Monday, April 05, 2010

Aging Road Warriors

One of our instructors passed this article along via our e-mail list. The article talks about a study that shows the proportions of riders over 40 versus those under 40 represented in fatal motorcycle accidents.

Interestingly, I find myself right smack in the middle of the second group. I call myself a Road Warrior. Yes, you'd have to add the qualifier "aging". Let's see, I guess that makes me one of those Aging Road Warriors.

I'm certainly not going to quit riding. However, it would be wise to be aware of how things change as we "mature" and ride accordingly. I'm blessed to be constantly in training which I feel helps keep me ahead of the game.

This could also serve as another argument to partake more frequently in practice, be it on our own or in a formal setting. Yes, we know these things. Good quality knives still need sharpening.

To put it another way. If we get to the point where we can't hit the chisel as hard as we used to with the hammer, we need to keep the chisel sharper!

Anyway, here's the article. Use it as a reminder to keep your skills sharp. Especially the mental ones!

Miles and smiles,



cpa3485 said...

Pretty serious stuff. Thanks for the link and reminder.
Btw, you can post baby pictures like that anytime.

bobskoot said...


this is very depressing. Might as well hang up the keys and dream . . . can't argue with facts and figures.

are there any studies that goes by how old you look rather than what age you really are ?

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

Anonymous said...

"The increase in injury severity for older riders may be related to the reduced capacity to withstand injury as the body ages. Age-related changes, such as decreases in bone strength and brain size, may make older riders more susceptible to injury. Other factors associated with aging, such as impaired vision, delayed reaction time, and altered balance contribute to the problem."
Which explains in a nutshell why I dtopped riding a motorcycle.
Age does things to one's body, things which if you're a younger person you don't really think about, until you're older in chronological years.

In my case Lupus which can affect the joints (the most common symptom) combined with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer by surgery and then chemotherapy.

The side effects of the chemo are now becoming known to me; and as a result that which was pleasurable,
is no longer so.

If I were injured in a an accident be it motorcycle or motor vehicle related, it is quite likely at my age (64) that I would be soon wearing a wooden overcoat.
One doesn't recover from a life threatening injury easily when once over a certain age and ill from other causes.

Ironically just this past weekend was offered a BMW/2 with a conversion to a /5 750cc engine c/w with original Steib sidecar for $5000. The rig was set up,and in good condition. I test rode same for a few miles, with the owner in the sidecar.

It felt like old times; however when I returned back to the owner's place told him thanks, but no thanks.

It would be ideal for me; however then my body was sore, leading link forks notwithstanding and to me it is still an old machine, older than my old Goldwing and hence it could suffer some problems in the future. Told him best to flog it it to somebody else. Not me.

That's the way it is, now. Maybe again one of these days, but not now.

Mike said...

Thanks Dan. Pretty sobering stuff. It's interesting how every so often I either hear or read about the danger and it brings me back to the reality of the risk involved. Which also makes me realize how many miles are logged with a false sense of security.

I agree with you - keeping the mind and body in shape are a must. Although yesterday I saw a guy on a Can-Am Spyder and thought, "that might be the next phase someday."

Lucky said...

Dan, we all know you couldn't get hurt if you were to have an unplanned get-off. You're made of Pure Grit.

But stay safe all the same. ;)

Geoff James said...

Thanks for the excellent post. It's not just us as we age though, it's all those other fools on the road!

Funnily enough, I've just had a rant about poor driving standards on my blog!
Best wishes,


Keith said...

Good post. Good comments.

Aging happens. Dan, I'd only add to your excellent point about "sharpening". It seems to me working on physical fitness becomes more important as we age. For example, weight bearing exercise to strengthen our bones and activities to improve our flexibility. These are things I can no longer take for granted.

I believe the time I spend on my inline skates are important to my risk managment when I'm on two wheels.

As Bryce said, "Age does things to one's body, things which if you're a younger person you don't really think about, until you're older in chronological years." I can't stop this process. I can't avoid things like Lupus, joints wearing down and out, changes in reaction time, etc., anymore than I can stop the person who makes that left turn right in front of me, but I can take steps to maximize my health and lower my risks.


irondad said...

cpa3485 Jim,

Don't worry. The chances of more Ryan photos are pretty high! Thanks for the compliment.


There's a lot of factors that go into these things. Degree of training, attitudes, type of bikes which leads to peer pressure for certain behaviours, and so on. So don't hang it up just yet.

As the look factor, well, that's what full face helmets are for!

Take care,


Sojourner rides said...

Interesting article. Great reminder. And I get the point.

Btw, bobskoot, one can argue with facts and figures. Check out a fab book, _How to lie with Statistics_. Just saying...

irondad said...


One of the things we stress is to know your limits and ride within them. Physical limits are a big part of that, for sure.


We always need to ride with a purpose. Which means being acutely aware of the risks and riding accordingly.

Complacency is a nasty thing, as you hint at.

Take care,


irondad said...


I've been told I can be abrasive at times. Is that what you're trying to tell me in a nice way? Thanks for the ego boost!

Take care,


irondad said...


Thanks for gracing my blog with a comment. I will check out your rant. I'm also pretty sure I will find myself nodding in hearty agreement!


You've pretty much nailed it. Some things we can't do anything about but we can certainly take steps to keep the odds in our favor. Wise words, indeed.

Take care,


Conchscooter said...

If scooter in the sticks reads this he will hang it up for good. Me? I tell my wife if i die on the road she will know why and if I don't die she will know what steps to take. You need a pit crew even on the streets.

Young Dai said...

I'm not getting older, it's just that there are more young people around than there used to be.