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Idaho What slowed YOU down?

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As I slowly regain function in my foot after a break (and a little Ti added for extra discomfort), I've been reflecting on different events in my life that have changed my riding styles.

When I was a young, dumb kid, I don't ever remember thinking about what could go wrong. I only remember immediately after a nearly tragic wreck, thinking about what nearly did go wrong. But as quickly as that moment happened, it was past. Gas it.

The first real wakeup call was about 11 years ago when I had a high speed head-on collision with my wife. Long story short, we swapped bikes, I thought I heard her screaming for help (afraid she was trapped under my heavy XR4), I flew back to try to find her... and... I found her. Ever since that, I never exceed my braking power around a blind turn. I never realized how many blind turns there are in the woods until after that.

The second thing that slowed me down was my kids. They really change your outlook on life. Every time I find myself doing something of questionable judgement, their goofy little faces pop into my mind, saying, "Don't do that, Daddy! We'd miss you if you didn't come home!" Ugh. Quite irritating, really.

I have to think that this broken foot will change my ways at least a little mentally, if not just physically. It was such a stupid fall. I could have gassed it and rode it out, but I decided to bail because I thought it would have a lower-risk outcome. Now 6 weeks later, I'm learning to walk again, and when anything touches the area of that plate, it feels like a blowtorch on my skin. A riding boot sounds like torture at this point.

When growing up, I never believed my elders when they'd say how "getting old sucks", and "you'll feel that when you're older", and "when you're old, you just don't recover like you used to..." I'm starting to believe them. I hope they were wrong about the reflexes and balance....

So what slowed you down? Anything?

.

Edited by ITLKSEZ

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No need to slow down...was never fast in the first place!  Completing a nasty single track loop has always been more important than how fast I did it.

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looped out a wheelie at high speed on some hardpack dirt down in Socal....foot slipped off brake, over I went.  Still don't like long wheelies. 

 

stuck a right front brake lever in my gut and lost 17" of my small intestine on a MX track....sorta brought on the realization that if I continue like this there is going to be a lot more ICU time in my future.  Pretty much took the wind out of my sail. I still get motivated from time to time, but my heart isn't in it....just wanna finish the ride and go to work on Monday.

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Lots of broken bones and close calls. More than anything though...realizing that I have just as much fun doing slower, more technical riding as I did riding 100 mph in the desert as a kid.

Edited by shutupandride

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I've had a few close calls. My number 1 reason for slowing down...the bills don't get paid, if I'm laid up healing. That said, mostly I'm just slower as a rule:o

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Fear

Fear is rational, and arguably an intelligent response to analyzing risks.  Personally I think that smarts are a disadvantage when it comes to going fast.

 

For me, when I was younger it was go as fast as I could because I wanted to win (pretty much all riding was on the track or practice track).  In 1995, I remember tweaking my knee at mx race on my KX250 and almost missed a mtn bike race the next weekend.  The recognition of injuries keeping me from doing other things crept in.  Now, I'm racing for fun only, and definitely try and stay at a pace I can manage safely.  No need to take chances for 15th vs 16th.

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Getting older, wiser and not like feeling pain.

As a teenager I was very fast and invincible.

A car crash my senior year in high school ended my run of being invincible. It was the first time I was seriously injured and felt what real pain was like.

I kept riding through the years but nothing that serious .

Last year I decided to get back into racing after a 27 year layoff. Not mx but enduro. I thought it would be safer. So I bought a ktm200 thinking the smaller, lower powered bike would keep me out of trouble.

I was wrong. Been hurt twice needing a trip to the ER.

I am riding slower but I guess not slow enough. I forget I'm not the indestructible teen I was. I want to go fast but the little voice in the back of my head says don't get hurt.

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No need to slow down...was never fast in the first place!  Completing a nasty single track loop has always been more important than how fast I did it.

 

Same here.  Although I am getting slower as I get older.  Mostly because I am so darn out of shape that I can't maintain my old pace as long.

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My kids having to feed me while recovering from shoulder surgery. The role reversal hit a little too close to home now that I'm getting older.

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Getting two new hips last year. Was never that fast to begin with but it definately makes you think about taking unnecessary risks. Kind of have to learn to ride all over again. Have had two Dr's  tell me I'm crazy for getting back on the bike but I love it so. Getting new hips was not a result of a riding accident but something I was born with. I have seriously considered giving it all up, but like I said, it is a passion for me and all you guys on here alike. Just have to choose carefully where I go and who I go with or don't go with. To many people I know like to live on the edge, not me. I would like to return to home at the end of the day. The way I see it if I come home with nothing broken on me or my bike and all my riding buddies get home safe, that's a good day.

Little Jeff

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Dislocated my right shoulder 3x in a year and a half. And broke my left elbow in between all that. Finally had surgery on said shoulder after the 3rd time.

After that I realized that trying to go fast isn't the key. Just work on being smooth and fluent is key. Your speed will pick up and you won't even notice it. I'm faster now then I was 20yrs ago when I thought I was fast.

Getting older has slowed me down some as well, I've realized that being in pain sucks . So now I ride at my level, and push just a little bit.

I also seem to ride more by myself now. That's helped me keep myself in check as well

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Getting old, and yeah it does kinda suck. Not only reflexes and balance but vision as well. Things just happen too fast when I try to ride fast. I want to still be riding when I'm 70 (59 now) so now I'm into technique and riding within my limits. Funny thing is I find that I like the technical stuff better anyway. When I was young I rode with brute force and ignorance, now that the brute force isn't available I've learned a lot about riding a motorcycle, and I like it!

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Watching Jamie Parks be driven off the 24 Hour course was heart wrenching and made me think of my own wife and two-year old boy I had sitting at home. Our group had a big discussion and we're all deeply saddened. We raced on and we're doing really well. I was on the 6 AM lap and we were in 2nd place. I don't remember any of this, but apparently passed first place (his account) and was hauling ass. He says he found me 40 feet from my bike and out of it. I got pissed off, yelled at him after he tried to help me up, then chased him the next 12 miles back to the pits. My buddies loaded me up in MedStar and I was flown to Yakima. The only things I remembered we're going to bed at 2 AM and my wife and buddies talking to me in the hospital at 3 PM. The first thing I thought about was the crash the day before, my wife, and my kid. I sweated like a whore in church at work for the next two weeks and couldn't solve a math problem for three months. I didn't tell anyone because I did not want to lose my job. Thankfully I am 100% again. I still ride hard in the backcountry, but don't race. I decided to save the rest of my time for riding with my kids.

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What slowed me down was wanting to learn better technique. 

 

And, my two mains goals to complete every ride: don't break me and don't break the bike.

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Watching Jamie Parks be driven off the 24 Hour course was heart wrenching and made me think of my own wife and two-year old boy I had sitting at home. Our group had a big discussion and we're all deeply saddened. We raced on and we're doing really well. I was on the 6 AM lap and we were in 2nd place. I don't remember any of this, but apparently passed first place (his account) and was hauling ass. He says he found me 40 feet from my bike and out of it. I got pissed off, yelled at him after he tried to help me up, then chased him the next 12 miles back to the pits. My buddies loaded me up in MedStar and I was flown to Yakima. The only things I remembered we're going to bed at 2 AM and my wife and buddies talking to me in the hospital at 3 PM. The first thing I thought about was the crash the day before, my wife, and my kid. I sweated like a whore in church at work for the next two weeks and couldn't solve a math problem for three months. I didn't tell anyone because I did not want to lose my job. Thankfully I am 100% again. I still ride hard in the backcountry, but don't race. I decided to save the rest of my time for riding with my kids.

Kevin Parks?

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No need to slow down...was never fast in the first place!  Completing a nasty single track loop has always been more important than how fast I did it.

 

This.  I never was really fast, I have/had my moments where I'm in a groove.  But anymore I just ride to be out there, I try to push myself and keep pace but when I can tell I'm beyond my limits I just slow down and ride safe.  I prefer not crashing and breaking my bike or myself to needing to be fast and getting hurt.

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