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With great regret I am hanging up my boots


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#1 feejer222

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 11:28 AM

At almost 50 years old and after 37 years of motorcycling on almost as many bikes, I have decided enough is enough.
Not long ago I mentioned on here, that we had traveled the length of the country and back to watch some racing through slete, snow and hail. I lost count of how many times I asked myself 'Why the hell am I doing this?'
On the UK's crowded roads it's getting more and more dangerous and the pleasures of motorcycling are far from what they were when I started out. For mainly that reason our rides have become fewer and further between. When I get home I find myself relieved to a degree that we made it in one piece.
Today we went across country to a 70's bike show. It was a great event and one we shared with an old biking buddy of mine from the very early days. On the way home, he pulled out a lead on me after I got stuck in traffic. I nailed the FJR to catch him up. As I aproached him and slowed to his pace, an Audi sports car pulled out from behind me and flew past at about 70-80mph. This was in a 40. He thought I was racing with him. He then continued to overtake a line of traffic and almost tee boned a car turning across the traffic (who was doing nothing wrong). This would have been a multiple fatal accident if they had connected.
I have seen enough and have arrived home feeling relieved once too often. This combined with a very recent experience that illustrated how quickly a happy life can be ruined. (A close friend was diagnosed with cancer and died 5 weeks later). I have had plenty of near misses and escapes over the years and feel that now is a good time to park the bike and hang up my lid.
We (my Mrs. & me) will still have a great interest in racing, and I will still attend this forum as long as I am welcome. I hope you guys don't think any less of me for 'chickening out' but when the worry of what might be, overcomes the pleasure it really is time to stop.



JAMES TOSELAND British World Superbike Champion 2007

#2 VanHarlan

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 11:33 AM

Well said my friend. Go with your gut feeling and what you think is best for you, and your family. If it's no fun then why do it - especially if getting home in one piece is the biggest relief from the process. Be well.

VH
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#3 madmike2

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 11:58 AM

Graham, I'm sure you know best. A friend of mine did the same about 5 years ago after witnessing 3 motorcyclist get badly injured (1 died) in traffic. He just couldn't ride on the street any longer, sold his and her street bikes and they rode dirt only (2 bikes and a quad, each).

Then I got a call that he had bought "something" Italian.....a Moto Guzzi. They are back riding the streets (She has an FZ-6), but more for enjoyment and not at the pace or frequency he once did.

It might be worth it to keep the FJR for a month or so and make sure this is a permanent decision. Whatever your choice, I always enjoy your race reports and insight into "that" community
It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.


#4 zorkler

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 12:01 PM

My freind who has been riding for over 30 years has said also the same thing only that is more like work to him riding than him having a good time he has rode harleys only . He lives in fl. and came over to see me for 3 nights . I talked to him about the b.r.p. also the dragon and he said lets go . after we got back his reply was it is beautiful but the riding was like work . Then he rode the fjr and came back saying its like a caddie . talked to him today . I asked him if he has been riding and said the last time was with meand that was 60 days ago , and can i sell his bike on e bay i had enough. Good luck to you and you are also welcome here.
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#5 HuskyRider

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 12:01 PM

Iím the same age with 40 years on dirt bikes riding and racing. I gave up the dirt for similar reasons, three stays in the hospital convinced me that at my age the forth was going to be worse. I just started hating to ride and wishing the race or ride would be over.
I tried three times to give it up, three new bikes later it has been a year now and Iím over it. Good luck and I understand what youíre going through, wish I would have respected my feelings, would have saved me some broken bones and a week in the hospital.

Domenic
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#6 sgoat

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 12:18 PM

I understand what you're feeling but as the old saying goes "never say never". Take a break from riding and see how you feel a few months down the road. Worked for me. Hope you continue giving us those great racing updates from your side of the pond!

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#7 Toecutter

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 12:53 PM

Graham, good to hear that you're doing it for your own reasons. That's the best way.

I know how you feel. You're either working your ass off to stay alive, or wondering where "The Man" is lurking to ruin your driving record.

I'm not throwin' in the towel just yet, but I admire and respect your decision. Go in peace....

#8 Low Level FJR Pilot

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 01:14 PM

Graham, I too did this about 1996 after too many close calls and a person outright gunning for me one day on the freeway. I came home shaking and swore I would never ride again. The second I sold the bike, I knew I would miss it. 2004 I bought a Suzuki Intruder VS800 and last year traded up to my 2006 FJR1300AE. I still have to watch the moron's out there and avoid becoming one myself by losing my cool in a tough situation, but I am glad to be back in the saddle.

Take your time, but as MadMike said, it might be worth hanging on to the FEEJ for a month or so to see if it is a passing phase. Either way, go with you gut and stay safe no matter what you drive or do. cool.gif
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#9 MojaveFJR

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 01:18 PM

Sorry to hear about your decision. You have made a great many memories and friends along your journey.

Good luck with whatever your new interests will be.



#10 JRO

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 01:20 PM

I offer my congratulations. You've put in a lifetime of riding, and exited gracefully. Not through accident or mishap, but by choice. This realization is called wisdom. Whether you amend it at some later date, or not, will make no change.

Best of luck.



#11 HaulinAshe

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 01:39 PM

You began riding for your own reasons. You quit for your own reasons. I can guarantee that you will always be welcomed by this forum and anyone that rides.

Like many others, I've had to face life without racing or adopt a very altered life with surgery and severe risks. Mental "injuries" are certainly just as real and can be just as impossible to overcome. If your mind is no longer on the ride, it's definitely time to get off.

Take a break and give time a chance to either erode the fears or cement the decision. Too bad you are so far from the Blue Ridge Mountains. I know lots of places that would change your mind.
The older you are, the faster you used to be.

#12 Toecutter

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 02:43 PM

If I couldn't lane-share, I would be in a Saabaru. The frustration of the occasional foray into neighboring states is overwhelming. Luckily, the Feejer is outstanding at passing lines of cars and other states don't have as much traffic.

California Rocks!

#13 Checkswrecks

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 02:51 PM

I'm a few years older and was off bikes for a number of years. Our interests and priorities change, so go with it. I came back about 10 years ago. Still, you might be interested in a fun rebuilder like Rad just did with his little Zook!

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#14 Docholiday

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 03:08 PM

Good luck Feejer. If your heart is not in it, you are right to get off the bike. I hope you find something to stir your blood. 50 is too young to just put in time and live a quiet life. I wish you the best in finding a new passion.
Keep it safe & have fun

#15 rogdeb

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 03:12 PM

Graham,
I can truly understand where you're coming from and admire what you feel you have to do. Enough can be enough no matter what our chosen sport is. You're ALWAYS welcome here in my book. I've enjoyed your many posts and hope to enjoy more.
WFO's 1, 2, 3, 5, & 6 -- CFR '09 :-).. SW-FOG 2011 in Taos

#16 Big-D

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 05:32 PM

You are never too old to ride. I gave up riding about seven years ago while living in Albuquerque, NM. I sold my í95 Gold Wing and thought my riding years were long gone. Until last year I decided to pick up a Suzuki Burgman 650 scooter to run around town on. Riding the scooter once again started the fire that unknowingly burned inside to get back out on the open road and ride. So after some serious thought I decided I would once again ride on 2 wheels. Since 1977 I had ridden all sorts of large displacement road bikes but never a sport-tourer. So after investigating the different types of bikes out there, the Yamaha FJR1300A was the bike I was going to have. So here I sit with less than 600 miles on my new bike waiting for an opportunity to get out and hit the road looking for freedom.
It just goes to show that once you have ridden, you will always be a rider. Your interest may fade for whatever reason, but it will return. And when it does, youíll be back out there, heading down your favorite stretch of highway.

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#17 noob

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 05:59 PM

feejer,
I can relate. And although there haven't been a lot of reply's, over 400 people have viewed... many have thoughts about this subject.

I love to ride!! There aren't many things I like more... but a forum topic I once read says it all re the flip side: "It's all fun and games... until someone gets hurt".

So it's a decision we all have to make, utmost respect for you Sir in yer decision! Wish you and your's the Best.

#18 garywayne

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 06:45 PM

You have to do what feels right to you. I'm 55 and been riding 40 years. A couple of years ago I sold my bike and said thats it...lasted about 4 weeks and I bought another one. Still I understand what you are saying because there are times where I still think maybe its time to stop.....but heading out on a 4,000 mile trip in 2 weeks so I'll wait and see how I feel when I get back.

Gary

#19 Dale Franks

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 07:19 PM

It's a hard decision to make, but if your head isn't in the right place for you to ride, then you should stop, at least for a while. Mental attitude is a good portion of riding safely and enjoyably.

If you don't enjoy it any more, what's the point?
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#20 Randy

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 08:05 PM

Graham,
Only you can make that decision and we will all respect it. I value the friendship we have formed and hope that this won't keep you away.
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