Hi Gang, Great thread. I read it from end to end before posting this.
I'm new to Thumper Talk, but not to bikes. My first ride was a '67 Honda Dream which I used to flattrack around my sister's back yard horse corral. It was the most freedom had ever known. I crashed that one into history when I jumped a tree stump and the bars broke off in my hands.
Later I stepped up to a nearly new '74 Yamaha DT250... Those were the days. Fast and gnarly on 3" of suspension travel. I've had 34 bikes since then and could never see myself as a "retired" rider. Dirt, street, trials, I still can't get enough.
A couple of weeks ago I was riding the woods at River Valley OHV Park in Council Bluffs, IA (my home park) with my 50+ riding buddy, John. I was thinking about getting older and wondering if I were really slowing down. As we approached the far corner of the the twisties, I began to smell premix in th air. I was riding my '96 XL 200, and John was trailing a buit behind on his KTM, so I knew it wasn't him. A couple of corners later I saw flashes of neon green ahead. a couple more corners and I slowed just a bit when I caught these two 20somethings and John caught up to the growing pack. If there had been a place to pass we would have blasted by - just for the fun of it, but being older, smarter/wiser riders we held back and waited until they took a turn we weren't following. Later, back at the truck, we talked about how we had caught the young guns, and let them live to tell the tale.
John is over 50 and I'm 46. I ride two to three times a week when the weather is decent. I was John's 1st riding coach when he started in 2000. He has learned so much since then and keeps getting better with age.
A few years ago I sold my XR500 to Radar2515 just cuz he wanted it so badly. That's the only one I miss. There's an XR 400 in my future and another ATV on the horizon. As long as there are cool places to ride and cooler people to ride with, I won't ever give up, slow down, or stop sharing my love of riding.