When do you call it quits?

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

  1. ragtoplvr

    ragtoplvr Long timer

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    When my daughter was born, I quit riding.

    Now she is grown, and I have started riding again.

    It is just as sweet now, maybe more so, as it was then

    Rod
    #41
  2. _Davi_

    _Davi_ Adventurer

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    This made me laugh hard. My wife and I were creamed on our almost new Yamaha supertenere last october, in rural hungary.... in the back of the ambulance, me bleeding all over my right side, she strapped to a backboard (but able to move everything) we were both laughing about how we wished the damage to the bike could be repaired in a few days so we didn't have to catch the train home.... Nope, we had to catch the train. But were both back on the kawasaki virtually the next day. The Yam got fixed up over the winter, good as new, thanks to big old crash bars saving the engine (but the repairs ended up costing 25% of the purchase price!!). :rofl

    It gets in your blood.
    #42
  3. jacqui

    jacqui Falling overrrrr....

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    Always trust in intuition, especially female. :D
    #43
  4. slide

    slide A nation with a future

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    IMO, once you are spooked you are spooked & should quit. Maybe not forever, but at least until you feel silly about having quit.

    Small story about flying. A CEO I used to work for flew himself to well sites, etc. After an engine overhaul, he didn't like the sound of the engine. The A&P and others went over it again and again saying there is nothing wrong.

    CEO figures he is spooked because there is nothing wrong with the engine. He sells the airplane. Within 7 hours, the new owner went down - engine failure of some sort.

    His 'lesson' to me is to go with your gut on things like this. I say, go with your gut. You don't need the fear & you don't need to leave a bunch of fatherless children. You can come back after they are on their own, etc.
    #44
  5. blackx70

    blackx70 Long timer

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    I bought my first bike from out of state and I did not have my endorsement (was waiting for the class). I needed to get it registered but could not get the bike to the DMV so they gave me a form to have a cop verify the VIN. My neighbor is a cop so he came over and did the deed. He mentioned that he wanted to get back into riding but that he had worked too many MC accidents lately and that only of the three or four were the riders fault. That was four and a half years ago. Meh... in my 45,000 miles of riding, I have had one close call and it was my fault due to impatience. No damage or dropped bike, just learned an important lesson. If you do not enjoy riding and the risks are too great in your mind, then do not do it anymore. I enjoy riding so I continue to every day.
    #45
  6. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    I understand everything your saying,broken bones suck,kids need to be fed.
    How ever,Ive ridden bicycles of all sorts since I was a small child,along with motorcycles since I was about 11.
    Ive cracked bones racing flattrack and trailriding,I ride hard also.

    Ive broken bones in half where theres a big gap in the x-ray and shit needed to be done to get them back together,but only on mt bikes. Ive got a Kona 29er 4" travel currently but I ride it conservatively on downhills (somewhat)
    Im just saying the thrill of downhills on mt bikes can translate into emergency room visits in a heartbeat.
    Dont imagine they're safer cause they dont have a engine. Bicycles have no throttle and thus cant be saved from disaster like a motorcicle,+ they handle like a shopping cart with twine wrapped around 1 wheel compared to a good dirt bike.

    Have fun,be a little careful. Im not quitting!
    #46
  7. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    Youve figured it out,there are no gaurantees on a single thing in this world,anybody can check out at anytime doing the most banal thing imaginable.
    Both my parents were risk oriented people and cheered me on when I started racing flattrack at age 15,most parents would be horrified and put their foot down.
    Ive done all sorts of things on bikes,sometimes I get butterflies before leaving on a big trip but once on the bike,I feel like theres no problem as long as I concentrate and dont do stupid things.
    If all I thought about was"Oh jeez Im going to be killed" I wouldnt bother riding.
    Confidence,concentration,awareness of one's surroundings,and keeping all skills up to par.
    Most all wrecks are preventable,riding off the road in a corner just means you arent watching whats going on.
    Getting hit in an intersection means the same thing,cant trust cars..at all.
    Some guys get nailed on their streetbike and dont stop to think maybe it was their own fault.
    #47
  8. _Davi_

    _Davi_ Adventurer

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    Ill tell you why this isnt a good comparison....apart from the motorbikes, im an avid v w busser..... somehow i do better fixing that technology than i do new motorbikes.... anyhoo, when i start it up, i can diagnose whatever you can name by incredibly subtle changes in the beat of the engine, the rhythms, the smells.... that isnt intuition or being spooked as much as experience. Sliding out on a corner does not exactly fall into this category!
    #48
  9. ragtoplvr

    ragtoplvr Long timer

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    I did not ride while I raised my kid. It is just as sweet to ride now.

    Maybe sweeter.

    Rod
    #49
  10. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    Awesome! I love the 66-67 fastbacks. It would not be hard to build one that can outrun the Africa Twin. My Camaro accelerates a bit faster, and has about 50mph more top speed than my Aprilia. It is difficult to decide which one to take on trips sometimes. Autocross and/or drag racing can be great family activities.
    #50
  11. slowoldguy

    slowoldguy Tire Tester

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    Hey. Not gonna stop but a near miss has got me thinking about slowing down a little. Haven't been on a bike in a month since the rear stepped out going stupid feckin' fast on a wore out borrowed TKC rear, literally slammed the inside peg on the pavement so hard it popped me back upright. :huh I can tell myself it's the 100 degree heat keeping me off the bikes but...

    It'll make a thinkin' fella think and somebody like me? Well, it at least makes me wonder.

    But I'm riding tomorrow.
    #51
  12. Snr Moment

    Snr Moment Unafarkler

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    I won't bore you with the injury report, but with full AGATT and being in very, very good physical shape, blunt force trauma will kick the snot out of you. I'm a year down the road from a pile up and sudden stop still wearing a 250 Kawi. The doc who repaired my aorta told me, "half the people I do that procedure for die." Cheery thought since it was a 95% fatality accident I had.
    Darwin says quit. It will be another year before I'd consider getting back on a bike. Takes a lot longer to heal when you're an old fart. I'd be 68 if I started riding again then. Probably couldn't take another hit. Not worried about dying, long term injury requiring the family's care is not fair to them. It has taken me a full year to realize that I'm done.
    Or, maybe that Trail 90 is in my future....
    #52
  13. Dirtbiker

    Dirtbiker Been here awhile

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    Ron it may not be everyone's answer, but I pray before every ride. Some things we take for granted, waking up is one.
    #53
  14. Colorado Ron

    Colorado Ron Expedition Junkie

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    AMEN TO THAT!!! I pray as well. What I didnt add was the fact that everything told me not to get on. But, I had 2 riding partners that were waiting on me and like an idiot I didnt want to tell them "my girl had a bad dream" so Im not going. LOL Now its all over and no bike left to ride. Oh well, we all learn and grow. Thats what life is all about. I just hope that anyone else that get the heebeejeebees and has read this post will act on it and save themselves some long term headaches or worse.

    On another note, I just went back up and looked over the wreck site. The one thing that has puzzled me is how I didnt even feel the impact. Like I said before, was like landing on a pillow. Where I landed was nothing but jagged rocks and pine trees. How I walked away without even a sore muscle is a miracle to me. I think I have some angels to thank when I get to the other side
    #54
  15. no

    no dreaming adventurer Supporter

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    Been feeling increasingly uneasy about riding lately. So the bikes go on the trailer and I putz around off-road.
    #55
  16. d.burbach

    d.burbach Been here awhile

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    You're a wise man, many wouldn't give it a second thought and just head merrily on their way. You were protected brother
    #56
  17. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

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    In the end you are the only one to decide whether to continue to ride. I took a 5year hiatus when my kids were young, because I realized I was doing stupid things on a motorcycle and they needed me.

    Now I am old, retired, the kids are gone and the wife is financially secure. Besides almost turning 70 I have a chronic nerve desease that slowly effects my balance. I have lost the ability to do many things I enjoyed.

    I am more stable on the bike than I am walking. Watching me ride you would not know there was a problem, but I do and my wife( a non rider) who watches me stumble around wants me to quit.

    I have options. I don't ride on week ends to avoid the tourist. I have scaled back on the terrain I ride. I try to ride with others, but not many my age ride. Right now I am debating selling the heavier of the 2 bikes I own.

    I think any one who questions whether he should be riding or loses confidence in his ability should give it a rest.

    Tough decision but only you know what is right. I hope to know when it is time, as it is about the only thing left that I enjoy doing.
    #57
    NumberCruncher likes this.
  18. Fibzzz

    Fibzzz Resident Cynic

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    I enjoyed reading these because I see a lot of myself in some of the responses. I started riding when I was a kid, on dirt. I got my motorcycle license shortly after my car license at 16, and got my first streetbike the following year as a high school graduation present -- a blue 1975 BMW R60/6. Fast-forward 12 years and several bikes later, and I was living in Los Angeles, riding my Honda RC51 every day, spending my weekend mornings in the canyons above Malibu.

    That Fall, my wife and I found out she was pregnant. We planned to break the news to our family at Christmas. On Thanksgiving weekend, I got up at 6am for my Sunday ride, and spent three hours riding my favorite canyon loops with a stop at the Rock Store for a cup of coffee.

    On the way home, I decided to run Piuma Road, a very twisty section in the Santa Monica Mtns, and a favorite road that I had ridden probably 200 times. I had dialed back to probably 70% of my early-morning pace because the later it gets, the more cars there are to worry about. As I rounded a blind, tight right-hander at around 35 mph, I was leaned over pretty good but I vividly remember that I was thinking about the maintenance I had to do on the bike that winter... New chain, sprockets, probably a new rear tire while I'm at it, etc... I was in the left tire groove, to help me see around the corner a bit better. In an instant, an SUV coming the other way was over the center stripe directly in my line, and instead of pushing on my right bar to try tightening my line to get out of her way, the panic reflex kicked in and I grabbed brake. The bike stood up instantly and BOOM. We collided head-on in the center of the road as the driver tried to swerve back into her own lane. I hit the bumper, then the hood, then the windshield, then the road in front of her car. I tried to stand up, but my left leg collapsed under me.

    The next crystal-clear memory is of sitting there in the middle of the road, looking at my crumpled bike, and thinking, "I'm about to be a dad. What the hell am I doing here?"

    Torn ACL, LCL and PCL, extensive nerve damage and some gnarly bruises, but thankfully no broken bones. Consider this a commercial for Vanson racing leathers -- go buy some.

    I also remember the CHP officer who responded to the scene walking over to where I was sitting on the side of the road, and asking me why I was there. I told him I was the rider. The look on his face was startling. He said, "Wow, I can't believe I'm talking to you right now. When I rolled up on the scene and saw the bike, I thought for certain we had a fatality. You're one lucky son of a bitch."

    He's right -- I was. That was 10 years ago.

    I'm now the proud parent of an amazing 9-year-old son and an equally amazing 6-year-old daughter. And I can honestly say, even after witnessing the birth and growth of both of our children, the urge to ride was still alive inside me. I fought it pretty successfully, though. I cancelled all my magazine subscriptions and stopped following the new bike models. I took up golf. I threw myself into my work. But my wife saw that I was still struggling with it deep down, because she knows what riding means to me. It's part of who I am as a person, and I can't separate it. A few years after the crash, after many long, late conversations and a lot of soul-searching, for my birthday she arranged for me to rent a Harley Heritage Softail on a perfect, sunny Saturday.

    I admit I was nervous as hell. I didn't want to ride it at first. Forget the fact that my surgically-repaired left leg was still a liability, even with a custom, carbon fiber brace. My son was now three years old, being his dad was the most incredible experience, life was good... Why would I want to put that in jeopardy? Was I being selfish? I WAS being selfish, I told myself. But she wanted me to do this. And deep inside, I knew I NEEDED to do this. So I took it out for a spin. And where did I go? I headed straight back to Piuma for a date with my demons.

    Two things were immediately apparent: A Heritage Softail ain't no RC51. And I was rusty. I took it slow and easy, shook off my jitters and feelings of self-loathing, and ended up thoroughly enjoying the chance to reconnect with a side of me that had been put to sleep.

    That one ride was enough to last me another seven years. Until last December when I visited my brothers in San Diego. Between the two of them they have a BMW GS, Road King, CBR929RR, and a VFR750. We planned a long morning ride, and I landed on the 929. I wanted to hate the experience. I actually talked to myself inside my helmet. "Your boy-racer days are over... You're older / fatter / more mature... You don't need this much power, this isn't fun like it used to be, your knees won't stay bent like this anymore..." But it was a blast! The old me came back. It was literally as if I found my old self standing on the side of the road somewhere along that route, and picked him up.

    The next six months after that trip were not easy on my wife! And honestly, they were tough for me too. I knew I wanted to get another bike -- I felt like I needed to get one in order to be the person I really am. But I was battling the same feelings of selfishness, responsibility, pressure from family and friends who couldn't believe I would ever consider riding again. I AGONIZED over it. Tortured myself and, by her proximity, my wife too. But it finally came down to this simple thing: I'm a happier husband / father / friend / co-worker -- a better person -- when I have the outlet and personal satisfaction of riding a motorcycle.

    Once I got through my "process" and convinced myself I was ready to buy another bike, I then had to come to peace with the idea that I was not getting another sportbike. I realized I don't need the temptation. If the power and handling are there, I want to use them. I looked at every bike out there, but kept coming back to a conversation I'd had with my brother before our December ride. He said that if he could keep only one bike forever, it would be his GS, because it does everything well. Soon afterward, I came across a mint 2011 GSA on Craigslist and I went for it.

    It has turned out to be exactly what I wanted, what I needed. I love riding it.

    I don't think I'll ever stop thinking about the what-ifs and worst-case scenarios, or entirely get past the feelings of guilt, selfishness, irresponsibility -- pick your term -- that come with getting another bike. As a parent, how could I? But I believe I've taken the right steps to mitigate as much risk as possible:

    1) I have good insurance (vehicle, medical and life).
    2) I wear top-quality protective gear at all times.
    3) I ride early. On most mornings between 5am and 7am, I have the roads around Harriman State Park to myself, and I like it that way (well, it's me and the deer so I still have to be cautious!).
    4) I don't push the envelope. I ride within my capabilities, and leave ego at home.
    5) I avoid riding in groups. I prefer to ride alone, or at most with one or two others whose riding styles I know and decision-making I trust.

    That's about it. If you made it through my entire diatribe, congrats -- you're probably the only one! Sorry it got so long; this topic is pretty close to home for me!

    Ride safe all.
    #58
  19. d.burbach

    d.burbach Been here awhile

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    Made it all the way through! Thanks for your story, as an expectant dad (any day now) it's near to my heart as well. It's nice to hear from someone a few years ahead of me in the journey!
    #59
  20. car94

    car94 What's this Box for?

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    #60