully it this strange plan continues your little one will not be cooperative and the whole trip will be ruined and they'll have to turn back. Good ideas from the other ladies. Yes, she must be very careful about what she wears. My husband always laughs when he sees the other couples out on bikes and the dude is in his get up and the girl is on the back in her tank top and teeny shorts. He would neeeeever let me on his bike like that. Says he values my skin too much.

Gah. I really feel bad for you. The world needs to catch up with this shit.

Jenn - posted on 06/06/2011

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I don't know how it works there, but I know here, you need to have a letter of consent to take a minor across the border from the other parent, even if you are still together. Like, if I wanted to go shopping in the States on afternoon with the kids, I would have to make sure to have a letter from their Dad saying that it's OK to take them with me.

Jenn - posted on 06/06/2011

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I don't know how it works there, but I know here, you need to have a letter of consent to take a minor across the border from the other parent, even if you are still together. Like, if I wanted to go shopping in the States on afternoon with the kids, I would have to make sure to have a letter from their Dad saying that it's OK to take them with me.

Teresa - posted on 06/06/2011

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That is a really long way to go toting a kid on the back of a bike. I am very pro bike but also pro safety where they are involved. I would work the angle of not letting the ex leave the country with your child if you can. That is an insane idea. It is too far. The child will hate it.

JuLeah - posted on 06/06/2011

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Thanks Krista. My ex is a woman. And, this is why we need laws that offer equality.



My name is on my daughter's birth certificate, because at her birth we happened to live in one of the few states where second parent adoption is allowed.



But, I am not the birth mother.



So, it was fully recognized by the judge, the custody evaluator, the social workers .... that in my ex's home my daughter is neglected, unsafe, and not supervised. It is fully understood that there are big (major) issues of concern. BUT, ex is the birth mother and that is more important under current law, then our child's safety.





I have her 49% of the time, and was damn lucky to have held on to her to that degree. Most mothers in my situation simply never see their kid again.



I was the stay at home mom, the one in charge of all feedings, diapers, play groups, pre school ..... BUT, the law favors the birth mother over the adopted mother .... as for logic and reason, no that is not real big in my ex's world so talking with her ... well, it's never really worked out that well



It was a DV relationship and she has all the behavior patterns that go with that.



DV, by the way, happens as often in queer relationships as it does in het (about 1:3)



So, really, I have no voice, but am looking for ways to maybe prep my daughter to help keep her a bit safer ... will suggest the seat belt idea .... keep ideas coming .... thanks!

Isobel - posted on 06/06/2011

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I have FULL custody and I still have to get a letter of permission from my ex every year to go to Maine

[deleted account]

Jenn does bring up a good point. Do you guys have joint legal custody? Anything in the court order about not leaving the state/country w/ your kid?

I do have full legal custody... so that might make the difference, but my ex is not allowed to leave the state w/ the kids.

Sorry... just shooting ideas out my butt here cuz I know how it feels to worry about your kids and not trust what may or may not happen.

Isobel - posted on 06/06/2011

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yeah, he DEFINITELY can't leave the country without your consent. Has he ever traveled with kids before? surely he knows how exhausted she's going to be. Will he not listen to reason?
by the way, you need a passport to get into Canada...if she doesn't already have one...hide the documents

Jenn - posted on 06/06/2011

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What is your custody arrangement? I know in my situation, it would NOT be happening, motorcycle or not, he wouldn't take my son out of the country. But I don't really trust him either. So I would just say "sorry for your luck chuck - ain't happenin'".

JuLeah - posted on 06/06/2011

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I don't get a voice in what happens at the ex's house .... Had I a voice, many things would be different.

JuLeah - posted on 06/06/2011

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Lawyer .... yah, We have not yet outlawed stupid ... I am not as freaked about around town rides, but the freeway .... I am worried she will fall asleep, get distracted, let go to rub her nose ...... am attempting to 'hand it over' as I have little control, but ....

[deleted account]

Seriously? Sorry, I wish I could offer reassurance, but if my ex put any of my kids on a motorcycle at ALL.... I would FREAK!!! I know you said you have no voice, but have you spoken to a lawyer already.... just in case?

On the other side though.... there was a dad that picked his kid up from school every day on a motorcycle, so I'm sure she'll be fine. (trying to give you an answer more along the lines of what you are looking for....)

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