Dad lets 6-year-old son steer his motorcyclePosted: Updated:
PHOENIX -- A viral video of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle cruising down an open road is stirring up some controversy because of the person at the controls -- a 6-year-old boy.
"It's not a hobby. It's a lifestyle," said the boy's father, Jacob Hughes.
The 33-year-old Arizona native, who graduated from Thunderbird High School, said riding Harleys is part of his DNA. In fact, "Harley" is his middle name.
It's something his father taught him, and he's passing the family tradition down to his son, Ryan.
"It's something that he loves. I'm not going to keep him from doing something he loves as well," Hughes told 3TV via Skype.
The boy was on his dad's Harley as a newborn and clearly still loves it. But for the first time recently, Hughes took his hands off the handles and trusted Ryan to navigate a county road in Denver, Colo.
The video of the ride shows the father and son constantly communicating through hand signals. Hughes is seen signaling to his son to focus on the road ahead and Ryan is seen taking control of the bike.
For an entire 60 seconds, Ryan was in total control of their fate.
"There's a lot of trust going on in that video. I trust my son. He obviously trusts me," Hughes told 3TV.
Hughes calls it father-son bonding but others call it reckless parenting.
When Hughes posted the video online, it instantly went viral. People have been threatening to call Child Protective Services.
"My kids get awesome grades in school. I'm involved in their lives," Hughes said.
He explained that his son was safe the entire time because of the constant adult supervision and a custom-fit child helmet.
Hughes isn't backing down from those who are criticizing his parenting. In fact, he said he will let Ryan drive again.
"You can't really live your life in fear," he said. "We just do what we love. It's just natural. It's just second nature."