Learning to Ride at 75

puttbutt

Well travelled
Location
NY
tourists from everywhere
that's because us "yankees" like to travel south to get your famous blue crab specials. 😁 traveled to Ocean city several years ago by bike and still had to cruise around until I was able to squeeze between two parked vehicles.
 

GJC

Well travelled
Location
Mobile, Al
Put 22 miles on the bike today. That makes 260 since I got it. I'm doing almost all of my riding out on the roads in traffic now. I got it up to 60 on the speedometer. It was reading right on 4,000 on the Tach. I'm not sure if I was in 5th or 6th. The shifts up through 4th gear are a nice smooth click. But after that it's hard to tell.
 

RTD

Well travelled
Location
Baltimore
that's because us "yankees" like to travel south to get your famous blue crab specials. 😁
I’ll accept that. The blue crabs are 100% worthy. After living (briefly) in Maine & having their lobster, and visiting Alaska & digging their freakish huge crabs, I’ll take the little Chesapeake blues in a heartbeat, every time.

Still need to ride the eastern shore. Looks like plenty of weird roads out there.
 

GJC

Well travelled
Location
Mobile, Al
First time on the interstate today. Just to say I did it. I got on I-10 westbound at exit 17 and got off at the next exit which was 15. And in reality I think it was closer to one mile than two. And both the on ramp and off ramp were on the same side so I only needed to merge once.
 

puttbutt

Well travelled
Location
NY
First time on the interstate today. Just to say I did it. I got on I-10 westbound at exit 17 and got off at the next exit which was 15. And in reality I think it was closer to one mile than two. And both the on ramp and off ramp were on the same side so I only needed to merge once.
what happened to exit 16? 😁 glad you made it ok.
 

GJC

Well travelled
Location
Mobile, Al
After taking a couple days off from riding I got back out on the road with a short 6 mile loop in traffic. I did get stuck at one really busy intersection. When I got there the light was red. I needed to make a left turn so I got into the left turn lane. I was first in line and I know the motorcycle isn't big enough to trip the left turn arrow, but I figured surely, with all this traffic, someone else in a car will pull up behind me and trip it. But no one did. :( For three frickin changes of the light not one car wanted to make a left. So there I was. Stuck breathing in exhaust fumes in the heat and humidity of a noontime summer in Mobile Alabama until finally there was enough of a break in the oncoming traffic for me to make a left.
 
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puttbutt

Well travelled
Location
NY
After taking a couple days off from riding I got back out on the road with a short 6 mile loop in traffic. I did get stuck at one really busy intersection. When I got there the light was red. I needed to make a left turn so I got into the left turn lane. I was first in line and I know the motorcycle isn't big enough to trip the left turn arrow, but I figured surely, with all this traffic, someone else in a car will pull up behind me and trip it. But no one did. :( For three frickin changes of the light not one car wanted to make a left. So there I was. Stuck breathing in exhaust fumes in the heat and humidity of a noontime summer in Mobile Alabama until finally there was enough of a break in the oncoming traffic for me to make a left.
I have the same issue where I live. especially late at night on rural roads. I've complained to the DOT here, and all they can tell me is that there must be a problem with the sensor. I brought this issue up several times, beginning about 4 yrs. ago. last time went on twitter, but haven't heard anything yet. I know in some states, motorcyclists can proceed through a red signal if it hasn't changed in a reasonable amount of time. I've gone through the light a few times. when a veh. has stop too far behind me, I'll signal for the driver to get closer so that the signal changes. it definitely can be annoying. In fact, I'm going to send some emails to the DOT until I get some response.
 

GJC

Well travelled
Location
Mobile, Al
Check your state traffic laws...some states allow a rider to proceed at their own discretion if the bike does not trip the signal lights...
That's what I did. The problem was that there was so much traffic at that intersection that an opportunity to do that did not present itself for a long time.

You might say I was stuck.
 
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GJC

Well travelled
Location
Mobile, Al
First ride in the rain today. It wasn't planned. The forecast said the showers would hold off till 1pm. So I went out on the 22 mile loop that I have done before. About 1/2 way through it started to pour. I was in rain for the next 6 miles. So I got that first experience out of the way. I also set a new personal land speed record on this bike. Got it up to 65 for a stretch. Beat my old record of 60. That was before the rain of course. I now have 350 miles on the bike's odometer. I'm feeling the urge to make some longer rides.
 
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GJC

Well travelled
Location
Mobile, Al
Did another 21 mile ride today. The loop I have been riding comes out to 21 or 22 depending on how many tenths are on the odometer when I leave and come back. I now have 392 miles on the bike's odometer. I'm starting to get the hang of it. When I got the bike 2 months ago I was pretty intimidated by it and I had butterflies in my stomach whenever I started to get ready to go out on it. That's gone now. I look forward to getting out there. And at first I was regretting starting out with a 650 and thinking I should have gotten a 350 to begin with. Now I'm glad I went with the 650. Today I had no problem cruising along at 65 when I got to a nice long stretch of lightly traveled 4 lane divided highway. I even pushed it up to 75 once but only for a few seconds. I'm thinking of making a trip down to Dauphin Island soon. That will be able 65 miles round trip. The only thing that gives me a little pause is the bridge out to the island. It's 3.4 miles long and at it's highest point it's about 90 feet above the water. But at least it doesn't have any of that steel grating. It's all concrete. But there are expansion joints every 50 feet or so. I'm going to try to pick a day during the week when the beach traffic is less. I'll also try to pick a day when it's not too windy. On a windy day you can really feel it at the top of that high span, even in a car.
 

GJC

Well travelled
Location
Mobile, Al
Made my first night ride out on the roads in traffic the other night. It wasn't bad at all. Nothing to be afraid of. In fact, with this current heat wave we are having, right now it's 98 with a feels like of 106, I may be doing a lot more of my riding at night.
 

GJC

Well travelled
Location
Mobile, Al
I had my longest ride so far today. I covered 62 miles. That's over twice what my longest was before which was 26 miles. I started out heading down to Dauphin Island but I chickened out thinking about that 3 and 1/2 mile bridge that is 90 feet high at it's highest point that I would have to cross and diverted to Bayou La Batre. That's where Bubba was supposedly from in the movie "Forest Gump" although the scenes that were supposedly there were actually filmed somewhere in South Carolina. Oh well, I never could see what all the hype was about that movie anyway. I thought it kinda sucked myself. Took a picture of my bike with a shrimp boat in the background but that kinda sucked too.
 

Attachments

Andy131

Well travelled
Location
Manchester UK
Disagree - picture doesn't suck.
Nice looking bike against an interesting industrial background.
One of the few people who is not at one with nature (nor wants to be) give me an interesting bit of architecture (say San Francisco bridge) over rolling hills and fluffy sheep any day.
Glad to here that you are steadily clocking up the miles and enjoying the ride.
 

AdvMoto

Getting there...
Location
NE
GJC,
I'm with you, take it slow. The engine needs at least 2,000 miles (or more) to break in so you might as well take it easy on your "break in" too. Your comfortable top speed will increase too. And, the engine is pretty smooth to begin with but feels even better as the parts wear-in.

As for rain, once you get stuck in a heavy downpour and make it home in one piece you'll understand that even having only two wheels you still do have pretty good traction. I've been riding since the 70s and it wasn't until a cross country trip 20 years later that I got stuck in a heavy storm. Since then, I take it slower in the rain but have gained confidence so I don't freak out and tighten up at the first sign of water on my visor. Same goes for riding in dirt, gravel and sand. Not easy but the more short rides you experience the better you'll be at it. Consider taking a couple of rider training courses to gain skills and confidence.

I-10 in Alabama is a busy ride, but doesn't compare to I-10 in Southern California. ;-)

Enjoy your new ride!
 

puttbutt

Well travelled
Location
NY
Why did I wait this long to get a motorcycle?
well the good thing about learning to ride when you're older, is that you tend to be more cautious. I didn't take up motorcycling until my late 40's. I've seen too many young people doing reckless stuff, like wheelies, zipping through lanes, and speeding. I'm sure some of these young people have either lost their lives, or have been handicap that they are unable to enjoy this pleasure anymore. like the old saying goes, "better late, than never." others will never know the pleasure that only a select minority will enjoy.
 

Alan F.

Well travelled
This thread is too long, I stopped reading when you said you weren't taking a course.

I suggest the MC Rider videos on youtube, watch one then practice, watch another and practice. Read the comments section on each video after watching. Good content there.
 

Jon_98

Well travelled
No shame in taking the MSF course. I rode for 17 years, then had a 27 year break from it. We planned to move to the Blue Ridge Mountains (did 2 years ago) and I knew I wanted to get back into riding. I took the beginner course because I had let the motorcycle endorsement on my license expire during a previous move years before...... which leads me to a question. You said you took care of insurance and registration. Do you have the motorcycle endorsement on your license? If you don't and you have an accident, your insurance probably won't cover it. By taking and passing the course, it negates having to take a test at the DMV. You show them your certificate from MSF and they add the endorsement on the spot. FWIW, even with my prior riding experience, I learned things.
 
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