Back in 2015 Rhys Lawrey, the son of Kevin & Julia Sanders, arrived in front of London’s iconic Westminster Palace after circumnavigating the globe on his Tiger 800XC, setting a double Guinness World Record in the process.
Although only in his early twenties, Rhys’s love of motorcycles had started at a much younger age when the GlobeBusters husband and wife duo started to take him away as a passenger.
In fact, Rhys was just six years old when he first went pillion and ten years later he was joining Kevin in Buenos Aires for his first ever biking adventure which saw the pair spend Christmas in Bolivia and New Year in Peru before they finished up in Chile.
Exposure to motorcycles at a young age can be a defining factor as to whether or not someone goes on to get a licence in later life, and it’s a great way to share some amazing experiences together.
In the July issue of RiDE Magazine, Kevin has been giving readers some of his top tips to help those thinking about taking their kids along for the ride:
- Be Legal
Here in the UK, we have no minimum age requirement for a child to travel pillion, but they must be able to reach the foot pegs. Much of Europe follows the same guidelines, but it is worth checking before you set off around the continent. For example, in Luxembourg the minimum age is 12.
- Get Kitted Up
There are an increasing number of companies offering children’s motorcycle clothing, especially when it comes to the off-road market. It’s worth considering some additions to your bike that can help make your child feel safer, such as a top box or back rest, or some easily accessible grab handles.
- Raise Your Game
If your riding is not up to scratch, then you could put your child off joining on the bike you for some time to come. Speed is one obvious factor and you don’t want to go so fast that you frighten them in the early stages as they’re getting used to life on 2-wheels. On the other hand, kids will often get bored quickly on long journeys and have a tendency to fidget, so you want to maintain a brisk pace too!
- Small Steps
Build up your distances over time. Kevin started by taking Rhys out on short rides, then that slowly graduated into weekends away. At the age of 15 he was doing 400 miles per day on average as Rhys & Kevin did a test run to Germany ahead of their South America trip together.
Your child’s youthful energy is a great thing, but on long trips it can also create tensions when you’re hoping for a rare lie-in and they’re up and ready to go at the crack of dawn. Consider giving them their own room occasionally, giving you some space and also nurturing their independence. They also enjoy feeling like a part of the trip, so give them some little tasks to do like checking tyre pressures in a morning or buying the bottled water and snacks.
Clearly not every child will go on to become a world record breaker with dreams of riding around the globe, but you’ll certainly create some fantastic memories together.
Find out more about the Continental adventure tyre range, as used by GlobeBusters!