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So you reckon you're tough?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by Roarin, Dec 25, 2005.

  1. Just a story I got off the motorcycle daily site about why people continue to ride after being injured. This old bloke takes the cake I reckon.
    Riders must ride. In about 1970 I had a bad accident in the mountains west of Boulder Colorado. I hit a hidden rock too fast on my Zundapp ISDT Replica and sailed off the edge of a mountain 4WD road, landing in a boulder field, tumbling and coming to rest 150 feet down the steep mountain side. I got up. My shoulder was sagging so I knew I was hurt. Later x-rays revealed a cracked vertebrae, split collar bone and an injured knee. Other riders said my first words were, "I wonder how long this will keep me off motorcycles."



    A few years ago, after the age of sixty, I stiff-legged a rock while cornering in sand in the Southeastern Utah desert. I heard the bone crack. I didn't fall. The pain was intense for a few moments. When our group of three stopped to check our map a few miles later I got off my bike and said I had cracked a leg bone. They didn't believe me. With help, I got back on the bike and rode 40 miles to Blanding where I stayed in a motel. The next morning, with help, I got back on my motorcycle and rode 300 miles home to Colorado. My wife is handicapped so I drove myself to the emergency room. X-rays revealed a 6 inch split in my tibia and various cracks and chips in the knee joint. I declined a cast, walked on crutches for 6 weeks, hopping around the kitchen on one foot to fix meals. Then back on a motorcycle.

    That winter I was riding snow on a frozen lake at 11,000 foot altitude on a mesa near where I live. Momentarily blinded by the setting sun, I rode onto bare ice. I went down on one knee but not very hard. I felt no pain. But the knee didn't work right and I couldn't pick up my DR650 on the ice. Finally, a passing family saw me in the middle of the frozen lake and came out to help. By then I couldn't walk without help. After pushing my bike off the lake, they helped me on and I rode the twenty miles home, then crawled up my wife's handicap-access ramp to get into the house and retrieve my crutches. I didn't think I broke anything. I tried walking on it for two weeks before going in for X-rays. I had split the other tibia about 2 inches and busted up that knee joint. Testing revealed that I have a serious bone density problem -- almost osteoporosis.

    I healed slower than before and couldn't wait to ride. I rode, even in the winter, with crutches strapped on my back. I rode as far as Moab, Utah, to have lunch with a friend. I remember getting a thumbs-up from a truck driver on I-70.

    Now, at age 67, I have quit riding 4WD trails because of my bone density problem but I still ride 20,000 to 25,000 miles each year, mostly on multi-purpose motorcycles ( KLR650, R1150GS and DL650). I ride many miles of unpaved roads in western Colorado and eastern Utah, usually fast, sometimes at speeds up to 100MPH indicated on good unpaved roads. I do it because I love doing it. I also took up sport bike riding after the age of 60 and attended 4 track schools. One of the most fun things I've ever done.

    Is my story unusual? I don't think so. Like other riders I ride because I love to ride. It's my life. It's how I resist succumbing to age. Accidents are incidents. In my mind, the possibility of injury has little to do with whether or not I should ride. As long as my reflexes are good, my judgment quick, I will ride if I can get on a motorcycle.

    My personal motorcycle web pages begin with this statement, "...a longtime motorcyclist who rides for the symbiotic relationship of rider and machine, the dynamics of motorcycle handling, the sensory perception of a powerful engine and the immense pleasure of a well-designed, single-track vehicle speeding over lonely roads to beautiful places. "

    Verle
    Cedaredge, Colorado
     
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  2. Some riders jump on a machine (any machine) and go hard by temperament. I often justify my disinclination to take risks with the words, "I still plan to be riding when I'm 65". Yet this guy's doing it both!!

    A great read! (though I won't be 'learning' from his example! :) )
     
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  3. Tough son of a biatch...

    Matt: You don't have to justify taking it easy to anyone, including yourself. Those of us who push the limits do so because it brings us enjoyment, not because we're hard b@stards. You're obviously having a good time riding the way you are, so count yourself as one of the lucky ones who don't have to take risks to get a buzz.

    Justin.
     
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  4. and when he dies of old age or a final motorcycle crash do you think he'll be happy then?............i think yes
     
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  5. Personally, I think its great. A man after my own heart :LOL: :LOL: (not that I'm tough or anything but I love his attitude!!)
     
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  6. What a legend. Many people his age are suffering similar injuries from accidents just doing household chores. He's having a blast out on the open road. Nothing saddens me more than people focused on nothing more than self-preservation so they can exist to a ripe old age without really enjoying life. I'd rather go out hard and happy than lonely and frail. Good to see the cotton wool doesn't get pulled out for everyone.
     
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  7. Incredible physical endurance, but there are some inner demons with this guy, and he's riding to get away from them.
     
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  8. Go on, elaborate... :)
     
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  9. Reading between the lines. His wife is disabled and therefore probably dependent, he rides to get away from the constant demands, maybe in dark moments he entertains the idea of death as release from that pressure?
    Lots of people indulge in risk-taking and dangerous behaviour as an antidote to the confines of their lives. I hope he finds some peace, is all.....
     
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  10. Or maybe he has a high pain threshold and actually just enjoys riding.
     
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  11. So a bloke has a stack 30 years ago, then seven years ago hits a rock with his knee (doesn't come off) and stacks riding in snow. No cliff diving... Your first thought is that he must be suicidal? Very interesting...

    Hasn't Mouth come off twice this year? Perhaps he needs some counselling... :LOL:

    I do agree that him riding as an escape is likely. But he does sound like he enjoys the journey.
     
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  12. hey Dan, quiet night on Netrider, amateur psychology, what can I say?? (and everybody's got their inner demons)
     
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  13. The occurrence of Osteoporosis (the thinning of bone) in men isn't talked about all that much. I'd hazard a guess that most people think of it in relation to women.
     
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  14. You're not wrong about the Osteoporosis in men, G. Believe it or not but men can get breast cancer - but it is exteeeemely rare - usually occurs in males with a "bigger personality" if you get my drift.

    anyway enough about the medical! I reckon I will be a nut on a bike, coz I am tired of playing it safe - done it since I was a littlly.

    can't wait to ride for myself and not have anyone else piss me off - I enjoy my personal time and a bike will enhance that I think.
     
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  15. Due to his age I think he probably would be after your heart! :shock:
     
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  16. i have smashed myself up a few times on bikes (some my fault others not) and why do i keep riding?

    because like most true motorcycle adhearants they are a part of me, i am not me if i dont ride, my motorcycles in part define me and without them i am a much lesser person,

    so, like this old dude, as long as i can swing my leg over the seat i will keep riding
     
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  17. Couldnt agree more bloke :wink: :wink: :wink:

    Hornet600, So your not only a professional when it comes to moderastion but personal personna as well. I have smashed myself up worse than this old fella(top effort by him) but not on a motorcycle. I will still be riding till I die. and when it comes to riding ALL the time I have no inner demons(as you put it). I ride because I have riden all my life,love to ride, and to stick it to the gumbyment......

    in my amateur opinion(psychologist) it is you who has the inner demons..... when it comes to riding...

    This old bloke is the defenition of a real biker if you ask me and my hat is off to him

    Flipper - edited name calling
     
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