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post #1 of 65 (permalink) Old 06-09-2017, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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When Too Old to Ride?

As I approached a stop sign yesterday I saw bike on its right side and a guy trying to lift it upright. I pulled my bike into a driveway and parked, took off my helmet and walked over to the guy. He was still in his riding pants, jacket and helmet, trying to lift his machine using proper bike righting technique, but not getting anywhere.

Even with his helmet on and visor down I could see that he was an older man (I’m 60, and he was significantly older than I am). “Ah, Triumph guy,” he called out. I was wearing my 20-year old Triumph T-shirt. “Think you can lift this thing?” I said I could with his help, so he lifted from the seat while I lifted from the bars. A car had pulled up behind us and a couple got out and I instructed them to lower the side stand.

We got the bike on its stand and I looked it over. Actually, this thing was not a motorcycle but a large scooter with a 650cc engine, hard saddle bags and a fairing. The right-hand mirror which housed the turn signal was the type that folds in an accident, so I pulled it out into its correct position. Aside from a few scratches it seems OK.

A guy on an XS1100 pulled up next to us and asked if he could help. “Hey, an 1100!” declared the old man. “You really have something there!”

I asked the old man if he would like to take off his helmet and sit for a while. He wanted to get going and straddled the scooter, turned the key and hit the starter. I noticed wires from a dash-mounted I-Pod going to earbuds in his helmet, and the wire was wrapped around the twist-grip. I untangled the wire and asked again if he would like to sit down for a bit. He started the scooter.

I delayed his leaving until all the cars had cleared the 4-way stop intersection (several cars had lined up behind us and I waved them around). Once the way was clear, the old man thanked me and XS1100 guy and took off. The old man left, making a very wide right turn (no on-coming traffic, fortunately) but making it.

I walked over to my bike, put my helmet and gloves on, hit the starter and rode off, taking the same right turn (but not nearly so widely). I rode a couple of blocks up the hill to a traffic light, which was red. I was in the right lane so I was unable to turn left. I looked to my left and saw the old man lying under his scooter in somebody’s lawn. He had evidently turned left and went wide, hopping the curb. He was slowly pulling himself out from under the scooter, helmet off, with neighbors gathering around him. He appeared to be OK, all things considered. Unable to turn left I rode on when the light turned green. A police car, a fire chief and a fire engine all raced by me towards the crash site, so I knew at that point that he would be taken care of. I regretted not insisting more forcefully that he take his helmet off and sit for a while before he rode away, but I can’t get a do-over on that.

As I continued to ride my very large, heavy, powerful motorcycle, it occurred to me that I was doing so with ease. The weight was not unwieldy for me and I was in complete control both physically and mentally. I felt bad for the old man, whose riding days are probably over (if he has any sense or if his kids can convince him). I felt young for the first time in a long time.
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post #2 of 65 (permalink) Old 06-09-2017, 12:11 PM
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I'm hoping to make it to 75, I'm 65 now. When I get to 75, I'll make the decision then. It will be a hard decision if I can't continue riding.
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Ride safe,

Quentin
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post #3 of 65 (permalink) Old 06-09-2017, 05:00 PM
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When Too Old to Ride? or maybe you should ask that old guy on (and off) the scooter, When Too High to Ride?
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post #4 of 65 (permalink) Old 06-09-2017, 05:28 PM
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Your're too old to ride when you are no longer able to handle your bike safely and still enjoy riding. Some move to three wheels for that reason. As far as scooters, the BMW 650 scoot weighs the same as their RT. No Vespa. It just takes some sensibility to know when the time has come. There was a Guzzi dealership owner who lived to 103 in Conn. He rode to the end, but switched to a moped when he got "older".

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post #5 of 65 (permalink) Old 06-09-2017, 05:36 PM
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I really think that physical condition is more the issue than age. I am still riding at age 71. As long as I do not develop any health issues that make riding dangerous, I will continue. If I start having problems with balance, sight, eye hand coordination, etc. It is time to stop, no matter the age. I will admit, I cannot lift my bike by myself if I were to lay it down. It would be easy for someone to pass a law that after a certain age you cannot ride anymore, but that would be very unfair to those that are fit and healthy. ...J.D.

Last edited by Wire-Wheels; 06-09-2017 at 05:38 PM.
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post #6 of 65 (permalink) Old 06-09-2017, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wire-Wheels View Post
I really think that physical condition is more the issue than age. I am still riding at age 71. As long as I do not develop any health issues that make riding dangerous, I will continue. If I start having problems with balance, sight, eye hand coordination, etc. It is time to stop, no matter the age. I will admit, I cannot lift my bike by myself if I were to lay it down. It would be easy for someone to pass a law that after a certain age you cannot ride anymore, but that would be very unfair to those that are fit and healthy. ...J.D.
No laws please. Just a little common sense.

We have all seen it before--someone who shouldn't be operating a vehicle any more but does so anyway. I just hope that when I get too old to do it I can face up to it and give it up. In the mean time, RIDE!
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post #7 of 65 (permalink) Old 06-09-2017, 09:45 PM
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If I ever own a trike, I will never refer to riding it as motorcycling, and I would rather have a sports car than a three wheeler anyway. If I have to ask myself if I should quit, then I should quit. I'm almost 68 and I never ask that question. My wrists and shoulders are shot, and it will get to the point when I can't ride. I'll say " Let's go for a ride " my body will say " NO ".
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post #8 of 65 (permalink) Old 06-09-2017, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by triumpt120rv View Post
When Too Old to Ride? or maybe you should ask that old guy on (and off) the scooter, When Too High to Ride?
Yeah, maybe high on heart meds or something. I really didn't like that he had that I-Pod running up into his helmet. Distracted riding is a bad idea. My wife/passenger wanted me to install a bluetooth intercom thing in our helmets but I don't want that. I need to focus on the operation of the bike--our lives are at stake after all, and the LAST thing I need to have is her voice in my headset as I'm going through a technical turn.
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post #9 of 65 (permalink) Old 06-09-2017, 10:28 PM
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Sounds like the old guy shouldn't be on the road at all. Be glad he wasn't in a car behind you. The earbud thing is a bad idea. I ride a bicycle a lot and see so many young people wearing them. I'm 66 and age has kept me off dirt bikes but I'm still a rider on the street.

Be safe.

Joe
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post #10 of 65 (permalink) Old 06-10-2017, 03:33 AM
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I feel I'm on the cusp right now. I also know that my "senses" amp up a bit so to speak when I swing a leg over and so far it's enough to compensate for most every thing. I also just enjoy the ride, no music, no navigation aids, just me and the bike.
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