When do you call it quits?

Discussion in 'Face Plant' started by Colorado Ron, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. Colorado Ron

    Colorado Ron Expedition Junkie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
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    Frederick CO
    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.....
    #1
  2. DaFoole

    DaFoole Erudite inchoate...

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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.
    #2
    stellarpod likes this.
  3. KG6BWS

    KG6BWS Been here awhile

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    About the best advice I think you could get in this situation.
    #3
  4. Barman

    Barman Way Offline

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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.
    #4
  5. skidxr

    skidxr Excuses

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    Mar 7, 2006
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    Durango, Colorado
    Sounds like your invincible!!! If the motorcycle gods got your back you might as well keep riding... Slowing down might help too... :huh
    #5
    BSSD likes this.
  6. F15beeper

    F15beeper n00b

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    Where's that corner? I'm leaving next week for the CDT.
    #6
  7. tallnbig68

    tallnbig68 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    north west corner of Lake Ontario
    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.
    #7
  8. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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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...
    #8
  9. 390beretta

    390beretta Long timer

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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!
    #9
  10. 2handedSpey

    2handedSpey bunned

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    Portland
    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)
    #10
  11. HooliKen

    HooliKen Awesome is a flavor

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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.
    #11
  12. _Davi_

    _Davi_ Adventurer

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    Firenze, Italia
    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.
    #12
  13. Josephvman

    Josephvman I'm the Decider

    Joined:
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    Houston, TX
    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.
    #13
  14. daveinva

    daveinva Been here awhile

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    Washington, D.C.
    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.
    #14
  15. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    Western Sierras
    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.
    #15
  16. ST-DocLizard1

    ST-DocLizard1 Serial Monogamist

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    888
    Location:
    Hampton, NJ
    At 66 years old it's all about risk management. Started in 1978. Done 48 States and 9 Canadian Provinces and 5 Cross Country Trips. No regrets. As I have aged, my attitude has changed:

    I don't commute to work.............too many diseased maniacs at rush hour.

    I try to ride with at least one other person that I know and trust.

    Large/busy parking lots are of real concern to me so I avoid them.

    I have had to let my mental ability take over for my physical decline.

    A margin of safety has overtaken my need for speed.

    I have zero pressure from my S.O. either way.

    I know the day will come where I will quit.


    Doc
    #16
  17. SmithSwede

    SmithSwede Adventurer

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    Terrell, Texas
    Here's another way to look at it. If I understood you correctly, you said your wife had never before told you she had a bad feeling about one of your rides. But she did about this one, and you crashed--so maybe her rare bad feelings mean something.

    But maybe all it means is that you should not ride when your wife and/or daughter sense that something is wrong.

    Do they think it would be "bad" for you to continue to ride, or did they just feel "bad" about this particular ride?
    #17
  18. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    If you need to quit,quit. There are many instant ways to be taken out of this world. Be a shame to quit riding and get smooshed driving a dumb ass cage to work. Life is a risk,watching TV is largely a total waste of time.
    Many risks happen during each day,shame to miss out on what a person enjoys in life for non gauranteed safety.

    A guy can have 10 different insurance policies,but its imagined security.
    #18
  19. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    Im not too sure about this one,going into a corner too fast and falling off is whats called "rider error" not any kind of special fatalistic fortelling.
    Too much speed,not watching whats going on closely enough, and a person can fall down.
    Concentration.
    #19
  20. SilkMoneyLove

    SilkMoneyLove Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,497
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    But, there is another option. The Pause button. You don't have to quit, you can just busy yourself with your 6 kids and see that any time for riding is super minimal. When that happens and you do get the time to go on a ride, take it easy as your skills are rusty. Trust me, I know this and you will feel it too. When my little girl was very little, I did less than 1000 miles one year and I used to have 4 bikes in the garage.

    My time was spent more on short bicycle trips and runs because I only had an hour or so by myself.

    You also now know that if your family mentions a legitimate concern and you push it aside you will feel bad. I also can't help but mention that the wife probably has the "I told you so" thought in her mind. It may come out as "remember what happened last time..." but it is still an "I told you so." Good luck with that! :lol3

    Another thought is with 6 kids, I would get a serious amount of life insurane. You may think your wife is hugely attractive, but with 6 kids, other guys can't get over that to "fill in" where you left off. Just my .02.

    I have a good amount of life insurance and it helps me not worry about that while I am riding or in a plane.
    #20