Old guy with declining interest in "longer" rides...advice?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Dr. Greg, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. Dr. Greg

    Dr. Greg Tryin' to get home.. Supporter

    Nov 19, 2005
    ABQ, New Mexico
    As a 71-YO retired engineering professor :gerg who's been riding for over 60 years, I've read the various "Time to Quit?" threads, but my question is a little different. Wonder if any of you have had similar thoughts...

    Since 2007 I've typically taken a 3-4 week "US West" trip in June, and a similar length "US East" trip in Sept/Oct (along with shorter rides/trips). Been averaging over 20,000 miles/year since that time, although health problems have reduced that the last couple years.

    I'm scheduled to leave in a week for a trip from New Mexico to western North Carolina, spend a week there, then ride home. Problem is: not sure I wanna go. :confused

    Over the last few years (maybe coincident w/my health issues) I've noticed a declining interest in "longer" trips. Day rides, 3-4 day trips...no problem. :ricky

    I've had my share of fractures...16, including some big bones (femur, humerus, tibia, etc.) as well as 3 concussions (one for two weeks :eekers). But those injuries are not the problem; I had no hesitancy in "getting back on the horse" afterwards (worst crash was on a bicycle, FWIW).

    Perhaps part of the problem is that on a very similar WNC trip two years ago, I had misgivings about going, but went anyway. Had a "tip-over" :muutt in NC in which I broke my elbow; managed to ride 1,600 miles back to NM for surgery and recuperation. Hard to get that out of my mind; just as soon not repeat that experience.

    Counted up 18 Ride Reports that I've written here on ADVrider.com over the last some years...maybe that's enough. Time to stay a little more "regional?"

    I appreciate any thoughts you folks might have, even including the inevitable sarcastic and cynical ones (hey, this is ADV, no?)


    Hi-De-Ho and Dan Diego like this.
  2. Florida Lime

    Florida Lime Long timer

    Sep 5, 2008
    As stated and not often enough in Robbinsville, NC
    I am a huge fan of WNC, but maybe plan a trip to somewhere you HAVEN'T been before.
    Maybe that might spark your interest more. :dunno
  3. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

    May 28, 2008
    Huntsville , Al
    I'm a lot younger than you but I don't have much desire for riding mega miles. I still want to ride places that are far away. My solution? Just haul the bike there in a truck or trailer, enjoy the riding and then haul the bike home. For my last long trip I hauled my bike to ABQ, rode for nearly 2 weeks in NM, AZ, UT, and CO and then had a comfortable, dry and air conditioned drive back to Alabama.
  4. phreakingeek

    phreakingeek adventurer Super Supporter

    Sep 17, 2010
    Many of us aspire to the kind of rides you have completed over the years. So, many thanks for sharing them with us.

    That said, in this inmates opinion, motorcycle travel is as much mental as it is physical. If you are not driven or passionate about it, it may be time to find something else that stokes the fire. I find that I have ebbs and flows with the passion to ride. I also have a bit of apprehension when I am closing in on my departure date. But, once the packing is done and I'm in the driveway getting ready to throw a leg over the bike...everything else melts away and the 'thrill of the ride' hits me like it's my first time all over again.

    If the "juice isnt worth the squeeze" and the joy just doesn't measure up to the challenges or hardships of the ride, then maybe it's time to take a break. Or, maybe it's time to find a different bike or even a different terrain to spark that fire again. Either way you go, feel free to follow my motto: "life is too short to be fucking miserable"...this vehicle makes sudden stops or abrupt course corrections without notice.
    Dorian, 1TRAK and RVFlyer like this.

    CROSSBOLT Been here awhile

    Sep 4, 2018
    Hillville, TN
    71, hmph! You just a kid! I am 77 (78 in October) and I have learned a couple of things: 1.that little voice needs listening. It may be someone you have been ignoring all your life. 2. Ride comfortable. Whether bike, scooter, destination or duration. One suggestion is change destination. To me, two wheels mean enjoy the journey, regardless of destination. 3. My experience with engineering professors (at KU) has been a disappointment. That may have been my problem since I went to engineering school to find answers and no one seemed to have a clue!
  6. Olde Phart

    Olde Phart Olde Phart

    Mar 3, 2018
    Jurisdiction of the IRS ... Earth
    I'll fess up to maybe not being in the exact same spot, but perhaps one that rhymes ... as a 60-YO washed up software engineer who has been riding for over 50 years I am confronted with the recent and unexpected passing of my spouse and best friend of 38 years while being unemployed, soon to be uninsured (Cobra goes *poof* after 18 mo.) and after the house sells, homeless to boot.

    I've signed up for ADVing as long as physical stamina, reflexes and eyesight allow with a new bike and by traveling full-time in the pop-up camper with bike/gear in tow. I need to find another place to hang my hat and have no earthly clue where that my be but I do have geographies that look to be good hunting. The bike accessorizing with all of the critical stuff is coming along pretty well and about ready for shaking out through actual use and find out what works, what doesn't on low commitment local jaunts and then venturing out further. It has been a long time since I've spent time in a tent on a pad and cooking light - it might do me in.

    Don't know how long I'll stay interested, don't know how long I'll stay unhurt, don't know how long I'll stay alive, I just hope I'm running toward something instead of running away from what has been. Only one way to find out, eh?

    Good ridin' to ya!
  7. c_m_shooter

    c_m_shooter Ninja Warrior

    Feb 25, 2009
    Ride when and where you want. That is what it's about. I don't think most of the people here ride at all.....
    tire joe, CCitis, shinyribs and 5 others like this.

    NMEXPAT Been here awhile

    Mar 21, 2007
    @Dr. Greg I've always enjoyed your ride reports and meeting you. Although I'm younger than you, I think I understand what you are saying.

    I suggest you partially listen to the little voice in your head. I suggest before you do your moto trip, reflect on what you should change about how you do these big rides. As a good engineer, you have a dedicated routine down. Perhaps you could change something on your routine? This could be instead of camping, stay in a hotel. This also could be instead of riding big miles almost daily take a day or two off in-between. In addition, instead of visiting historical sites, visit places more fun / energetic / whimsical? Instead of being so detail orientated and planned, something more impulsive.

    In the end I don't know, but you will.

    You can still travel but maybe how you are doing it is too predictable .

    Hope you keep it up.
    Brek81 and Mouse like this.
  9. pro69ss

    pro69ss Adventurer

    Aug 28, 2018
    St Petersburg
    X2 for trailer or ship bike to area you would like to ride . Drive for fly in ride and fly or drive home .
    Mr. B and flybynite like this.
  10. IronButt70

    IronButt70 You don't have to be crazy to do this but it helps

    Jul 16, 2018
    Completely agree. At age 70 I still enjoy the long trips. Most recent was a 4K mile 15 day jaunt through the Appalachians with my oldest son. I know there will be a time when I (A) won't physically be able to do that or (B) no longer have the desire to do that. When my wife was able to ride I would often trailer the bike because she has RA and can't sit for longer than an hour. Now she has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and can no longer ride at all. There will probably be no more 2 week trips for the foreseeable future but I will still fly, rent and ride for a week here or there. It's your life and your decision. Ride on, be safe.
    kojack06 likes this.
  11. bomose

    bomose Long timer

    Jul 22, 2007
    I do the trailering when I'm headed West, now. I've ridden across the plains enough in my lifetime. That way I was able to ride 2600 miles and not be worn out when I got back. Round trip would have added at least 3000 more miles on the bike. And that's doing interstate mostly.
    mglsite, NxtGoRnd, Mr. B and 2 others like this.
  12. davidji

    davidji bike curious

    Mar 16, 2009
    With all the injuries you list, have you considered riding a DCT bike? I own both kinds of bike (DCT & manual), but DCT has been useful to me for that in the past. Obviously it's not necessary for you. But you might enjoy it, and it means some minor to moderate injuries would have a smaller impact on your trip. I'm sure it's not for everyone, but I like mine. You can shift it manually too, either via the paddle shifters or an optional foot shift.

    Either way, and whether you trailer to the destination, or pick a new (or haven't been there in ages) destination to add excitement, I hope you're able to enjoy many thousands more miles of touring!
    flybynite likes this.
  13. CSI

    CSI Long timer

    Sep 28, 2010
    Do what you want to and feel comfortable in doing.......and while going on those 4-5 day regional trips, keep the following in mind:

    There are thousands of riders out there who think that 120 miles over the course of a weekend makes them a "Biker". You have done and seen more than most riders ever aspire to do.....you have nothing left to prove to yourself or anybody else. Ride the distances you feel comfortable with.
  14. nk14zp

    nk14zp Long timer

    Feb 24, 2010
    Dude at your age do whatever makes you happy!!!
  15. canoeguy

    canoeguy Long timer

    Jun 14, 2011
    SW Virginia
    I say keep an open mind but don’t plan it...at all. Just start riding and go where the wind blows you and don’t have a schedule. Try going down roads you have never seen. Or maybe a run to Baja. But most importantly turn around and go home whenever you want.
  16. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

    May 28, 2008
    Huntsville , Al
    I have lost some of my desire to go on rides but I go ride anyway. I am almost always really glad I did.
  17. JeepDawg

    JeepDawg Long timer

    May 3, 2014
    Famous Potatoes
    If i read your profile correctly, you have a '16 GSA? Maybe a smaller/lighter/shorter bike would be easier to manage?
    But also if i read right you were considering a 690 enduro recently? so maybe shorter and less powerful isn't how you roll :-)
  18. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

    Sep 6, 2011
    Times change, go with the change and enjoy what it brings
    Hi-De-Ho and TheProphet like this.
  19. Turtletownman

    Turtletownman Been here awhile

    Apr 27, 2014
    I'm a little older than you. I'm married so I have commitments. I once averaged 25-35,000 a year. I live on the Georgia coast, but have a house in Tn that makes a great base camp. WNC, VA, north GA and east TN are within less than 400 miles. Grandkids are 200. I ride to a starting point and then do things along the way from where I am to the house. Some days I ride to the grocery store (a not bad 50 mile round trip) or mow while other days I may take a local loop. There are a couple of rallies and several motorcycle only campgrounds to visit and piles of forest service camping near the house. Simplification works for me. camping with a hammock; riding a small bike. I have no desire to slab across the country again and while the Icefields Parkway would be great again, the price of riding across the miles to get there takes away any temptation.
    There is absolutely nothing wrong with short local trips. Maybe find a favorite place to eat or spend a night and make more short trips. North Carolina once had bicycle routes along narrow twisty roads leading off of minor highways. These make some interesting places to look at scenery. Yeah this getting old hurts but we both woke up this morning and that beats the alternative.

    klaviator and Snowbird like this.
  20. Friz Freleng

    Friz Freleng Religious zealot

    Jul 23, 2008
    North SF Bay Area
    Why not switch from a motorcycle to a Can-Am? There are tons of them around my area and riders look like they're having a blast.
    prima19rider likes this.