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Short rides and getting old

1026 Views 50 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  -Nate
Many years ago when I was an MSF Instructor, I worked with a fellow Instructor who asked me "Are you a long rider or a short rider?" I asked him what he really meant and he said that he prefers taking short rides, usually no more than 30 minutes over taking multi hour or multi day rides. He said that a few minutes on a bike was enough for him, and more than that was just work. That's why, he said, he enjoyed teaching the Basic Rider's Course because it only involved a bit of riding on the little training bikes we used in those days. I still recall how I thought him a real oddball, as nothing excited me more than the thought of taking a multi day ride across the country. But that conversation was about 30 years ago.

Now as I approach 80 in a few weeks, and I still love riding, I find that I have become that same "short rider" that I thought was so odd in the past. I'm not limiting myself to short rides, but I do find that longer rides become more of a chore and less fun as the hours go on. The other day I took a great two hour ride to a favorite restaurant about 100 miles from home where my wife and I have gone many times. I fully enjoyed the ride, and had a great lunch. But the two hour ride home was not as much fun. I found I just wanted that ride to be over with. I was tired and the tiredness was stronger than the fun factor at that point. Maybe its just age getting to me, or maybe its the thought of riding that has become as important, or even more important than the riding itself. So now a "short ride" of an hour or so is what has become ideal for me.

All of this makes me wonder if in a few more years I should buy a Harley cruiser and be satisfied with a two mile ride to a local tavern, have a beer or two, and then do the two mile ride home. I know folks who consider that a good day of riding, and maybe someday I will be one of those folks.
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AGE is a major BEEEEACH--OUI. :bigthumb:

I USED to be Superman and 700 to 1,000 miles per day on my touring bikes was the norm, for me and my riding Buds when going to our yearly Rally's.;)

Operative comment here is: "Used to be.":cry:

My MIND is still in the game but my BODY just doesn't want to comply anymore so LONG solo rides are out.o_O

I ride 99.999 solo now so that always figures into the equation.:eek:

Discounting all other riding conditions, COMFORT is the most important parameter in my opinion:

My brand new 2003 Honda VTX 1800R, was fully dressed out with all of the best right from the Dealer but it came with a VERY COMMON 100 mile seat, that limited its touring capability.

My new HD Electra Glide was excellent for at least 500-600 miles before the ARSE complained and my Goldwing's and the BMW K1200LTC were all comfort barges for all day and night riding.

Sam:cool:
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So now a "short ride" of an hour or so is what has become ideal for me.
I took one 380 mile round trip ride and never again...nope, not for me. The excitement lasts 45 minutes tops; then boredom sets in and I start leaning on the throttle way too hard; met a nice state trooper. I was moving right along, he stopped me, told me to back off the speed...no ticket...most of you probably weren't born yet...1980, yeah, cops a lot different back then.

When I was young, I would ride for hours locally because of that pretty little thing sitting behind me; I went till she said stop:)

I'm all local now, by 7PM, the roads empty out on the weekdays and that's when I go for my 30-45 min stress buster.

To each his own...
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Vito brings up an extremely good point :

do you still enjoy it ? .

I do but like others here I'm not just old but badly broken and worn out to boot .

two hours is about my enjoyable limit .

I may be taking a day ride with the Norton Club Sunday, we'll see how the creaks and pops plus pains are when I get up .

This is, IMO, an extremely important subject .
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My longest ride was about 5 hours in pouring rain on a very cool May day on my Honda CB350. I was running low on funds and had to get home that day or spend a night under a bridge somewhere in soaking wet clothing.
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Ahhhh , the life of a biker ...LOL... Been drownded like a rat many times ... Do I quit ?
NOOOOO.. better your knees in the breeze , than stuck in a recliner watching C.r.a.p. on tv ...
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I had my son's new 2017 Suzuki 650dr ( No windscreen) one fall. I was 64 then. I really enjoyed making 120 mile rides along the coastal roads between Baytown/San Jacinto monument area to Galveston Island. I had enough by time I got home. Now at 70 and on my 81 XL 500, 40 - 60 miles are more than enough. A new CL500 would be plenty motorbike for me so I would plan for 120 or so and be very happy with how ever it works out.
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I'm 69 and 40-60 mile rides on my 81 XL500 is plenty. Wouldn't mind a new 650XL, KL or DR to find out.
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Oh, yeah ~ most of us who've been riding 50 + years got trapped in a storm or snow, or hail (that really hurt) ~ one time in TEXAS I missed a tornado by maybe a block, even my boots got full of muddy water .

I dislike the heat a lot but when you get too cold your bones & joints begin to hurt .

As long as it's still fun I'll ride .
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Never in hail .. been through Hell... water just rolls off , dirt gets washed off ... road rash heals ... Fun never stops ..... Bweighmaster ..... Remember the Burma Shave signs ?
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Retired parts counter man at local independent shops around Houston after a latter collapse and couldn't stay away from the shop as much as the ride, don't miss the customers to this day. I've gotten to build 2 500s that I keep serviced and I take them for test rides, just like I've soon for the last 35+ years.
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Ok , this time .... Don't let it happen again ..... LOL....
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Neither one are old people friendly, but both are fun as hell
Looks like a handful of hurt , waiting to happen ....
Yeah, but man the little Vulcan is my first 6 speed. I now I couldn't went lots further old day with one of them. Kinda cheating, if you ask me.馃槈
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Little black beauty looks fun ..... Texas plates ?
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Yes Sir, live in Booth and mostly ride around the Brazos Bend State Park oilfields or powerplant roads. I take monthly eye injections for vision problems so I ride away from traffic and try to avoid livestock and wildlife.
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As some of you know, I just bought a 96 Honda Goldwing. I will be taking it for some longer trips this year and being a very comfortable ride, I think I can ride as long as my bladder holds out. At 69, it ain't what it used to be :) but I can't see a 3 hour ride being a problem since I can do that in my car with no problem.
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Booth, Thomson area wh meet cotton barge's on Brazos River before trucks. Now power plant traffic or farm equipment. Some curves...pigs, deer, armadillo, ect, but mostly early, or late. Most are asleep during the day. I like it.
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Booth, Thomson area wh meet cotton barge's on Brazos River before trucks. Now power plant traffic or farm equipment. Some curves...pigs, deer, armadillo, ect, but mostly early, or late. Most are asleep during the day. I like it.
River boats met the trains . Wifi sucks here
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