46 with my first off road bike
I starter riding street about six years ago (HOV lane in Northern Virginia is open to motorcycles...) Like you, I started "off roading" on a big bike, my commuter R1200GS that with a set of knobbies (TKC-80s). I was comfortable in the woods from having mountain biked and downhilled for for the past decade (so I started downhilling at 35-36, I won't say tougher than off road motorcycling, but damn sure just as accident prone). However, a big bike magnifies any mistakes you make and after a couple of rides where I was nearly ready to leave the damn thing taking a nap in the middle of the forest, I picked up a smaller bike, a used KTM 450. Made a huge difference in the fun factor and more importantly, the mistake envelope. Don't give up -- I don't ride with other folks so my pace is my own which I think is important. It is also important to realize that as we get older the things that younger folks bounce back from (like running into a tree or picking up the bike for the xxth time that day), will cost you more - just a natural part of aging. Just spend more time staying out of those situations and learning to deal with those situations when you get into them and remember motrin is your friend. Finese it, don't fight it.
I agree with some of the earlier posters -- I read alot, this site and others, and just picked up some instructional DVDs. If you a member of Netflix, they actually have a few in their library. Learn what you can before you hit the bike.
Too old is bullsh!t...you just need to go at your own pace.
2007 BMW R1200GS...again...
2007 KTM 450 XC-W