Monday, December 21, 2009

Motorcycling Lessons Learned

On one of the forums I visit now and then, someone started a thread by asking for responses to the question, “How old are you and how has your riding changed, or has it?”

I jotted down a few things that came to mind right away, then the more I thought about it, the longer the list got. This was my answer:

I'm 57 (for a couple of months more), and I’ve been riding for 41 of those years.

Yes, my riding has changed.

I no longer ride at night.

I no longer have to be the first guy there.

I no longer care about anyone's pace but my own.

I no longer try to keep up with anyone who passes me.

I no longer feel the need to prove anything to anybody.

I'm 100 percent ATGATT. (For the uninitiated, that’s an acronym for “all the gear, all the time,” “gear” being riding gear—helmet, armored jacket and pants, gloves, boots.)

I'm convinced that most motorcycles need much bigger and brighter taillights.

I'm intrigued by big scooters and sidecars and I don't care who knows it.

It's more fun to ride a small bike as fast as it'll go than it is to ride a big one way too fast.

It's more fun to stop for coffee or to stretch and sightsee every 50 or 100 miles and arrive in time for a late dinner than it is to ride 400 miles in one shot and get there by lunchtime.


Anonymous said...

I was curious about your helmet. Do you like the modular style? What brand is in the picture? thanks

Jerry Smith said...

It's a Nolan N100. I used to like modulars, but I no longer wear them. I have concerns about the sturdiness of hinged faceplates, and I haven't seen any reliable data on how they perform in a crash.

Also, the Nolan seems to fit fairly close to my face, and the shield fogs up easily. The shield came with an anti-fog insert, but it doesn't work for me. I've tried anti-fog sprays, and they don't work, either. That might be a fit issue more than anything else, but it takes the Nolan out of the running.

My current helmet is an Arai Quantum. The fit is superb, and so is the venting. No fogging issues at all; the chin vent prevents it.

Larry Parmenter said...

I'm pretty much in agreement with all that you've said although it's still difficult for me to resist messing around with another biker who passes me. Most of the time I'm able to let it go but sometimes....

I still like modular helmets best, guess I've accepted the element of risk that goes with them. Heck, when I started riding no one wore helmets at all so even modulars look better than that. And a helluvalot better than cat bowls, eh?

Big scooters and sidehacks are my true loves. Well, except maybe for the red Duc in my barn but you know all about that. Of course the Ninja will always be my first love. I'd give it all up and settle just for that one bike.

Riding at night is OK but I think about deer a lot. I don't worry about them, I just think about them. Karma...

I have this thing about stopping where ever and when ever I please which would probably be a bitch for other riders so I ride alone. Besides, I care about parades...

Take care man,


Gary France said...

I agree with almost every item on your list, especially the last one. I am about to do a tour of the USA (I am from the UK) and I want to see what America is like, so I am going to take my time doing the 13,000 mile trip. I don't get it when people ride 400, 500, 600 miles a day. Thats not for me.

Gary France