You know you're old when...
Boy, I never thought it
would happen to me, but here I am in the middle of a full-fledged mid-life crisis. This
crisis was driven home on our last ride. I thought I'd make a compendium of my
observations. You know you're old when...
You know you're old when you try to find a picture of your first "dirt" bike but
none can be found, anywhere. Not in print, not on the Web, nowhere. My first bike was a
1968 Suzuki X6 250 Scrambler. Anybody else out there ever own one of those? It was a
twin-cylinder two-stroke that was essentially a street bike with high pipes and trials
tires. (The X6 Hustler actually made a pretty good roadracer at the time.) It gave me my
first motorcycle-related scar. I was trying to show a friend how to cross it up. I did
cross it up. I hit a little one-foot jump with the throttle pinned, the rear came around,
and I was deposited on my left hip in the gravel, the 350-pound bike on top of me. I wish
I could find a picture of the bike, it was a beaut.
You know you're old when a young woman asks how long you've been riding, you answer, and
then realize that you just admitted you've been riding longer than said young woman has
been alive. This is the aforementioned incident that convinced me I'm in a crisis. It
happened during our last ride while we were bumming gasoline at the crossroad town of
Kelso, CA. And yes, I "remember" that they sold gas at the little store in Kelso
that has now been boarded up for the past twenty years.
You know you're old when instead of
performing the usual camping ritual of lighting a campfire with lots of gasoline and then
drinking and powwowing late into the night with your riding buddies, everyone pulls out
laptop computers and compares software.
You know you're old when wounds take forever to heal and your dirt bike keeps getting
heavier and heavier.
You know you're old when you are getting your ass kicked while riding the latest, best
handling dirt bike the Japanese can produce over some really gnarly, rocky terrain, and
then realize you rode over the same trail 10 years earlier with a bum knee on an
overweight, under-suspended Honda XL-600 with much less difficulty and much much less
You know you're old when putting a ride together involves more than throwing your bikes
and gear in the back of a truck and deciding where you're going while on the way there. We
now take about a month to figure where we are going, who is going, are the accommodations
good enough for spouses, children, pets, and then eventually bag the whole idea because it
You know you're old when your riding buddies start talking about the cool features of the
RV they are planning to buy and those features actually sound cool to you.
You know you're old when you
use a cell phone to obtain tech support out in the middle of nowhere. What ever happened
to bailing wire, pliers, and good old American know how?
You know you're old when you actually have fixed your dirt bike with bailing wire, pliers,
and good old American know how.
You know you're old when you spend as much time as I just have worrying about how old you
are, rather than just getting out there and riding!