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I know this is an emotional topic and I have read up on it on other forums and elsewhere online. But it is a serious question and I see a lot of unhelpful answers like:
  • I will keep riding until I die (exactly what I am trying to avoid!)
  • If you have to ask, you should probably quit (I reject that. I think everyone should always be reexamining their priorities.)
  • If you can't handle the bike anymore (true, but not my situation and too obvious)
  • It's a personal choice everyone has to make for themselves. (Of course. But I am asking for input before I make that decision.)
So, I rode in my late teens and early 20's, all small bikes, then quit, being "responsible." Got back into it at 64 on a DL650. Took a lot of rider safety classes and rode conservatively. I had a few close calls the first year, but no accidents. I have done pretty well in the subsequent three years. At 68, I probably still only have about 10,000 miles logged. I ride AGATT, including an air bag vest. I always assume I am invisible and any vehicle that can possibly hit me, will try to hit me and that each curve may have a slick spot around the bend. My reflexes, balance and vision are still decent. But I am far from being a top notch rider and probably never will be.

But I have been thinking:
  • The accident death rate for riders is 38 times higher than drivers across the board, and increasing.
  • The rate for older riders is even higher.
  • Cagers are getting crazy with texting, etc.
  • Getting all suited up (and unsuited up) is a chore.
  • Where I live there are maybe three months in the Spring and three in the Fall where the temperatures are really conducive to comfortable riding AGATT.
  • At my age, a serious accident could be hard or impossible to recover from.
  • I am just not getting the "gotta get out on the bike" feeling as much anymore.
  • I can afford it, but the less I ride, the financial returns are diminishing and I am on a fixed income.
So please be serious. What are your criteria for packing it in, or advising someone else to pack it in? Any advice?
 

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I'm 72 and been riding pretty much since my teens - took a break for kids then back into with my son.

Of course I have a horizon that is approaching but then I come across 80 yearolds still riding.

I do have a chronic injury from an off pavement front wheel wash out that damaged my shoulder but I did manage 17 days cross country this year - was a bucket list and I enjoyed ...might do it again next year.

I stay out traffic and rush hour....tho riding on major highways and at speed do not bother me. Stop and go is a killer as really bothers my throttle hand/shoulder but Celebrex works and some cortico steroid injections.

Gearing up is a thing you do....annoying at times but.....

When I swing my leg over and get out in the back roads....I drop 20 years ...simple as that. :grin2:

I found riding with audiobooks a really enjoyable aspect and took away the urge to "
get there ". I'm relaxed and even with the inevitable occasional slow traffic ...
I have a group of riders...many my age, some even older and lots in retirement. It's a nice 40 minute ride through back roads and there are couple decent places for coffee or lunch.

That gives me a destination and some social enjoyment.....i get out in the fall colours and love the spring time ....it's outside .!!!

I really don't think you have to reason it out....quit when you are not enjoying it anymore.
 

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I know this is an emotional topic and I have read up on it on other forums and elsewhere online. But it is a serious question and I see a lot of unhelpful answers like:
  • I will keep riding until I die (exactly what I am trying to avoid!)
  • If you have to ask, you should probably quit (I reject that. I think everyone should always be reexamining their priorities.)
  • If you can't handle the bike anymore (true, but not my situation and too obvious)
  • It's a personal choice everyone has to make for themselves. (Of course. But I am asking for input before I make that decision.)
So, I rode in my late teens and early 20's, all small bikes, then quit, being "responsible." Got back into it at 64 on a DL650. Took a lot of rider safety classes and rode conservatively. I had a few close calls the first year, but no accidents. I have done pretty well in the subsequent three years. At 68, I probably still only have about 10,000 miles logged. I ride AGATT, including an air bag vest. I always assume I am invisible and any vehicle that can possibly hit me, will try to hit me and that each curve may have a slick spot around the bend. My reflexes, balance and vision are still decent. But I am far from being a top notch rider and probably never will be.

But I have been thinking:
  • The accident death rate for riders is 38 times higher than drivers across the board, and increasing.
  • The rate for older riders is even higher.
  • Cagers are getting crazy with texting, etc.
  • Getting all suited up (and unsuited up) is a chore.
  • Where I live there are maybe three months in the Spring and three in the Fall where the temperatures are really conducive to comfortable riding AGATT.
  • At my age, a serious accident could be hard or impossible to recover from.
  • I am just not getting the "gotta get out on the bike" feeling as much anymore.
  • I can afford it, but the less I ride, the financial returns are diminishing and I am on a fixed income.
So please be serious. What are your criteria for packing it in, or advising someone else to pack it in? Any advice?

Seems like you answered your question.

If you haven't got the desire to ride like you used to have and are dwelling on the negative aspects sounds like you're done.

Riding requires your head to be in it. If your can't ride with confidence you're more likely to have a mishap IMO.

I still look forward to every ride even just commuting. I don't consider what bad may happen other than to avoid it!
 

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I agree with Spec.
You seem to have all the information needed to make the decision. The way you present the facts of your case sounds like you really don't want to be a regular rider, but perhaps wanted to re-examine something that was fun in your youth, and found it isn't as much fun now as it was back then. (Motorcycle riding is not the only activity that falls in that category.)
If your head is not fully into it you are adding an additional hazard. As much as it pains me to say it, my advice would be to quit.
 

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So maybe it doesn't have to be a "toggle switch" decision where by you just quit. Maybe you start to do expedition trips. Some folks I know trailer their bikes to places they would like to explore and just bop around for a few days. The Rocky Mountains, Vermont, Nova Scotia .. you get the picture. The bikes become a means to an expanded end.

You might even switch to a mid-size dual sport bike for trailer slabbing. I do a vintage bike ride every so often in Southern California. I find it much more enjoyable doing that 6 hour slab and the 3 hours in LA traffic in the air conditioned cab and well rested for 3 days in the mountains East of LA on the bike.

You get to pick where and when you start and stop riding. The new scenery will get your mind off the statistics in the bargin. Mix it up for a couple of more years.

I figure the ad for my estate sale will include the words, "... ran when parked."
 

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Hehe .....yah I cheat..fly the bike to the west coast for 2 weeks of riding then ride home. One way is fine and I actually did get tired of the Rockies and headed home a couple days early by the northern route and that turned out to be a treat....but damn it IS a long way across from Toronto.

East coast at least next year ...shoulder be damned ...I need the riding to keep me feeling young...cool weather gear tomorrow...
 

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You've been riding long enough to understand and spot the dangers of riding on two wheels. This is key for a long and safe riding career and you seem to have a good grasp on it. It's when "you've lost that loving feeling" with riding that you question "At what point should one quit riding?" I too lost that loving feeling at the beginning of this riding season but mine was due to the bike I was riding. I toured on a sport bike for the last 9 years clocking 100K km on it and my body couldn't handle the riding position anymore. Once I bought the vstrom I got that feeling back and now look forward to getting on it again and touring.

I know the dangers every time I get on the bike. All I can do is be aware and know my surroundings at all times when I ride and minimize my chances of a mishap. For me the reward outweighs the risk, for now. Physically, you sound to be in good shape for riding. Maybe you're not inspired? Maybe a change of bike? Join a new riding group? Failing this, then the risk may be outweighing the reward.
 

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I got back into riding at 50 after a 21 year break. I then rode for 8 years and hung it up. I had three bikes in that time, two of the three concurrently for about a year.

During the last three seasons of my riding, I began having the feeling it wasn't that fun anymore. Of course, I didn't like that thought, so I shrugged it off. Too much time, money and emotion invested, you know? But the feeling persisted and even grew worse the next season. I rode a little less often and that helped a bit. By the third season, I admitted to myself I wasn't enjoying it anymore so I tested my thoughts out on the road. I was done. Riding had become a second job and then I realized...wait for it....It had become boring! For me. Not necessarily in terms of mileage, but in spare time, it's all I did on weekends. Don't get me wrong, not every ride was a chore, but I didn't enjoy most of them.

I've always thought about the dangers of riding as we should, but not in the sense it ever made we want to quit. I rode because I wanted to, until I didn't. And I always think it's possible if circumstances are right, I could one day get a bike again. So my choice came down to one thing. I was no longer enjoying it.

Not sure there's a formula for this decision; you really do have to form your own conclusion. Don't allow others or subtle pressures to keep you riding if, deep down, you want to give it up. Go by how you feel.
 

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I don't know what my criteria for packing it in will be. I am not there yet. several bikes back I thought "well this will be my last bike" but it ain't over yet. If your eyes don't light up a bit and you don't find a smile on your face when you fire up your ride and head out then you might try a 6 month absence from riding. when I got married I quit bikes and that didn't last 6 months before the wife said to go get a motorcycle, that I was climbing the walls. Several times my wife has encountered me on my m/c unexpectedly and didn't think it was me at first. "you look 20 years younger on a motorcycle" she says. I think "yeah 20 years or more". I know my reflexes are not what they were 50 years ago. then they could have been measured with a stop watch, now a calendar might be a more appropriate measuring device. but you deal with your limitations, if you can't then you should quit. I got a street license when I was 14, and rode off road before that. now I am 75. More than half of the people in my high school class ('62) are dead. some of them were very careful some were not.

While I am alive I want to live, and a bike does it for me. If it did not do it for me I would quit.
 

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It seems like you've already laid out some pretty clear reasons for you to give up riding; do you really need any more opinions from other guys whose outlook might not be the same as yours? All your points are good reasons to give up riding; the only difference between you and another guy is how much importance you place on those reasons. I can agree with several of your reasons (the danger factor, texting drivers, ATGATT being a chore), but they aren't powerful enough reasons for me personally at this stage of my life to give up riding. But if one of my reasons for giving it up was "I am just not getting the "gotta get out on the bike" feeling as much anymore", I don't think I would need any other reason beside that one to quit. I've given up multiple hobbies in my life (far less risky than motorcycling) for the simple reason that I wasn't enjoying them any more. There was no soul searching involved, or trying to come up with any reasons to keep doing it; not enjoying it was all the reason needed.

As long as I enjoy it, I'll keep doing it until a physical infirmity makes it impossible for me to continue. I'd quit riding tomorrow if I woke up in the morning and said "I just don't like riding any more".
 

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But I have been thinking:The accident death rate for riders is 38 times higher than drivers across the board, and increasing.
This is scaremongering from the safety Nazis. First, this is not a fair comparison and is a statistical restatement of the fact the riding *is* dangerous. We already know that and don't need stats to prove it; when things go wrong it is a battle between a 2000lb+ car against a 500lb moto and the (unprotected) rider loses every time. Basic physics. Because of this fact I will not help a friend or family member get into riding, it is too dangerous and I don't want to be responsible for them getting maimed or killed. Second, what is left out from these kinds of stat quotes is that if you remove alcohol, stupidity, 20-somethings on +100HP bikes (but I repeat myself), inadequate training/gear and other factors totally within your control the death rate drops dramatically.

I have a similar history to you; rode in my teens and early 20's but dropped the hobby then picked it back up at 50. When I was considering getting a bike at 50 I researched the stats (mainly the Hurt Report) and if you remove the factors I mentioned the death rates drop to the same or less than other hobbies. Do you want to know what the most dangerous hobby is on a per capita basis? Hang gliding! But there are other hobbies nearly as dangerous like mountain or ice climbing, etc. You don't hear about that because the population is small and death or injuries don't move the needle in the media like a 20-something doing 100MPH into the back of a van on a busy road.

The rate for older riders is even higher.
Yes and there are reasons for that but you can't just accept any stat at face value. These stats don't distinguish between someone like you and me who *learned* to ride in our teens or early twenties then picked it back up in our later decades. There is a huge difference from someone who tries to first learn to ride at 50. At 50+ or even 40+ learning a new skill is more difficult, even non-dangerous skills like playing the piano. It is just harder, takes more repetition and practice to acquire the skill which is the nature of growing old but is a recipe for disaster on a motorcycle but not so much on the piano.

I'm sure that you've heard the expression that "it's like riding a bicycle" meaning some skill that you learned in your youth comes back very quickly. This is in contrast to some old fart trying to learn to ride for the first time. Laying down the circuits in your brain at 20 then reactivating them at 50 is completely different then laying down new circuits in the brain at 50. This was exactly my experience in which the first day of my two-day MSF course to get re-licensed I was struggling, second day (after a good night's sleep) I was able to smoke the MSF final test and won a ribbon for best score on the final. This is not to brag but to illustrate the nature of the human brain, aging and learning a new skill versus reactivating an old skill.

That said, there is an unavoidable and very important factor related to aging -- slower reaction times. To compensate for that I made ABS a "must have" on my new bike and it has already saved my ass a number of times.

Cagers are getting crazy with texting, etc.
This is true and I was somewhat shocked at how prevalent it is but it is avoidable. I don't ride in commuter or heavy traffic where bored drivers are distracted by the radio or phone calls or texts. I stay off main thoroughfares or freeways during rush hour and without getting boxed-in your safety is mostly in your control. I mostly stick to two-lane, twisties and light traffic freeways to avoid this risk. If you are using a motorcycle for commuting or your main mode of transpo (USA only) then your are taking huge, unnecessary risks.

Getting all suited up (and unsuited up) is a chore.
Sometimes, as I get older, I don't feel like taking out the garbage but when I do I am always glad that I did ;-)

Where I live there are maybe three months in the Spring and three in the Fall where the temperatures are really conducive to comfortable riding AGATT.
Where I live, I can typically ride comfortably from around March to Oct/Nov. Right now, due to work and weather (too cold), I haven't ridden in a week or so and I am itching to go this weekend. In the Winter (Dec to Feb) I wrench which I enjoy so its a year-round hobby for me. On my list to add is grip heaters to extend the season. You might look into better gear to extend your season.

At my age, a serious accident could be hard or impossible to recover from.
At any age, this is the risk we all take. If I crashed and got seriously injured I'd be screwed despite insurance, saving & etc. I still ride because the benefits outweigh the cost/risks.

I am just not getting the "gotta get out on the bike" feeling as much anymore.
It is normal for your motivation wax and wane. I never force myself to ride and have taken month-long breaks until the urge returns.

I can afford it, but the less I ride, the financial returns are diminishing and I am on a fixed income. So please be serious. What are your criteria for packing it in, or advising someone else to pack it in? Any advice?
Nobody can answer these question except for you. I do think you might be too focused on negative outcomes and need to find a new hobby. You don't have to ride and there is no shame in stepping away. That said, I once knew a man who was into racing, like Indy cars that go 200MPH or whatever. And I asked him, how do you deal with the risk? One false move by you or even another driver and you hit the wall and get killed. He said a lot of the training is focused on avoiding that outcome but come race day you push it all out of your mind and it is the most exhilarating experience of the union of man and machine pushing to the limits. If the race is not paramount and the *potential* crash takes priority in your mind you are done.
 

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Fixed income is a pet peeve of mine. You'll find most of the folks on a "fixed income" are there becaseu of their choosing. They either retired when they could not afford too or thought social security was a retirement plan. They were not disciplined enough or had the foresight to save. My wife works for the Commonwealth of PA and an overwhelming amount of her co-workers when they are in their late 50 after 30 years of employment finally decide to put money away for retirement.They sock away $5 or $10 per pay (bi-weekly) and wonder why they can't afford to retire but do so anyways and live like a pauper.

I am a salaried employee and guess what I am on a fixed income. I make the same money this week as I will next. So I have to budget and live within my means. If I want more money here's another shocker I have to go out and work for it.


Anyway with that said I'll quit riding due to 3 things:


1. Death
2. Disabled
3. I don't want to ride anymore

As for statistically being 38 time higher risk. One thing we can all agree on is statics can be manipulated into anything you want.
 

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Ummm bit smug there

early 80 percent of American workers (78 percent) say they're living paycheck to paycheck, according to a 2017 report by employment website CareerBuilder.
47% of Canadians living paycheque to paycheque, survey finds

www.bnnbloomberg.ca › 47-of-canadians-living-paycheque-to-paycheque...
47% of Canadians living paycheque to paycheque, survey finds
 

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To OP, I know If I could not ride a 2 wheeled motorcycle any longer due to whatever reason (s) I would
go back to driving the best car I ever owned > Mazda Miata. It was hands down the closest to riding a motorcycle
and mine was still in decent shape for $1800. Far less than the 3 wheeled wallet busters ( Can Am > Slingshot )
Worth every moment until you have no moments left.
 

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If you need other people to justify your decision to stop riding, it's time.

But it's a fine reason for some to try and rationalize the decision. Like a good well, it's deep, man!
 

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When YOU become uncomfortable/apprehensive when riding your bike, IT'S TIME TO HANG UP YOUR SPURS. Only you can determine when that time comes.
 

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Run your own race, pull into the pits when you need to.

My personal goal is to ride down the two block-long mainstreet of our town on my 100th birthday. I may have given up riding frequently before then, and have to do it on a Moped, or as a passenger in a sidecar, but that's da plan. I agree with the T-shirt proverb, "You never get too old to ride, You get too old if you never ride." I'm 70 now with good overall health, and I have learned to pay more attention to what my body is trying to tell me, which I believe gives me more freedom, not less.
I live in a exurban-rural area, 26 miles from downtown St Paul, MN, and half mile/1km from the nearest cow. Being retired I don't commute, so my riding is about 95% pleasure riding on lightly travelled roads, and 5% pleasure errand running, and I avoid riding at night especially during the rut.
I lost 115lb/52kg last year when I traded in my ZX11 for the DL650. The 650 rejuvenated my passion for riding, not only being lighter, but a more upright riding posture. It also opened up a new dimension for me in being capable of handling gravel roads. I have increased my riding time with this bike over the ZX, and I owned that bike into retirement. There may come a time when the Wee gets to be too tall, and then I may have to look at a step-through scooter, but for today, my D'elle is perfect.
I haven't gone ice fishing or cross country skiing in several years now that I look back on it; totally unthinkable at one time, but somewhere I just must have lost interest and gradually went out less and less until...
 

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I would consider the following to bring the joy back into riding:
- Take the bike out more often, for shorter rides, just down the street to get groceries etc. this way it is more habitual. It is always a fun break for me, even for only a couple miles each way.
- Consider ditching being anal about AGATT. It does not work for the above suggestion very well. Helmet, jeans, leather jacket and gloves is what I use for shorter stints. Riding a motorcycle is always a trade off between safety and freedom.
- Consider switching bikes. I had the same bike for 20 years and I finally realized I was just bored with it. Maybe a smaller nimbler bike than the V-Strom if long tours are not the main objective?
 

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"My personal goal is to ride down the two block-long mainstreet of our town on my 100th birthday"

Under achiever! I'd rather get stopped for doing a hundred miles on hour on my hundredth birthday. The LEO may be so surprised and astounded they may not even cite me. They may just point me back in the direction of the Retirement Home.
 

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I'm 75 now and retired last month. The last several years of the real estate business allowed us to retire with no need for a lot of additional income over social security. I've ridden from 4th grade through now with some gaps in there for sailboat racing and such. I'm a more confident rider now than ever before due to track days and the lessons taught there. I should have done that 50 years ago, but you can't go back. I still love my Vee, although the weight and height is an issue. I often ride with my wife on the back and enjoy that a lot. She's pretty game at 67. I'm selling my two dirt bikes this spring. Just too physical for the terrain out here. It wears me out too quickly. But I'm still happy to go on trips or just a Wednesday night ride with some locals. When I'm bored with it, I'll stick to my Model A Ford. Maybe take up RC airplanes again. It's an individual decision. Nobody can tell you when it's time to quit.
 
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