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Young Beginners vs Old Beginners

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by bronson, Jun 7, 2007.

  1. Gday.Iwas thinking about something a guy from the Ulysses Club told me a couple of weeks ago,if you leave getting your bike license until after you're 50 you won't do it because you'll be too careful by then and won't be able to relax enough to enjoy it.
    Obviously if you learn when younger then you may have faster reaction times,better eyesight and you'd be game enough to get out there and get right into the whole biking experience,so to speak.
    Then again,if you're around my age,44,then you'd have 25+ years of driving experience and may become a safer,and thus a better rider,but would that also mean you would be more aware of the danger factor and thus would be too tense to be able to really enjoy it?

  2. As with any large group, there are some wise Ulyssians, and there are some who dribble on with their own opinionated crap.
    Some just love to brag about how they've been riding for 5000 years, and are usually biased one way or the other about many subjects, and teh bias usually doesn't have any roots in knowledge or fact.
    Just get out there and ride, I am sure your experience on the road will be invaluable, it saved me many times as a mature age learner.
    I found erring on the side of caution has helped me a lot, and I'm still having lots of fun and broadening my skills, plus getting more confident on the bike every day.

    Regards, Andrew.
  3. I agree with Typhoon, in that your years of car driving do help when learning to ride, I think you have a better understanding of the cages on the road and how they will act in certain situations, which is very helpful

    Yes you will probably be more cautious, but its not a race to become a great rider, so its probably a good thing
  4. I've noticed that a lot of older riders are a lot more cautious than us younger riders. They also take less for granted. All this talk of whether to or not to ride in the rain, defining counter-steering, "blipping", etc. To me it is all second nature and always has been - yet I notice there a lot of older forum members who seem to want to discuss these topics to great depth.

    Please don't think that I am against any of this by the way.

    As the OP has said - I think these observations relate to his. Older riders are definitely much more cautious and conservative yet I notice their learning curve is a lot steeper. Younger riders on the other hand seem to be much more able at picking up the techniques, however their road craft can leave a lot to be desired.
  5. My father in law got his Ls at 60. He is quite cautious, but he's loving every minute that he's on the bike. He's never going to carve up the twisties, but that's not what he wants; he's looking forward to touring all over the country on his new Harley Ultra Classic.

    Just think about what you want and chase that, no-one but you can decide whether or not you enjoy time on a bike.
  6. As with anything of this nature, it will apply to some people and not to others. There will always be those that fit the scenario perfectly and those who, despite meeting all the criteria, do not conform.
    I know a guy, late 40's who took up cycling and it seems like he crashes weekly, will never learn how to handle a bike if he rides until he's 100yrs old. On the other hand, I ride with a bunch of guys who mostly took up cycling over 50yrs old and most are great bike handlers, aware of the road hazards, and rarely come undone. Same sort of thing, and there will be people on both sides of the ledger with motorbike riding as well.

    Some people just 'have it' and other don't, regardless of all else.
  7. I agree, I knew a guy who had been driving without a glitch for 30 years and recently decided to buy a motorcycle. Well after only a month of riding he gave the game away due to not conforming well with 2 wheels...I think it was due to a number of things, the main being concern over his own safety, which a cage seems to provide much more of.

    Young riders often get the tag of thinking they are 'invincible'. I guess as you become a wiser and older rider your mind of thought turns from invincibility to perhaps, vulnerabilty.
  8. In my experience (as both a RiderSafe instructor and an old guy...well, 40 years old, anyhow...) there are 2 types of old newbies and, to generalise a bit, 2 distinct behaviour patterns.

    The Old Newbies who have never ridden seem to be wise, cautious, go about things carefully and stay safe. I like instructing them; they are all ears, and understand that the Number One Consideration is staying safe.

    Then there are the Born Agains. 90% of the old guys I've taught who used to ride a bike years ago but gave it up are a liability. Many simply don't comprehend how bikes and the road have changed since they've been out of the game, even if they've been driving a car in the meantime. They only half listen, and I've even had a few tell me that my instructions are wrong, they've been around longer and know better! That's despite the fact that I've been riding bikes for 32 years and a licensed rider for 24 of those years.

    Once they're off their probations they tend to go out and buy something big. Never mind that 250's today make more power than the 650 TriNortBeezerAjay they used to ride. They go out and buy a 1200 Bandit or similar and come to grief. It's REALLY frustrating.

    Sorry for venting. I feel better now.

  9. hmmmm, you been reading other threads :LOL:

    old - young, all depends on individual attitude. to categorize is stupid ;)
  10. Does'nt matter...you'll enjoy it, whether you are a more cautious rider!, or tear around like your hair's on fire :)
  11. I stopped riding at about 27 and started again at 42... and bought a 250 Spada and eased into it a bit. I think in some ways that, if you survive your youth, this isn't a bad way to go... ;)

    Honestly, we talk a fair bit about younger people's faster reflexes, but how often on the bike is it that tight that it really comes down to compter-game fast-twitch? If you're riding defensively and within yourself, almost never. I think I'd rather have that than reflexes any time...

    But yeah, sweeping generations about any age group will generally miss the mark...
  12. my 2c worth

    Been riding for 28 yrs.

    Had a few major stacks, which I will swear weren't my fault, but....
    I commute on a 800cc bike now, and the traffic seems to bring out the best and worst in bike riders.
    I filter, try not to split, and dont normally speed too much more than the traffic flow.
    yes, I do find myself up at the front at every light, except when I judge the gap too small, or the lights about to change, then I hang back.
    And I do exploit the acceleration of the bike from same lights.

    Watching other riders is interesting.
    The ones that putt along in the extreme left lane at 5kmh under the traffic flow are at risk.
    The ones that weave in and out at 20kmh above the traffic flow are at risk.
    And we all seem to survive in our own way.
    But when you see the same people day in and day out, you can spot when a mirror is missing, or road rash is fresh. and spot new riders, who seem to give it up, or maybe find a different way to work, cos you don't see them anymore
    My wife comments that I have had 1 yr of experience 28 times, not 28 years experience. I do think some of the others are way more skilful than me. But it doesn't seem to make them safer. I still approach every ride with a wary eye on the other road users. Perhaps that is why I survive.

    Healthy caution is a good thing.
  13. I'm 41 and have just started riding (not someone who returns after 25 years off a bike).

    My reactions are not as good as they used to be (although my Squash is still enjoyable) and I don't enjoy hurtling along at speed (well, only in a rally car).

    I fully intend to be safe on the road, and so far am enjoying the different experience of riding.

    I too was told "...Mate, if you haven't ridden before, don't start now 'coz you won't be able to pick it up....' by a 'mate' in his fourties who has been riding for many years. Apart from talking complete bollocks, he doesn't pay insurance on his fast bike and admits he takes a few risks.

    Like everything else in life - take it at your own pace, and allow yourself to enjoy it (or give it up if you don't!). No pressure - no competition.
  14. +1, and after 16 months of riding I love it. I am glad I waited, it makes it even sweeter. Am I going to go around corners like Rossi? Nup but I am not going to do a Wild Hogs either :LOL:
  15. probably taking this off topic a bit, but i loved wild hogs, funny movie. suggest it to any age group.
  16. I find the attitude of others very frustrating, have never been on a road bike but had a ball in my youth on the dirt bike. Have been talking about getting on a bike again for years. Finally booked the pre learner course and keen to get started when the broken arm gets better (thats another story). Anyway have been driving for 26 years, never had an accident and only 2 speeding fines but 99% of people I tell that I want to start riding tell me I am crazy and will kill myself. Have always cosidered myself sensible and how is it that suudenly I will turn into a crazy man as soon as I start riding a bike.
  17. +2 but a little bit younger.
    Going quick, a couple of Superbike Cornering school classes. Hitting the twisties hard, no, but at my pace and always to the left of the centre line. Love riding, absolutely. Respect the dangers, most definately. Safety first, fun second.
    I'm sure though that a mid life crisis is just around the corner and a circumnavigation of Aus is on the cards or a East/West US crossing is looming!
  18. As a new rider @ 33y/o i tend to think there are those that can do and those that can't.(and shouldn't even bother).

    I was gonna type something long winded and serious but hey I'm a bit toasted and it stopped making sense half way.
  19. Hmmm,tried to post this before but didnt work.I'll try again.
    Thanks for all the replies guys.It was good to get everyones opinions.
    I like to think I'm not too old to learn.I can ice skate,snow ski,used to drive a bobcat and can paddle a kayak.Guess that means I at least have some sense of coordinated balance .
    Every new thing you learn is a challenge,some harder than others.Obviously getting this right is a lot more critical,but then I'm not interested in doing anything stupid.Been there done that when younger as we all have,and if I can get to the stage when I can jump on a bike and confidently cruise around at my speed and enjoy it then thats good enough for me.
    Looking forward to contributing to this forum when that time comes.Thanks again,Cheers.
  20. Bronson - had a great ride today - over 100kms around these here Adelaide Hills and really loved it.

    Give it a go and have fun (safely)!