Author Topic: Thinking about hanging it up...  (Read 2760 times)

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Offline Old77zrider

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Re: Thinking about hanging it up...
« Reply #25 on: June 04, 2018, 04:15:34 pm »


I think it takes a lot of riding miles to develop what I call "the spidey 6th sense for danger".  The problem is the length of the learning curve to get to that point.  I watch the drivers, not just their cars to see who's distracted by texting, phone calls, doing make up, or even reading the newspaper and stay clear of them.

I often joke by saying "just because we ride paranoid it doesn't mean they are not out to get us" but also what I say in jest is sometimes meant.  In spite of my paranoia I still ride. A little bit of fear is healthy because it goes a long way to support our natural self preservation instinct.

Ironically when we are young we often think we are indestructible. As we mature we realize how fragile life can be and we value life more (especially after childbirth when you become responsible for more than just your own life).  Your concerns are perfectly normal.

If you have been able to control your desires to ride too fast too often, have mitigated your risks by choosing the right time and place to turn it up, and have developed a good "spidey sense" (situational awareness) then your risk is significantly reduced so you may want to keep riding. If not, then your fears may be justified. Maybe you need a break from the sport. Only you know that answer.

Offline Bob

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Re: Thinking about hanging it up...
« Reply #26 on: June 04, 2018, 10:36:36 pm »
Looking back after reading this thread I feel kinda irresponsible, or maybe I was just an "invincebile" fool. I never stopped riding when my son was born. In fact I used to drop him off and pick him up from day care on my XL250. They'd probably arrest me now.
 I did have good life insurance... That was 45 years ago and its a different world now. I'd never fault you for deciding to take a break.

Lather, I did the same thing about 45 years ago. My wife died six months after my son was born. I kept riding when I could (mostly to work), and when son was old enough to stand he rode with me (in front of me with my legs holding him). He even had his own helmet. Guaranteed jail time if you try that today.
The riding was one of the things that saved my sanity during those trying times.

Bob Skinner

Offline NinjaBreadMan

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Re: Thinking about hanging it up...
« Reply #27 on: June 04, 2018, 11:14:02 pm »
I bought my first bike (KZ1000) when I was 21.  Young, stupid and lucky then.  Sold the KZ to a friend of mine when I had young kids, so I understand what you are going through.  Got back into riding when the kids were on their own again, and bought a couple more bikes.

There is more responsibility on you when supporting a family, so you can either quit riding or decide to be very careful, go AGATT, and watch out for others.  Decide what's best for you. 
2016 Gray C14
previous bikes 2006 C10, 1977 Z1000
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Offline Charby

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Re: Thinking about hanging it up...
« Reply #28 on: June 04, 2018, 11:19:15 pm »
Here's another way of looking at it...

I have survived a heart attack, 3 car crashes, countless hang glider crashes, rattle snake bite, fell down a hatch while serving US Navy, busted my left foot, slipped on ice and nearly ran over by cars, and stuff I can't remember from childhood.

He11, I'm just getting started. I am now a human wrecking ball. Stay out of my way cause you may get hit by my wake of activity. I have never had an accident on a motorcycle, ever (well, there was that one time I earned the CDA#).

Point is, I got 2 sons and only 1 wife and they have put up with my adventures and encourage it (cause it gets me outta their hair).

Let's see what trouble I can find next?   >:D National in few days...fair warning.

BWA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAH!

Note to self. Don't hang out with Harry Martin. :o :o :o :-\

Offline TimR

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Re: Thinking about hanging it up...
« Reply #29 on: June 05, 2018, 12:41:40 am »
My brother in law was killed in Germany on a Harley with no alcohol or drugs involved. He failed to negotiate a curve and hot a brick wall.  When this happened I was riding a Z1 900. Loved that bike but when it got stolen in Jacksonville FLA in 1976, she said no more.

We went to Japan for a three year tour and I would get dirty looks when looking at the current Z1R back then. I was then raising a family and while the wife can squeeze a tight budget in order to put savings in the bank, there was just no room for two wheels. When I was at China Lake the second time I managed to get a 50cc Honda scooter. My house and to the airfield and I took the bike path out there. The thing got great gas mileage but at 30mph only happened if I was going down hill. I think it was costing me $2.99 a week going back and forth and I was much lighter back then.

Fast foreword to early 2000. I live on the Columbia River.  There are fish in the Columbia River. So I figured out what kind of boat I was going to get. The wife even set 10K aside for me. But then I figured out quickly it was going to be a $100.00 in gas every time I got the hull wet.  So I typed in 1975 Z1 900 and one showed up for sale in Butt Mt. I had a picture on the screen and she asked who's was that? I said might be mine and explained the boat issue. I went to look at it. It was complete and the modifications were an easy fix. On the Odo was 12429 miles. So I dragged it home.

I had forgotten how a motorcycle ride would clear my head. If I was upset with something a motorcycle ride would bring me back in a better mood. The wife was against buying the Connie. But I did it anyways...didn't need her to sign anything.

I busted my left shoulder then I had a heart attack with a stroke following in 2011. Fortunately I can still ride. Maybe not as fast as pre stroke but I will get there. And I'm always in a better mood. I'm 65 and don't know how much longer I can hold the C14 up especially after blowing my left hand up. I kept every thing but the clutch hand is stiff with limited mobility. The stroke affected the left eye peripheral. But I'm always ready to ride alone or with friends, just give me a reason. 

I have a relative who back before I was born was coming out of church one Sunday and fell dead on the sidewalk. (no it wasn't lightening because I asked) So Recently a cousin went up a ladder in his garage. The ladder collapsed and he was dead on the floor when he hit the cement. I figure when it's your time it doesn't matter what you are doing at the time.  I figure I might as well be doing something I like to do when it's my time. So what if I'm on a motorcycle.    Is that idea selfish? 
Blue 1975 Z1B 900, Red 09 C14     I might not be perfect but at least I don't ride a Suzuki

Offline cra-z1000

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Re: Thinking about hanging it up...
« Reply #30 on: June 05, 2018, 01:59:47 am »
Recently loss a dear close friend on a bike when he struck a deer and was killed.  :'(
I struck a deer a few years back but survived the encounter, he was not so lucky.  Few weeks ago another rider in my area was killed by a distracted driver not paying attention.  Needless to say, riding has been on my mind a lot and whether or not I should hang it up.  I am only 35 years old with my wife and 10 year old son but feel like I could be next.  Is this a common thought process with anyone here?  I’m not hurting for cash and the bike has been paid off for years but it’s becoming more and more a concern of mine.  I feel like riding is more dangerous than it was 10 years ago with the way drivers are more distracted today.  Couple weeks ago I had a close call with another knuckle head behind the wheel.  Just found out a friend from church totaled his bike the other day when he hit sand in a turn and lost it.  Our time here could end at any moment and understand it could just as easily happen in a car rather than a motorcycle.  It’s hard to ignore what’s going on around me.  My problem, I just love riding so damn much but now feel guilty.  What’s everyone’s take on this?  Anyone ever feel pressured to hang it up.


I gave up riding streetbikes for about 10 years while my son was young , just seemed like the right thing to do . , bought a boat and took him fishing .
1987 C 10
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Offline NYbiomed

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Re: Thinking about hanging it up...
« Reply #31 on: June 05, 2018, 09:56:30 am »
My brother in law was killed in Germany on a Harley with no alcohol or drugs involved. He failed to negotiate a curve and hot a brick wall.  When this happened I was riding a Z1 900. Loved that bike but when it got stolen in Jacksonville FLA in 1976, she said no more.

We went to Japan for a three year tour and I would get dirty looks when looking at the current Z1R back then. I was then raising a family and while the wife can squeeze a tight budget in order to put savings in the bank, there was just no room for two wheels. When I was at China Lake the second time I managed to get a 50cc Honda scooter. My house and to the airfield and I took the bike path out there. The thing got great gas mileage but at 30mph only happened if I was going down hill. I think it was costing me $2.99 a week going back and forth and I was much lighter back then.

Fast foreword to early 2000. I live on the Columbia River.  There are fish in the Columbia River. So I figured out what kind of boat I was going to get. The wife even set 10K aside for me. But then I figured out quickly it was going to be a $100.00 in gas every time I got the hull wet.  So I typed in 1975 Z1 900 and one showed up for sale in Butt Mt. I had a picture on the screen and she asked who's was that? I said might be mine and explained the boat issue. I went to look at it. It was complete and the modifications were an easy fix. On the Odo was 12429 miles. So I dragged it home.

I had forgotten how a motorcycle ride would clear my head. If I was upset with something a motorcycle ride would bring me back in a better mood. The wife was against buying the Connie. But I did it anyways...didn't need her to sign anything.

I busted my left shoulder then I had a heart attack with a stroke following in 2011. Fortunately I can still ride. Maybe not as fast as pre stroke but I will get there. And I'm always in a better mood. I'm 65 and don't know how much longer I can hold the C14 up especially after blowing my left hand up. I kept every thing but the clutch hand is stiff with limited mobility. The stroke affected the left eye peripheral. But I'm always ready to ride alone or with friends, just give me a reason. 

I have a relative who back before I was born was coming out of church one Sunday and fell dead on the sidewalk. (no it wasn't lightening because I asked) So Recently a cousin went up a ladder in his garage. The ladder collapsed and he was dead on the floor when he hit the cement. I figure when it's your time it doesn't matter what you are doing at the time.  I figure I might as well be doing something I like to do when it's my time. So what if I'm on a motorcycle.    Is that idea selfish?

Ride long and far Sir.
 :motonoises:
2002 Honda VTR1000F SuperHawk
2009 Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS
1999 Suzuki Katana 750   1993 Yamaha Seca II
1990 Kawasaki EX500      1983 Honda CB1000 Custom

Offline Clip67

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Re: Thinking about hanging it up...
« Reply #32 on: June 05, 2018, 10:37:45 am »
This is something I have struggled with a bit too over the years... Street riding today is more dangerous than ever in my opinion. Too many distracted drivers that just aren't paying attention.

I actually took a break from street bikes for a while and got back into off road bikes for a few years. Still dangerous to some degree, but probably not as potentially lethal. It's a lot of fun if that is an option for you... Also, you could do track days on your street bike if you have that available in your area. It would get you off the street and you could have a blast in a more controlled environment.

Nothing wrong with taking a break from the street to get some clarity on the subject too. Many of my friends have hung it up for all of the reasons already discussed...  I will likely always ride, as it's one of the great things in life for me. Two wheeled therapy man!

Offline TJ

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Re: Thinking about hanging it up...
« Reply #33 on: June 05, 2018, 10:55:20 am »
I'm a 20+ year fire service veteran. I have seen people at all ages meet their fate through household accidents, health crisis of varying types, and of course vehicle accidents. As a a matter of fact, we just lost one of our own to a wasp sting(s) of all things.

I struggle at times to continue to justify riding a motorcycle, like I imagine most of us do from time to time. The thing is, I still enjoy it more than the worry consumes me. As long as that's the case, I'll continue riding.

Offline Jim

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Re: Thinking about hanging it up...
« Reply #34 on: June 05, 2018, 02:37:07 pm »
Like others here I quit riding when my son was small. It seemed like I was having close calls with other cars, then one of my friends from work crashed his Harley and was in a wheelchair after he healed up. I didn't want my son to be raised by a dad (me) in a wheelchair so I sold my bike. I quit smoking not long after that, too. I re-entered motorcycling when my son was 14 which was about 23 years ago, and at age 66 I still ride. I totally understand your thought process on this, but you have to decide what's best for yourself and your family. Good luck!

Offline Salish14

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Re: Thinking about hanging it up...
« Reply #35 on: June 06, 2018, 02:56:06 am »
What a thoughtful and moving discussion. This is why forums should exist and I'm glad they do. I don't need to know the politics of anyone on this site, or what they do or did for money. I don't need to know where they live or what music they like. There is a shared humanity in this thread, that connects us all, despite our superficial differences.

I have two boys in their teen years. I weigh my mortality all the time and have since I was quite young. Like many I've lived an adventurous life and dodged death closely many, many times. I love riding so very, very much that I do it gleefully. I want to die by a grizzly bear, and my family knows that. Or a mountain lion. Or drowning off our sailboat. Or, if need be, by being on my bike. I've seen the cancer take my parents, and dementia my relatives. My family knows my flame shines bright, and I never want it to be put out by IV.

Deer are seemingly much less of a problem out West here, and I've heard that's a species issue, but I'm no expert. On my Connie I'm less concerned about deer on Bainbridge Island because we pretty much go 40mph everywhere. I'd be damn unlucky to die even hitting one at that speed. I'm far more concerned about cages and road hazards, but know the statistics well enough that I am comfortable with those odds too. Don't drink and ride, wear a full face helmet, don't ride unlicensed or untrained, and we are only slightly more likely to die on our bikes than walking down the street.
We sit together, the mountain and me, until only the mountain remains.

2008 ABS Silver with 20,000 and counting

Offline RoadKillHeaven

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Re: Thinking about hanging it up...
« Reply #36 on: June 06, 2018, 05:24:03 pm »
Life is too short and too precious to be selfish to refuse simple enjoyments that elate your soul. 
Life without enjoyment is pernicious.   

Offline FTB530

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Re: Thinking about hanging it up...
« Reply #37 on: June 06, 2018, 10:02:55 pm »
I have been in the same frame of mind a few times after both accidents I was in ,neither my fault, and now when I’m riding my head never stops moving, Loki g around at at mirrors every second.

Offline Old77zrider

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Re: Thinking about hanging it up...
« Reply #38 on: June 07, 2018, 02:37:50 pm »
I T-boned a guy at about 50mph. He blew through a stop sign. I cleared everything and hit nothing else but It created so much paranoia about "the other guy" that riding wasn't nearly as much fun anymore. Made it easier to quit a few years later when I started the family.   
But I came back.....

Offline connie_rider

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Re: Thinking about hanging it up...
« Reply #39 on: June 07, 2018, 04:41:46 pm »
In 76 I got out of the Navy and moved back to Houston, sons were born at about the same time.
So, I had the Kid's plus the riding in Houston concern.
My solution was to give up the street and move to Dirt bikes.
Time passed; kids grew, still in Houston.

In 90ish I got another street bike and started riding on the street again.
 Son's were forbidden to ride Street but we all had dirt bikes.
  As they got older and moved out, they too bought street bikes. {and I worry constantly about them}

Now I ride only Street {My {wussy} buddies got to old to ride dirt}.  :-[
I {still} seldom ride in Houston or other large Cities.

I've been riding the rallies with COG and doing trips oversea's ,,,, thinking; I only have a x /years of riding left as I'm getting older.
    So, I 'm riding the "special's" while I can.   :great:

Ride safe, Ted
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Offline cuda

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Re: Thinking about hanging it up...
« Reply #40 on: June 09, 2018, 08:48:58 pm »
Ted, riding make you feel  younger than you are ;)
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Offline Saint_Arc

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Re: Thinking about hanging it up...
« Reply #41 on: June 11, 2018, 12:26:36 am »
    Everyone needs to assess his/her situation and make the decision that is right for them. Asking others what you should do in this situation is unfair to yourself. You have valid concerns in all respects. The facts are that you could be killed tomorrow riding. But you could also fall down the stairs and break your neck. You could make your wife and son fatherless/widowed. But you could ride for years to come without an incident. But it must be you who must assess your particular situation and decide what is right for you.
   I have already had to make that decision a few times and the last time basically ended my riding. Could I still ride? Well, yes and no. I could ride, but not long distance and would have to pay for it each time. And obviously the same concerns you have also played into my situation. So for me the choice was kind of made for me. I never say never. So when it comes to riding, who knows what the future could hold.
  Be true to yourself and ask yourself the hard questions about you and your family. Then weigh that against your love for riding. Then decide whether your willing to take the risk for what you love, or not take the risk for who you love. But it has to be you who makes the choice, not a bunch of folks on the internet.
   For what it's worth. These folks don't hold it against you no matter which way you decide. You still are welcome on the forum and at most events even if not on two wheels. Good luck how ever you decide.

Sorry for the delay in responding everyone.  I have been out training and focusing on school work these last couple of weeks. 

Thanks for the comments Cap'n Bob.  Your Comments really meant a lot.  It has been on my mind a lot more as of late especially with recent events that have occurred.  I am not necessarily asking others for what to do in this situation but more so in how everyone deals with it.  I must say, I have an awesome wife whom has never pressured or even ask the question if I would give it up.  I guess I am lucky in that regard.  My wife understands how much I love riding and doesn’t give me a difficult time.  Matter of fact, after my first bad accident with the deer years ago she was incredibly supportive.  I was so worried en-route to the hospital that she would say that’s it, no more riding.  Her first words to me were, “Are you okay?  Don’t worry, we can’t get another motorcycle once you heal up”.  That’s just how awesome she is!!  She's a keeper!! :))

Like you mentioned earlier, anything can happen, whether I am in a car, motorcycle, bicycle, or simply slip and crack my head open on a counter in the kitcken.  When your time comes it comes and the best thing you can do is live life the best way you can doing what you love.

These last couple of weeks have really given me a chance to reflect on life in general and what’s important.  I don’t think I will be letting the bike go, however, will limit the amount of riding for a bit now.  Work schedule has been keeping things difficult as it is but I always look forward to getting back home and taking her out for a spin. 

Again, thank for your feedback Bob! :great:
Michael Roelofs

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2009 Kawasaki Concours 14 Candy Red (RIP)
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Offline Saint_Arc

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Re: Thinking about hanging it up...
« Reply #42 on: June 11, 2018, 12:28:29 am »
We are not here for a long time, so make it a good time. Manage risk as best as you can; do not be a complacent rider distracted yourself by music, cell phones, day dreaming. Stay frosty, know they are all out to get you, and keep the mind sharp. This can apply in Zombie Apocalypse scenarios as well.

I honestly feel like being a motorcycle rider and having been in a few accidents on the bike as well as the car as made me a much better cautions driver.  I wish others in there cage kickers were the same.  I used to be all about playing music while riding but I find myself these days enjoying the silence and listening more to the bike.   :)

Got to watch out for them Zombie's! :))
Michael Roelofs

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Offline Saint_Arc

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Re: Thinking about hanging it up...
« Reply #43 on: June 11, 2018, 12:30:23 am »
I stopped riding when my children were young. Started up again when my son turned about 18. I understand exactly what you're going through. Personally I thought taking the risk while they were in school was too high. Even now I carry a lot of Life Insurance. I no longer ride in inner cities. I keep it to Country Roads highways etcetera. Riding in busy cities is really a Gamble.

That's a good way to approach it though by avoiding the congested areas as much as possible.  I just recently raised my life insurance to as well.  Hopefully, the family will never need it but it is good to know they will be taken care of in the event something does happen  ;)
Michael Roelofs

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Offline Saint_Arc

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Re: Thinking about hanging it up...
« Reply #44 on: June 11, 2018, 12:38:19 am »
Chris,

Very well said!  Thank you.  I can’t imagine being upstate that far and dealing with the winters you all have had these last few years.  I used to live in Fairbanks Alaska and just gave up trying to ride there due to the short riding seasons. >:( 

I wish I had more friends at church that enjoy riding.  My church is rather small but growing so maybe I’ll have a riding buddy in the future!  That has always been one of my biggest fears as well.  Not being killed on a motorcycle accident but rather bed ridden from the injuries sustain is not something that sounds like fun.  We can’t control this aspect of our lives but we certainly can control how we live our lives. 

I’m going to be hanging onto this for a while.  If you ever find yourself down near Arizona hit me up.  Would love to go out riding together. 

~ Thanks and God Bless!

Mike Roelofs

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Offline Saint_Arc

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Re: Thinking about hanging it up...
« Reply #45 on: June 11, 2018, 12:41:06 am »
When my son was a few months old I got run off the road. Coincidentally the life insurance rep was at work that day. I doubled my insurance. Two weeks later it happened again. I decided I didn't want anyone else to raise my kid regardless of the financial security I would provide if I died. I sold both bikes.
24 years later when my youngest child turned 18 I knew the mold was fully hardened and he was going to be a good man.
I bought a FZ1 and road the crap out of it...like I was making up for lost time. 112k miles in 7 years and loved it.

Your fear is real. Its why a lot of us ride. The thrill. rush, whatever you want to label it. Maybe you shouldn't hang it up...... forever.

I guess I should have modified my original posting.  If I were to hang it up, it would only be temporarily like what you did.  I plan on hanging on to her for now and just using extreme caution as I do everyday already. 

Thank you for your comments!  Ride Safe!

~Mike
Michael Roelofs

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2009 Kawasaki Concours 14 Candy Red (RIP)
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Offline Saint_Arc

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Re: Thinking about hanging it up...
« Reply #46 on: June 11, 2018, 12:42:19 am »
I have both a 14yr old and 4yr old.  I changed the way I rode when the oldest was born, but it didn't stop me from riding.  The 4yr old got me to the point where buying an aerostich and wearing gear every time is now mandatory.  I refuse to live a life of worry, I control what I can and love every day.

Totally Agree!  Safety Gear an absolute must!  Plus the wife usually lets me get whatever I want to keep safe!  Can't complain there!! :))
Michael Roelofs

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Offline Saint_Arc

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Re: Thinking about hanging it up...
« Reply #47 on: June 11, 2018, 12:44:37 am »
Here's another way of looking at it...

I have survived a heart attack, 3 car crashes, countless hang glider crashes, rattle snake bite, fell down a hatch while serving US Navy, busted my left foot, slipped on ice and nearly ran over by cars, and stuff I can't remember from childhood.

He11, I'm just getting started. I am now a human wrecking ball. Stay out of my way cause you may get hit by my wake of activity. I have never had an accident on a motorcycle, ever (well, there was that one time I earned the CDA#).

Point is, I got 2 sons and only 1 wife and they have put up with my adventures and encourage it (cause it gets me outta their hair).

Let's see what trouble I can find next?   >:D National in few days...fair warning.

BWA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAH!

Love it!! :)  You are one durable individual!!!  I'll have to tell you about the Chain Saw Accident I got into a few years back....

I'll save that one for a night out at the camp fire though.   :)
Michael Roelofs

2012 Kawasaki Concours 1400 Arabian Red
2009 Kawasaki Concours 14 Candy Red (RIP)
2003 Kawasaki Vulcan Nomad

Offline Saint_Arc

  • Scooter
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  • Posts: 263
  • AREA: Southwest Area
  • COG#: 10457
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: Thinking about hanging it up...
« Reply #48 on: June 11, 2018, 12:56:33 am »
I can't thank you all enough for your words of encouragement and support.  I was surprised with how many comments received while away at school and training.  I was thinking about things while in the airport waiting on my flight back to the East Coast when I decided to post my thoughts on this subject.  I did not expect to get the amount of comments and support back from everyone in such a quick manner.  You guys are awesome!   :)

I was very disappointed that I had to miss out on the National again this year but overwhelmed with the amount of support received here from everyone.  I am still reading through all the responses and will continue to respond and send out personal PM.  Thank you all! 

Looking forward to linking up with all as time permits here in Arizona!  Be safe out there!!   ;)

~Mike
Michael Roelofs

2012 Kawasaki Concours 1400 Arabian Red
2009 Kawasaki Concours 14 Candy Red (RIP)
2003 Kawasaki Vulcan Nomad

Offline ZXtasy

  • Road Bike
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  • Posts: 361
  • It rides the bike or it gets the lotion!
  • AREA: Northwest Area
  • COG#: 12569
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: Thinking about hanging it up...
« Reply #49 on: June 11, 2018, 10:06:41 am »
Thanks for taking the time to respond to so many posts, you will make the right choice for you. Your wife sounds like mine, who is also a keeper. Has never even thought about making me give up something I love and has accepted the fact that I will most likely 'go out' while on two wheels. Though I ave lived this long and she might now say it could be on 3 wheels if my knees get any worse. LOL

Be well in AZ
2013 ZG-1400, 2005 ZX-10R (Nekkid), 2012 TW-200, 1999 TW-200....and more to come.