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Hi guys, I'll try to keep this shortish. As I near my 60th Bday on Friday I reflect on motorcycling and possibly on how much longer I can continue to ride.
My sight is failing rapidly, I'm waiting on cornea transplants , caused by blunt force trauma in my work as a photojournalist. Yeah, blind photogs not much in demand so I retired very early, lucky that I could I guess..but enough of that, back to bikes..I've ridden since I was 7...that's 53 years! I've had bunches of bikes from pure joy motors to pure headaches! My first street bike was a 1954 BSA C11G 250 that dad brought home in three boxes with some comment like "You wanted a motorcycle..here you go! Cost me a fiver!". ($10.?) Then there were Ariel Golden Arrow, Norton Atlas, Triumph T110 (The Bathtub). Then I decided to try Speedway..in came the Weslake, Jawa and J.A.P...then came the crash....moving on came a host of Jap bikes, Honda Dream 250 (my first with a starter motor) Suzuki Super 6 (6 gear two banger) I even managed to do a couple of test laps at the IOM with one of those. My first Duc appeared in the early 70's a 250 bevel, wish I had it now! Some more cafe racers ..mainly Tritons (Triumph engines in a Norton Featherbed frame) a few clubman races around England. etc.
I managed to ride on 4 continents in 26 different countries.I even rode in China a few years ago..quite interesting I must say!
When I came to the States I got caught up in the world of Flatrack and managed to place 6th in the VDTRA championship (over 50s division)!
Now, I wonder what I have left..I look in my garage here at home..interesting ..a 1200 Suzuki Bandit with 150000 miles on it. A Kawi ex250..my girls bike. an ST3 my Italian beauty, and a 1979 Maico 490 dirtster, my spring project which will run in the Vintage dirt series. Quite a disparate collection.
As you age riding gets harder, trips that I used to do in one or two days now take three or four. Seems that as the bikes get faster I get slower.
So, in conclusion , I've ridden in snow, rain, blazing sun. I intend to ride as long as I can throw a leg over (said the same to the wife..she laughed), Hope to get the eyes fixed soon. and I'll be back..riding down for coffee at *$s, or buzzing across to Oklahoma City. But more than the bikes and places, the best thing about a life with motorcycles has been the people I've met and the friends Ive made , we are pretty much the same all over the world..we help others, we teach the youngsters (some even chose to learn from us) In general we are a good bunch of people..true adventurers, smiling from ear to ear behind our stuffy, sweaty helmets!
Hope to wave to you all on the road.
Thanks for listening to the ramblings of an oldster,..remember I'm faster in my stories than I ever was in real life!
Ride Safe , Ride Well.
Cheers
Derek
 

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Very nice Derek. Hope to wave to you on the road at least 20 years for now on. Happy 60 and all the best!
 

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Great inspiration. I've loved motorcycles/ motorcycling ever since I was a little boy and I can only hope i can still ride into my 60's. I truly enjoyed reading your post.
 

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A man's gotta have priorities. Nothing wrong with making the wonderful world of motorcycling one of them. :) Keep on riding as long as I can...that's my plan too. :) Great post, thanks. :)
 

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Mr Leakered
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+1 to everything that was said. I can't think of anything better to offer, but I do hope that I am riding at 60+. It'd be cool if it was still this same ST, with maybe a backup in the garage.

Have a good one.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
CAlexio,
Thanks for the invite. I'm up in San Mateo just off 280. Been a member of this site for years, it's the best. Would love to join up with the Ducati guys. On a side note I am partner in a race shop out in Oklahoma City , we race Duc flatrackers ..so if anyone needs any special parts or something making I'd be happy to help.
Cheers mate.
Derek
 

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Hey Nikon, a riding buddy of mine just turned 78 and he's going strong. His eyes needed some work too, but that's been done and he sees well enough now.

I can tell riding is physically harder for him every year, but his secret is love of riding and stubbornness. I can tell you have that love too, so keep a good outlook and we'll see you on the roads for at least 18 more years ...
 

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Thanks Derek...

I stopped riding for 23 years....I've a long way to catch up. I'm sorry I stopped riding...even if the reasons seemed appropriate at the time.
Scott
 

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If I could have all the money I've spent on bikes and parts for them,....


I'd spend it on bikes and parts for them.
 

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I'm right behind you at 56... pushing 57. Been riding since 1977 with a break in the middle and just picked up an ST 4. Funny thing, my knees hurt on a BMW R1150RT, but don't on the ST 4. Maybe I just forget that I'm getting old and creeky when on the Ducati. Ahhhh....
 

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Derek, I live in your area (los Gatos), come ride sometime, meet the local Ducati club guys. Welcome to the site
CAlexio,
Thanks for the invite. I'm up in San Mateo just off 280. Been a member of this site for years, it's the best. Would love to join up with the Ducati guys. On a side note I am partner in a race shop out in Oklahoma City , we race Duc flatrackers ..so if anyone needs any special parts or something making I'd be happy to help.
Cheers mate.
Derek
Congrats on the 60th !
Dang I'm right across the bay in Fremont/Newark too !!
I might add that I think I'm the youngest one here too :think:
and I also take my D700 every where.
 

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Life is too short to worry !
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If I could have all the money I've spent on bikes and parts for them,....


I'd spend it on bikes and parts for them.
Agreed !

If I could recall all the experiences , new friends , countries/places etc that being a motorcyclist has brought me over the years then my dementia must have gone away LOL.........

Seriously , ride for as long as you can and if that means slower , who cares , just gives extra time to meet more friends , see more of the countries/places you do visit and have new experiences.

56 today BTW , happy birthday to you/me :) !
 

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There was a piece recently in Motorcycle News (weekly UK paper) which reported 3 people had just picked up their Panigale's from Ducati Glasgow. Their combined ages were 225 years! (youngest was 73) so you have a long way to go. My friend & neighbour is an advanced instructor in his mid-sixties and boy, can he ride. He can still show the youngsters how it should be done.
 

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I've been riding since 1969. Stopped for a few years 'cause I thought it was gettin' too dangerous. Then I moved out of SoCal to north Idaho, survived cancer, and realized that riding was more important than worrying about the small stuff. So, what ever it takes to stay in the saddle, ya gotta go for it.
 

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Derek,
Thanks for posting and all the best from me and my family for many more years of safe riding.

I started when I was about 12 on my neighbor’s enduro 80. Bought my own bike but had to hide it from my folks. Finally I got caught and they learned to live with my addiction to bikes. Fast forward 35 years and except for a 5 year period from when my son was born till I split with my wife I have had at least one bike in the garage all the time.

Nothing was better than after a nasty day on the trading floor then swinging a leg over and riding home. I used to commute from Philly up to Wall St and anytime it was in the 40’s or better and little to no rain I took my bike rather than training it.

Good Luck Derek, don’t ever quit on us!!
 
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