Saturday night my family was sitting at a restaurant, eating dinner, and my 2-year-old nephew was growing antsy. He and my niece like looking at photos on our phones, but I had something better. I pulled up a video I had taken of the Fitz Army stunt show at the Minneapolis IMS the night before.
His eyes lit up as he watched the riders do flips and tricks inside the Minneapolis Convention Center. He showed the video to my dad and replayed it over and over. That’s when it occurred to me: I screwed up!
How did I not even think to bring him to the show? I had been so wrapped up in going to the IMS for work that it didn’t even cross my mind to bring him for fun! He would’ve had a blast on a Glide Bike in the Kid Zone. I could picture him jumping aboard the PW50 Yamaha had at its booth, getting a temporary tattoo at the Inked Tattoo Parlor, sitting inside a Slingshot, and of course, watching the Fitz Army in person! But I didn’t think that through. And by Saturday night, I had run out of time because I had a full Sunday on my plate.
Especially for those of us in the industry who live and breathe this every day, it might be hard for us to step back and think about the little ways we could be impacting younger generations and getting them to think about riding. Let’s be honest — most of us have decently cool jobs. Have you gone into your kids’ Career Day and talked about how your job involves talking about ATVs all day? Have you ridden your bike to your niece’s Tee-ball practice and let some of the kids sit on it before you left?
I’ve talked to many people in the industry who can put their finger exactly on the memory that made them a lifetime enthusiast. If each of us can offer that moment to just one kid, that’s a positive sign for the future.
Lucky for me, the Minneapolis IMS is coming back to Minnesota again in 2017. With Minneapolis hosting the next Super Bowl, IMS is moving our local show back from its traditional February dates to Dec. 8-10.
Liz Keener is the senior editor of Powersports Business, a trade magazine for the powersports industry. She reports on the powersports industry through Powersports Business’ varied media, including in the magazine, online and via social media. She produces the magazine’s annual Market Data Book and handles a variety of assignments for the magazine and its ancillary products. Powersports Business is known for its exclusive dealer surveys, in-depth industry analysis, Power 50 dealership honors program and dealer education.