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Discussion in 'Face Plant' started by Colorado Ron, Aug 21, 2012.
I suggest you think about why you entered that curve too fast. Why the hurry ?
I'm 60 and was off the bikes for about 6 months a while back because of a physical rehab period. The whole damn time, all I thought about was getting back on the bikes. I'd limp in and out of the garage constantly and just look and dream about getting back out there again. I've been riding since I was a teenager. I've gone years without riding, especially when the kids were young and my responsibilites were greater. However, never in my mind did I ever think it was time to hang it up. It just never occured to me. I just always seem to be back on another bike sooner than later. Its always been the one thing in my life that was worth taking a risk for. Its that one selfish indulgence that everyone in my life has always had to understand. Maybe its just time for you to take a break, and let a little time go by. Most folks like us never give it up forever.
I didn't ride when my kids were young. Having the time of my life now!
I have a friend whose grandfather worked on the Titanic. Some of the workers were chosen to sail on the maiden voyage to fix anything that needed it. He was one of those. Before the ship sailed his wife had a dream and insisted he not go. He listened to her and thus was around to have the daughter who is my friend's mother. Weird as it seems, sometimes you do have to listen to the dreams.
I am also waiting until my kids have grown up a bit more to ride the road. Instead of stopping altogether, I traded my street-legal bike for dirt bikes for the whole family! All three of my young sons and my wife can be found putting around the local trails. We are having a blast!
I certainly miss riding on the street, but I know I will get the chance to get back to it during the next stage of my life.
Interesting timing this thread. I'm 65 and am looking for a new ride. Had a 1050 tiger I loved and sold it when I got laid off. Now have had a job for over a year and want back on a bike. I really miss riding. I don't see any reason not to ride. No, I'm not 21. (or 42) but I know my limits and think I am safe. Kids are grown with grand kids But I don't want to hurt myself or anyone else. I think it's the same decision as always - risk vs rewards. Can you manage the risks? Slow down? I'll keep looking till I find the right deal. I am grumpy enough. Riding makes me happy.
Glad we are discussing this rather than having you be lucky #7 on that curve there.
It's an interesting question you posed. I've thought about that one off and on since I learned that Robert Pirsig no longer rides. Well at +/-90 year old, there's no questioning that one. I've never thought to hang it up but I'm no Papa and my wife loves to ride on her own as well.
But if you view your life as something precious to protect, you will always be afraid of death and therefore be haunted by this question: To Ride or not to Ride.
When we ride motorcycles, we are (hopefully) in the moment and therefore have no consideration of Life or Death. It is the experience of the moment, pure and simple. Life at its fullest, so to speak,
I would suggest that all the spookiness you received at the start of your trip stayed with you in your subconscious and precipitated the result you experienced. There is another way to approach that moment. If your wife doesn't want you to go, if your child has bad dreams, then don't go and tell them you care about them enough not to make them worry.
Later on, when they calm down, take off on your trip with a clean conscience.
Sure, they can say scared, never let you go cleanly, and ask you to never ride again: sell the demon machine and stay home and safe and by their side always. In cases like that, you can be honest about the passion in your life and ease them into the same feeling of love for motorcycling.
To impart that honestly to them, you must also see how life is nothing more than a collection of experiences... not a precious something-or-another to protect at all cost.
Death is the counterpart of Birth. We all die. Life, on the other hand, has no end as the medium for all our experiences.
Sound good? Hope you fix your ride soon.
Ride or not, that's all up to you. I'm just curious why six have died and more have crashed? What's wrong with the corner?
When I had my first kid, my 1200 bandit started collecting dust. A year later, I only put on 80 miles or so. I thought it was time to quit for a while, so I sold the bike. A month later, I had two project bikes in the garage. When they were done, I had to do some test riding and such, which was a blast. While I was not riding, I started reloading (which is safer, really?) and tried building a couple of 1911s. But the itch was there. I bought another bike, rode around a bit, then, the year my second kid was born, I sold some stuff and bought my current ride (650GS) and started doing this whole 'adventure' thing. I ride as much as I can (with two kids and all), bought a smaller bike for the woods, and continue restoring old UJMs to keep me busy during off-riding season. My wife understands, my kids understand. I need to ride for my own sanity, and doing so improves the life quality of my loved ones. If I were to stop, I would be miserable, which, in turn, would not make me a good role model for my kids. Yes, I wear more gear than before, I carry a life insurance, and I make sure all the major chores are done before a bike trip (what if, right), but I actually ride more these days than a few years ago. That being said, I make sure that my insurance is up to date, there is enough wood to heat the house for a whole winter, my living will is current, and my wife can get by should I be unable to do the necessary work for a while.
My father's story about riding is much the same.
Two young children and a wife saying, "I just don't feel good about you going out, today."
He was rear-ended at a T-intersection by a drunk driver-- a full size van. Spent a couple days in the hospital, but a 100% recovery.
After that, the "What-if's" began to weigh much more heavily...and in turn, so did the dust on the bike.
He sold the bike a few years later...I was about 5 years old. He claimed he didn't miss it, but you would still catch him checking out the passing bikes.
By the time I hit age 11, he sweet talked my mother into buying dirtbikes...small ones...just to play around.
Instead of going 65mph on three-day treks through yellowstone and such, he still got to scratch the itch at 7mph while I practiced shifting into 2nd gear. Fast forward many years later and we both still have dirtbikes...though they did grow in size. We still ride...but we see very little time on the pavement.
My vote...take the fall/winter off and spend time with the kids. Re-evaluate this spring...
...and never under-estimate how much fun you can have on a small dual-sport.
Well said go with your gut feelings. Young kids are great and important but they don't know what they're talking about neither do ladies who don't ride.. I really don't like in city crazy traffic anymore so I compromise and find a back road around the city. Yeah screws up the planned time frame but I've pretty much given up on firm schedules too. I've had anxiety before riding sometimes and rode anyway till the cob webs blew out of my head. The more often you ride the less time for cob webs to form. No one can tell you when to quit and drive a mini-van. You'll know when. If in doubt go for a ride and think about it afterwards. It don't mean you don't love/care about your wife or kids. There are no Motorcycle Gods or real Gods guaranteeing anything. I plan to ride til my mid-late 80's if my body holds up and the brain can keeps a grip on situational awareness (aka: survival instincts). If either rot enough to the point of ok I just can't do this anymore is it's more fear than fun I'll quit but I'm dumb/stubborn enough to fight it till my guts speak to me. Good luck on your decision don't make it lightly. Try some of that 'look inwards' hippy dippy crap. Quitting ridding is a big step for a lot of folks. Don't fool yourself into selling out and maybe getting back into it a fews later. Odds are you won't and even if you do you'll be starting over w/o the edge that previously kept you alive. If you do quit it ain't the end of the world but your world will be way different. Don't let me or anyone else decide for you. It's an inner gut call listen there...you'll know.
I'm 32, married and have 2 children
In May 2008 I went down, and broke both arms.....(3yo & 9mth old)
In May 2012 I went down and broke my right ankle - with surgery (7yo & 4yo)
This is in the dirt, I ride hard..
I've sold the bike, I am mostly recovered now...
With work, and wife, and kids and mortgage I've realized that I don't mind the risk of hurting myself (it comes with the territory I guess) - but I ain't going to put up with the recovery again.
I nearly lost my job, had expensive hospital bills to pay, was in the doghouse with the missus, and my little 7yo girl cried when she visited me in hospital with the ankle. 7yo, big blue eyes, and sadness that cannot be described..
That was enough for me. Each man will make his own decision for his own reasons.
I've taken up road & mountain bike cycling. Yeah you can hurt yourself..but you're going slower...downhill single track, on a high quality 29er gives me the rush/thrill/adrenaline that I need, whilst also providing the 'alone time' that a family man needs - plus I'm as fit as I've been since I was 16.
Don't get me wrong - I love motorbikes - but in the weigh up there can only be one winner, depending on your responsibilities and circumstances.
"To me riding any motorcycle is a passionate and visceral experience." Like that.
I too would have experienced the heebeegebbies had my daughter said something like that before a ride. My husband is not a rider so he'd be in heaven if I gave it up today.
Your child's dream was playing with your emotions & your mental state which removes you from full road concentration. Six children, that's a ton of responsibility.
Go with your heart, that will lead you in the right direction. Being a woman I could not imagine telling my husband to stop riding but faced with the possibility of raising six children on my own would be difficult even if financial issues were in order.
You seem like a darn lucky fella'. A good wife who remains home while you ride all over & six healthy children. You'll know the right answer.
I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit this, but I was "spooked" a few times in the last month prior to purchasing a 2011 KTM 990. I agonized over the decision to buy a bigger bike for months, but in the 2 or 3 weeks prior to purchase, I had several things that gave me pause for thought aside from all the motorcycle accidents I see on the news
I sold a nice boat that hadn't been getting used figuring the funds would make purchasing a more expensive bike an easier decision. The buyer tells me his brother was killed on a motorcycle.
I ride to a local mexican hole in the wall for a burrito. An EMT walks in, orders, then asks me if that's my bike. He says it's good to see that I'm wearing all the gear because he had to give up riding after pulling too many body parts off the road in bike accidents.
I'm making a 4 hour drive between St Louis and Louisville completely consumed in thought when arrive at the question "Is the risk I'm wanting to take fair to my wife and two grade school daughters who depend on me?" Then I see a few cars pulled over on the side of the interstate. I see emergency vehicles far in the distance in front and behind me. I look over to see a man putting a towel over the badly mutilated body sitting inside a vehicle that apparently departed the shoulder and flipped. I wonder about his/her family.
I'm working on restoring a 1952 John Deere model B tractor last week. I pause and sit down on a bucket, again agonizing over the deposit I just put on a bike a day earlier. Something smacks me hard square in the forehead. I'm stunned for a second, look down between my feet, and see a huge bumble bee crawl in a circle, roll over and die.
So I chalk it all up to me trying to find meaning in events that have none, buy the bike, and have been enjoying it.
But part of me still wonders.
A growing number of conventional doctors [that actually give a shit about their patients] are now practicing alternative medicine ie: much less man made drugs and mostly natural substances to actually restore the immune and filtering systems, to cure, rather than just treat symptoms. The rub is, requires radical dietary alterations. Although, very effective, especially against cancer.
Well said, I'm about to become a dad (about two weeks) and the thought of my son growing up without a Father scares the poo out of me. Every time I get on my bike I pray for protection, if I was the OP, I think I would've figured the big guy was trying to tell me something (and I think he was) glad he wasn't hurt!
When my wife got pregnant, I thought my riding days were over, at least for awhile, not because I was too scared to risk it, but because at the time my bike (an old CB 750) needed a lot of work and all the money I'd set aside to fix it ended up going to pay for all the pregnancy related medical stuff. Then I got a job working for a motorcycle magazine (RoadRUNNER) and riding is no longer just a hobby, it's part of my livelihood!
1981 Baylands Raceway, Fremont CA. Thursday night stadium MX, 125 practice aboard my YZ.
Mid air collision on a jump. Faceplant and shattered my left shoulder. Wife drove me home from the ER at 3am with 1 year old son in the car seat.
I was 31 and had been racing every week since I turned 'vet'. I won a lot. But I also had a real career. I showed up at the office with a traction cast contraption strapped to me holding my arm and full of pain killers. The firm got me a headset and more administrative assistance so I could still produce. It was a long rehab, including whirlpools and therapists tugging at me every day.
It was an easy decision. Motorcycles were not a priority. They were a hobby. I had to move on to the important things. The whole race kit including trailer and van were sold all at once to a young guy who I knew from the circuit.
17 years later I bought my next motorcycle. The moral is, do the right thing for right now. It doesn't have to be forever.
Good luck and be safe,
Lots of good advice here, I think.
My wife is a psychologist, so I've learned a few things from her. I think a pause is not a bad idea.
If you do, I recommend you do one more ride just so you can remind yourself that you were able to get back on that horse. Nothing extensive; just a leasurely 1-2 hour pleasant ride in a "safe" area. That will help ease the jitters when you get back on a bike some day.
Next, you should sit down with your family and tell them your plans, that you take their concerns seriously, and that the pause may not be permanent. If nothing else, it will probably get you a round of hugs and kisses.
If you keep riding, a big fat life insurance policy is a great idea. You might also think about making a video or letter for your daughter (or family as a whole). If you actually did go off to Heaven without saying goodbuy (God forbid), it could deeply imbed superstitions in your daughter that would affect her life long term. A closure letter explaining your need for freedom, and desire for life insurance, would go a long way toward mitigating that.
I won't charge you for any of this psychological advice, since I only play one on the net...
Here's my take.
I had a spill a couple of years ago and got banged up. It seems like every non-rider I know asked me if I was still going to ride when I recovered. I thought it was such a stupid question. The question implies that all the time prior to the accident I was blissfully ignorant of the fact that I could get hurt. And now that I got hurt, I would quit riding.
I informed all of them that I was aware of the risks before the accident and accepted them.
That assessment hasn't changed since I got hurt.
I guess some don't consider the risks beforehand, and when they do get hurt they say, wow, I got hurt - I'm not doing that any more. I picture these guys as the ones riding in shorts and flip flops.
I think ever rider should consider the risks, the effect on others in their life as well as one's self, and then decide whether riding is worth it or not. For me, it is.
I will echo what another poster already stated. For me the reward of riding greatly outweighs the risks. I'm rapidly approaching 100,000 miles logged in the last 4 years. I've had close calls, broken 4 bones, and have been scared on a number of occasions. However none of those situations have ever made me doubt my decision to keep riding. I think if you're doubting it, then you probably need to step away for awhile and reassess. Maybe don't sell the bike just yet.
I would also agree that you could adjust your riding style. Anytime I have gone down, it is because I was off road or pushing my limits.
WOW! Thanks for all the feedback guys. I have been giving it heavy thought over the last couple of days and this is my first time back on here only to find 3 pages of comments. Thanks!
To clarify things:
We are financially set, my wife would never have to work outside the home should she choose.
My wife has ALWAYS encouraged my passion for riding, its always cleared my head and help calm me down when stressed.
I have logged over 100k miles of dual sport riding, so I have pretty much been through it all. This is not the first time Ive been down, so Im not considering quitting just because I laid it down once. The drive to ride isnt the same as before (which is a complete shock to me).
Yes it was rider error. What was my hurry someone asked? Beautiful day in the Rocky Mountains on winding mountain roads, no hurry just enjoying the curves. Wasnt that I couldnt hold the corner, just leaned too far and dragged the peg and my foot too hard causing me not to recover in time in the corner. 45mph road. I was doing 50, but hit the 25mph corner and thought I could hold it. Oh well, it happens.
I agree, I think Ill take the rest of the year off. Sell the Africa Twin for now and see what next year brings. My son is 14 and I saw him gawking at a 67 Mustang Fastback. Maybe its time for a Father/Son project and worry about riding once the itch is back. Until then, maybe Ill get back into drag racing and show my kid how we used to do it back in the day!