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Speed, the mind, and man boobs...

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by mattb, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. ...or should I say, aging?

    QuarterWit, Devery and myself went for a ride through Reefton Spur yesterday. Devery's first time, and QW and myself don't bother with the place too much for the same reasons, mainly involving a dislike for tight blind corners and 'death by fellow rider'.

    We kept up a decent pace that I wouldn't usually ride at these days, and rode as a close group. I was at the rear, and commented afterwards on how good Devery's riding is and on how uneasy I was at times. QW replied that he, who was setting his own fast pace which we took up, felt the same: waiting for a tree, gravel or a truck around every tight corner. Devery commented that he felt none of this. I suspect he could have ridden through there faster than me had we 'raced', despite my much greater time in the saddle. QW and I both reflected on how we used to be faster - I think I took corners quicker at times on the old SR185 than I do on the Hornet! In the days when my riding mates were gun ho sports speedsters and drew me in to that mad attitude, despite my modest means. I certainly felt yesterday that I could have, technically, ridden much faster; but that there was a clear psychological block owing to a greater concern, than when I was younger, for the risks. I'm sure I used to be a faster rider. QW too thought the same. It might be just practice - I certainly don't do lively paces much anymore, that style doesn't give me what I want from motorcycling. But I suspect it is something more - a kind of aging of the psyche which weighs things differently. Not that it sees more risks than my younger self did, but they just weigh differently for me - they feel different than they did and so that pace of ride feels different.

    Anyway, I'm blabbering on.... But, to be young and unhindered in the mind. While I like the safer phenomenology of age (even my modest age), it's a beautiful thing to watch that less hindered way of being that comes with being in your late teens / early twenties. And a motorcycle seems the perfect tool or extension of it.

  2. Yeah, that was an interesting conversation we had.

    I reckon I'm slower than say four years ago. Don't really feel the need to be any quicker but it seems I'm a bit more aware of my own mortality these days.

    I think some rider training is due to get my confidence back up. Anyone want to spot me $500.00 for a superbike school day?
  3. Sorry mate, but rider training won't help! The only thing to do is mourn. Mourn the loss of youth, of that resplendent being which time rubs and strips, and tears and crushes, till we shrink and shrivel into humble mediocre selves with a loose bum showing through our hospital gowns....

  4. You think too much Matt!

    When's the ride report on your blog? I'm looking forward to the echidna pics...
  5. Look at Devery's avatar. Doesn't that tell you everything?
  6. I'm certainly slower than I used to be, at least on a regular basis.

    It might have something to do with no longer regularly riding in a group where the only one who knew the way to the destination was the local mad bastard, who'd disappear into the distance leaving the rest of us hopelessly lost if we didn't keep up :grin:.

    I still get the occasional rush of blood to the head though, like a recent, decidedly not sensible thrash along some local back roads.

    However, mostly I confine myself to riding like a complete knob in heavy traffic (which a dirt bike seems to encourage :grin:) and, when the opportunity and finances allow, I'm intending to do a lot more track days, where I can be as fast as I ever was, if not faster, without risk to licence or much risk to body.
  7. I decided to jump in and buy the dream bike now coz I reckon I'll be up for a more practical steed in a coupla years.

    Doing track days helps me just move along at a quick rate on the road, instead of at a mind-altering speed. Main aim when heading out on the road...come home to my awesome wife :grin:
  8. OT, matt, but have you sold that Staintune pipe yet???
  9. Not yet, but if you know anybody, I want $200 - enough to get a set of those crash bars you recommended! :)
  10. I think you're selling it a bit cheap - but it'd be a good buy for someone willing to tweak the jetting.
  11. QW, echidna pics and mystical moments are posted on the blog....
  12. Your only as old as you think.

    As much as i can appreciate the fact that you feel that your slowing down. your experience and knowledge of your bike will enable you to get more performance for less effort.

    Ive been riding for a little over a year now and getting to the stage whereby my confidence level leads me to be more worried about obstacles on the road rather than my abilities riding a motorcycle.

    The times of going for a high speed burn through the hills are long gone for me. Public roads are a great place to go for a relaxing tour through the hills. If you want to push for high speed head off to the track. otherwise just enjoy good company, great people and amazing machines.
  13. commuting makes me slower. cause you ride with a big buffer to survive, not pushing the limmits.

    it then takes a good few hours or sometimes days in the twisties to break the fear of going quick
  14. Good point. I get that impression too (although I wouldn't call anything I do 'quick' exactly ).

    On another front, it's crossed my mind more than once in recent times that I haven't ever owned a true sports bike. What I've got suits my purpose very well, but I admit that I sometimes think I should get a supersport, even if only for a short while, before it becomes a genuine impossibility.
    I know what I would get, I know it's devilishly uncomfortable and I would probably hate the pain after the first 20 minutes of every ride. But the old carcass won't even bend enough to get on one, soon. Should I, shouldn't I... maybe it's already too late?
  15. There has been quite a bit of work that shows how young men are actually very poor at evaluating risk levels, and this gradually improves with age. There are evolutionary psychology arguments as to why this might be, but the long and the short of it is that young men behave as if they are invulnerable because they can't process the risk appropriately.

    I know from my own experience that I have memories of doing things as a young man that I find ludicrous today. As a result, I ride with a much larger safety margin now than when I rode dirt bikes as a young 'un.
  16. you put that in very succinct words, i have been feeling the same for a while now. i guess maturity, age and responsibilty brings out the fear of the dare.
  17. I'm 28 and already feel this way :facepalm: Maybe it's a gender thing and us girls are a lot more cautious, but I could never ride the way I see some guys do when they're ripping around the spurs or splitting through traffic on the freeway.

    Too many what ifs for me. Maybe that makes me a boring rider, the way I see it is I love riding, but not enough to die for it so I hold back when I could be going harder.
  18. I was pretty keen to impress QW.

    James Dean owned a CZ, titus :)
  19. I'm with you guys regarding riding the twisties hard.
    It's a two question thing
    Youth = Why not?
    Older = What if?
    I have a lot of what If's these days. Kev.
  20. Totally agree Kevo. When I ride (especially up in the twisties), my mind becomes consumed with the "what if?" question. I know this isn't healthy when tackling the tight corners, but I can't help it. I just can't let loose if I can't see through the corner - which makes me a bit of a straightline hero :D

    I'd like to do a track day so I can see if my mindset will change.