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Nicola Paoletti

When is it time to hang up the helmet?

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6 hours ago, William1 said:

If not being able to go balls to the wall all the time means riding is not your idea of a good time, then it is time to quit [racing]. For me, it will be when I simply cannot physically do it. [fixed that for you]

Its always a personal call. But just because you aren't fired up to MX race, doesn't mean you have to stop riding, or even stop participating in racing. When I got too old to road race, I sponsored a rider in the AMA National series. That was fun.

Years later, I got back into dirt riding. I do trail riding with buddies. Made good friends. I have fun riding, and get good exercise. I do tight technical trails, with lots of rocks, trees, logs, mud, etc. Not real high speed. I still drop the bike a lot and I've gotten hurt. I'm only 69, so I don't know how much longer I will be riding. I do have a new KTM on order.

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1 minute ago, pat22043 said:

Its always a personal call. But just because you aren't fired up to MX race, doesn't mean you have to stop riding, or even stop participating in racing. When I got too old to road race, I sponsored a rider in the AMA National series. That was fun.

Years later, I got back into dirt riding. I do trail riding with buddies. Made good friends. I have fun riding, and get good exercise. I do tight technical trails, with lots of rocks, trees, logs, mud, etc. Not real high speed. I still drop the bike a lot and I've gotten hurt. I'm only 69, so I don't know how much longer I will be riding. I do have a new KTM on order.

Good topic. Most of our wives would not share our opinions on when to retire. I also retired from racing 20 years ago and still haven't figured out how to stay off motorcycles. Enjoy play riding and trail riding with friends but none of us forgot how to turn the throttle. Best to make your own decision based on your own risk/comfort level.  Fear is the stuff that powers our better decisions when we're too excited or stupid to slow down a bit. I have no problem letting faster riders lead me around. Nothing to prove anymore. Most important to realize when you get a bit older(I'm older than most of you pups) every time you ride your bike could be your last ride. Think about that. Would you like to have another ride later on or risk everything to prove something today. I won my share of motorcycle races and survived many amazing crashes. Dont want to waste any more time healing up from injuries at my age. Play hard but play safe

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3 minutes ago, everlastneverfast said:

 Enjoy play riding and trail riding with friends but none of us forgot how to turn the throttle. Best to make your own decision based on your own risk/comfort level.  

I haven't mastered the classic On Any Sunday puddle roost. I can easily spin the rear on my 300, but it just doesn't throw it high enough to really get my buddies

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A lot depends on where you live too......BEST riding of my life has been SINCE age 45, but NONE of it on a track. SO much great riding on trails, mountains, and general off road in many places. If you only have MX as a choice then it's time to move maybe?

 

Joe

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62 here.  You've been riding 36 years and have the smarts of being 48.  I'm sure you've had to exercise riding to your skill (and/or reflex) level.  There's still an awful lot of fun you can have slowing it down a little recognizing that a)you're still going to fall occasionally, but at slower speeds it hurts a lot less and b)no matter how light the fall is it's going to take longer to recover the older you get.  For context, at 40 a bump, bruise or mild injury that to less than a day to shake off now requires the week to forget about enough to remount.  For what its worth, I still have a blast running mostly single track and desert in so Cal and AZ, but usually not two full days in a row (recovery does slow down) as the muscles just get too achey.  As to getting nervous (scared), that happens and you'll find yourself asking "what was I thinking" and then the adrenaline hits and combined with a little wisdom from age you manage your way out of what originally looked a little dangerous.  Good luck, but I'd not hang up the helmet except in between rides.

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58

I raced when I was young, got back into it at 35 and stopped "racing" in 2008.

I felt as you do............... getting older and not as fast as I think I was ......is........am.

My advise is to get a NEW bike............... or 2

Definitely dual sport to just have fun on and ride ANYWHERE............. then a "fun bike" to do just that HAVE FUN.

I have a 2007 CRF250X (fun as all get out).........light and has a magic button for the tight dumb stall stuff.

Next to it is my really fun bike the XR650L (Modified to run and on a diet)................. a all around get around great machine that cm handle everything you can give it.

Don't hang up the helmet and retire.............................. just retire the race bike and "move on".

Ride Red!

But if you can't ride red ........ at least just ride.

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11 hours ago, Nicola Paoletti said:

Hello everybody,

I am 48 years old and after 36 years of motocross I am in a big crisis, the second or third to be correct.

In the last 3/4 years I am constantly worried about getting injured, my rhythm si slower and slower...and I am not having the fun I used to have.

Is it the time to quit? 

I remember Ricky Johnson said thet he was going to quit the day he felt he was scared to ride.

I am in that situation.....but I still have a lot of passion  for the sport....

I would like to listen at yours opinion , maybe giving me also your age so that I can relate.

Thankyou

Well I know some old d37 racers still hauling the mail in their early 60s...

But to answer your question

Have you considered changing verses quitting.

There's a whole wide two wheeled world out there.

Trials & hard enduro are a good to get into.

How about giving supermoto riding (not racing) a try?

Have you ridden a modern 5" or 6" travel mtb with 27.5" or 29" wheels are a dropper seat post?  If not and you remember bikes from 30 years ago, well its about the same difference as a twin shock elsinore to a new ktm 450sxf.  Its a whole world of fun....

You could get weird and try flat track for fun, or get into adventure riding.

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I'll be 45 this summer.  I ride mainly single track and race a few XC and Hare scrambles, but I do go burn laps at the MX track reasonably frequently.  I don't race MX though. I like track riding for the conditioning and ability to focus on technique and mechanics rather than unknown terrain.  I've gotten faster off road since I started riding at the track.  My best friend that I ride with is 51.  Another guy I ride with is 62 and is still really fast.  Another guy we ride with is 72-73 this year.  He won a bunch of trophies and stuff in the 1970's and is still a fairly brisk pace to keep up with. 

So...when is it time to hang up the helmet?  When you just don't feel like riding anymore.  That hasn't happened to me or the other guys I mentioned yet so we're still just "gonna send it".

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Nicola

IF you really are worried every time u ride, AND you find the fun factor is gone, and you have been doing this a long time,  then yes you just may be over it.

For now 😉

We certainly cant answer this one for ya, but of course we can give our own old man experience

Im a bit strange. Im 59, built like a teen,  and am faster and better than I have ever been. Its fun to chase the young A class guys, then see their face when they see my gray hair ha. If only I had the stamina I had when younger. This happened because somewhere around 45 I new I had better actually learn how to ride properly or this body simply wont be able to continue this. So I decided to swallow pride and actually forced myself to slow down, way down, smooth out, and concentrate on proper technic. At first I didnt like it but I realised just how much I was relying on strength rather than skill and within just a few weeks I was starting to do things I was never able to do while I was just trying to go fast. This sparked a re interest I didnt see comming and here I am at near 60 ridding better than ever. Where was this mind when I was 20?

So thats the good side. The not so good side is the fact that age and MX pounding are not a good combo. Your body simply does not repair efficiently like it did at 20. And although I enjoy ridding more now than ever I am faced with hips, knees, tendons, and nerves that are all saying enough!!

I hope both you and I have enough wisdom to stop when we should and learn something new. Im not sure Im that wise

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I'm 54 and I like road racing track days for a non-competitive (sorta) thrill ride, but I LOVE woods riding. 

Seems to me that MX is more prone to injuries, and the old bones don't bend like they used to. 

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12 hours ago, Nicola Paoletti said:

Hello everybody,

I am 48 years old and after 36 years of motocross I am in a big crisis, the second or third to be correct.

In the last 3/4 years I am constantly worried about getting injured, my rhythm si slower and slower...and I am not having the fun I used to have.

Is it the time to quit? 

I remember Ricky Johnson said thet he was going to quit the day he felt he was scared to ride.

I am in that situation.....but I still have a lot of passion  for the sport....

I would like to listen at yours opinion , maybe giving me also your age so that I can relate.

Thankyou

48 here too my man. Never raced competitively, but have been hurt. I worry too as I'm still a pretty aggressive trail/site rider. Can't imagine a life without riding, some day might have to resort to a S×S though. May l suggest you can hang up the race hat, and just trail/rec ride. 🤘

Happy trails. 

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12 hours ago, Smoking 2's said:

I'm 46, gave up MX years ago but still ride trails, though not fast anymore. It took awhile to get outta the got to be first mentality and just put it in 3rd and cruise with occasional bursts of excitement. I do ride occasionally in hare scrambles for a Xtra burst of fun.

My Dad gave up dirt bikes at about 40, all us kids were old enough to drive ourselves by that point but at 75 or so he just picked up a YZ 125 and we went for a 2 hour trail ride Sunday 👍

Thsts awesome! :worthy:

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64 this summer

first race when I was 15, last serious racing in my late 40s. Modern motocross tracks are not my cup of tea.  I'll do a hare scrambles or enduro to enjoy the event and new terrain, not gunning it for the win.  Not sure how I would exist without skiing and dirt bikes, they make me feel alive like nothing else.  If there is no joy move on, I recommend trying a different flavor of dirt it might reinvigorate your passion.  Enjoy

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Posted (edited)

if your worried about getting injured its probably time to take a break, its when your not focused thats your likely to get injured.  I raced motocross back in the 90's, I had  just got married , I remember rolling off the throttle worried about coming up short on a triple , thinking if I end up in the hospital I wont be able to make the mortgage payment. my wife an RN stopped going to the races after a coworkers son ended up with a ruptured spleen at the track I raced at. his buddies put him in the back of pickup and drove him to the hospital instead allowing the ambulance to transport him. after that, she was so freaked out every time I would go to track that I finally stopped racing. I got into dualsport riding and rode sweep for a lot D37 events over the next 15years.  guess it really comes down to your experiences that guides decisions.  the upside when I was racing, when that flag dropped I was completely focused and everything else in my mind went away. I was always a bit ADHD  , going fast was only way to clear my head, then real life and responsibility made me slow down a bit.  funny thing, my dad didnt think I would live to be 30, then when I made it to 30,I  said dad I made to 30,  he said that's because your a skilled idiot. lol  I will be 60 in six months.  Motorcycles are dangerous, but I have been hurt worse on a skateboard, and hurt worse on snow skis.

 

Edited by rocco61
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13 hours ago, Nicola Paoletti said:

Hello everybody,

I am 48 years old and after 36 years of motocross I am in a big crisis, the second or third to be correct.

In the last 3/4 years I am constantly worried about getting injured, my rhythm si slower and slower...and I am not having the fun I used to have.

Is it the time to quit? 

I remember Ricky Johnson said thet he was going to quit the day he felt he was scared to ride.

I am in that situation.....but I still have a lot of passion  for the sport....

I would like to listen at yours opinion , maybe giving me also your age so that I can relate.

Thankyou

I'm 53 and just got back into dirt bike riding after 22 year hiatus. Use to race strictly motocross. I'm scared every time I go out because I don't want to get hurt. So when I start out riding, I go slow.  And speed up gradually where appropriate.  But I've discovered that there is a lot of fun going slow and finding little obstacles to play around with.  Of course I'm only doing trail riding, which means it is far more relaxed than racing.  Racing is too much stress.  Trail riding and having fun and making challenges that you can do while riding slower is just as much fun as screaming in an MX race.

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I’m turning 50 this year. I realized I don’t enjoy riding curvy paved roads with the other guys. It’s just boring to me. But, I absolutely love riding on dirt and exploring new trails. So much so, I’m loading up my Xr650l and heading to Colorado this summer then over Moab. I never really think about getting hurt. I just love the adventure. I also plan to take my r1200gs to Alaska sometime soon. Riding can be many different things and still be lots of fun. 

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Posted (edited)

It's funny I ran across this thread today. I'm 58 and we just had our first race since the covid lockdowns. Like many my age I too think about getting hurt but it's great fun. Been thinking hard about hanging it up but love riding and spending time with the riding buddies.

This last Sunday's  hare scramble race started with a motorcross track which they just wet down. I pull up to the line not feeling it, put my foot down only to fall over in the mud with people laughing, I laughed at myself too. So here I am with sticky mud stuck all over my side and back, thinking what am I doing here, I'm to old, going to get hurt, and can't even hold the bike up. One guy even told me I'm suppose to wait till the race starts to get muddy. Well, the flag raises and we start the race. The first lap didn't go great but by the second things were going good. I think this ended up being my best race ever. Feeling pumped now and can't wait till the next race.

Edited by highvolt
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