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Old 01-02-2009, 06:37 PM   #46

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Doing it backwards

My age is just shy of the OP, and I'm only STARTING to ride !

This is the best thread I've read on BARF so far, and I've read lots of them.

Having come toward the end of a career in which physical ability was regularly assessed and required, I am keenly aware of diminishing physical capabilities now, as compared to 10 years ago, not to mention 20 years ago. I have slower reactions, less strength, less endurance, definitely less flexibility. In exchange, my older eyes see threats I didn't see 10 years ago with a younger, more frenetic mind which was much more easily distracted. I see danger patterns in traffic I didn't see in the past. I can better endure discomfort while maintaining mental focus because I have greater mental discipline now than when I was 40. I know my limitations more than I ever did. So I'm counting on my greater wisdom-awareness skills to counteract my decreased physical reactions. I'm hoping that my greater ability to recognize and avoid potential hazards will neutralize my decreased ability to mindlessly react in a sudden "oh sh*t!" crisis.

However, that said, I am a little intimidated about learning to ride a bike in traffic at 50. I know I won't fall or roll as easily now than I would 10 years ago. I'm heavier, more ponderous, and less resilient.

My plan to deal with this -- take the time to do more skills drills than most riders would. As a skills instructor in non-motorcycle fields, I know that proper drills performed judiciously go a long way to getting a head start on practical experience. I have the discipline for it, and I'm enough of a geek to do it -- for now.

I don't know if it will work, but I'll let y'all know later.
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:39 PM   #47
hawk you buddy!
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if you hafto ask when to stop riding that means yer done
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:50 PM   #48
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That's easy...when you get a big, "xxx" and question your status as a rider! WTF kind of question is that!! Stop when you're dead and thats it. Goshhh.....
"Hey....Don't just stand there looking at the fucking thing!! Drop your coffee and ride it!!"

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Old 01-02-2009, 08:09 PM   #49

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I'm 52, and have been given a new lease on life (cancer surviver). For me, just being able to ride is a great gift. I am well away of the dangers involved, but don't dwell on it. Just make the most of each day. I enjoy work, family and friends a whole lot more now, and try not to take any of these treasures for granted. I will ride till i am not pyhisicly unable to do so, or stop enjoying it. Now if i could just do something about the fading eye sight and reflexes.
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:30 PM   #50
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WHUWHAT?? wrote: WHEN SHOULD WE STOP RIDING? That's easy...when you get a big, wet, hairy, stinky pussy between your legs...
Second-guessing someone else's risk-taking choices is foolishly arrogant. Decisions about risk are some of the most personal ones we make because each of us perceives and tolerates it differently.

We perceive risk through the lens of experience. Your own previous crashes color your perception as does reading about other people's crashes. And--hopefully not too graphic here--seeing your buddy's leg amputated on a signpost (as a member of another forum once described) would forever change your perception of motorcycling risk.

Tolerance of risk is partly hard-wired, I think, but it also changes a great deal with circumstances. You may have spent your youth cheating death in every mechanical, chemical, and sexual way modern life offers. But when you have a kid, (or like the OP, grandchildren) your view of the future and desire to be there for it changes dramatically. And even if you don't have kids, a loving wife/husband/SO who has seen you near death and begs you to change your ways before it's too late can also have a profound effect (as described in another thread). Or imagine that you've reached a point in your career where a few hundred people depend on your leadership and decision-making for their livelihoods. They've consistently been there for you, and you feel you owe them the same. Earning that kind of respect and responsibility can change the way you look at riding.

I think some motorcyclists need a more understanding view of the risk decisions other riders make. There is a fringe of nihilists who really don't seem to care whether they live or die and can't understand why anyone would care about their own life. And there is a fringe of fascists who would impose draconian laws on all who take more risk than they think is appropriate.

What we need is recognition of our inability to understand how others make risk decisions--let alone to make those decisions for them. But at the same time--and I see this as a role 1Rider can fill--we need to help others perceive risk accurately so they can make informed decsions about their riding.
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:46 PM   #51

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I will turn 69 this Feb and have no intention to stop riding. I have ridden since 1960. Rode my last race about 6 months ago. I stopped racing not because of my age or being slow but because some years ago I set all my trophies out on the curb for trash pick up as I got tired of dusting them and I ride for the enjoyment not the gold now. I still do track days as I really enjoy those and the more bikes on the track the more I enjoy it. I am not a slow rider and can hold my own with riders 1/4 my age. I am one of the leaders when we hit the canyons on my Yamaha FZ1 or my Suzuki DRZ400 Super Motard. I was a distrist 37 ( So. Cal) Expert back in the 60s. Had my AMA class C Pro license and AFM Pro license for Speedway. The bikes and the tires,brakes ,etc are so much better now then in the 60s that I ride a great deal faster now then when I rode as a pro back then. I have no idea when I will stop riding. Age is a state of mind. But I try to always ride at speeds I feel comfortable with. If someone is going faster then me and I know I can go faster then them I won't as I will not ride over my comfort zone unless we are on the track.
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:47 PM   #52
Bane of your Existence!
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my boss is the owner of a large MSF school:

his answer to that question

when my eyes can no longer see whats in front of me.

on the flip side he IS getting older and riding less..

he's now ot a bum knee and i think he threw out his back...

he's sold off his ninja and other sport/drit bikes...

now he just ahs a harley (Vrod) that only goes out on rare occations
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:54 PM   #53
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I have slowed down considerably as I age. I am only doing 25 trackdays this year and won't race all the AFM races.
That's not true! The lie is actually the truth! I know. Lots of people know this.
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Old 01-02-2009, 10:26 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by WHUWHAT?? View Post

That's easy...when you get a big, wet, hairy, stinky pussy between your legs and question your status as a rider!

I have one of those (well I keep it clean and trimmed). I plan to keep riding as long as I can.
"In the time of your life, live—so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it." — William Saroyan

For some life is hard and for others it is a relentless grind for survival.
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Old 01-02-2009, 10:56 PM   #55
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I'm lucky enough to be a sometime riding buddy with land speed record holder Marty Dickerson (Vincent) and he's one who makes you work to keep up. He's 82. And sorta short and fat and funny looking.
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Old 01-02-2009, 11:11 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by yella600rr View Post

I have one of those (well I keep it clean and trimmed). I plan to keep riding as long as I can.
That was not meant to be literal uh know
"Hey....Don't just stand there looking at the fucking thing!! Drop your coffee and ride it!!"
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Old 01-02-2009, 11:40 PM   #57
Bring more rat-free wine!
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Originally Posted by WHUWHAT?? View Post
That was not meant to be literal uh know
Just offensive?
How'r'ya now?
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Old 01-03-2009, 02:56 AM   #58
is insensitive
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Look man, if you have to question your priorities between your family and your bike, you should choose your family and just quit. Choose something safe like track only riders do if you just want to feel the grind but not the danger. Street riding is really ONLY for people who love the hobby more than their own safety. No matter who you are, where you are or how skilled you are, idiots are KILLING real bikers who know what they are doing, EVERY SINGLE DAY.

I mean, shit, that's why I get so flippant with these safety nazi threads. I try to be safe and all, but if I didn't want to take take my ass in my hands and shake it around in a box to see if I come out dead, I wouldn't be riding street motorcycles. It's a dangerous hobby and we have an unprecedented body count compared to skydiving (which I love), scuba diving and other similar sorts of fringe excitement hobbies. Street motorcyclists die all the time, sometimes it's our fault, many times it is not. If you have too much to loose to take that risk, pack it in, or stick to the track and nobody who has any real humanity would think you the lesser for it. Even if they did, fuck what people think anyway. Your wife is real, your kids are real, and anybody who wants to tell you you should take risks that might destroy your time with them is a self important asshole. I can't ever see myself quitting, I think the love in me is strong enough to see me to the grave, but damned if I would tell some other dude with a family and all this shit to live for that he should burn into the asphalt right beside me. Live long, man. Grow old and be happy to see the little ones grow up to be strong. Let us twisted ones out there breathe Cmox and drink gasoline till we die. It's no tragedy to die doing something that you love, but there isn't anything worth loving more than your family. Only you can say what is right for you.
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Old 01-03-2009, 03:26 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by oldapeman View Post
The recent reports of casualties of experienced expert bikers, plus my own experiences on the highways, have led me to pondering when I should consider parking the bike permanently. I encourage responses of all levels and ages of riders -- those over 50, who might be having the same thoughts as me, and those much younger, because, like it or not, you will be old someday too if your luck does not run out sooner.

NOTE: I apologize for the length of this post -- I guess I needed to set the stage for all this.

I am nearing 59 years old. I learned to ride a Honda S90 when I was 15, then rode a dirtbike for a while, then spent years in the Navy riding a wide variety of street bikes owned by my shipmates (Triumphs, BSA, BMW, Harley, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Puch(!) and many more I have forgotten I left motorcycles behind for a while when I was in my late 20's , switching to bicycling, and riding motorcycles only occassionally until about ten years ago. It was then that I sent my son to MSF training, and decided to go along and do the course with him just for fun. I remembered how much fun I was having and decided to get back into motorcycling.

I consider myself to be a very expert, experienced and safe rider. Despite riding for nearly 44 years, I have never once been in an accident, nor dropped a bike on the street.

I ride one of my vintage Kawasakis from Berkeley to SF nearly every weekday (although I avoid the rain). I am in generally decent physical shape, have good reflexes, and corrected vision. My balance is very good (something that usually deteriorates with age), probably because of my long term motorcycle and bicycle riding.

That said, I must be the first to acknowledge that I do not have the physical capabilities I had at my peak (which for me was in my mid to late 30's, when I was doing century rides and San Francisco hillclimbs on my Bianchi ). While motorcycling, I now make up for this with my knowledge and experience, knowing what is the right thing to do at all times, plus not riding like a foolish teenager who just discovered that sex and motorcycle riding are a lot alike. Without doubt, I am slower, with weaker senses (eyes and ears) than I once had, less than perfect balance, and losing a little bit of the physical edge every year.

I am a realist. Ageing is a one-way street, sloping downhill at an increasing rate. I know that doing this at age 75 is not realistic, unless someone finds the fountain of youth soon.

Combine the above with the madness that I see everyday on the freeways and the Bay Bridge, with weaving inattentive drivers during commute hours, and road racing intoxicated idiots later at night (since I sometimes work late). Then, around the urban streets, I see people pulling in front of me from all sides, even though I wear very bright yellow and black gear. I have had a few scary moments, but have never had what I would consider to be a "close call", yet.

I have no desire to go out in a flameball. I prefer to die in bed, at a very old age, making love to my wife.

I love motorcycling, which I believe energizes me and keeps me young at heart, and helps relieve the stress from my high pressure work (I am a lawyer). BUT, I truly want to live to see my children grow up and give me grandchildren, and to travel to far off places with my lovely wife, who has grudgingly induged my motorcycling thus far.

So, fellow riders, at what point do I leave this behind, accepting the physical limitations that come with age, that in turn make this an unsafe risk to myself and my family?
I would say phase it out, don't just drop it all at once. Less commuting, occasional pleasure riding, until you feel it's time. You'll know. What about a sexy little convertible? I know it's not the same, but a Honda S-2000 can be quite a thrill. It's most commonly referred to as a 4-wheeled motorcycle.
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Old 01-03-2009, 04:04 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by WHUWHAT?? View Post
That was not meant to be literal uh know
Just 'cause I didn't mean to step on someone's foot in a crowd doesn't mean it doesn't hurt.
Dude: "Oh... Well, I got 4th's or whatever"

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