Sunday, March 27, 2011

Moto Middle Age

I received an email from an old friend a few weeks ago. It was addressed to all of his riding buddies and it listed all but one of his motorcycles as being for sale. We'd caught up over lunch the week prior so this wasn't a total surprise but somehow, seeing the bikes and prices listed made the whole situation much more "real."
Seems that after almost 40 years of riding, my friend Stan's health is forcing him to give up riding. For a hard core, dyed in the wool rider in his fifties, that's got to be a tough pill to swallow. He's keeping one bike, a Triumph Sprint, just in case but it's looking more and more like he'll be stuck in four wheels.

I've known Stan since the late 80's and he was the rider you couldn't help but envy. He always had an enviable assortment of two wheeled toys and did crazy stuff like traveling long distances!!! by motorcycle. When we met, I'd recently purchased my first motorcycle, an '82 CB750F and Stan was a good influence...encouraging use of proper gear, rider training and all that other un-sexy stuff that keeps a new rider alive. He was also kind enough to tolerate my slow ass self when I tagged along on day rides.
The objective observer might find it hard to feel sorry for Stan, heck he's owned dozens of bikes, ridden all over the US and Europe with a two wheeled vacation of some sort nearly every year, wife on pillion or solo. Still, it's hard not to be bummed for a friend losing the ability to enjoy his true passion. I'm keeping him in my thoughts, hoping he'll find a way to ride again in the future.

It's a good reminder to do the things you want to do, while you are able to.

I've noticed a lot of my friends seem to be in transition of late. Some have discovered the joy of off road riding after years of asphalt only motorcycling. Others are dipping a toe into that thing called adulthood; serious relationships, responsibilities and that's affecting their ability to ride like they want to. Heck, even my daughter is taking the step from dirt riding to street, a prospect that simultaneously makes me proud and scares the heck out of me. Taking the whole tableau in, I find myself unconsciously slotting myself into some sort of rider's timeline. If I'm lucky, I've hit moto middle age. I have the money to afford a selection of bikes that I can't help but smile about, I have the time to ride and I'm still young enough to enjoy riding hard.  I'm finally getting to do the stuff I'd dreamed about and I make it a point to remain thankful.

It all started right here for me

Who knows when or how it will end but here's to making the most of it in the meantime.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Keeping your head in the game

I promised myself I'd blog mostly moto related stuff and nothing else. Hence the big gap. I did have some cool motorcycle related stuff worth blogging from early last year but frankly, I just didn't feel like typing it up. Really, I didn't feel like doing much at all.

If you're like me, you spend a lot of time thinking about your bikes, upgrades, repairs, tires...oh yeah, all manner of things to keep them working exactly the way you want them to. Again, if you're like me, you also do some basic things to keep your body humming along. I have often joked that I go to the gym simply to avoid buying new leathers.
Unfortunately, it's harder to predict the performance of the human machine. A few years ago, I had some fun with my thyroid and while the idea of having a rare cancer was pretty scary at the time, the promise at the end of the whole thing was a normal life with the caveat of needing a pill every day.

Yeah, about that.....

Like I said, it's harder to predict the performance of the human machine than a mechanical one. Who knew how much of an effect little variations of one chemical could have on your overall well being.
There is, however, good news. EVENTUALLY, there is a point at which they finally find the right amount of stuff to pop every morning to feel mostly normal again. Ok, so it took two years of roller coaster good times to get there but I think we're close. And, it's nearly spring here in the north east....heck yeah!

Soooooo, I think I will take the next couple of posts to highlight some of the good stuff from last year with the expectation that I will have lots more two wheeled fun to talk about for 2011.

Here's a teaser

What sort of person takes a freebie, barn find CT70 Mini Trail, rebuilds it in 5 weeks or so, adds a 150cc engine and then ships it to LA for a trip to San Francisco? Oh, the chubby SOB in the silver helmet there is likely to do anything when he's feeling good :D