Posted May 16, 2000 - 03:06 PM
I've been riding motorcycles since I was 4 years old, I am 32 now. I only had one two stroke in all of those years and it didn't last long. None of my bikes were upto racing standards and no where near the wr 400. At the age of twenty I had a serious back injury, not related to riding. At any rate I coulndn't ride much for about ten years. At the ripe old age of thirty, I bought another old beater and started getting the bug again. To my amazement, my back didn't suffer much from the abuse. I soon bought a new dual sport DR350. I had that about a month and decided I wanted a dirt bike. Sold the DR and bought an RMX250. A few months went by and I decided I wanted to try racing for the first time. I bought a WR400 and within a couple of weeks I got in the toughest race in the country (the 100 mile Moose Run) at 31 years old. What an experience!!!
At any rate (HEY WAKE UP I'M NOT DONE YET!), I continued racing and quiet frankly I am beginning to get very pissed off at myself. I have always been a good athlete. Virtually every sport I've tried I have been good at, except this one (harescrambles). This is by far the most demanding and difficult sport I have ever been involved in. I've been in about 12 races now and I am doing good to break into the top half of the 250B class and that my friend is a rare occurance. I've never finished last but I've been darn close several times.
The last race I was in is the first harescramble I wasn't able to finish (I guess I was last in that race). I went over a log way to fast and my rear tire kicked straight up and pinned my face against the front fender. I rode a front wheel wheelie about 15 feet until making the aquaintance of a very rude tree. Can you believe it tried to break my arm the first time we met?
O.K. the whole point of this rather monotonous and painfully boring post is for one reason only. I am making a commitment to myself by placing this post that I will become good at crossing logs and dodging trees. I am going to practice going over every log I can find over and over again until I am no longer intimidated and it is totally natural. I will work at going thru very tight trees over and over again until I can do it with proper technique and good speed without thinking about it. I will do all of this before I get in my next race. I am tired of losing but I'm not ready to quit racing so something has to give. I still enjoy riding but I am losing patience with myself.
I know those that are still with me are thinking, GEEK GEEEK GEEK GEEK GEEK GEEK! Maybe so, but now I have to stick to my guns. I hope I can become the rider that I think I can be.
I'm done whinning now! Please forget about this pathetic post.
Posted May 16, 2000 - 03:21 PM
Takes nerve to make a public statement like that. I can offer you some advice...
Is the tree real? What is real? The world you live in is that which is designed by the matrix and fed into you cerebiral.... Think beyond. You are better than that. You are the chosen one.
Scrambler, keep practising and you will improve. Whether you win or lose is not relevant (I know I left myself open here and I will be stoned to death), just have fun. If making yourself faster is fun, then go for it. But, understand one thing, you are 32, have had a back injury. You dont heal as fast as you were are 20....
Good luck and believe me brother, I feel your pains.
Posted May 16, 2000 - 04:10 PM
It may appear to be confession night. This seems to occur on this page from time to time. Don't feel bad most of us have been through it. I grew up riding/racing. Started on YZ80 and raced that and a YZ125 until about the age of 16 when my other passion "soccer" took over, plus they closed my favorite track (Dunlap out of Fresno) and I got discouraged. By the way Saw Danny "Magoo" Chandler race their often when he rode for Maico, most amazing fast rider I have ever seen. To bad he spilled it. At any rate I was a pretty good rider back then, mid 70's. Didnt ride again until 3 years ago when my bonehead (I will never forgive them) friends got me back into riding. Went one time (KX500, now there is some power) and said I have missed to much. Bought my first bike in 15 years (KLX300)(good bike to begin again) and took it off a @#$**&^ cliff. Broke my arm on that dam cliff. First broken bone in my life. Could not believe it. When I first fell, I thought my elbow felt weird but thought (funny bone) Rode the rest of the day in alot of pain, then realized I should see a Doc. Sure enough broken. Sold the KLX,(damm KLX caused the crash I know it) bought the WR400. Should have never switched from Yamaha to a "greenie" they cause enough problems out there. See if I had the WR to begin with (Didn't sell them in 97) I would have made the turn and missed the cliff. That is my excuse anyway!!! I vowed to never go off that cliff again (now I jump it. jk
We all go through these mid life crisis and frustration. I have raced a few times and been pissed that I didn't do better. My 35 year old body does not react like 15 or even 25, but I sure like to think it will. Keep trying, it only gets worse (I mean better.)
Posted May 16, 2000 - 04:22 PM
The guys I ride a bit with are all a fair bit younger or have been riding all their lives etc etc (Im 34yrs), I figured the best way to make time on these guys is to get the technical stuff right (long way to go yet), so I went and dragged a log out of the forest and took it home to practice getting over (its a GREAT feeling going over the log while they get off and lift it over!!). Same with banks and rocks.
Im craving for lessons from anyone at anytime - I think thats an advantage we older gents have - we know that we dont know everything and are willing to learn.
Just wish things would heal as quick, and that riding gear wasnt always fluro colours!
Posted May 16, 2000 - 04:26 PM
I will teach you log hopping, berms and jumps and you teach me hill climbs. I suck at those...... I mean I really suck.....
Posted May 16, 2000 - 04:41 PM
Note to self: Remember FUN FUN FUN FUN!!!
Posted May 16, 2000 - 04:49 PM
You may want to consider doing a class or two? I have been riding for years and still have SOOOO MUCH to learn. I will be doing a few classes myself.....
Posted May 17, 2000 - 02:32 AM
I feel your pain. Here's my summarized bio. I started riding in the early 70's on a Kawasaki Trail Boss 100 enduro. I rode that bike to death for 5 yrs. Then I bought a late 60's kawi 120 from a neighbor and rode it for another 4 and then got into streetbikes. The next bike I buy is a 99WR. A little step up, don't you think? After riding for about 4 months I meet a guy on a YZ400f. We ride once in the woods, I buy some handguards and then i find myself on the starting line of a GNCC at 40 years of age.
I won't bore and horify with you the details. I'll have to post it in the stories some time.
Did I have fun, was it tough, would I do it again, would I have liked to have been more competitive...the answer is yes. But at 40 and to be riding and racing. I'm LOVING it!
However I fell your pain.
Keep on roostin
86TT225, 98CR80, 99WR, WR timing, throttle stop trimmed, air box lid removed, White Bros head pipe, silencer and air filter. Odometer and headlight removed. Moose hand and mud guards. YZ stock tank and IMS seat/brick.
Posted May 17, 2000 - 06:35 AM
Posted May 17, 2000 - 06:43 AM
I'm 38, and, like some of you, haven't been on a bike in 20 years. Now I have friends who all go (alternate weekends) trail riding and desert riding on XR600's, and I'm dying to go, too. So, I'm about to take the plunge and get back into it. Question is, what bike? I'd appreciate any comments. Here's my deal:
LOVE SPEED -- actually used to fly F/A -18's off carriers.
EGO -- too competitive to let myself get smoked by my new friends.
REAL WORLD LIMITATIONS -- a) I'm only 5'9", and have heard the WR is not that easy for shorter riders due to its height. Unlike most of you guys, although I used to love riding, it was always on a little old MT 125 -- a 2 Stroke Honda dual purpose bike (called an enduro back then), and I never was serious enough to do MX or go racing. c) I'm a little gimped up thanks to some nerve entrapment in my groin/abdomen left over from pulling too many G's during my flying days, so probably not as strong mid-body as most serious riders.
With all that I've read on these WR sites, I'm sure that the WR's the bike for 1) and 2)-- speed and ego. But, I don't know if it isn't TOO much bike for me? One guy said on this or another site, that it's not the bike that's the fastest, but the bike that YOU ride the fastest. Do you guys think I'd be faster on an easier to ride bike -- like the XR, or maybe the new DRZ? KTM? Of those other choices, I know Honda has to be decent, I mean a zillion of people seem to love them, but on the other hand, it seems like it may be the one I'd be most likely to "outgrow" should I actually get to be decent. Is the DRZ a good choice? The electric start version would spare me some physical wear and tear, and has got some good reviews -- particularly as to being user friendly. (worst part is it is not street legal in Cal.). I welcome any input. Please be gentle.
Posted May 17, 2000 - 06:57 AM
Based on your description of yourself, I was thinking the WR was the bike for you until you got to the 5'9'' part.
Now, many on this forum ride the WR and are shorter riders (not that 5'9'' is short) and have no problems. But others feel the bike is a little tall. I guess it depends on what kind of riding you will be doing and how skilled you are.
If you ride lots of technical stuff, then the stand over height problem could raise it's ugly head. Especially for less experienced riders. If you ride desert stuff (like you mentioned) it won't be as much of a problem. If you are riding with XR600 owners, then a WR is a good choice.
The DRZ is a great bike too. It has a lower stand over height than the WR which is better for shorter riders. It's power is very controlable and that e-button is awesome (although starting the WR isn't really that big of a deal). However, it is quite a bit heavier than the WR. The weight is low but it's still a bit of a tank.
Personally, I'd choose a DRZ or WR over a Honda. The DRZ is a great trail bike and has tons more power than the Honda XR400. The WR is a better desert bike than the XR600 and the XR650 sounds like a heavy pig when you get to tight trails.
Too bad you can't try both bikes before you buy!
Posted May 17, 2000 - 04:01 PM
This all may seem a little deep but who else can I talk to about stuff like this. Not many people understand unless they are involved in a similar sport. Most people just look at your scrapes and bruises and say you call that fun. I guess they think everything fun must come easy.
Thanks again for all of the encouragement! It's nice to know that I'm not the only struggling +30 year old out there just out to have a little fun and possibly when a trophy along the way. By the way have you ever noticed that the only thing you think about when your riding is riding? What an escape from all the @#@*!!^.
Posted May 17, 2000 - 06:29 PM
I feel more alive after a bad crash laying by the side of a trail in pain than I do sitting at my office behind a computer typing crap to make a freak'n health care system work!
When you are riding, there is no mortgage, no car payments, no place to take the kids by 5:00, no errends to run, no management to please, no lawn to mow, no wife to explain things to, no house to clean, etc. etc. etc...
All that exists at that moment is trying to pick a line 30 feet ahead while doing 35 1 foot from a big-ass tree while going through rocks and roots. Your mind is completely in tune with your body and decisions come quick from within. The decisions you make are the most important in the world since you are at the edge and if you make a wrong decision, there is no one to blame, no one to sue, no one to be pissed at, but yourself.
So, WHAT SCRAMBLER SAID!
And you are right, most people don't understand. The people you work with, and pass on your bike have no concept. They think we are stupid and risking our lives by doing this thing we love.
I think THEY are risking THEIR life by NOT LIVING!
WHAT SCRAMBLER SAID!
[This message has been edited by Bryan (edited 05-17-2000).]
Posted May 17, 2000 - 06:43 PM
When I ride it is the only true escape from day to day reality. When I broke my arm off a cliff the owner of the company I worked for wanted to write into my next contract "NO RIDING". Thank God I talked him out of it. I don't ride to kill myself but I ride to escape
. It is my mid life crisis. Better then I ever imagined it would be.
Posted May 17, 2000 - 08:37 PM
It sure seems we all have a common philosophy here about the way we live our lives when we leave work and other responsibilities behind. My riding buddies think I'm sick because I like to run marathons. My running partners think I'm sick because I ride motorcycles. 25 motorcycles and 20 marathons later I still ride and still run and am not slowing down yet! If I wasn't testing my limits or finding another challenge, life wouldn't be nearly as fun. Keep pushing your limits Scrambler and good things will happen.
Just do it Scrambler!
Posted May 18, 2000 - 02:52 AM
its a good feeling knowing that there are others with the same interests and so called mid-life crisis. after raising your children and seeing them off into their lives, everyone should fill the void by returning to the things they gave up doing before. i to started riding again at the ripe old age of 37 and will never regret doing it, however my wife does. (she thinks i'm cheating on her, to much time with the yz4).
so, happy trails and hope to meet some of you guys some day.
Posted May 21, 2000 - 10:58 AM
You know, when I feel absolutely miserable in life, all it takes is a ride on my bike and the realities of life are on hold, at least for a little while. I wish I could ride all day, every day, AND get paid for it. What a life!! Skip the yacht, the beach, the scantilly clad babes. Give me my bike and an endless trail!! Now THAT would be heaven.
Posted May 22, 2000 - 02:43 AM
I have three stickers on my bike that read:
"You just don't get it do you?"
"It's not the speed, it's the sudden stops"
"Yes it's fast, no you can't ride it"
Dougie, '99 WR400
Mods: YZ timing, Race Tech Suspension, FMF PC IV, FMF Hi FLo Moto, YZ seat, IMS 3.3 tank, One Industries Graphics, Renthal bars, 14/52 gearing.