Kids and Dogs

Discussion in 'N2 Paddock Section' started by Aaron Meade, Oct 23, 2019.

  1. Aaron Meade

    Aaron Meade New Member

    If you have kids and/or fur children, I'd like to hear about your experiences at track days.

    I'll likely have to start out flying solo to track days, as I will not have anyone to come along and hang out with my kids and dog while I am on the track. But I'm wondering if and when the kids (7 and 8) can come if there are things for them to do. We do like to camp together, and they are great kids but I don't want them to be bored. I'd arrange for them to be with grandparents or friends before I drag them to someplace where they'll be bored while I entertain my motorcycle fantasies.

    Other sports I'm into (rock climbing, and in the past I did a lot of bicycle road and mtb racing, as well as cyclocross) have differing protocols and arguments when young kids and pets are involved. The bicycle racing community for instance is pretty kid friendly, though the road events are usually in the middle of nowhere (unless it's a criterium). Kids and dogs are an endless topic of argument at climbing crags.

    So whats the deal at track days?
  2. TimTheAsian

    TimTheAsian Fresh off the Boat Staff Member

    It's kid friendly, absolutely dog friendly as long as your dog isnt an ass :D. Just be mindful of what's going on and what people came here to do, they didn't come to watch out for other people's kids or dogs :). Dogs on leash while bikes are on track is a good general rule.

    No official entertainment for children, besides watching the bikes circulate the track. So plan accordingly.

    During the day there are motorcycles constantly buzzing around in the paddock so if the kids cannot resist the urge to run out somewhere without looking both ways it may be better to have someone look after them at the track... Same thing with them riding bicycles or whatever. I will say its a bit annoying during the day when there's an un-monitored kid that cant ride a bicycle straight (we've all be there) rolling down the paddock with a bunch of other riders trying to avoid this kid and I am trying to get onto or off of the track. I'm cool with parents taking their kids down the paddock while riding a bike, many do and make sure their wobbly kid isn't going to get in the way of a motorcycle. We're all very courteous when it comes to kids rolling around, but its still annoying when I'm having to duck and dodge them imo.

    Most track have areas away from the madness where you could take them and let them run around during the day. PIRC has plenty of open space for example that isn't constantly filled with moving bikes that kids can frolick all they want.

    After 5pm, let em roam.

    Unrelated......if climbers don't like dogs, why does anyone want to hang out with people that climb? I don't trust people that don't like dogs.

    PS: Introduce me to your dog. I don't eat dogs I know on a personal level. All others are fair game.
  3. Aaron Meade

    Aaron Meade New Member

    Cool, that is about what I thought. I’d never let my kids annoy people, and I’d never let them be in harms way. They’ve been raised with these expectations and are generally very good. I would not let them hang around unattended while I’m on track. I’ll have to make some friends someday.

    My dog is a sweetheart but insists that every two and four legged creature play with him. He is also a chaser, and barks at even an idling motorcycle. He needs a lot of supervision to be someplace as exciting as a racetrack.

    As far as dogs at crags, it’s not so much the dogs that are a problem, but the owners. I’ve had my lunch stolen by an unleashed dog, and my pack has been pee’d on more than once. I happen to like dogs and don’t get to mad, but some people are less tolerant. I can’t blame them.

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  4. TimTheAsian

    TimTheAsian Fresh off the Boat Staff Member

    I'd keep this in mind as a good paddock neighbor that your dog barks at idling motorcycles and chases stuff. Personally, I wouldn't want to listen to a dog bark all day. Loud generators are enough.
  5. Aaron Meade

    Aaron Meade New Member

    Absolutely. I wouldn’t bring him unless someone would be with him at all times, whether it’s a friend who doesn’t ride, or another rider who wanted to trade sitting duties. Good to know he would be welcome within those guidelines though. I’ll be coming to my first events alone and working up to bringing the family.
  6. Dom17

    Dom17 Intermediate Intermediate

    I will add that it gets surprisingly hot at track days. often times there is little shade and depending on the track that you're at you might be pitting over top of tarmac. I know that some days it has been over 100 degrees in the shade for over 8 hours. I don't know of your dog breed can tolerate that without some AC.

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  7. Aaron Meade

    Aaron Meade New Member

    Good point, I would not want to have my kids or my dog out all day in that kind of heat. I’d need to have a hotel room, and someone to shuttle them. All the more reason I’ll likely be doing these events solo.

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  8. dhaines

    dhaines Member

    I’ve brought my 3 before with a Nintendo switch, and phones and after about 2-3 hours when it starts getting hot they are done. Also as someone mentioned their are huge tools that go way to fast in the pits so that’s a concern as well. A dog wouldn’t be a problem,I’ve sat with my paddock neighbors dog while he rode. I’m always surprised at the camaraderie at these events.
  9. Aaron Meade

    Aaron Meade New Member

    As a parent, I often struggle with taking time to do something totally selfish (like riding my motorcycle around a racetrack) that takes me away from time with my kids. Of course the key is balance. I'm not going to be riding every weekend, just as I don't ride on the street every weekend now. I think I'll probably arrange for the kids to have other fun plans of their own when I go to the track. Unless of course they really want to come and watch at a nearby event where a friend or relative can take them home when they get hot/bored/tired. They are probably good for a couple hours at a time.

    As soon as the schedule is out, I need to start arranging which days to attend. I won't able to make this happen without careful planning, and planning is not my forte.
  10. Dom17

    Dom17 Intermediate Intermediate

    It also depends on what track you are going to. I know that New Jersey Motorsports Park has a pool that the kids can hang out during the day(with their grandparents). There might be a fee associated, not sure.

    And you also made a comment about doing this solo. I think once you start doing track days you will find that the amount of camaraderie at track day events and race days is surprising. Typically everyone wants to see everyone else do well and everyone is around to help if you need anything. I definitely have a " track family" that I am extremely close with.

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  11. Dan Corcoran

    Dan Corcoran New Member

    I used to bring my dog and gave her a light up collar for nightly walking around and early morning setups. Lots of paddock neighbors really liked that idea. As with anything, the extra thought, consideration for others and preparedness helps everybody have a good time.

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  12. Motofun352

    Motofun352 Control Rider

    One thing to consider, if you are a solo parent and bring your kids you should be prepared to deal with the worst case a hospital trip. Many have close friends that they trust if this should happen. Me personally? I would never leave my kids with a person I wasn't 100% comfortable with. Then again, my kids were well into their 20's when I started, so there's that....
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  13. Aaron Meade

    Aaron Meade New Member

    I hadn't actually considered the possibility that I could get hurt. Of course I'm not planning on it, but it could happen.

    Like you, I never leave my kids with anyone I don't have full confidence and faith in. And now that I'm thinking about it, I can't see anyone on my list of trustables who also wants to hang around a racetrack, so the decision makes itself for now. I'll just see how it goes once I get started.
  14. Aaron Meade

    Aaron Meade New Member

    I just saw this.... :eek:
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  15. pjzocc

    pjzocc Member

    This %100!!!

    6 years ago, I brought The Boy with me to (then) Beaverun. Had a toy hauler and he had plenty to keep busy with. PW50 for him to ride around on Saturday after the track went cold. BBQ with the paddock. Was a great day and night! Had 2 friends from my area that were going as well, and since we were riding in different groups, The Boy was able to hang with those guys when I was circulating the track. He's always been a good kid, well behaved, and knew the guys he would be hanging out with in the paddock. The Wife knew them as well, so we were all very comfortable with the arrangement. She was hesitant for sure, but gave the ok in the end.

    My last point to her was "Besides, when have I not come back from the track???"

    Yeah, well... should've kept my mouth shut.

    Gnarly crash on Sunday in the fast right hand kink (old T9) before the carousel leading to the front straight. Helo ride to Pittsburgh Presby and The Boy was at the track. The guys took care of the little guy, packed up my rv and drove my rig and my boy back to Syracuse. I spent the night at hospital and The Wife had to drive out to pick up my broken ass. I didn't give a fart about my bike or my rig, just needed to know Boomer was ok. Todd and Mike had my boy taken care of.

    Point is: PLAN ON THIS CONTINGENCY. If you don't have a plan for your kiddos to be secured in the event of a hospital trip for you, don't bring them.
  16. Aaron Meade

    Aaron Meade New Member

    Definitely not. Kids aren't coming unless and until I have trusted help.

    Glad you are ok (assuming you are ok). That sounds like a wild ride.
  17. tdelegram

    tdelegram Control Rider

    He’s not ok, I feel bad for his wife and kids.
  18. pjzocc

    pjzocc Member

    I am (now). It was (from what I've been told!). Boomer is 11 now and came out to PittRace with me last month. Next season if you bring your crew with you LMK and we can organize some kid activities for when the track goes cold!
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  19. pjzocc

    pjzocc Member

    You ain't the only one!
    D-Zum likes this.
  20. HondaGalToo

    HondaGalToo Control Rider

    PJ, it's so awesome having you and Boomer back at the track! I already can't wait till next season!

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