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Old 08-21-2012, 05:31 PM   #1
Colorado Ron OP
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Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Frederick CO
Oddometer: 259
When do you call it quits?

The night before I was to head out on the CDT ride, my wife informs me she has NEVER felt good about it. She has never said that to me before. Ive gone to the Arctic Circle, Iceland, Central America all within the last couple of years and she never has said anything. I chalk it up to jitters. About 5AM I wake up to my 4 year old lil girl (I have 6 kids total) screaming! She was having a bad dream (never happened before). She said that I was going to ride my motorcycle to heaven and not say goodbye!!!??? I dont scare easily, but I have to admit the hair on my neck raised.

I went on the trip anyway....

Hit a corner too fast about an hour into the trip and couldnt hold the corner. Went off the road and indoed (sp?) the bike. Totaled the bike but it was like I landed on a pile of feathers!!

Guy comes out of his house and says 6 other riders in the last year have died on that corner and he thought I was #7.

Im just glad I came away completely unscathed. I never dreamed I would stop riding, but now this has got me thinking twice. The old saying "you know when you know" sure holds true. I just cant believe that I have no desire to ride...... maybe ever.....
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Old 08-21-2012, 05:44 PM   #2
Erudite inchoate...
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Joined: Jun 2004
Location: BFE, SW Oregon/SF BayO'rhea
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Spooky stuff.... No one can tell you when to quit. Has to come from within. You have children which makes a BIG difference. I do not, so......I keep on goin'. If you feel you should stop, do so. Listen to that inner voice. You will probably take it up again later when it seems right. Others poo-poo that intuition. I do not and have not. Some days it just doesn't feel right and I don't go.

My .02 cents.
"...when I handed the 40 ouncer to him, he got that far off stare that a cat gets when it just gets done licking its ass for the last 15". Yeah, THAT stare." -WTF-Over
"Don't come in here with your thoughtfulness, empathy, and reason... this is shit, up with which, I shall not put." -Boondoggle
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Old 08-21-2012, 05:55 PM   #3
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Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Canyon Country, Ca
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Originally Posted by DaFoole View Post
If you feel you should stop, do so. Listen to that inner voice.
About the best advice I think you could get in this situation.
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Old 08-21-2012, 05:55 PM   #4
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Location: Saratoga Springs, NY
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I've had too many wrecks, too many close calls. Too many horrible drivers with what seems no respect for
fellow drivers/riders until it's too late...
I found myself making sure my affairs were in order before every ride. Had the fear. Time to quit after 35 years of riding.
Maybe I'll get my nerve back, maybe I won't.
I am at one with my duality.
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Old 08-21-2012, 06:01 PM   #5
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Location: Durango, Colorado
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Sounds like your invincible!!! If the motorcycle gods got your back you might as well keep riding... Slowing down might help too...
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Old 08-21-2012, 06:16 PM   #6
Joined: Apr 2011
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Where's that corner? I'm leaving next week for the CDT.
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:01 PM   #7
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Joined: Jan 2007
Location: north west corner of Lake Ontario
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When Do You Call It Quits?

As with others, a little voice (one of many I hear) was louder than the others, Stop, if you wish to stay alive.
Round that time (2005) was experiencing medical maladies, first a diagnosis of Sjongren's Syndrome, a form of Lupus. During further investigation an enlarged left kidney, a diseased spleen and other complications. That was the spring of 2006. Needle biopsies revealed a rather massive amount of cancer in my system. Figured OK, surgery when?
Late November 2006 was the time. Mum's 90th birthday was earlier in the month and I wanted to be around for that. Tried to ride every day until the date of surgery. My 1981 Goldwing was well and truly abused. I become weaker over time. The surgery was the third week of November being on the table about eight hours or more. There were complications aside from the operating table being a wee bit too small for my 6'8" length and my 39 inch arms. Nothing fits, even now!
Out came the left kidney, the spleen, a bit of my bladder and all the lymph nodes in my chest and under my arms and my groin. All riddled with cancer. I was quite weak afterwards, yet was discharged two days later as I was responding well.. Christmas was very quiet, and first week into the new year started chemo for Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. What they don't tell you is the extreme tiredness and the weakness with chemo. Six rounds two weeks apart and two more doses two months apart. Tried to straddle the bike. I couldn't lift my legs let alone mount the beast. Figured I'd wait. The time never arrived.
Nope, not happeneing. As I had both Lupus and cancer had another three years of specialty chemo, and those three years with a dose every five weeks did me in. I have no internal immune system to fight fevers or colds, the chemo effectively damaged my heart such that am unable to walk more than a few yards without using a puffer. Any form of exertion means dizziness and so far the cancer is in remission; the Lupus just makes the whole affair much worse. Sold the Goldwing to a friend, the machine was on its third 100,000 kilometres and parts were not readilly available.The mechanic at the local dealership was younger in years than age of the machine; the machine was not welcome at the dealer. It had been fun. It served me well. These days the side effects of the chemicals ingested continue to bother me, teeth disintegrate and require removal, stamina is nil, frequent restful periods and then wide awake periods in the night. Then contracted Cleulitus in my lower left leg a year ago; six weeks in the local hospital. That has put me further back. It was three months before I could walk upright with a wheeled walker. I hate pedpans and all that
they imply.

Sure I'd love to ride again however the idiots on the highways and byways scare me, they do as they wish when they wish. No form of the best form of protective clothing will ever be suitable for me if there's an accident and the machines of today are so the dealer has to see it to repair it. And because of my physicall massive size, most if not all of the new machines simply are way too small.

Maybe at age 66 it is time to stop. Look with envy at times as others riding. However 40 degree Celsius summer days combined with very few riders with whom I would wish toassociate and general nonsensical attitude of the whole wheeled world makes me rethinks. Will i die on a motorcycle in an accident or should I prolong my life by never riding again? Suspect the latter is the best course. If my physical and yes mental existence improves and there is machinery to allow me to ride again shall reconiser; until then, not.
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:37 PM   #8
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: Southern New Jersey
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Well, if you are going into turns too hot all the time, maybe its time to give it up.
You could just try riding safely...
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:50 PM   #9
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Listen to your mind. My guess is that you have a "thing" in your mind about how you should ride in order to be ......whatever noun you want to put here. I'm 66 yo and know that I'm not as good as I once was, so I make adjustments to my riding style and my mind set. I'm a lot more careful now than I once was. I only go for it, when I'm pretty damn sure that it's just me determining what happens. I think a lot of riders want to "challenge" the conditions, whether it be on the dirt or the pavement, they also have little patience for cagers, especially the asshats we all deal with, but if you want to continue riding into your 80's as I hope to, you MUST recognize your limitations as Clint said. Go for it!, but carefully!
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:57 PM   #10
Joined: Sep 2011
Location: Portland
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If my daughter said that to me, the bike would be gone. No questions asked.

you're a full-grown man & someone's father. This is more than about you. (IMHO, YMMV)
Originally Posted by kbasa View Post
If you're wearing Crocs, chances are that you're not smart enough to tie your shoes.

2handedSpey screwed with this post 08-22-2012 at 09:47 AM
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Old 08-22-2012, 07:20 AM   #11
Awesome is a flavor
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Joined: May 2007
Location: Smithfield, VA
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Speaking for myself the reward I get from riding far out weighs the risk. When, in your own mind that ratio flips, it may be telling you something.

My wife took the MSF, passed, got her license, bought a bike, and could not except the risk involved in riding on the street.

To me riding any motorcycle is a passionate and visceral experience. I do not think I have ever been on a "bad" ride. I have crashed on the street, in the dirt, in the woods, hit deer, birds, etc; and never once have I wanted to stop.

If you are questioning why you ride? Take a week, month, year off and see how you feel.
"People in this country sleep peaceably in their beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." George Orwell
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Old 08-22-2012, 07:25 AM   #12
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Location: Firenze, Italia
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Some of these can be self-fulfilling prophecies.....your spouse or kid has a creepy dream and you're rattled enough to affect your riding. Then again, when the fears/drawbacks outweighs the pleasures, of course you should stop! No worries, no explanations needed. You have the one life..... enjoy it however you can.
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:32 AM   #13
I'm the Decider
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Joined: Nov 2002
Location: Houston, TX
Oddometer: 3,501
Glad to hear the OP is okay!

Occasionally I'll set out for a ride and something just feels "off", like my head isn't really in it or something is going to happen. When I get that feeling, and it's rare, I get it right after leaving the house, and I turn around and put the bike away.

If I felt that way every time I was getting ready to ride, I'd have a garage full of motorcycles to sell.

I've had some foot issues (fracture in my heel, achilles tendon issues) since March, and haven't been on the bike since. I'm probably 90% healed, and could have really started riding a couple of months ago. I don't typically ride much in the summer, since the heat just makes it miserable, so I figured there's no point in pushing to get back on the bike if I'm going to hate riding in the heat anyway. This is the longest single stretch in probably twenty years that I've been off a bike, but I was thinking this weekend I'd get going again. Frankly I'm a little anxious about getting back to it, though I know once I get down the road everything will be fine. The more I ride it seems the more I want to ride, but when I take a break for a few weeks I tend to lose interest in it and almost have to force myself. I'm hoping it's just the summer heat, but once it cools off if I don't have the itch like I used to, I'll probably sell off a few bikes and get down to one.
2009 BMW HP2 Sport, 1998 Ducati 900SS Final Edition, 1981 BMW R100RS
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:39 AM   #14
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Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Washington, D.C.
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Originally Posted by Josephvman View Post
Occasionally I'll set out for a ride and something just feels "off", like my head isn't really in it or something is going to happen. When I get that feeling, and it's rare, I get it right after leaving the house, and I turn around and put the bike away.
This. I'm completely rational, not at all superstitious, but when this happens, and the feeling is strong enough, I trust my gut and park it. Even if it's nothing, the "spidey sense" can get overpowering, like deja vu almost, and that feeling by itself can become a dangerous distraction.

Related: anyone ever read Malcom Gladwell's "Blink"? Perhaps not the most rigorous of pop science texts, but still a fascinating read. He goes into how experts with years of experience and training can boil down their cognitive abilities into almost instinctive reactions. They just "know" something is off or wrong even without necessarily being able to immediately verbalize it.

While I certainly don't have nearly enough hours in the saddle to chalk myself up to being an expert at riding, I do agree with the general thesis that sometimes you shouldn't ignore those little whispers on your shoulder that tell you slow down, change lanes, take a break, or even stay home.

Taken to the extreme, of course, such caution would be paralyzing-- you'd never ride at all!-- but a dose of it every now and again is healthy. At the very least, sometimes it's good to be afraid of riding-- fear focuses the mind, helps you evaluate what you're doing right AND wrong, and perhaps inspires you to the types of practice and training that in your more confident days you neglect.
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:57 AM   #15
High Country Herb
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Location: Western Sierras
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Originally Posted by _Davi_ View Post
Some of these can be self-fulfilling prophecies.....your spouse or kid has a creepy dream and you're rattled enough to affect your riding...
This is definately true. Is it possible your daughter overheard the discussion with your wife, which brought on the dream? The two combined would spook anyone.

The year before last, we had a motorcycle death about every month in my area through the summer. Last year, as late spring was turning into early summer, we began having 2 per month. I parked my bike for a couple of months until it "felt" right.

You are going to have to decide if it is time to hang it up, or if you are just going through an anxious time. Just about all of us will give it up at some point. Some switch to three wheelers, some switch to sports cars. I plan to do the latter when my time comes.
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