View Full Version : Tough decision.... I might not ride anymore....
08-27-2004, 12:04 PM
on the street at least... thinking of going track only...it's something that's been in the back of my head since my accident in June...(torn a/c joints broken collarbone and far too much time off work - I was in full gear btw)...in that I've noticed that since the accident I've caught myself thinking stuff like...."what if I had been on the bike...?" when stuff like cars coming around blind corners the wrong way or finding a curve was much sharper than I expected (having wife and child in the car keeps my speed nice and low...)...and today when a friend of mine said he was thinking the same...because mentally for him it has started to become...anguishing... for lack of a better term...not for the fall (part of the game)..but for the consequences after the fall (work etc) (if you survive....something you can be pretty sure of on the track..but on the street...)...all this was probably brought on by the incredible series of accidents that have occured since May amongst our circle of friends /acquaintances...some pretty nasty as well...I love to ride my Factory and in the country it's priceless (something I won't be doing again 'tll next year anycase)....but it's really become down right dangerous in some areas here.....dunno..maybe it's just my 37 years (and being a father) talking....or knowing full well that you can easily killed even at 60 on the street....let alone 150....
sorry for venting...any of you thought of doing the same? If so...any cool ideas of how to set up (paintwise) an '04 Grey Factory?
If you are in Rome- that's an accident waiting to happen! Definitely different than the midwest riding, to be sure. As a father as well, I hear you. The last thing I want to do is leave my daughter parentless. Lot's of insurance makes sure she is a millionaire if anything should happen to me.
Two years ago I was hit by a man late to his dental appointment. I figured it was time to grow up, and I used the settlement money to buy a Mastercraft wakeboard boat. I was sure that would keep the masculine adrenaline in check. Long story short, it didn't. I drove by a dealership several months later, and without any planning, purchased a new bike. If it's in your blood, it's in your blood. There is no denying it, and you are powerless to fight it.
Keep the country riding, as I have found nothing better both psychologically, and socially for that matter as well. Insure the heck out of yourself, and keep away from mass urban centers. Hug your kids, and keep safe. rfm:peace:
i rode for 17 years, from the time i was 18 until i was 35, and then i got scared and quit riding. i grew up in a big city (dallas) and have always ridden on the streets in urban traffic.
then about 4 years ago i rode my cousin's triumph and said , 'damn, i forgot how much i like this.' been back into it ever since.
i don't fault anyone for making the decision not to ride. it can be dangerous and the consequences can be major. i think i am a very defensive rider and can avoid most of the hazards, but there are some you can't avoid: somebody running a light, somebody crossing the median, etc.
the fact that i am single has a lot to do with it. but i made the decision that you can't just stay home and lock the doors and avoid all risks. that's no way to live.
good luck with that decision, and best wishes. i wouldn't blame you a bit if you decided to quit street riding. it can get hairy out there and it just takes an instant for something really bad to happen. wherever you ride, ride safe.
Jet City Racer
08-27-2004, 01:23 PM
I think that sometimes too.
Just stay out of the city and ride the twisties/country roads & track.
RFM said it well as to the therapeutic value of country riding.
That's something I will not give up PERIOD. :)
This is my reaction when I see signs like this!
:banana: :plus: :banana: :plus: :banana: :plus: :banana:
08-27-2004, 02:49 PM
YEP!!! That's why I am doing a track day in 3 weeks....the combination of bad drivers, dangerous roads, and cops have finally convinced me to get my ass off the street. I will still ride here and there on a nice summer day, but for the most part I think I will be keeping my ass on the track.
08-27-2004, 03:05 PM
I haven't ridden on the streer since 98. I miss it from time to time, but if I lived somewhere I could get away from traffic I'd still be ridding the street.
08-27-2004, 03:07 PM
Can understand that. I have several buddies that gave uop the street for track and dirt only. I was able to one of them back on teh street for a little while (about a year). But now he's back to track only again...
08-27-2004, 03:46 PM
I don't ride much on the road anymore either. I have all of 1500 miles on my Mille this year and about 700 were at the track.
08-27-2004, 04:53 PM
Next year, the Autobahn Country Club track will open 30 minutes from my door. If I can ride there often, I have thought about going to track riding only.
After three track rides in two weeks, going back to street riding is just plain boring. I have friends that do 20+ track rides a year and no longer own a street bike.
It is a tough decision.
08-27-2004, 04:56 PM
I'm always happy to give advice (useful or otherwise) but in this case you really have to look inside your own heart and head and make a decision on your own. Whatever you decide to do, if you make the decision yourself, then you've chosen correctly.
Good luck either way, mate.
08-27-2004, 05:08 PM
i'm not a parent and not even that old, so i guess i'm posting from the other side of the equation.
right now i'm in grad school, and i think of the consequences if i had a spill. not only would school get put off and i'd suffer through not being able to participate in the other sports i love but also the impact on my parents.
needless to say they've been against it since i told them. fortunately they're willing to trust my judgement (yet, with trepidation) and i'm willing to trust myself. it's the other people on the road i'm wary of. i finally understand the meaning of what they've been telling me.
i've put a lot of work in, and i'd hate to see it go before i'm able to reap the benefits, not to mention that i have continually, less and less time to ride.
i've considered trackdays more and more, and i don't think it's a bad decision. i'll probably still do weekend rides with friends but limit my street riding. RSVRulez, i think there are a lot of people in the same boat that would respect whatever decision you make. it's a tough one.
as for a paintscheme, i know this is of an RS50, but you could copy the two-tone lionhead part. it's just a little more subtle than the rs3.
RFM, what kind of MC? i rode behind a '99 sportstar this summer, and i agree; the feeling doesn't compare.
08-27-2004, 08:24 PM
I've got two friends who went track only. They both wadded at Sears Point on the same day during AFM racing earlier this year. Both got way messed up, bad messed up :(
I'm not trying to say life is safe on the street but the track has its consequences as well :cool:
08-27-2004, 08:29 PM
The ONLY time I have ever been airlifted to the emergency room was after a motorcycle crash on a race track.
Makes you go hmmm...
08-27-2004, 08:45 PM
I have been riding on the street since 1966. I have responsibilities and consequences if I get hurt. I have fallen several times on the street and the track, many times that in the dirt. The only hospitalized grade injuries were on the track. Once was my fault; the worst, with permanent nerve damage, was completely someone else's (I have it on videotape).
Don't expect the track to absolve you of your acceptance of risk. I cannot purge my love to ride, and I have started back to the track after 20 years. You must fight these demons yourself, and make friends with them.
I quit riding for a few years after a bad crash - 6 weeks in the hospital, months of rehab. I borrowed a friends bike here and there until one time I decided I had to get back on the horse for good - and this was on a borrowed pos Shadow, the wort crap I've ever ridden.
That was back in 1990, havne't been bikeless since.
Don't ride the same way I used to anymore.
Faster but a lot more cautious both....I live myself a lot more margin now.
08-28-2004, 02:39 AM
thanks everyone for the inputs so far...true, track riding has it's risks..I'm well aware of that....but as someone said more often than not it's the other guys fault (I've found my limits and do all I can to stay well within them....no crazy overtaking et al....)...in my case it was because the guy in the car coming the other way found he needed a lot more room to come around the corner....and thank god I'd slowed down 'cause I saw him coming 100 yards earlier...wouldn't be here otherwise...(i was higher up a hill coming down....)...and on the streets the other guy often doesn't know how to drive a kiddie car--let alone the real thing.
I feel one of the advantages of being on the track is that you can more easily let the bike "express" itself fully (providing you know how to ride on track)...and with that come the adrenaline thrill....which is different - for me - from the that spurs from having just missed that 18 wheeler which suddenly decided your size meant you could stay between him and the guardrail...
I just sold the R...otherwise there wouldn't have been a problem....if it weren't that the "boss" never had a clue....(got the Factory the same colour on purpose.....) and I was quite sure the
"2 what....bikes?? Hon..you ok?..there's only 1 bike sitting there....you need some rest..."
wouldn't cut it....no.... bad term...pissed off wives and cutting don't mix....;) :D
maybe I'm just stressed out due to all the hassle I've been through...and what I'm seeing with friends hurt more seriously...but it can be part of the game....and as always you have to either accept it or hang the helmet....
08-28-2004, 05:19 AM
Your sense of risk and consequence may not be all that is going on here.
Perhaps you should consider redefining your ideas of fun on the street. My Tuono has liberated me from the all-out sport mentality I had so long. It got to the point where I was only happy in great turns or at high speed, enduring the discomfort or traffic in between. This created frustration and made me ride less and enjoy it less. By admitting I don't care about the far side of 150 MPH, I gain much more range of fun. The Tuono is just as capable at subsonic speeds, but is actually fun to ride in town, in traffic, on worse roads, or cruising at the speed limit. I will put on my gear to ride 4 miles to work. I don't have the illusion or delusion of being the ultimate performance package on the road, but my overall use and enjoyment is much greater. I do still remember the tremendous control and feel of my Spondon TZ350, but I NEVER felt anything like that on the street.
I have not been to southern Italy, but from Firenze north the roads and streets seem more suited to the Tuono attitude. The city traffic, the road conditions, the shape of the turns, all made me realize why the Great Naked is becoming popular. The dualsports looked more useful than the sportbikes, even over Stelvio Pass. Perhaps your vision of yourself and your riding cannot be fulfilled on the street, and this makes the track more attractive. A little open mindedness in that direction might expand your options.
08-28-2004, 04:19 PM
I understand very well what you are saying. I'm exactly thinking about quiiting riding on the street as well.
I did national road racing championships for some years and at that same level it nowadays would be professional racing. At that time we had sponsors but nothing enough to live.(not even to keep the bike running)
After some very hard crashes in the last season, I was over a year not able to ride not even a bycicle. Then 6 more months of rehab did the rest. I was not longer able to race, lost confidence, motivation etc.. However I wanted to be able to ride a bike normally again, bought me a street bike and rode untill I felt comfortable again. The I stopped completely for various reasons, I didn't really enjoyed street riding and found it kind of boring after having raced, I got married and we had a huge mortgage, my wife suffered when I was on the bike. So I stopped. Some 10 years ago I started again. Well actually I never really stopped but I only had a Morini 350 for commuting, not for really riding a bike.
& years ago I bought a Duc 750, loved that bike and started to get the feel again. Bought the Mille (after a very long talk with my wife on a nice friday night with too much wine) and it almost made me get back to the old days. But some riding buddies had crashes, my brother crashed last year, I crashed in May this year. Nothing serious but we were damn lucky. This makes me realise, that the only way I enjor riding a bike is fast. I don't like cruising, I don't like going from A-Z I only like to race. The street is not made for that. We have a lot of tracks around were I live and there are about 5 .6 trackdays a month on f.ex. the MOntmeló circuit (5 minutes from my house) I pay an incredibly high insurance premium, taxes, and normally only to ride on the roadat less then 50% of my limits . That does not feel me any better. I need to have the feel of going to the limits, my limits or that of the bike, does not matter. The only way to do that is on a track. I'm thinking about selling the Mille, o I might as well keep it (they devaluate so fast!) and bulilt me some nice track bike or do classic racing with the bikes I raced in the 70's! I very well understand your feeling, however after a crash, don't wait too long before riding again. The longer you wait the worse it is.
Make yourself feel comfortable again, get rid of the unpleasant thinking and the "ghosts" that haunt your riding pleasure. Then decide waht to do.
08-30-2004, 04:19 PM
One thing you may want to consider is when you ride. There are certainly better times to be out on a bike versus a car. I go out almost every Sunday AM to the local canyon road to get my twisties fix. But the caveat here is that I leave my house just before sunrise (6 am approximately) and am home before 9 am. I get in some great laps, generally the police aren't really out yet, and there is barely any traffic. Do I like getting up at 5 AM on Sundays? Nope. Do I value my saddle time? You bet!
I almost never ride my bikes to work anymore because I just don't think peoples heads are in to driving when they are heading to or from work. Especially on Fridays!
As for the track, I agree with the comments that you can go down any time. On my last track day a guy died in a solo freak accident. Somehow he lost control and the bike came down on top of him! And he was a level 2, not a novice. And almost every weekend I see at least one bike down in the canyons. Some are squids, some are just riding above their ability.
Ride smart, pick your routes and you can at least improve your odds of not getting in an accident.
Oh yeah, and if you are married and/or have kids, taking out a large term life insurance policy usually appeases the misses!:D
Good luck on your decision.
08-30-2004, 07:06 PM
and 20yrs of track and down 3 times. 1 track downing was not my fault, and i caught on fire as the fuel hit my hot engine after the other bike's clipon went through the tank. 2 skin grafts on my right leg from the fire.
the other 2 were street, with one being my fault with kickstand on my H2 750 trip kaw being down in a corner at 80mph. the other was a car which made a left in front of me blocks from my house. i jumped over a hood of vw fastback in full gear and walked away with damaged gear/dislocated shoulder.
it can happen any where at any time. just owning a bike can put you into the food chain.
08-30-2004, 07:27 PM
In one year I had two street crashes and one racing crash at the track....so after the last crash (street- track-street) I put the bike in the shed for 6 months and left it there.....then it got warm and I wanted to ride. I pussied over to a motorcycle safety course in the parking lot of a local school and stayed there for almost three hours remembering how to ride again.
I don't race anymore, but I commute at 85+ on my way into DC each day. The RSV is not too bad as a commuter bike. And after a day of sitting at a desk I just love to open it up when I hit the commuter lane and hear it sing....
The point is that to enjoy motorcycling you don't have to always be at your or the bikes limits. Enjoy the fresh air, sounds, and the sceneary...you don't have to be on a cruiser for that either...
Started riding on the street in 1979 and it was my only transportation through college. Only two minor incidents in all of that time - both my fault and no other vehicles were involved.... luck more than anything....
Started doing some track days a few years ago and in conjunction with moving to NYC, I gave up street riding this year.
I really don't need a full-liter track bike which is why I mainly use my 748 - the Mille is just too fast! I don't want to be like a lot of street riders at the track who rely on the power of their I4 Gixxer/R1/Fireblade/etc. - flying on the straights and crawling through turns.... The people I see who are great riders & very technically proficient started out learning on smaller bikes - like the Aprillia RS 250.
I hope Aprilia produce the smaller displacement 4 stroker road bike soon because that is what I really want.
08-31-2004, 08:48 AM
DArn, all these post of crash and burn. Bad memories and the demons that follow.
Track days are as dangerous as street riding. If you don't fall on the track then you are not exploring the limits. That is why you are there.
Yes, I ride all the time on the street. Sometimes fast. I always leave margin of saftey. I've ridden in Italy. Loved every curve.
I personally have taken up sailing catamorans and hang glidding to fullfill the need for ultimate cutting edge performance. The cats are especially fun. Try sailing 25 mph hanging on a trapeez and launching off a wave. Has all the technical challanges and adrenilin pumping action you can handle.
Hang glidding is also great. Three dimensional motorcycling. No traffic and a graet group of people.
No, I wont give up street riding. Age, mortality and good sense are applied in all sports. Everthing has consquences if you screw up, except watching TV. I guesss there your mind just waste away.
Demons are good. Where would we be if there wasn't consequences??? Motorcycling and all things would be boring.
08-31-2004, 09:00 AM
I've got about 140,000 two-wheeled-miles under my now-expanding belt, mostly on Beemers. I ride as often as I can. Bought the '03 RSV-R a year after I started grinding the valve covers off my R1100S. The Mille-R now has over 8k on her clock, some of that track time and Gap time (ooooh, she loves the track!).
I've had a couple solo accidents and a few of the obligatory zero-speed drops (even one in my garage).
I look at riding as a skill, and at riding with traffic as a separate skill. Skills must be practiced in order to be good at them and have a good level of comfort and confidence. I ride to work in Deeetroit rushhour most of the year. My traffic riding skills are pretty good as a result.
In spite of any negative experiences I've had on the road, I will learn from them as much as I can, to better survive the next run-in with cellphone soccerMom.
Got a girlfriend who's an accomplished rider also. Unfortunately, she's been in a wheelchair for over six months due to being hit head on while on her cherished SV. Another "biker" crossed the double-yellow over-cooking a curve. I put him in quotes as he's not a real biker; no endorsement, poorly maintained older 600cc squidmobile, bald (really bald) front tire, young-dumb-stupid, several accidents and careless driving tiks on record, etc.
In spite of her maladies (too many to list) she still wants to ride again someday.
Riding is in her blood. It's in my blood. I will ride as long as this body will let me.
And... It's in yours too! Just keep the skill-set up by riding regularly.
RIDE ON ! and be safe!
08-31-2004, 09:58 AM
.. I've fallen 3 times on the street since i was 4....when living in the US my transport was a Ninja 600R...sold it with over 70k miles...clocked over a 3 year span....
I want to go on the track because I feel that's where I can take the bike up to my limits....(this last fall wasn't my fault....if not for the fact I stayed with her...as I was sure I'd make it back on the tarmac....had I known of the wall 'd have let her go....)...
weird....my crashes have all been at relatively low to stand still speeds.....and regarding driving in traffic...yes I know something about that...having grown up here riding 50 cc 125cc 250cc 600cc and now my Factory....and we don't travel at 55mph..let alone 75mph on our freeways....then again...we don't in the city limits often enough now that i think about it....
I think it's just a matter of one's destiny...look at Joey Dunlop....but I guess also having someone next to you going on and on and on and on day in and day out can get to you in the end....
I always told her that I'm not one to be influenced by such matters...the day i'm scared of driving I'll quit....but like I said..it's not driving or falling that scares me...not at all....it's the after....work and the yada yada yada....
I know I'll end up with 2 bikes....even though I won't be riding again till next year....another fall now at whatever speed and the docs said they'll be handing me my collar bone to hang on the wall....rofl...(currently have a nice hump to my left shoulder...)
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