At what point do you slow down?

I'm just wondering if there are others out there like me...I turn 37 next week, have an 18 month old daughter and am recovering from another injury. I got back in the saddle today for the first time in two months. My broken thumb is almost completely healed and I decided to ride. I did 48 miles in Breckenridge CO today. I took it easy. Didn't push the envelope and didn't try to keep up with others. I just rode.

I have been hurt 3 out of the last 5 rides including knocking myself out. That is more than I have been hurt in the past 10 years. I have finally decided that I need to slow down. While I am not an old fogey by any means, I do have to admit that my reflexes are not what they use to be. I can no longer live in denial. I can't keep up with the kids and there no fear attitudes. Just have to let them go and live to ride another day. That is hard to do. But there, I said it.

While I rode hard today, I didn't push it at our usual insane pace. And it felt good. I was like hey, I can do this. I can keep the testosterone level down.

But I know the real reason why I have decided to ride my age. It is not the injuries. It is the 18 month old baby girl that I come home to. To much at stake right now.

OK, that felt good. It is out in the open and I can go on with my life. I'm just looking for some group therapy. :)

Dougie, I know exactly how you feel. I turn 51 next month! :D I have the type of job where if I don't work, I don't get paid. Plus, I pay my own medical. Then add to that I have a 4 year old daughter. It makes you slow down a little maybe even a lot! I still like to get a little frisky now and then but, for the most part just cruise. Now days instead of going faster I just try to go further. I also am recovering from an injury(broken wrist). I will be riding off-road for the first time next week-end after 6 weeks off. :) My wrist is still pretty stiff and sore and I can't make a tight fist yet even though I have been exercising it every day. Now, instead of trying to go fast I just try and go everywhere. We still go at a pretty good clip and its still just as fun as ever. Be safe and have fun, Paul

Dougie, I would say you already know whats important and what your priorites just balance in your passion and have a great life. :)

I am 38, and have three kids, and am widowed, so the kids only have me, no other relatives etc... I am self employed as well - no work, no pay...

I realise what my demise would mean, and that is why I don't get down to the track and try to mix it up with the 20 year olds... I am happy to potter around with the son, and let him get in front and brag about it over dinner... :D:D and as for trail riding, well, I just get out there and enjoy it, I don't try to get through the day like a crusty demon, jumping everything in sight, I enjoy the freedom of the machine and where it can take me... I have a go from time to time, but I know when to back off as well... I never go riding alone, and watch myself if I am on the main road on the bike...

You just have to think what your expectations are from riding, if you want the adrenaline rush, then perhaps that will be harder to tone down your style, but if you stop and appreciate the places you go to, and the freedom of the bike and the technical riding thing, then you can see it all from a different angle...

Maybe try riding with some music on to mellow you out... Or ride to different places... Maybe you can get your wife a bike, and stick to her pace...

You have to work out what your priorities are, and I think you have them clearly in your sights - go bungee jumping or ride the roller coaster for the adrenaline rush a couple of time a year... take the biking more slowly...

Never give up riding, just slow down and preserve yourself to enjoy it on a different level for years to come. :D:)

Good luck,


[ July 07, 2002: Message edited by: yamaha.dude ]

I hear what your saying Doug. I have a 12 and 15 year old and at 42, I don't recover from injury very quickly.

I still ride today but, compared to years ago. I still get as much enjoyment from riding. I take learning new jumps slow and don't push myself beyond reason. As I get older, I don't get as far over the line, as I used to. However riding "just beyond" is what thills me and keeps me coming back.

Kiss the baby, kiss the wife and tell them you love them....often!


I had to totally rethink this. When will that stupid ego back off. i ride easy and smooth now. my back is junk, ears along with inner ears are shot to shi^. my buddy don't mind waiting for me he's still a rocket, my blast off days are long gone. That sure hurts to write! My Suzuki cradles that screwed up old back of mine,Thank God for modern bikes. I never could ride one of my old ones again, oh I guess I could take 3 pain killers and pass out damn near dead. I don't think so. Getting old and gimped up sure ain't for the weak of heart.I still would like to ride until I die, I don't mean on the bike either! Old

age appeals to me. Then they can get my t-shirt stash and help the fire out some. Hopefully my buddies will make it longer, though I'm the youngest. They are in much better shape. Shu will have to hike to my favorite hill to spread my ashes. Thanks again Sierra Club.

[ July 09, 2002: Message edited by: oldasdirt ]

[ July 09, 2002: Message edited by: oldasdirt ]

Dougie, 30 yrs ago I wasn't afraid of trying anything, now I have 4 kids (2 boys 25 yrs and 13 yrs, and 2 girls 5 mos and 21 yrs) and after I try something new I always wonder why I did.

I don't ride as fast or as hard as I used to but I'm always wondering if I am doing the right thing, especially when helping my 13yr old with his riding.

I also have a job that only pays me while I am actually working, along with a large house payment and 1 kid in college.

I enjoy riding as much as ever but things just change.

Good luck and be safe, mike

[ July 07, 2002: Message edited by: mike dean ]

Doug, Like Yamaha.dude and Bill I'll tell you I think that I had the most cautious ride, on the very first ride after my daughter was born.

Myself I've noticed that I've slowed down to the extent that like PMAUST I don't bounce as good as what I use too.

I use to organise trail bike groups with pub accomodation (kind of an aussie thing (PUB..... A place that you stay at when you reach your destination, pleanty of GOOD food and BEER.

When I think back that I was the trail boss on rides of 20 or more riders, I can't believe I did ride that quick.

When you ride as trail boss You are the person that knowes exactly where your going, Your the lead rider and you have a sweep (last, pickup, can change tyres real good) When you consider getting about that number of riders together, you will have good riders (although not allowed to over take you as a lead rider) but one of my secrets (when I realised that I'm not game to ride that quick anymore) at the time was that if you showed people a lookout or just beautiful Australian contry side, I'd put on my helmut and get a quick getaway just to get to the next intersection, without getting caught.

I havn't riden for quite a few months now, which is realy out of caricter, and I know that the last ride I did was more a

lost the link...

Anyway it was more mental, and to top it off, my fitness just isn't there anymore.

So I think it's maybe a sort of parnoid thing that slows me/you down, in the back of our minds, and being unco-ordinated when you hit a jump or

over shoot a corner, and nothing is comming the other way!!!!!!!!

But when you pull off a good one (jump,slide,mono etc) CHICKEEEERY......

I say slow!!!!!! The hang on bitts are great.


99WR (stock)

Whew, I am glad to see others like me. I thought I was going to get razzed. :D

I don't claim to be the fastest rider or the most technically sound. But the guys I regularly ride with go hard and fast. Sometimes out of control and without abandon. Sure it is fun to go balls to the wall and when you are clicking it just seems so right. However, I am the only one that is married and with child. They are my age but are responsible only to themselves. One is my ex brother-in-law who I have been riding with for 10 years. We know each others styles, abilities and limits. We push each other all the time, sometimes into trees :D

By no means am I going to putz along in 2cd gear all day long. I am still looking for a thrill here and there. But I am resolved to pick my WOT times a little more carefully. And if that means pulling up the rear, then so be it. Of course that is not such a bad thing when you are riding Rampart Range :D

I have two hobbies that I am passionate about. Riding and playing the drums. This last injury cost me both for two months. I don't want to do that again.

Fun and safe riding to all.

(That being said, I will never let a four wheel ATV pass me at any cost :) )

I saw another member's tagline, it read

"you dont't stop riding when you get old, but you get old when you stop riding"

It is funny how many guys here have come back to the sport after 10 or 20 years layoff - they do the career thing, start a family, and mid 30s decide they want a bike again... they are coming back with a different mindset, and still enjoying it.



You are where I was 7 years ago. I was just getting back into it after 11 or 12 years away raising kids and tending to life. You will have as much fun riding at a sane pace as you did when you were berserk. Your friends will eventually find they can't pay the price at this age, either. The ones that don't understand it must either ride every day to keep their reflexes sharp, or they will be on a first name basis with the local ER staff. I'm doing club enduros and enjoying every minute. No pressure, and the cold beer around the campfire (definitely AFTER riding) has just as much appeal to me as a 75 mph sandwash or a technical singletrack ridge. This is just evidence you are getting more sensible about the whole thing. That little girl is what is really important. Don't let ANYONE goad you into thinking anything different.



I am 45, have had 3 major back surgeries, 3 knee scopes, One right wrist rebuilt. I gave it all up 16 years ago prior to the back surgeries.

The reason, it was not fun any more and I was getting married. No insurance, crappy job and could not afford a wife kids and a bike. So I sold it all, quit racing and hung the leathers up (Back then we used Leather) :D .

I always told myself if I am to busy trying not to think about getting hurt its time to quit.

16 years later I am making a very comfortable living, well insured and have a daughter and son I ride with now. I putz around, I go fast when I need to and just have fun cow trailing. I can still hold my own but not close to what it was.

I think you have the priorities perfect your baby girl, man will you be in tears the first time you see her in mx gear and smiling from ear to ear as she starts her first bike.

Then it’s the wedding and your ready to kill your son in law :)

Ditto to the person who posted,

Hug and kiss you wife and kids everyday, and just make sure they know they are number 1

Geez did that come from me :D

[ July 07, 2002: Message edited by: E.G.O.**** ]

As others have eluded to, it's not so much about the age or the self inflicted injuries as it is about stability in life and the priorities we have. My job has me landing a jet airplane on the back of an aircraft carrier in good, bad, and just plain crappy weather...everytime I do it I think about the correct steps toward the safe landing because I want to see my wife and girls again. My riding is the same way. I ride for enjoyment, and even though I'm not 30 yet, my riding is far more controlled than it was before my girls entered my life. I wouldn't ever give up riding, but I'll never jeopardize the ability to provide for my girls, either.

You're right, they're #1, and #2 is wayyyy off in the distance.

I had to slow down after 4 knee surgeries :) Given that though I still ride (missed out by 32 secs on third place in the YODA class at a Canadian National Hare Scramble yesterday but it was still a great ride. After 30 years of swearing I would never own a street bike I got a YZF600R last year and recently went on a 7200km tour to Newfoundland. You can check out some of the pics on my website if your interested at

I've always ridden hare scrambles and enduros (about 35 years now) but after laying off motocross for about 20 years (I only rode a few before that) I starated riding our club's motocross series. That is probably because we just added the YODA class (Yappy Old Demented Adults). This might be known to you as the Over 50 class.

I guess this just a long winded way of saying that you still have great fun without being at the front of the pack.

Willy Fitz


I can relate to prioritizing your life. About 3 years ago I had a garage full of toys: 2 mx quads, 2 SeaDoo's, 1 98 KX250(that I never rode cuz it scared the S#*T out of me). Then my wife became pregnent. In three months we sold everything! I felt that my wife and kid should come first financially and personally. I never regreted it, not one time. Earlier this year she noticed I was bored alot and told me to get a toy, so now I'm the proud owner of a 02 250F. I think most of us who have families have come to a balance in our lives where we can enjoy the toys we have but have the proper perspective on life to not push it beyond the limits. Group therapy really works, eh!


I am 39, and got back into the sport two years ago. I never did motocross because I was always more fascinated with the technical aspect of riding. I have a 13 yr old and a 2 yr old and a wife who likes to ride.

I have two brothers that love to compete with each other, be it speed or technical. I, on the other hand, can appreciate the talent and skill it takes to ride like they do, but, most of the time, I wont even try and keep up. I can spend all day grinding out a tough trail in 1st and 2nd or spend all day encouraging my daughter in the right way to climb a hill, and be just as happy. Time in the hospital is time away from doing all the things I love.

It's not worth being wadded up to be first.

My biggest kick comes from teaching others how to do this, and laughing when they decide not to listen, or, trying to setup my brothers for the mud bath of a lifetime. Or trying to avoid getting soaked by my brethren. Key points, lots of laughs, and, good challenges, and no injuries!

now you got me thinking, i am 40 years old, have a beautiful 2 year old girl & a 12 year stepdaughter

i had my share of injuries ; broke my femur 3 years ago, raced all of last summer with a real bad foot,crashed on my elbow so bad the thing was 5 inch thick had to go on intravenus so i would'nt lose my arm to infection just crashed yesterday on the same arm luckely not as bad but still it is swollen. every race i go to i try to win ,the day i start cruising is the day i'll stop racing, i train hard but always think technical , when it's time to race i give it 100%

i think i have enough common sense not to over ride my limits to were i feel confortable .

i would like to add a very personnal note: i lost my snowmobile riding buddy this winter, we racked up 40.000 miles over the years as fast as we possibly could i loved every minutes of it , paul died in a head on collision on a 30 feet winter road he was on the wrong side, paul leaves his wife and two kids, his life was speed,so is mine

Dougie, Great thread!!! Most of the guys I ride with are older than me (I'll be 36 in two hours). My dad is one of them, he's 57 and totally rips. My other friend is 59, again the guy is just amazing. I never see them doing any "No hander landers" or "Supermans" but it's rare to see them break their composure on the trail, just solid,consistant riding. I think as long as you can ride good without making big mistakes then I say don't slow down. But if you start to make mistakes that result in injuries then you should just cruise. Their are guys out their that still rip like Dubach and Paul Krause, and not to mention Malcom. Just remember to have fun..

Dan :)


Personally, I have come to the same conclusions. I'm 42 and have young and pre-teen kids. Many years ago, I raced and would try about anything. Returned to riding about two years ago after 15 years off. Have been knocked out and severely sprained my foot since returning to the sport. There seems to be a high rate of injury for this sport which is highly correlated with going too fast. In my group of riders, where there have been several hospital visits. All hospital visits came from incidents where the rider said "I was pushing it and knew I was going too fast" To me the risk/reward ratio is just not worth it. The reward of the adrenaline rush or of being able to claim I was faster than the next guy is just not worth the significant risk of injury by riding on the edge of control.

These days, I'm learning to enjoy the adventure of being out in some vast place, enjoying the scenery, figuring out the terrain and challenging the landscape and elements in a more controlled way. We are enjoying Dual Sporting, covering many miles in the mountains using maps and compass. The dirtbike can be the best adventure exploration vehicle. The new goal is to go on an adventure, overcome the elements, find the destination, finish the ride, and arrive without injury.

The real race is long - 40 or more years! The winner finishes strong. I've enjoyed meeting the riders who are still riding in their 60's and 70's. That's my goal - participating in adventures with my family and friends for many years! I no longer need to be the fastest on the block! To me the real winner is the one who knows he could go much faster if he had too, but for reasons more important than himself, chooses not to.

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