Do you ever think of giving it all up

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andys
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Do you ever think of giving it all up

Postby andys » Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:18 pm

In my near 40 years of riding, I've never been affected by stories of riders dying, but just lately it's started to impact on me.
Not sure why, now :???:
So often I hear of crashes and even deaths on roads I often use, and am left thinking, that could have been me.
Trouble is you never get to hear of the circumstances surrounding the crashes, so you never really know if they were avoidable by the rider.
I nearly had my own just recently, as I was in a blind left hand bend and when the road opened up, was faced with a car heading straight at me on the wrong side.
Apart from a few scratches on the fairing caused by brambles etc as I dived towards the hedge, I was OK.
The car came so close and fast I felt the shock wave, and could actually here the female passenger screaming.
I've never been able to take a blind left hand bend confidently since.
I feel like I'm losing my nerve.
Anyone else gone through this ?

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Re: Do you ever think of giving it all up

Postby windmill john » Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:22 pm

Yes.
You have two choices.
Stop riding.
Get back in the saddle as soon as and go on a long country ride where there may be lots of blind corners.
Take it gently at first and build up.
I hate to say, but depending on you, it could take months if not longer to feel the way you did before the event.

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Re: Do you ever think of giving it all up

Postby CharlieVictor » Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:40 pm

No.
I never talk about motorcycle crashes. I actually threatened a nice guy who was a waiter at a place I frequented that if he didn't stop telling me his stories I would stop talking to him altogether. I'm very blunt when someone starts talking bike accidents: "shut up, I don't want to hear it"

In 1990 I trained in defensive driving, then as an instructor. There was me before and me after. After I got certified I wondered how I had made it so far without the techniques.

Does it make me invincible? Certainly not.
Does it make me a better rider? Definitely, and not one ride goes by when those skills are not put to good use (An asshole left-turner for instance, just this past weekend, whose stupid move I anticipated).

Shit happens, and shit does NOT happen. You can not dwell on stuff that didn't happen. As far as your story goes Andy, you brilliantly avoided a crash is the way I see it.
So come on man, hop on and keep riding. YOLO!!
1978 BMW R100S "Naked"
1999 W650 RS "Twin with a kick"

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Re: Do you ever think of giving it all up

Postby milleplod » Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:24 pm

Its an age thing I reckon. As we get older, our mortality is more in focus - we see things happen, we lose friends and loved ones perhaps, we think more about our own demise. We either let that take over, and become obsessed with risk aversion, or we control it and accept the possibility of 'something happening', whilst doing our usual best to avoid it. Its no more likely to happen again than it ever was. Qué será, será. :smile:

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Re: Do you ever think of giving it all up

Postby Jimniven » Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:32 pm

Yip. Hump back bridge too quick - tight right hander immediately after. Went 3-4m up an embankment strayed on, miraculously, came back down and legs were jelly. Had to push bike to next lay-by. Lesson learned.


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Re: Do you ever think of giving it all up

Postby kent_instructor10 » Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:50 pm

I did take a couple of years out of riding in the 1990s for the same feeling you describe. But i came back to bikes, its in the blood!

Now i work in the industry and have upgraded my skills i sometimes feel safer on my bike than in the car, although i do have police training to thank for a lot of my roadcraft (small r!)

There are always lots of people who want to talk bike crashes, many are ignorant of facts. There are many awful car, bicycle and pedestrian crashes too, we dont stop walking up the street for example.

For me, knowing the facts surrounding a bike crash is helpful; it develops my hazard awareness more and also gives me situations to help new riders to avoid. Sadly many bike crashes are down to rider error, or lack of awareness to compensate for other road user error. I do think roads are busier than ever with less consideration for others.

To that end, we, as bikers need to continue to develop our skills and abilities to keep ourselves as safe as we can and carry on enjoying our bikes.

If you think about your near miss andy, how would it have been if you were in a car? Could have been a head on? At least as bikers we escape with smaller gaps :grin:
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Re: Do you ever think of giving it all up

Postby Nate » Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:01 pm

The cold hard fact here is that no matter how careful, how well trained, how well positioned and how well protected you are there are going to be some times when you will be confronted with a scenario that could not be realistically foreseen, involving either a mechanical failure (rare) or another road user (more likely), the outcome of which will be unpredictable but may include loss of machine control, impact and injury.

Usually, whenever I'm close to forgetting this I get reminded of it by some preoccupied driver urgently needing to occupy the bit of road I'm on. I do ride less now than I did twenty years ago, and I try hard to manage my exposure to risk but I also have a worry that driver behaviour on UK roads is getting steadily worse.

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Re: Do you ever think of giving it all up

Postby Jimniven » Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:21 pm

Yeah
I do ride much defensively than when younger. Mortality much more on my mind rather than immortality


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CharlieVictor
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Re: Do you ever think of giving it all up

Postby CharlieVictor » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:59 pm

To that end, we, as bikers need to continue to develop our skills and abilities to keep ourselves as safe as we can and carry on enjoying our bikes.


Absolutely.
That's an excellent philosophy and approach to motorcycling: you are the sole responsible for your own safety. No matter who's to blame, ultimately you are the one on the ground bleeding.
A major concept of defensive riding is preventability: it's not "I'm not responsible for my accident", it's "have I done everything I could to prevent the accident happening in the first place".

If you cross an intersection at green and get hit by a car, it serves no purpose to argue "I had the right of way" when you are lying on a stretcher. You are the loser, no matter what.
1978 BMW R100S "Naked"
1999 W650 RS "Twin with a kick"

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Re: Do you ever think of giving it all up

Postby Rob Frankhamr » Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:00 pm

In my near 40 years of riding, I've never been affected by stories of riders dying, but just lately it's started to impact on me.
Not sure why, now :???:
So often I hear of crashes and even deaths on roads I often use, and am left thinking, that could have been me.
Trouble is you never get to hear of the circumstances surrounding the crashes, so you never really know if they were avoidable by the rider.
I nearly had my own just recently, as I was in a blind left hand bend and when the road opened up, was faced with a car heading straight at me on the wrong side.
Apart from a few scratches on the fairing caused by brambles etc as I dived towards the hedge, I was OK.
The car came so close and fast I felt the shock wave, and could actually here the female passenger screaming.
I've never been able to take a blind left hand bend confidently since.
I feel like I'm losing my nerve.
Anyone else gone through this ?
Just an observation... Had you been driving a car you almost certainly wouldn't have got out of the way...

Rob
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Re: Do you ever think of giving it all up

Postby HughMcQ » Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:55 pm

Complicated subject. There is risk to everything we do in life. You might think the safest thing to do is stay in bed and never leave but even that has risk. Worse case scenario? yes you could die prematurely riding a bike but you could also die after a long chronic disease such as dementia which has made the last months/years of your life a misery not just for you but for your family.
Ride carefully, ride safe and enjoy your life as much as you can until your time is up......so I will keep on riding the bike as its one of the things that makes me feel alive and gives me joy.

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Re: Do you ever think of giving it all up

Postby andys » Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:12 pm

Thanks for the encouraging comments.
It's strange because about 25 years ago I was in a serious bike crash along with my wife who was pillion.
She came off worse and had to undergo 4 operations and still has the metal plate in her spine placed there to support a damaged vertebrae.
She's wasn't was put off by her experience, and neither was I.
There was never any question of not riding again.
So why near miss aside, why these feelings have started manifesting now, and didn't back then is a mystery to me.
Good point about being on the bike saving the day.
I hadn't thought of that.
Yes if I'd been in the car I'd have had nowhere to go.
This has been a big help.
Thanks.

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Re: Do you ever think of giving it all up

Postby Jimniven » Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:45 pm

Bikers are a good dependable community in my experience


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The soup
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Re: Do you ever think of giving it all up

Postby The soup » Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:16 pm

I think this is something that goes through most riders minds as time goes by, I had similar thoughts a few years ago after about three years off. I did the IAM advanced course and now ride for a Bloodbike charity in total about 10,000 miles a year. Still very aware of my mortality but manage the risk. Never enjoyed my bike so much

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Re: Do you ever think of giving it all up

Postby jfcoleman » Tue Jul 24, 2018 1:33 pm

Short answer - yes! As I've got older (and it pains me to write that acknowledgement!) I've noticed an increasing tendency not to be as confident as I once was, and this doesn't just apply to riding a bike. So, for me, the issue isn't so much about possible accidents and their consequences, but part of an overall picture. The only way I know to tackle this - again for me personally - is not to give in. Needless to say whenever I do ride, or drive, or travel to unknown territory, things turn out perfectly well more often than not.

On the very specific question of giving up riding, after various health issues (still ongoing) over the past year I did think very seriously of selling my bike. However my son has persuaded me to go with him to the TT next year, so I can't stop yet! Which might actually give a clue to an answer - ie find someone you trust to encourage you.
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andys
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Re: Do you ever think of giving it all up

Postby andys » Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:29 pm

I have set myself an age to give up riding, which is 65.
That's only 10 years from now, but I don't think anyone should be riding beyond that age.
It's insane to think we have the physical stamina and reactions to ride performance machines when we get into our 60's.

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Re: Do you ever think of giving it all up

Postby kent_instructor10 » Mon Jul 30, 2018 1:00 pm

Last year at a petrol station an r100 turned up and the rider started chatting with me as we filled up. Turned out he had cancer and was 82 years. He said he would ride for as long as he could and that it kept him going!

I didn’t see the standard of his riding, but his arrival to and departure from the petrol station looked as proficient as any. I remember thinking “good on ya”!
Now: 2013 R1200RT SE; 2012 R1200GS Triple Black; Previously: K1100RS, R1200RTPx2, R1100RTPx2, R1100RT, R80RT, K100LT and Jap stuff!
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Re: Do you ever think of giving it all up

Postby Jimniven » Mon Jul 30, 2018 1:04 pm

Can’t say I would agree with that. Riding within your limits for enjoyment is perfectly fine until your confidence on the road goes. It’s all personal.


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Re: Do you ever think of giving it all up

Postby Jimniven » Mon Jul 30, 2018 1:06 pm

I would agree with last comment. It was Andys comment I had issue with


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Re: Do you ever think of giving it all up

Postby milleplod » Mon Jul 30, 2018 1:38 pm

I would agree with last comment. It was Andys comment I had issue with


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Yep, agreed, seems odd to say 'I know I'll be incompetent at 65', or whatever, its not like we're pre-programmed to become a danger at a given age! :lol: My mum's 86 now, she still drives (Fiat Panda auto) and, for my peace of mind and hers, I go out for a spin with her once every few weeks, just to see how she's doing. Fine, I'd say! Sure, bikes are a bit different in that a different skill set is needed on top of the usual, but I know some very, very competent riders who are, as you might say, knocking on a bit. :-k

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Re: Do you ever think of giving it all up

Postby Nate » Mon Jul 30, 2018 2:32 pm

I remember a salutary lesson from a couple of decades back.

I was on my Guzzi T3 somewhere on the M6 in a thunderstorm. The waterproofs weren't very and I was cold, wet and miserable. Pulled into some sh*thole services and saw a GPZ already there so parked next to it, went in, bought a coffee and sat down next to the equally bedraggled and miserable rider of the Kawasaki.

While we were mulling over life's general unfairness an old boy rode up and parked-up on a tiny Honda. Open face helmet, big hobnail boots and shabby waxed cotton. He sauntered in, walked straight up to where we were sat, gave us a big grin and pronounced "Hello lads - what a great day to be alive".

Our hobby could do with more like him.

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Re: Do you ever think of giving it all up

Postby andys » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:26 pm

I was joking about the age thing.
I was expecting a much more hostile reaction. =D>
I see far more dangerous riding by young people than I do the old (er) guys.

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Re: Do you ever think of giving it all up

Postby Bill Smithson » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:53 pm

Last year at a petrol station an r100 turned up and the rider started chatting with me as we filled up. Turned out he had cancer and was 82 years. He said he would ride for as long as he could and that it kept him going!

I didn’t see the standard of his riding, but his arrival to and departure from the petrol station looked as proficient as any. I remember thinking “good on ya”!
I was 82 when I did the End 2 End with the BMW Airhead Fellowship.
Just over 2000 miles in a week using A, B and minor roads from Lands End to John O'Groats riding my R65LS. Sadly since then I've hardly ridden at all due to a lung infection and double pneumonia followed by a heart attack last March. That said I've sold two of my bikes but I'm keeping the other two for after my next heart operation.

So age is not a problem, it's physical condition that matters most. :smile:

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Re: Do you ever think of giving it all up

Postby Nate » Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:08 pm

I was joking about the age thing.
I was expecting a much more hostile reaction. =D>

If you are making disingenuous statements with the specific intention of provoking a hostile reaction on the forum then the correct term for this behaviour is "trolling", not joking. I can't speak for everyone, but I think it's poorly regarded here.

"Trolling
Trolling – (verb), as it relates to internet, is the deliberate act, (by a Troll – noun or adjective), of making random unsolicited and/or controversial comments on various internet forums with the intent to provoke an emotional knee jerk reaction from unsuspecting readers to engage in a fight or argument"

Source: Urban Dictionary

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Re: Do you ever think of giving it all up

Postby boxerman » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:32 pm

Andy - as Nate says this comment:
I was joking about the age thing.
I was expecting a much more hostile reaction. =D>
..is called Trolling. Such things are not considered acceptable and will very quickly earn you a ticket out of here..
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