Torque Helps the Adventure Rider Continue Family Life

After spending close to two decades working in the world of motorcycle racing, when my husband and I found out we would be having a baby, we were sure of only one thing: this kid was going to fit into our lives; it was not going to be the other way around.

It may sound harsh, but the fact is, we have been blessed to live out our dreams, traveling the USA and the rest of the world, riding and racing some of the coolest motorcycles ever. And even when it hasn’t been part of the job, we have always taken any opportunity we could to throw a leg over something with two wheels. The thing is, we spent a lot of time cultivating a life we loved, and we didn’t intend to give it up—we just wanted to add another riding buddy to the fold.

It sounds easy, right? Until you find yourself with a newborn in your arms and a race on the other side of the country. We had to do a lot of creative thinking to figure out how to make things work. Suddenly the RV that used to be a luxury was now a necessity. In the past, having a house on wheels meant I could sleep not only myself, but I could put up a number of mechanics right at the racetrack. It might not seem like a big deal, but after a late night putting a crashed motorcycle back together, not having to drive to a restaurant and then the hotel is a huge bonus. For years that RV had allowed us to save money and time. But after Hawk was born, we realized its value tenfold.

Babies need a place to sleep and get out of the elements. They also require a TON of gear and if you intend to get any work done at all, a babysitter. As a new mom, being able to peek my head in between races and see baby Hawk having a nap was a luxury; having a quiet place to peel my leathers down and nurse an infant was a necessity. There is no doubt in my mind that without our RV, I could not have gone back to racing the way I did. That first year of his life I felt really lucky to be able to bring my baby to work with me.

Now that Hawk is a little bit older, we have the chance to indoctrinate him into the two-wheeled life. We aren’t just bringing him to work anymore; now we are going to racetracks as a family. What started with packing his Strider alongside our race bikes has evolved into packing his Stacyc and Oset alongside our off-road bikes.

This past winter, my husband Josh started doing a lot of one-on-one coaching at track days and it’s been really cool to see how our trips to the racetrack are evolving. When we get to the track and unload our race bikes, Hawk is now impatiently waiting for his bikes to come out of the trailer too. It’s pretty awesome to come in from a session on track and see our kid ripping laps in the dirt with another racetrack toddler.

COVID-19 threw a huge wrench into our 2020 race plans. When MotoAmerica, the racing organization we compete in, finally announced that we could go back to work, it was with one caveat: essential crew only. Apparently, two-year old Hawk was not considered essential and we were left scrambling. Coincidentally, about the same time we had brought home a new Heartland Torque T333 toy hauler. Suddenly, we had all the ingredients to turn lemons into some seriously tasty lemonade.

Read the full story on Melissa Paris' website.

This story first appeared as an article on Adventure Rider.