Thinking about getting out of riding

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Parker51, Mar 27, 2014.

  1. Parker51

    Parker51 Adventurer

    Apr 24, 2013
    I'm 35 years old, live in girlfriend, no kids. I started riding when I was 32 years old, and have owned seven bikes and put on about 60,000 miles.

    One month ago I was involved in a collision, and was hospitalized for a night with a few broken bones and a concussion. That was the extent of my injuries, other than soreness. My motorcycle was totalled.

    Now that I'm healed, I'm trying to figure out whether I should give up riding, or go out and buy a replacement bike. I'd like to continue riding, but the risks are extreme, obviously. I'm pondering so much, like I could go out walking and get hurt just as badly. Or get in a car accident and be injured. So I realize it's all a balance.

    I'm sure that I am far from the only person who has debated this decision. If anyone cares to share their thoughts, I'm sure they'd be helpful for me to hear.
  2. chippertheripper

    chippertheripper motorcycle junkie

    May 30, 2009
    s.e. mass
    I'm the same age, married, one kid, house, career, but been at it since I was 4. As I get older, the offs seem to hurt more, most definitely take longer to heal, and in the end cost more $ with repairs and down time.
    I say use this opportunity for a couple things: buy THE bike you want. Get the best gear you can afford to help minimize injuries from another off, and invest in training. Whether it be an arc, lee parks school, or a novice group td, the education you get from any will go a long way towards instinctually doing the right things in bad situations.
    If riding is in your blood, you won't be happy for long if you decide to give it up. If it's just another hobby you could walk away from, then by all means, because nothing can be as cathartic as cutting your ties.
    But IF you're going to get back on the horse, take this opportunity to do it as smart(ly?) as possible.
  3. CopaMundial

    CopaMundial Wow, that broke easy

    Jun 27, 2008
    US, SE PA & Central ME
    No one can make this decision for you but I did want to mention one point:

    I think 'extreme' is an overstatement.
  4. SPX

    SPX Been here awhile

    Nov 27, 2011
    I understand why the risks were described as extreme. One of the risks of riding (and so many other things) is death. I consider death to be extreme, but also an "extreme" example of the risks
  5. 1Scorpion

    1Scorpion Adventurer

    Nov 12, 2007
    West central Fl.
    Having been there done that. I know it's a tough choice. For some it's an easy choice.
    I wrecked on July 3rd 2011. I swore I would never ride again. This was NOT my first get off. But this time it was 4 days in the hospital and over 3 months out of work. Followed by over a year to get my strength almost back.
    I've gone back to riding. I tried different bikes. I try to ride slower. I do not have the same love for riding. I find now when I ride. Which is not often. I keep thinking about what if I do have another wreck. Will I be able to support my family. Will I be able to walk. I have a rod and some screws in my leg. And have been told next time the bone won't break, it'll shatter. That means they will have to amputate it.
    Long story short. I still ride not often. Not as long. I tend to ride alone. Sometimes I enjoy it sometimes I don't.
    Good luck with your choice. I still can't commit yes or no yet.
    If it's in your blood you will have a tough time staying away form riding and all the great friends you've made thru riding.
  6. Manray

    Manray Killing Time

    Jun 24, 2011
    Just my thoughts but the question I would ask myself is, is there a bike that I really really want to buy and ride? 3 years and 7 bikes tells me you didn't find a bike you were emotionally attached to. 60,000 miles in 3 years tells me you probably love the feeling of riding a motorcycle. If it were me and there exists a bike I really want and can afford, I would buy it and ride it. If there isn't such a bike, I would use the situation to step away for a while because it's never too late to get back into motorcycling later. Ask yourself what it is about riding a motorcycle that you enjoy most? Perhaps you can find a less extreme activity which brings you the same pleasure.
  7. Brokein2

    Brokein2 Been here awhile

    Feb 17, 2010
    Been riding 44 out of my 51 years...

    Below is a small snippet of a conversation I had with a friend after my second brain tumor operation.

    <dualsport@***removethiscrud***<a href="" target="_blank">> wrote:
    > Yep...Speach and typing are now a part of my life again.
    Excellent news! Eric and were both pretty scared.
    > Haven't had any
    > seizures in 5 days and feel like I will be back doing everything ASAP.

    Is that what the doctors say? I mean, is everything ok now? Please?
    > Can't wait to get back on either the Goldwing or KTM so I can feel normal
    > again.

    "Normal" isn't the first word that comes to mind when I think of you,
    Craig (or your brother, for that matter...) but, hey, whatever... <g></g>

    > Laying around is not part of a dirtriders nature (as you know very
    > well) Sometimes I feel like I am taking advantage of the whole
    > situation...

    What?? You gotta be freakin' kidding me?! I'd have to say you've
    earned it, buddy.
    Now, if you wanted to take some photos of the 9 extra staples and
    distribute them to your friends that are into that kinda thing (like,
    say, me, for instance...) in order to garner a little sympathy, well,
    who am I to argue?

    > but then I come to the realization that I have had my head
    > opened up twice in 2 weeks and am on some pretty strong drugs and anything I
    > ask is done by the loving family that I have.

    Yeah! Now *that* is something to take advantage of, for sure<g> Go for

    Please thank Lisa again for keeping us all informed of your situation.
    She must be going out of her mind. I can't imagine being in her
    shoes...or yours!

    > I will never take any day
    > for granted ever again.

    Amen, brother.
    One of the worst things I've ever endured was the nightmare of a brain
    tumor in a very good friend when he was only 27. While the experience
    was awful for everyone concerned, it greatly influenced how I live my
    life, for sure. I desperately wanted something positive to come out of
    it, so long ago I decided to treat it as a gift that Gary gave to me
    so that I could get the most out of my life. There's a reason I don't
    waste too much time making my house look like a spread in Sunset
    Magazine. There's a reason I don't waste my time hanging out with
    people I don't really like. There's a reason I won't quit riding my
    streetbike, even though I know it could potentially lead to my
    untimely demise. There's a reason I don't freak out about saving every
    penny I earn for retirement. There's a reason I don't put off stuff I
    really want to do. There's a reason I've bought 4 new motorcycles
    since we bought this house instead of replacing the linoleum in my
    kitchen. Each and every day is a gift for all of us, and I intend to
    squeeze every last drop of joy out of each and every one I've been
    given. It works for me <g></g>

    Sorry to run off on a rant, there, but this is obviously a subject
    that is near and dear to my heart.

    I am so glad to know you're going to be OK, Craig. I Really am.
    Be well, buddy.


    If you want to quit riding it is up to you....but I like most of the people on this board don't give in to life.

    P.S. Do not let anyone force you into anything because you will return to doing what you want and they will be more disappointed with you then than if you had told them no in the first place.
  8. WVhillbilly

    WVhillbilly Long timer

    Oct 20, 2010
    I don't think you will find anyone on this site that can honestly say they have not thought about the same things you are.

    You think about it if you have a close call, an accident or if someone close to you gets injured or killed while riding.
    The only one who can make this decision is you.

    If you want to ride, you won't be happy if you're not.
  9. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

    Sep 6, 2011
    Keep your motorcycle licence. Don't drop that.

    Then next month/year/decade should you decide to get a bike again, you're legal to ride it.

    Nothing wrong with deciding you don't want to ride any more, or at least right now. There are times to not ride. Many consider snowy winter days a valid reason not to ride for example. For you, it might simply be right now isn't the time to ride.

    Used bikes are there by the dozen, and they will be there later. No need to rush.

    BUT, the old saw about getting back on the horse really is true. If you've got a friend who will let you putter around out in a field or something, I'd suggest doing it and going for a ride. If you still don't want to ride, you'll know it. Otherwise, you might find yourself getting re-bit by the bug. Or at least nibbled by it.
  10. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

    Sep 8, 2010
    Southern New Jersey
    If you can think that way, then give it up.
    I have no choice, I must ride.
    Been riding for 40 + years, getting to be in rough shape now, but look forward to every ride, dirt or street, long or short, solo or 2 up with my wife.

    Riding takes its toll, dirt riding for me, but some guys like to crash on the street as well.

    Get out while you can.
  11. easyrider88

    easyrider88 POsIng PrO

    Jun 14, 2010
    could be you just need a little time away.if its in youre blood youll be back on 2 wheels.ive had 13 bikes in about 250K miles and 44 years.i gotta say I live to ride.
  12. desert sky

    desert sky Adventurer

    Jul 18, 2012
    Over the hump in Pahrump.
    Buy a trials bike and relish in going slow. One would get the needed two wheel fix without having to mix with the cars. After reading the OP, I thought this would be my course of action. ds
  13. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue

    May 13, 2012
    Temecula CA
    It doesn't sound like you're anywhere near ready to be making a decision yet. You've had a very scary event, you're still working on just getting your mind wrapped around that, its only been 1 month. Give it time. Enjoy being with your girlfriend. Enjoy life, heal up. As time goes by you'll figure out whether you want to ride again. Could be soon or could be years down the road, don't rush yourself.
  14. Vacman

    Vacman Some call me...Tim?

    Aug 15, 2013
    Temecula, CA
    I was away from all bikes for 7 years before I decided I missed it too much. At the risk of sounding lame, follow what your heart tells you to do.
  15. TexaNate

    TexaNate Been here awhile

    Jul 22, 2012
    The Hague
    20,000 miles a year is quite a lot of riding - that's more than 50 miles a day on average. Either you're going quite fast and/or you're spending a lot of time in the saddle - both of which increase your exposure to catastrophe.

    Rather than wondering whether you should quit entirely, maybe you should think more about what role motorcycling can play in your life, in terms of how often and how much you ride. Maybe instead of riding 50 miles a day, you can take your car on the more mundane commute/errand-style trips and save your moto for the weekend fun, one or two hundred miles a week. You don't get to ride as much but the remaining rides are that much more special. It's a personal decision and the best person to make it is you, so everything I say should be taken with a grain of salt! But I think there's a lot more to this choice than just "ride" or "don't ride".

    (I say all this as a guy who has only had time to ride about 3,000mi/year for the last few years - sure I'm not "hardcore ADV" but I still have fun and it fits my lifestyle)
  16. Solarbronco

    Solarbronco Long timer

    Jun 5, 2012
    Boise, Idaho
    Man, your life is a movie, you are in the starring role and the movie only plays once. Once, that's it. Make it a good one. Live a safe and careful life and I promise you will lay in your deathbed regretting it someday.
  17. rpcraft

    rpcraft Been here awhile

    Sep 3, 2013
    I've fallen off loads and maybe I have a damaged thought processing unit, but the thought of not getting on a bike or not riding again has honestly never never crossed my mind. I do not ride nearly as much as I wish I could, but every day I don't and get to wherever it is I was going in my truck (or whatever means I used) my first thought is, Damn I should have rode the bike...

    Do what you feel is best for yourself. If someone else is nagging at you about it, then consider this... How much are you willing to comprimise on other things, because eventually you will end up in that boat. I'm 42 this year, and I learned a long time ago that people who do not appreciate your dreams, desires, and individuality are always going to do their best to sway you into doing what is in their best interest and I have zero time to deal with that. I try to be considerate of others, but in the end, I have to be true to myself, and riding has been in my blood since I was a tiny tot. It will always be an urge and the compulsion to get the f out of dodge, log some miles, and leave behind the worries, will always be part of my core. Ask yourself why you ride, and what it is that compells you. As others have said, if it is just a passing fancy then it might be best for you to stop. I just know I never could stop. I have quit smoking and drinking cold turkey, did it 12 years ago, and will power is the only reason I was able to. Riding isn't something I could quit.
  18. fullmetalscooter

    fullmetalscooter Let me take this duck off

    Apr 28, 2009
    It s risky to ride and that a fact. If you wear All the gear , All the time no matter what you can be safer. You may even want to go back and take a training course or a track day course to improve you skills . It will may make you feel safer. Yet no mater what it's always going to be a case of when and why are you going down.

    If you got hit because of someone else that's one thing. If If you went down due to speed etc then training can help. You ll only going to live once and even if you don't ride your chance are 1 in 33 of living to a ripe old age.
  19. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

    Nov 11, 2005
    Gold Coast
    You'll die anyway.

    If you don't enjoy riding quit, if you do, well, your call, but I know the decision I made.

  20. USMC_Engineer

    USMC_Engineer Been here awhile

    Jun 28, 2013
    SE / PA.
    I gave up riding for the last 6 months…..

    It was a decision that I made along with my family after I totaled my GSA (my dream bike btw) and pretty much walked away from (was extremely lucky).

    Thing was,

    For the last 6 months all I could think about was getting out there again and the pleasure that riding did for me. There is nothing like it, I just could not fathom Not riding again…

    so after honest conversations with my significant other and mutual understanding I am now back in the saddle and picked up my brand new bike today ('14 DRZ400SM).

    If you do decide to saddle up again, you have the miles under your belt to understand that shit can happen, but do what you can to minimize the bad stuff, ride defensively aka like your invisible but dress visible and ATGATT, know your limits, pay attention…etc…etc…

    Do I think of what could have happened?, of course! Do I Miss my fallen brothers that have wrecked and are now riding in heaven? Of course, every day!

    Best wishes with which ever route you decide...