Learning Curves & the Effects of “Age”
When my 14-year-old grandson is longer with his drive off the first tee than I am, I often need to take out my driver’s license and look at my date of birth to remind myself that age, my age, may be a factor.
When I walk 18 holes rather than ride in a cart and then find I need four Advil tablets to go to bed that night, I once again need to remind myself that time is marching on.
When I try to get up on one water ski at Lake Powell at our annual family retreat there, I realize that I need to act my age.
Age is also a factor in riding.
- As we lose muscle mass and flexibility, our ability to operate a motorcycle with control and confidence can decrease. This is especially true at slow speeds. A lighter bike with a lower seat height can help.
- We have slower mental processing and longer reaction time. With this in mind, we need to scan further down the road and avoid areas where traffic is heavy.
- As we age, our eyes need more light to see and more time is required to respond to changing light conditions. We need to avoid riding at night and use sunglasses during bright sunlight.
- Be aware if any medications you are using could adversely affect your vision and or your judgment.
It seems that around every corner I am reminded that I am coming of age. For my own safely, as well as the safety of others, I want to minimize the risk factors and remember the thoughts I should have. I hope it will give you some food for thought as well.
Thanks for listening—
You may think I am referring to the snow and ice on the roads of this past winter or the next winter to come, but I am not. My purpose here is to remind myself and all of you of the dangerous “slick” road conditions that can show up at any time of the year with dire consequences.
A few years back I was riding in Nashville, Tennessee, with my good friend Dennis Wells. There had been no rain in the area for quite some time and as a result, the oil drips from cars waiting at stop lights had built up having not been washed away from frequent rains. On two different occasions on that ride when attempting to stop at a traffic signal, the bike did feel like it was on a sheet of ice even though it was actually rain on oil.
Another experience with oil came after crossing a speed bump where it was obvious a low riding car had crossed too fast causing damage to the oil pan and the oil was all over the road just past the speed bump. Not a safe situation.
This one is the experience of a friend of mine we call Bubba. One of the most experienced riders I know, Bubba was heading up a curving hill near our home. Irrigation sprinkles had been spraying onto the road and the solid painted center lines of the road. As Bubba made the turn and his path strayed onto the wet painted lines, he lost traction and the bike went down. Avoid wet painted highway markings.
Well, I could go on with other examples of “slick” metal plates in highway construction areas, gravel roads and parking lots and construction areas with mud, with the point being to anticipate the unexpected to keep the rubber side down.
Not Too Late!
Our June Alps of Europe ride and our July Smiles for Life ride are sold out.
Yet there is still limited space for our August ride in the Rockies and our October ride with fall colors of red rocks and autumn leaves.
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