There is so much right about this video: this little lad is geared up, his Dad is watching, he’s got training wheels on, it’s a beautiful day, far away from any other dangers, and best of all he’s clearly having a blast!
If you’re about to correct my observational powers and point out that he’s wearing shorts above his boots and a t-shirt under his armor, tell someone else. I’m a 70’s baby and I consider the painstaking removal of gravel from my knees, elbow and hands that happened at the conclusion of my first bike riding lesson both a point of pride and an important part of my learning.
If the diminutive dirt devil featured in this video were to takes a tumble, it would only make him tougher, and more cautious, but he would certainly survive. In fact, if you’re thinking of complaining about anything, let’s ask about the training wheels. When is it too early to let little ones find their own balance? But I digress.
In a sport where keeping and re-establishing equilibrium is everything, doing donuts doesn’t just look great, it’s is a valuable skill. This kid is well on his way to a power slide, which is necessary in a race, but better yet, will make him able to handle his bike better if it ever fishtails when he isn’t doing it on purpose. Losing control is inevitable, so being able to redirect momentum is the best defense against a nasty spill.
Wheelies, stoppies, drifting, donuts, even the ability to have both wheels off the ground without crashing are all indicators that a rider and their bike are well acquainted. Stunts aren’t bad, it’s just that there are so many motorcyclists who don’t do them safely. It’s possessing the skills to handle all the ways in which a bike can move which makes riders better.
Teaching kids stunts in a controlled environment is great because they’ll know how to do them right and they’re more likely to respect the danger. We should all be so lucky as this little leaguer.