Afraid of getting hurt... #vertriderproblems

Create New Tag

12/8/2017 8:46 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/8/2017 8:49 AM

Im your typical "I used to race as a kid" guy that took 20 years off to enjoy the pleasures of adulthood. But now that I have little kids in the sport, its dragged me back in. Both because of necessity and because I wanted to ride again. Anyone knows that trying to keep up with a 50cc bike, on foot, is impossible. I lost my son for 30 minutes at our local riding place when he didnt listen to me to not go past a certain point.

But back on topic. Now that Im back into everything, I find myself wanting to push it. And to possibly race again. Im 37 and around 200lbs now. Not in optimal shape by any means. And as much as I want to do all the doubles and triples again, Im scared shitless. Not about riding, but crashing. As any vet rider, I have a family to support. A job to work m-f, and personally I havent broken a bone since I was 20. I dont want to relive that glory.

But when I go out, I find myself pushing it. I cant help it. I got this new bike, and all this new gear. And here I am putting around getting passed by kids on 85s. I know its the right thing to do just to get out there and enjoy myself, but I cant help to push it.

Any other vet riders going through this?? How are you fairing now later in life trying to race mx? Any injuries, or regrets? My knees are starting to bother me more, and so is my ass from that board that KTM calls a seat. Shit man getting old sucks. Lets hear other opinions.


12/8/2017 8:54 AM

I went through it for awhile as far as the "push it" phase. I was in my early 50s when I started back and thought I could eventually keep up with the kids. I'm no slouch on the bike, but I am not fast except for a few laps maybe. I just have fun now. There's no other point to doing it. You're never going to turn pro at your age or anything like that. So just go out and enjoy it. Race the vet class now and then and just enjoy it. The best part about moto after 50 - from my perspective - has been making a bunch of great new friends, getting exercise, getting outside, having fun.


12/8/2017 8:55 AM

I would suggest finding a good area to fast trail ride. Get you mojo back with non pressure seat time you don't have at a track. You might have a little more fun with your kids too. As for the seat, you are supposed to be standing. Yeah, right. I came up through a time without doubles and triples, got out for a little bit and sorta came back. Injuries have kept me off the bike off and on for the last 5 years. I'm OK not doing crazy doubles and triples since I never really spent a lot of time on them. I think being 60 and still trying is good for me.


The older I get, the faster I was.

12/8/2017 8:56 AM

Oh, and forget about the crashing. Why worry over it? You're going to crash. It's part of riding and racing. Just don't take crazy chances. Know when to say, "That jump is out of my skill level." Just admit it then HAVE FUN.


12/8/2017 8:57 AM

The quick answer is you need to be in the right mindset. If the fear is overtaking you, don't do it. If you can overcome that fear and ride more calm, then go for it. Just never put pressure on yourself, that isn't worth it.


12/8/2017 9:03 AM

You cant think about getting hurt. Thats how you get hurt. Im only 24 and when i try to keep up with a B rider i can only last a few laps before i start making mistakes. Thats when i have to dial it back. Know your limit, ride 80-90% of it and slowly youll get faster.


2009 Kawasaki KX450F
2009 Kawasaki KX250F
2002 Suzuki GSXR 600

12/8/2017 9:10 AM

As a 54 year old....I completely understand where you're coming from.

1st and foremost, I'd work on riding the bike correctly. This helps beat you up less and can even make you less sore, afterwards.
Are you on the balls of your feet?
Are you standing when you should? (Get off that seat and you get beat up a helluva lot less!)
Is that leg WAY OUT THERE IN FRONT of you in the turns?

Then there's your bike: You can get a different seat...Guts Racing makes different densities and heights. Are your bars/levers/grips right?

Taking Lessons: It's us older guys that should invest in a riding clinic...from a solid and KNOWN coach. Look int USMCA for starters. United States Motorcycle Coaching Association = USMCA.ORG

As for what shape you're in: Over at Racer-X, they have their Virtual Trainer. Look int it,'s FREE!

The most important point: you ARE in total control. Enjoy that aspect of it and slowly ramp up your speed when you are out on your skill set carefully. In all reality, yes! You are older now...but, guess what?
It sounds to me like you're smarter, too!


Nobody ever told me, I found out for myself. You've got to believe in foolish miracles. It's not how you play the game, it's if you win or lose. You can choose. Don't confuse. Win or lose. It's up to you!

12/8/2017 9:18 AM

Like acidreamer said know your limit and back down a little when youre feeling too tired to hang it out without mistakes.

Also a regular work out routine will help a ton, if you’re wanting to race you want to be able to give it your all for the entire moto! I am just starting to get back on my routine and am kicking myself for ever going off it


12/8/2017 9:23 AM

get in shape! you're more likely to crash pushing it while out of shape. And gear up for the crash if you're not already. Have fun! speed and confidence will come.


12/8/2017 9:28 AM

Here's my 44 yrs old, I'm the only one from my original group that still rides so I figure I'm doing myself a service by at least being more active than they are. I'm not in it to impress anyone and couldn't if I wanted to. I'm only in it because I like dirtbikes and the camaraderie that goes with them. If my 13yr old nephew passes me on his 85 then I say good for him, I know he's on the way up and I'm on the way down. As for big jumps, I only jump what I'm comfortable with and fuck what the 20yr olds are thinking, they don't have to pay my bills or endure my pain.


12/8/2017 9:53 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/8/2017 9:57 AM

I’m 34 I quit when I was 19 an started again at 29. It takes about a year or so to gain confidence. Best advice I can give is ride as much as possible. This will get your muscle memory and stuff back going. When I first started back I rode a lot. I don’t so much any more but it will make it more enjoyable for you to get back into some form.


12/8/2017 9:55 AM

Get into gncc, jday or any local harescramble/xc clubs racing. Youll regain your racecraft and work on the smaller jumps available. Seat time is everything! 2 hour races will get u there quicker! Mini riding in the am and always easy courses for them. Youll have tonnes of fun dont sleep on offroad as practice


12/8/2017 9:58 AM

So the guy that said 450's don't have that much power and no respected adult should be caught dead on a 250f is getting worked by 80's? Checks out.


12/8/2017 9:59 AM

I hear you big time. Rode and raced from 5years old til I was early 20s. Gave it up completely for years. Now at 34 I am back in it again. Talk about feeling like a fish out of water. But, just take your time and don't push it. It'll come back to you. I've started feeling more comfortable again. I just had to learn to hold it back a little. Your mind remembers everything and tells your body to do something...but at 34, my body just says nope. Also, as hyler mentioned already, start racing offroad events. They are so much fun. It's a much more laid back atmosphere, and you get plenty of seat time.


12/8/2017 10:08 AM

TeamGreen wrote:

As a 54 year old....I completely understand where you're coming from.

1st and foremost, I'd work on riding the bike ...more

I agree with taking lessons to build skill and confidence. I just got back into it this year after 6 years off and at 40 I'm riding better and more confident than ever. For me it changed the mindset from just try to go fast and hit jumps, to hitting every corner and obstacle with specific intent. There's still pucker factor at times but I know if I just trust what I've learned and commit then it'll be fine.


12/8/2017 10:08 AM

stillgonnagreaseit wrote:

So the guy that said 450's don't have that much power and no respected adult should be caught dead on a 250f is getting worked ...more

I never said any of that. My dealer said that about the 250. I said I didn't see all the hype with the 450. I expected more actually. Ultimately landed on the 250f because it was more fun to ride.

Thanks to all that replied. Its funny because yes Im ultimately in control of what I do. But the urges to "send it" are hard to ignore. But yeah I know I would be traumatized if I crashed hard and did damage.

I only got to ride it twice last summer when I got it. I got a left over 17 at the end of the season. My son got an 18 CRF50 much earlier, and hes doing great on his. His confidence is building.

Yeah I need more seat time though. The KTM 250SXf is an awesome machine. More than enough power for me to have fun with, and it feels very flickable and small. Not the feeling I got from the KTM 450 and the 17 Honda 450. I knew it would be work to have fun on. I was not willing to spend that much more money and have less fun. And its working out.

But this coming season I should get to ride just about every other weekend. The track/ racing is calling me though. I need to compete.


12/8/2017 10:11 AM

Maybe already mentioned , but the best way to prevent injuries is to prepare your body ( fitness ) the best way you can. Even in my 30's and 40' I have broken quite a few bones. And most of those happened around the same time in my riding , as in when I was trying to get back into shape , pushed past my abilities to quickly and made a mistake.

We got nothing to prove at our age and the most important thing is to enjoy the ride itself. Get yourself in shape and everything else will start to fall into place.


" And there goes Jeffro. One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.”

12/8/2017 10:11 AM

Oh and Im dieting - doing Keto. Im down from 302 to just over 200 since june of this year. Its been falling off. Now that Im not as fat, its time to get the cardio and stamina going. I didnt have to work out really at all over the last 6 months. Ive been holding off on setting up the suspension on the bike too lol. I might just be able to diet myself to what the bike was setup for stock. ahahaa.


12/8/2017 10:17 AM

I go through phases. I'm 54 and there are times when riding mx seems totally acceptable. I'm comfortable with it, and it's like I was still a teenager. Then I go through phases when I wonder WTF I'm doing. I'll park the YZ for a few months and rekindle my love affair with my mountain bike. Then the process starts all over again.

The best advice I can offer: Take the pressure off of yourself. Take your ego and drop-kick that shit as far as you can. You've got to be comfortable going to the track and being the slowest guy there. Own it. When I'm riding a lot, and I'm getting faster, I almost think there's this sub-conscious survival impulse that kicks in and tells me to slow the hell down. That's when the anxiety kicks in, and I go back into moto-hiatus.

Find a way to make it fun while making it less risky. I know a lot of guys who weren't capable of doing that, and they're out of the sport now.


12/8/2017 10:25 AM

Work on your fundamentals, get in shape, go ride. If you want to race, go do it.
Rely on your skills and your fitness level to gauge what jumps you should be doing, and if you have any doubt don't pull the trigger. If you wear all the right safety gear, MX is a pretty safe endeavor. Everything has risk and Motocross is riskier than most, but if you mitigate the risks in every way you can, odds are good you'll be OK.


Braaapin' aint easy.

12/8/2017 11:05 AM

I'm in the same boat as you. 33 with a wife, small kid, and career. It just comes down to being honest with yourself.
Sometimes I go out and if I'm not feeling it I'll roll every damn jump on the track. At the end of the day you just have to keep your expectations low, and remember to have fun with it.

Once every couple of months when a we hear a fellow rider getting killed I always stop and think "is this really worth it." Its almost like I have this internal battle with myself on my identity. Like motocross has been my life since I was 11. I didn't have super heros. I had Jeremy McGrath and Steve Lamson. So I'm not going to give it up because I'm afraid.


12/8/2017 12:18 PM

You've got to put the ego away and realize that the sport at this stage in your life is all about having fun. Don't be scared to race and don't worry about what place you get. You'll find somebody to have some fun with and whether it is for first or second to last, it doesn't matter.

Just ride well within your ability to help hedge against crashing and getting hurt. Build on your skills and technique if you want to go faster relatively safely.


12/8/2017 12:23 PM
Edited Date/Time: 12/8/2017 12:26 PM

At 55 the only thing that scares me is

Austin Powers: There are only two things in this world that scare me and one is nuclear war.
Basil: What’s the other?
Austin Powers: Huh?
Basil: What’s the other thing that scares you?
Austin Powers: Carnies. Circus folk. Nomads, you know. Smell like cabbage. Small hands.

Just ride, quit thinking to much!


12/8/2017 12:26 PM

Ride based on comfort - that's it, go slow if you're comfortable. Build up and stay in your comfort zone.

That's my base and every time I hit comfort, then push it and ride the edge from there. Of course this won't eliminate possible get-off's but at-least you'll be riding at your ability and somewhat comfortable/relaxed if you need to react to a get-off.

Oh yah, to do this well - Ego needs to stay in the truck smile


2016 Husky FC 250
2020 CRF 110

12/8/2017 12:27 PM

I don't blame you, just be careful when riding and keep aware of your surroundings. Most crashed are caused by another rider and if a track has it ride on the vet track.


12/8/2017 12:28 PM

TJMX947 wrote:

I'm in the same boat as you. 33 with a wife, small kid, and career. It just comes down to being honest with yourself.

Feel like this. I'm 50 in a few months I have been riding since I was 10 years old. Lately I got to say it's been difficult. Here in Ontario there's been some Bad injuries that for the first time have made me stop and consider the sport. But that being said I agree with many of you. Put the ego ,away don't push it ,keep your expectations low and just have a good time. Remember it's all about getting home tonight and riding again next weekend


12/8/2017 1:14 PM

I am getting back to it after a five-year lay off (I'm 50). My attitude is
1. have fun
2. Forget about being cool or impressing anybody
3. No pressure- if someone says "you suck." Just say "at least I'm out here."


It's impossible for a corporation or government to love you or care about you.

12/8/2017 1:29 PM
Edited Date/Time: 12/8/2017 1:30 PM

NorCal 50+ wrote:

I am getting back to it after a five-year lay off (I'm 50). My attitude is
1. have fun
2. Forget about being cool or ...more

If they say I suck, I just say, I know and I appreciate you reminding me!


12/8/2017 1:54 PM

Corners for GO. Jumps for show!


12/8/2017 2:14 PM

Get a 125, feel faster than you are and always ride with a smile!


2016 Husky FC 250
2020 CRF 110