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  1. #1
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    A question for parents who race

    Here's a question for those of you who have children between the ages of 6 months to 6 years old. Would you be interested in professional level child care at the races? Would it allow you to attend more races that you would others miss due to a lack of a babysitter for the weekend/day? I have what I think would be a cool idea and would love some feedback.

    Thanks gang
    Racing is life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting.

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  2. #2
    Shift less, Pedal more.
    Reputation: Birdss's Avatar
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    I've got a 2 year old and it's been difficult at times to race. It would allow me to attend more races in ease, maybe all. You could even setup a little play area to keep the rugrats contained.

    I would use it. I think the ladies would agree too.
    I'd rather be hated for what I am, than loved for what I'm not......Dolemite.

  3. #3
    parenting for gnarness
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    most definitely.

    However, if your race is going to offer care, there are likely liability and ratio issues that make it cost prohibitive. You would also have to reserve way ahead of time, which is often not feasible for families where things change all the time. Or, when the weather turns and you are not going to subject the kids to it.

    Some alternatives we've explored included organizing\camping with other families. Some race, others takes turns watching the kids. Or, if you do a team race you take turns. My wife and I pulled of BarnBurner 2 yrs ago that way - she did the 1st and 4th laps, I did 2 laps in the middle, which helped with the logistics. At the Crazy88 2 yrs ago we stayed with friends in Flag - the guys rode the race, and the next day the ladies got the day to ride while we watched the kids. Our best idea has been to bring our own sitter and self-organize with other parents. That removes all the overhead for the race and now its just you and your sitter with a few other kids. We pay about $10-12/hr for our 2 kids at our home, i'm sure our sitters would be fine with say 6 kids and hanging at a race if they were making $20/hr. (the sitters we use are teachers from our daycare, not the teen down the street)

    hope that helps. Post up if you are planning this sort of thing - you're way faster than me so as a teammate i'd drag you down, but for enduros etc. we'd totally be into something like this.
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  4. #4
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    Thanks guys, both the play area and weather issues have been bouncing around in my head. I'll be working with a good friend who operates a fairly successful infant day care and preschool. I'm meeting with her today to brainstorm about it and see if it really is feasible. Keep the input coming!
    Racing is life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting.

    96 Huffy Dr. Shock
    01 Magna girls hybrid

  5. #5
    parenting for gnarness
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbkracr
    Thanks guys, both the play area and weather issues have been bouncing around in my head. I'll be working with a good friend who operates a fairly successful infant day care and preschool. I'm meeting with her today to brainstorm about it and see if it really is feasible. Keep the input coming!
    i'm sure your friend will tell you...anything is more flexible just between you, your kids and a private party vs. something official. The organized aspect is awesome if offered, but you have to pay for it to make it work for the Race and Care Providers and legal stuff.

    AES series start including underground kid-care?

    Also, imo, play area will only go so far. Its a good start and a good home base, but my kids see stuff going on and they want to get involved and explore. If you indulge them, it makes it harder on you or the sitter, but a far better experience for them. the flipside is your kids get stoked on what you do and are more willing to come do it with you and roll with the punches.
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  6. #6
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    i refuse to leave my 3yr old child w/ any stranger! i plan way ahead with my own personal support group. i've been traveling to ride once a month with no problem.. 4-11 days at a time, year round for almost two seasons now. colorado/utah/new mexico/neveda...& canada! living proof that it can be done! good luck....
    p.s. i'm a single dad w/ a full time job.
    j

  7. #7
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    I think the idea is a good one. I imagine that you will end up with the same people's kids at the majority of the races so you will probably cultivate the same level of trust that might exist in the set-up that Cholla and the rest of us work on.

    My wife and I have four daughters and when we have done races, we either need to bring grandparents/aunts/uncles to watch, or, when it is a relay, we have switched off with the others in our team. Because of the madness at the races, we usually set up a little way away from the start so the kids can see everybody come by but they are away from the traffic. At 12 Hours of Papago, we set up a little off the pavement where the course first hit the dirt to stay away from everybody's tents. At one point we had 14 kids there, but it worked out.

    I deal with liability issues every day, so that is something that I am a little sensitive about. It sounds like you have a good start with working with a daycare professional because she will be more in tune with all those kids' needs (e.g. food allergies, safety "stranger danger" issues, kids eating sand, etc.). My only recommendation is to make sure that all the waivers, releases, consents, etc. are as tight as can be. Nothing in that arena can be air-tight, but you can always try.

  8. #8
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    We would surely use a child care at a race! The local ones are fine, my parents usually watch them, but out of town races are tough.....a lot of times James and I have to pick and choose which races we want and take turns. Sometimes we have friends at the race that will watch them the 30 min or so that we are both out racing, but I hate having to ask them........whatever you and Ginger are cooking up, I will use your service!

  9. #9
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    Becky, I was totally thinking of you and James when this idea popped into my head!
    Racing is life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting.

    96 Huffy Dr. Shock
    01 Magna girls hybrid

  10. #10
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    Well, I think it's a great idea! Thanks for thinking of us haha! I am sure lots more people would pay money for someone to watch their little nose miners

  11. #11
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    I like the idea! My wife does not ride, so childcare has not been an issue for me. I think you are on to a good thing that will benefit those who families with both parents racing.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball
    AES series start including underground kid-care?
    Working on getting the guy that watches the beer and buys the pizza to watch the kids if needed while we are riding for 8+ hours.

  13. #13
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    We'd be interested. Now that my wife has been bitten by the racing bug, we have to choose which one of us gets to race all the time.

  14. #14
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    Better yet, where is the youth/development AES/MTB series?
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    And I thought I had a bike obsession. You are at once tragic and awesome.

  15. #15
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    I'm gonna chat with the mbaa folks in globe about putting some kind of program for the series for next year but before I do I'd like to do a bit of brainstorming here. Once I get a few specific ideas together I'll post them for your input.
    Racing is life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting.

    96 Huffy Dr. Shock
    01 Magna girls hybrid

  16. #16
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    I would think most people that race and have kids have access to babysitters, so to me the biggest thing you could possibly do to increase attendance from the parent group would be to move the races back to Sunday.

    I realize that everyone has different schedules, so Sunday won't work good for others, but the vast majority of children's sports occur on Saturday mornings. This makes me choose between seeing my kids compete or competing myself and I know there are many others out there in the same boat.

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