I decided a few weeks ago that it was about time I tried my kids, aged 10 and 11, on the back of the bike. We don’t own a car, so being able to take the kids places on the bikes would make life sooo much easier, and give us so many more opportunities to do things together.
So I sold off some spare bike parts to finance the kit. Apart from the crash helmet which had to be brand new for safety reasons, I trawled Ebay for some good second hand kit for the following reasons
1) No job means finances are limited
2) I didn’t know if they were going to like it
3) They are growing like weeds and it probably won’t fit in 6 months!
So armed with a reasonable-ish amount of cash I managed to pick up an armoured leather jacket for just under £20, a pair of proper kids bike leather trousers for the same amount of money and boots too. The crash helmet was bought brand new. As for gloves I have a pair of x/s Joe Rocket gloves which, while too small for me, are perfect for the kids.
Wednesday afternoon, after school was D-Day (YIKES!!), after checking I was covered for carrying pillions on my insurance. I took both kids out (separately of course) on the bike for the first time. I laid down the rules before we went out, told the kids what they can and can’t do and off we went round the streets near my house.
Both kids did brilliantly 🙂
I only had to remind them once each about not fidgeting on the back, or switching which side of my head they are going to look past. Other than that they were really good 🙂
I will admit I was more than slightly apprehensive about the whole thing for two reasons
1) I have never taken a pillion before
2) It was my kids on the back!
I took it nice and slow, getting used to the extra weight on the bike and remembering from my lessons about how carrying a pillion affects braking, etc., but after we had ridden round for a bit I was feeling a lot happier about the whole thing. I stopped a few times on the way round to make sure my kids were ok and that they weren’t frightened at all, but both of them were fine.
This morning I decided to take my daughter into town with me as I had a few errands to run which meant going on busier roads with her. We both remembered our riding on Wednesday and took our time to ride into town while not slowing down any other traffic. It was a good ride and both of us enjoyed ourselves immensely 🙂
I now see what other riders mean when they say about carrying a pillion. Your attitude to your riding does change, you are a damn sight more careful as you are no longer responsible for your own life, but that of your pillion as well.
So far I have really enjoyed my excursion into carrying a passenger and hope to have many more years of pleasure, being able to share my love of bikes with my kids.
My daughter is already asking when she can have one of her own!