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Thread: older riders surviving badly

  1. #16
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    An additional thought. You mentioned your eyes.

    One of the most important things are your eyes, and most people start getting presbyopia late 40's early 50's. This is where you start losing the focal range of your eyes and typically you can correct it with multi-focal contact lenses or progressive glasses.

    I always wonder about those in denial that struggle on thinking they can still see like they used to, but you see them either holding things a long way from their eyes trying to read them, or sort of squinting into the distance wondering what it is you are seeing. Some ride motorcycles and run into things or run off the road.

    I know it is a pain but I started wearing progressive glasses when I was 49, so from then put up with the hassle dealing with taking glasses on and off in sync with getting my helmet on and off and having to balance stuff on the bike seat which on a windy day is really annoying. While the glasses are good they still don't in any way match the joy of having good eyes when I was younger - peripheral vision particulalry.

    All of this results in a slight degradation of the ability to ride a motorcycle razor sharp so you do need to take it a bit easier and really look out for things. One bugger of growing old.
    Cheers

    Merv

  2. #17
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    Old riders rely on skill and experience built up over many years or decades of riding, and this experience provides a rose tinted view of their riding ability.

    As we age, we ignore the growing gap between our experience-earned skills, and our bodies degrading ability to put those skills into action because your eyes get worse, brain gets foggy, and your body does not move as fast or bounce as well as it used to.

    Basicly we know HOW to do things but lack the physical ability to actually do it.

    And we dont realise until we are actually required to use those skills that we are unable to use them as well or as fast as we thought we could.

  3. #18
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    I dunno - I think it is the luck of the genetic draw ..

    My body is past 60 - but my mind is still the 18-year-old hoon with a throttle .. the only difference is that my old 650 Trumpy would top out at 110mph - my 650 Bandit has been to 217kph on the clock (Suzuki speedos are notoriously inaccurate - don't take that as an accurate speed.) while I regularly take to 1250 passed 200 ...

    A couple of weeks ago I came across a group of slow riders (doing under 100kph) wearing hi-Viz vests - I went round the outside on a wide open left-hander about 140klicks - found out later it was a Ride Forever course ... () .. bet the trainer had a bit to say to his pupils about the hoon on the Bandit ..

    I still have excellent eye sight (wear reading glasses but can't see passed my hands with them on) and good reactions .. still pretty fit ..

    I guess I'm just lucky ..
    "So if you meet me, have some sympathy, have some courtesy, have some taste ..."

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Dog View Post
    I have always wondered, is that a link to general lack of preparation, or more an attitude of "I'm special and don't play by the rules"?

    I also find it interesting to read through these findings and compare which risk groups apply to me now vs the first time I read the report 16 years ago.
    There's a somewhat famous psych development experiment where several kids of about 4 years old are sat alone at a table, given a plate with a single marshmallow and told: "You can eat that whenever you like, but if it's still there in 5 minutes you get a second one". From memory about 40% get the second one.

    But the interesting bit is the correlation between the kids that waited and the number that were successful later life was close to complete parity. It's used to demonstrate that at least that variable: the ability to defer gratification in exchange for higher rewards, is likely almost completely genetically conferred, nature, not nurture.

    The point. I'd be surprised if similar statistical correlations couldn't be drawn between that two marshmallow bunch and success wrt personal survival behavior also. So why are the single marshmallow dude's still around? Born to be wild genes are probably genetically useful to society overall, as warriors to start with, so Darwin's happy. But if there's one thing less useful than a timid warrior it's an old one.
    Go soothingly on the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ocean1 View Post
    But if there's one thing less useful than a timid warrior it's an old one.
    He who runs away today lives to run another day?

    Re-reading those findings was probably timely as the riding season gets into gear. Looking at the list there's a lot of encouragement there if you just wear the correct gear, don't ride pissed, have a warrant of fitness and a clean licence.

    The location and timing of the accidents suggests we should perhaps have a little "zen" moment before we leave the driveway. Stop, clear the head of whatever else is happening in your life, then ride. There is the added benefit that you'd have checked your brakes were working.
    There is a grey blur, and a green blur. I try to stay on the grey one. - Joey Dunlop

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigertim20 View Post
    Old riders rely on skill and experience built up over many years or decades of riding, and this experience provides a rose tinted view of their riding ability.

    As we age, we ignore the growing gap between our experience-earned skills, and our bodies degrading ability to put those skills into action because your eyes get worse, brain gets foggy, and your body does not move as fast or bounce as well as it used to.
    I turned 50 this year, have been riding all my life and have always shunned the idea of further training because I believe I know how to ride safely and defensively, even if there are occasions when I ignore all that and go banzai.

    Whenever anyone bangs on about the value of training I turn off, but I had not thought of it the way you just put it.

    Anyway, time for home. If you see a black GSXR on it's side in a puddle stop and help me.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berries View Post
    I turned 50 this year, have been riding all my life and have always shunned the idea of further training because I believe I know how to ride safely and defensively, even if there are occasions when I ignore all that and go banzai.

    Whenever anyone bangs on about the value of training I turn off, but I had not thought of it the way you just put it.
    I've just turned 71 and started serious training in my 60's because it took me that long to realise that I ran out of talent way before I thought I did. I simply wanted to extend my riding riding career for as long as I could as safely as possible. Got rid of some bad habits, learned heaps of good stuff and enjoy my riding more than ever. Just did it for myself but have managed to help a few people along the way too. Can't be a bad result, can it?

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berries View Post
    I turned 50 this year, have been riding all my life and have always shunned the idea of further training because I believe I know how to ride safely and defensively, even if there are occasions when I ignore all that and go banzai.

    Whenever anyone bangs on about the value of training I turn off, but I had not thought of it the way you just put it.

    Anyway, time for home. If you see a black GSXR on it's side in a puddle stop and help me.
    yep, nothing wrong with the skills learned from many years, just realising that it gets harder to implement them as you get older. You learn that real fast in a kickboxing mma gym at sparring time!

    and shit, you're keen in this downpour!

    Quote Originally Posted by Banditbandit View Post
    I

    I still have excellent eye sight (wear reading glasses but can't see passed my hands with them on) and good reactions .. still pretty fit ..

    I guess I'm just lucky ..
    60 year old YOU might be fitter, faster, stronger, better eyes and faster reactions that 30 year old somebody else. BUT

    60 year old YOU will always be slower, less strong, worse eyesight etc that 30 year old YOU. - thats the issue, we spend say 30 years learning riding skills, but by the time we have earned and learned those skills, we can no longer use them as effectively as well could have back when we were physically more capable, but had not yet learned said skills. . .

  9. #24
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    At 53 my distance vision is superb (a recent test impressed the optician) - up close I need glasses to read a book.

    My Ducati is designed so that I need to do a decent lift and a spin to get my leg over the seat - I'm thinking of stuffing a pair of socks down my undies and trying out for the ballet.

    I'm not finding any issues with reaction time or the likes while on the road. Indeed I am thoroughly enjoying the motorcycle experience.


    To DD - maybe it's time for a change from the Guzzi - try a lighter, different ride? MT09 springs to mind (bit fuggly looking though). Sometimes a change is a good thing.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by seattle smitty View Post
    the biker reported, "The guy/gal in the car LOOKED RIGHT AT ME before he/she pulled out right in front of me!!" Yet the offending driver of the car nearly always said, "I never saw the guy coming!!" Wondering at this, Hurt started digging further. He found that overwhelmngly the car drivers had never owned a motorcycle, nor had anyone in their families, and the upshot was evidently that their brains were not prepped very well to have a consciousness of motorcycles.
    Id like to add... the guy/girl in the car DOES see the bike but as it is smaller than them the brain does NOT register it as a threat, opposite if it was a Mack truck... its a mental thing...

    anyway I was more asking if we loose the ability to ride well due to age, physically and or mentally and do we reconise this and keep riding how we always have instead of slowing down???

    Quote Originally Posted by AllanB View Post
    To DD - maybe it's time for a change from the Guzzi - try a lighter, different ride? MT09 springs to mind (bit fuggly looking though). Sometimes a change is a good thing.
    only for another Guzzi
    cheers DD
    (Definately Dodgy)



  11. #26
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    I never heard that SQUID meant squirrely kid. I thought it was something along the lines of Stupidly Quick, Underdressed, Imminently Dead.

    My wife didn't learn to ride until her late 50s. She played soccer, was a swimmer and had a brown belt in karate (was going for black, dislocated a hip and was told to quit while ahead) Point is she was reasonably active in her youth and did things that needed reactions and flexibility. Learning to ride was a huge challenge for her. Why? Things just slow down when you get older. There is a difference to learning something when younger and keeping it going as compared to doing it while younger, having a break for the usual reasons (money/work/family) and then coming back to it. You are never quite the same on the return. I played rep rugby as a teen and early 20s. I know there are seniors/master teams but 15 minutes of contact footie and I would be fucked, probably have a stroke, coronary, screw up a joint, tear muscles and basically become a jibbering mess all at the same time.
    Riders who keep going, keep their skills alive and ticking over will be better for it. Riders who don't and then get older, well....
    I would also argue those who put the bikes in the shed for the winter and roll them out again come the warmer (?) weather, are effectively returning riders every spring/summer. They have gotten older and none of their skills have been maintained for months. Look at how rusty professional athletes are when they first come back from the off season and those guys never really stop working.
    Bottom line, what is the problem with maybe slowing down a bit and giving your reactions more of a chance. Get some training, how bad can a day on the bike be? R4E courses are $50 at worst, a couple of fills of fuel? pffffft! Cheap as chips! IAM offers mentoring completely free of charge (you do need to pay membership subs of course) There are options there to keep the brain engaged and in a way you can pace yourself and still get some fun out of riding
    I can't argue with Skippa, shit happens we have no control over, there is other stuff we can control, so why not?


    Quote Originally Posted by Banditbandit View Post
    A couple of weeks ago I came across a group of slow riders (doing under 100kph) wearing hi-Viz vests - I went round the outside on a wide open left-hander about 140klicks - found out later it was a Ride Forever course ... () .. bet the trainer had a bit to say to his pupils about the hoon on the Bandit ..

    I still have excellent eye sight (wear reading glasses but can't see passed my hands with them on) and good reactions .. still pretty fit ..

    I guess I'm just lucky ..
    I am not for one second questioning your skills or abilities or the ability of your machine. I do have a genuine question though: before executing that passing manoeuvre, did you at any point consider the impact on those slow riders of a vehicle passing them on a corner (no matter how open) at that kind of speed? Chances are they did not see you before you passed, even if they did they almost certainly would not have expected you to do that. Have you ever been caught out by another road users actions? Did it ever rattle you? How did you feel about it afterwards?
    Not interested in a row with you. Genuinely interested in your thinking.

    On another thought, again out of genuine curiosity. How are you gauging your reaction times? Dave Moss the suspension tuner says something interesting. He talks about the incredible ability of humans to adapt to sub-optimal circumstances and begin to treat that as normal. Of course his particular context is accepting sub-optimal suspension performance from our bikes and as a consequence not getting the most from them and therefore not having them under control as well we might and therefore not being as safe as we might. I hope you can see the parallels we can draw to other aspects of how we might evaluate performance? Sometimes I find the most objective way to baseline where I am at is to seek outside input and measurement or critique. Why? Well my perception of what is acceptable might simply be an adaptation to something which is sub-optimal from the beginning. Maybe its just me
    Life is not measured by how many breaths you take, but how many times you have your breath taken away

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by pritch View Post
    He who runs away today lives to run another day?
    Didn't you get the memo about stoicism under fire?

    Don't think there's ever been an organised armed force that didn't at least shoot your arse out of hand for running. Not that long ago most of 'em would have taken the opportunity for a little ritualised, post-battle parade ground educational torture first.

    Point is everyone's wired different, some of us aren't designed to live forever and behave accordingly. Pointless trying to redesign them, pointless legislating in favour of different behavior, pointless even worrying too much about it: ain't going to change.
    Go soothingly on the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by russd7 View Post
    its hard yakka getting older and as allanb suggested it gets harder to get new employment options even tho I know I can give a better return to most employers than younger counterparts, but that's another story.
    I started a totally new job two months before my 60th birthday, from irrigation and pipe laying to cleaning the nets on a Salmon farm. I work 7 day shifts ... 7 on and 7 off (both paid) My employer is well aware of my age, and prefers the work ethics of older people than those younger. After almost two years doing it ... he's happy with my work and I'm happy with my job.

    I ride all year round (on the fine days off). I dont do the miles I used to, as I dont have/feel the need or inclination to. 84,000 km's on the FJ now. 64,000 by me.
    Sweat wipes off. Road-rash doesn't.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by pritch View Post
    The location and timing of the accidents suggests we should perhaps have a little "zen" moment before we leave the driveway. Stop, clear the head of whatever else is happening in your life, then ride.
    Hell yes... see I was waiting for someone to mention that possability... I think ya right , I think I do need to "zen" yet ya'd think at my age shit would be easy... but it aint work, kids... bloody women... stress is the killer not speed LOL


    Quote Originally Posted by Banditbandit View Post
    but my mind is still the 18-year-old hoon with a throttle
    LMAO... soooo me HA


    Quote Originally Posted by tigertim20 View Post
    Old riders rely on skill and experience built up over many years or decades of riding, and this experience provides a rose tinted view of their riding ability.
    BULL SHIT...


    Quote Originally Posted by merv View Post
    An additional thought. You mentioned your eyes.
    ohhh yes to the beter eye... the other I had a stroke behind 3 years back left it one big blur, its easier to see if I close it

    Quote Originally Posted by tigertim20 View Post
    Basicly we know HOW to do things but lack the physical ability to actually do it.

    And we dont realise until we are actually required to use those skills that we are unable to use them as well or as fast as we thought we could.
    yeah.. now that Id agree with
    cheers DD
    (Definately Dodgy)



  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ulsterkiwi View Post
    My wife didn't learn to ride until her late 50s. She played soccer, was a swimmer and had a brown belt in karate (was going for black, dislocated a hip and was told to quit while ahead) Point is she was reasonably active in her youth and did things that needed reactions and flexibility. Learning to ride was a huge challenge for her. Why? Things just slow down when you get older. There is a difference to learning something when younger and keeping it going as compared to doing it while younger, having a break for the usual reasons (money/work/family) and then coming back to it. You are never quite the same on the return.

    Riders who keep going, keep their skills alive and ticking over will be better for it. Riders who don't and then get older, well....
    I would also argue those who put the bikes in the shed for the winter and roll them out again come the warmer (?) weather, are effectively returning riders every spring/summer. They have gotten older and none of their skills have been maintained for months. Look at how rusty professional athletes are when they first come back from the off season and those guys never really stop working.

    There are options there to keep the brain engaged and in a way you can pace yourself and still get some fun out of riding
    I can't argue with Skippa, shit happens we have no control over, there is other stuff we can control, so why not?
    shit thats a good explernation and decent advice...
    I stop over winter... BUT I used to race during the winter months, so I never gave it a thought that when I stoped I was loosing those tuned skills

    Quote Originally Posted by Berries View Post
    I turned 50 this year, have been riding all my life and have always shunned the idea of further training because I believe I know how to ride safely and defensively, even if there are occasions when I ignore all that and go banzai.

    Whenever anyone bangs on about the value of training I turn off, but I had not thought of it the way you just put it.
    I have and will never "turn off" re the value of training, but yes to a degree I shun as well... but, only cos I try my best to not get lazy, not learn bad habits... I take pride in my riding skills and others have learnt from me and now well out ride me... others that have done advanced courses have highly recommended them to, but just not for me, tho I will always listen to advice.
    cheers DD
    (Definately Dodgy)



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