Portrait of the Racer as an Older Man

Jul 28, 2011 at 0:05
Jul 28, 2011
by Robert Beaupre  
 
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When you ride and race bikes in your teens and early twenties, the adult world largely grants you a pass. You‘re still a kid and society accepts that you might occasionally hurl yourself down a hill on a bike, racing a clock that only you and a handful of other misfits are watching.

But as you get older, and especially after you get married and have a kid or two, you may notice that the neighbors will whisper as you hose down your bike in the driveway for the third time that week. Or that passersby might stare as they see you wielding a spade amongst a crowd of 14-year-olds at the dirt jumps.

And God help you when you show up for work with a cast or any other sign of bike-induced trauma. The respectable types at the office never get tired of posing inane questions like, “Getting a bit old for that, aren’t we?”

I didn’t foresee this, but now that it’s upon me, it makes me worry. I suspect this is because, somewhere deep inside, I realize that the distraction of bikes has probably cost me more than the hours or dollars I’ve spent riding, racing and digging.


Your downhill bike will find new uses after you have kids.
When you have kids, your race bike may take on unexpected roles.


If I spent as much time trying to improve my career as I’ve spent trying to improve my turn-exit speed, I’d probably be typing this in a corner office. Except I wouldn’t be typing this - I’d surely be working on some more profitable project, the likes of which I can’t imagine because I have such a hard time concentrating on things that aren't riding fantasies.

Riding has surely taken a toll on my family life too. My wife didn’t find it hard to cope as I raced motocross for years, but by now even she is a little tired of my endless fascination with tire pressure, results sheets and far-off racetracks, which has remained the same even as I’ve exchanged combustion engines for pedals.

Even my five-year-old daughter understands my weakness. “Look, daddy, a free mountain bike!” she’ll shout when she wants to divert my attention so she can grab a handful of Oreos from the cupboard.

It all makes me think that I should shift my focus and stop dreaming so much about next weekend’s riding trip, stop spending so many hours scouring the Internet for the best deal on a set of Ruffians, and stop letting my daughter make off with so many Oreos. If I could only temper my obsession with riding, I would surely be a better earner, citizen, husband and father.


Same goes for your helmet.
Same goes for your gear.


But there is a snag, and it involves the time I've spent injured and away from my bikes. Being hurt forces one to temporarily experience the world as a non-rider, and sadly, I’ve been forced into that role plenty over the years.

My brain has a trait that bumps up anxiety production when I’m not physically active enough. When I am not forced into confronting a starting line or sketchy double on a regular basis, my brain begins producing its own worry over much less pleasant topics: nuclear war, violent crime, infectious diseases, economic turmoil. If I’m not riding, I am soon a ball of anxiety, obsessing over things that I usually have little control over.

Luckily, when the distraction of riding comes back into play, I am somehow able to shelve those worries and go back to meditating on the merits of spray chain lube versus the drippy kind. And while that may seem like a form of avoidance, it sure beats the hell out of lying in bed and contemplating the national debt or the weapons' arsenal of Kim Jong Il.

So I’m not sure how I could give up riding without replacing it with some other distraction. I suppose that compared to the time-honored gentlemanly pastimes of drinking, watching TV and shooting pool, racing a bike down a hill isn’t the worst form of medication to rely upon. If it weren’t for the occasional highside-to-concussion, I’d even say it’s one of the healthiest coping mechanisms around. And before anyone suggests that I look into a safer sport, such as golf, I say to them: Stop. I am being serious here, and absurd suggestions like that are of no help.


Sundown shredding.
One perk of getting older, however, is that you can eventually teach your kids to shred.


Still, I’m likely to remain conflicted as I grow older and the pressure for me to leave racing behind increases. It may be difficult for awhile, but I am hoping I will eventually find peace in the grips of a sport that most of the world assumes is for kids. Otherwise, I may end up in that corner office, obsessing daily about nuclear proliferation and spending my evenings at the pool hall.

I think my wife and kids would prefer a bike racer any day.
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244 Comments

  • + 225
 I'm only 15, so obviously I can't personally relate to this, but my dad IS that guy who works in the corner office. Has been since I can remember. But a few years ago, I got into down hilling and just this year he saw what I do when I go out with my friends to some random mountain (thank God for the Go Pro.) To my surprise he was intrigued, fascinated. He went out with me one time and he loves it now. Got himself a real mountain bike even. And let me tell you, I appreciate the fact that I can share my favorite hobby with one of my favorite people. So please, don't stop. If your daughter ends up loving it just as much as I do, she'll appreciate it that she can do it with her dad, just like I do with mine.
  • + 53
 Doorknob100 - kudos to you for your recognition of your dad. I'm stoked that you and your dad found some common ground. I'm 40 and my daughter is 11, we've been riding with her since she was born and it's a bond we'll hopefully share forever. You seem like a guy that is wise beyond your 15 years! Cheers
  • + 26
 Similar story here... my dad's done really well for himself, gone from having nothing to being in the corner office. (I'm 18 btw, and he's 54). 4 years back i got into mountain biking, and he was soon to follow as my mom didn't really like the idea of me going off by myself on the trails. Fast forward a few years, and my dad is super into biking and cites our trip to Moab to ride Porcupine Rim as one of the most fun things he's ever done. He's in better shape than he ever was before. There are 14 bikes in our garage... My 4 younger brothers are all into mountain biking too (some more than others) and we go on family rides about once a week. Every one of these rides, my dad talks about how much he loves to see us all riding together.

Don't give up your passion, dude. F*ck the haters, if mountain biking makes you happy and keeps you in shape, keep shredding the trails until you cant walk anymore. And pass on that joy you get from riding to your kids.

On a different note, a third of adults in the US are obese (BMI of over 30). Only 1 third of adults are of a healthy weight. Just think of what those numbers would be if more people were into bikes...
  • + 12
 My Dad was the one who got me into mountain biking. He had a MTB when all of his friends were still rolling on the road. I ride with him every weekend, and he still shreds at 48. I'm 23, and he's fitter than me haha! I'm faster down the hills though!
  • + 6
 the other day i was up at silverstar on one of the more technical runs, and my friend and i watch two guys ride down it. and those guys where probably in theier 60's!! it doesnt matter how old you are, if your having fun dont give up!
  • + 11
 passion. it's a gift if you have one to share. I'm the only dad in our neighborhood who has skate ramps, 20s, skateboards, longboards, and mtbs in our driveway and the neighborhood kids will hang all day with my 8 yr old and I and jump and skate! trying to talk the the wife into a pumptrack/garden in the backyard as we speak! Will hang and dig or shape dirt with the teenagers cuz they know what's up! More than anything, it's being able to show my son how to pursue a passion. Full-on. life is way too short! thanks for the article. I always tell my wife that the ability to still scare the shit out of myself out on the trail is my only guage if I'm really gettin older! I learn alot from the youngsters sending it! may become senile but hope to be stoked and sending all the way!
  • + 4
 me and my dad go dhing all the time Smile i got into it a couple years ago and he was hooked ever since he saw his first hill Smile whatta great sport
  • + 8
 Damn you guys are lucky to have a dad that goes and does the same stuff that you do. One thing i wish my dad would do is not work the 12-16 hours a day he does. Charish what you have and hope for what you dont.
  • + 1
 My dad used to race road bikes when I was a kid and had me on the trails as soon as the training wheels came off. He stopped racing when I was little so he could spend more time with us on the trails than training, I don't think he was ever going to go big anyway. But growing up with a dad who taught me how to fix bikes in our shop, could ride a decent wheelie, and out ride most of my friends on the trail was awesome. Now my 1.5 year old cheers and claps when I ride.
  • + 4
 My son and I ride once a week (sometimes more) I watched my son go from a little boy wabbling around on his pink bike (his sisters old one)
To now a fast DH racer ... The time I spend riding with him is the best. I'm 52 and he is 18.
More good time coming! Whistler this weekend! Smile
  • + 1
 I'm 17 and I feel this way! (Referring to article.) I don't think that it matters how old you are. We are all in the same world and all have the same thoughts. What sucks is that everybody thinks that there is nothing we can do to stop those world-wide problems. At some point, action is going to need to happen, mostly towards global climate change issues.

This is just a what-if, but am I the only one that wonders if there will ever be a day when everything is powered naturally? Could we have bicycle trains to pull a tractor trailer's weight of goods?
  • + 2
 I really hope your Dad reads this post. Glad you appreciete him.
  • + 3
 @BCmillertime You and your son share the same experience as me and mine! I just turned 50 (and built up a FR bike for myself)and he is 16 and racing DH, we are headed to Snowshoe Mountain, W. Va. this weekend, the 'Whistler' of the east! Nothing better than sharing riding in the woods with your kids.
  • + 3
 my dad always brings my friends and i to mount snow to do some downhill and he would be offended if we didnt ask him to come ride with us. last year we all went up for my birthday and one of the kids bit it really hard. the talk around town was that my dad was a bad parent for letting us do something so dangerous haha. the parents that were saying that though are the parents of the kids that go and get drunk and high at age 16
  • + 1
 Me and my granddad go out cycling (road and mountain) every weekend, atleast once either satarday or Sunday with the road club, if not both satarday and Sunday. He's 70 and I'm just 16. He's been riding non stop since he was 9 and me the same pretty much. But were best mates (not to sound cheesy) but we are. About two years ago we were out and his fork crown snapped and he broke his jaw bone in two places. He was in hospital for two months and the day after he got out he was out on his bike (commitment) and we through that experience grown closer and we still go out cycling as much as we can and we still love cycling. Any way getting to my point!! The thing I love most about cycling us that when you go out biking (DH,XC,AM, road) you meet people and talk about your common interest and tge thing we all like doing which I don't think you get if you do any other sport.
  • + 4
 you guys are so lucky to have dads who ride with you, let alone support your riding. My dad on the other hand, scolds me if he see's a video of me hitting a road gap or anything. I had a concussion, internal bleeding and 14 stitches to my knee. Guess who had to pay for the rising of our health insurance? THIS GUY. Had I gotten hurt being clumsy and falling down some stairs instead of botching a 15 foot step down, I'd be about 2500 dollars richer. You guys don't know how great you have it. I would do almost anything if I could get him to just even APPRECIATE my passion.
  • + 1
 Your 20 years old now. Who cares what you Dad say's. I stop talking to mine by 24 and Its not so bad. You have to trim away the bad, ugly,old wilted leaves from your beatiful tree.
  • + 2
 Great insight doorknob100! I'm 48, and my youngest is almost your age. He races DH, and some of my most enjoyable memories are of going to races and riding with him. I used to strictly ride road until we moved to BC and he got into the bike scene here, now road riding has taken a back seat. My wife even has started to ride, and taken a Dirt Series course to try and ride some of the tougher stuff with us. Our daughters are University age, and unfortunately didn't get bitten by the biking bug, but at this point in our lives, biking is the central thing that binds us together as a family. I don't work in a corner office, but a home office. I do have to travel alot for my job, but while I'm away my son and I are constantly texting about where we are going on our next ride. Ya, I've had my share of stitches, cuts and breaks, and I get the odd "aren't you getting a little old for this" looks, but when I see guys ripping it in the 50+ division at races, I keep believing that that will be me one day!
  • + 1
 Good to see some kids still care about their parents. keep it up young shredder.
  • + 1
 ohh how i wish you were my dad I love mountain biking its my life passion and living im 14 and through biking I got myself a job at a bike shop its a great sport, but my dad on the other hand hates it and hates when I do it he thinks id be better off as a golfer or tennis player but sorry dad im no sissy im a mountain biker, I want to get into racing but my dad doesn't want me doing it so he wont buy me any of the equipment or give me a ride there so i got a job and bought myself gear and a dh sled and now i bus 3 hours to get to my local dh resort it sucks but at least im biking Smile F*CK THE BIKE HATERS
  • + 2
 Imlovingit Get good grades, learn a career and later on in life you can afford racing on your own and traveling. I started racing late and traveling now, cause I can afford it and I'm enjoying every bit of it.
  • + 2
 im tha same my dads 45ish and hes just one out bought himeself a brandnew demo 7 and he even started a downhill club and is the main track builder. my mum even knows ho sam hill aron gwin and the rest of the top dhers are
  • + 2
 My mum and sister has started whatching the world champs and the world cup DH. 'strange'? Smile we went to Llangollen British down hill series race about a month ago and she wanted to go and meet peaty!
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  • + 46
 I'm 43. I started out racing BMX when I was 8 . I think I had these thoughts at 30 and then just thought "screw it" and kept going. Sometimes you take a few weeks or months off when it loses its shine, then you're back in the forest and it all makes sense.
I was in Leadville Co last year [Over from NZ] and I got passed up a hill by a local guy in his mid 60's. Some lean, leather tanned hardcore dude who's going to ride till he dies. I want to be that guy.
  • + 7
 30..!You're a spring chicken mate...
  • + 8
 he said he's 43.
  • + 4
 Glad to hear your still at it. I turned 30 this past December. Never broke a bone before. I was riding at Diablo freeride park in NJ and ended up washing out around a berm and breaking my Collar bone. First thing I asked the doctor.....'when can I get back on the saddle?"

Keep riding hard and don't stop. Here is the video for some peoples enjoyment: www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYaTBWVmwR8
  • + 6
 DUDEEE....i can't explain how I find in your words my exact same feeling. I'm 34, a husband with 2 kids and I pretty much believe i have the Peter Pan Symdrom....

The Office comments...the wife getting angry 'cause I can't stop watching videos, looking scores, news, and everything that relates to bikes....even my boss (and he races XC) thinks I spend a lot of time hallucination about the ultimate ride I would love to do on the coming weekend...

I thinks this is the perfect "manifesto" for the married man (and not married) but are in the 30's up that people look at as "weirdo" because we love to go out ride a bike with a bunch of guys half our age hitting jumps bigger than the neighbor's car lenght...and jumping off drops higher than their roof tops...

But at the end....I believe, as I have told my wife, this is much better for every human being than just sitting your ass in front of the TV getting old and cranky as your body gets more damage than a broken collarbone...
  • + 3
 43...yee-doggie! Same here. Riding a bicycle is, as I muse, a conduit to my youth, because I have not stopped riding a bicycle since I got my first when in grade three -- a late start. From tricycle to bicycle in one leap minus training wheels (I'm proud of this), I remember the first 'trick' I tired, done the very same day I learned to ride a so-called two-wheeler -- it was *drum-roll* riding with one hand. Check. So awesome. During the attempt, I had crashed, so I think I got my fear of falling out of the way good and early. Check. Then till now, I have left a wake of crashing behind me...and here I find myself a middle-aged shredder who, undaunted, continues to wilfully override an instinct for self-preservation.

At what age is one at risk of parodying himself? The answer for many is, likely never; because, in order for one to feel he is a parody, he must actually care about what others think. Act your age? Although no one has said this to me yet, I feel acting ones age is something that happens by default as well as something that is impossible to consciously do. Weird, I realize. Parody? Never. Instead, I feel like I've always felt, and always do feel, when riding a bicycle...I feel pure joy.

Everyone gets old; riding never gets old. Keep on shredding on, everyone.
  • + 1
 38 years old here - still riding BMX and MTB

still doing the occasional DH race when I can be bothered to spend the $$$ and lose a weekend

still having alot of fun riding bikes - its all good!
  • + 1
 It's funny, I got badly injured practicing BMX at 38. Ambulance, morphine, ripped back muscles, broken finger, suspected neck. It slowed me down for about a year, made me rethink everything, but I got back into trails and worked back up to DH again. I think the trails is what I really love. Moab, Eagle, NZ Fuita. I get those old surf guys now. Surfing has about 20 years on us dirt bikers, but it's the same thing; you're in the open air and the trees. Nothing beats that.
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  • + 40
 I think we are all faced with the reality that people in the "normal" world think bicycles are for people under the age of 10. This couldn't be further from the truth, there is a reason some very smart and (in)famous people have ridden them. Take for instance some of these quotes:

H.G. Wells - Every time I see an adult on a bicycle I no longer despair for the future of the human race. Cycle tracks will be abound in utopia.

John F. Kennedy - Nothing compares with the simple pleasure of a bike ride.

Mark Twain - Get a bicycle. You will certainly not regret it, if you live.

Albert Einstein - I thought of that while riding my bicycle (on the theory of relativity)

William Soroyan (Nobel peace prize winner) - The bicycle is the noblest invention of mankind.

Ernest Hemingway - It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.


Now granted, when these fine gentleman think of a bicycle they probably didn't imagine in their wildest dreams what we are doing now. But that is the beauty of it. So let the squares of society tell us we are childish, and getting too old, and all of the above. Let them go play golf, and suck the dick of ESPN, and the NBA, and the NFL, and the MLB. I'll stick to my childish bicycle and playing in the dirt, and I hope you do the same. Nothing can compare to the simple joy of riding a bike, your daughter will learn this very soon. I am sure she will love it just as much as any of us on this website do, shes got your blood after all. Enjoy it with her.
  • + 1
 Prof. Hoffman...first man to ride a bike on acid...
  • + 1
 yes, yes indeed. he discovered LSD, after he did a little self experiment he just so happened to take a bike ride home.
  • + 1
 Outside the USA I think a lot more adults ride. Awesome list of quotes. I'll nab some of them for forum signatures.
  • + 1
 Well put csermonet.
  • + 5
 csermonet...to be honest, I didn't even know people as educated as you even existed on pinkbike...It's great to see people taking this stuff seriously and being positive and inspiring. +1 to you sir.
  • + 2
 Thanks for sharing these quotes, csermoneet. It's just sad that non-bikers don't see the world as we do. If they did, they'd probably realize how great this hobby/sport is, regardless of one's age, social standing, educational background, sex, religion, political outlook, and motivation for pursuing it.

To Mr. Beaupre, my thanks for your sharing your thoughts on how you juggle your passion for biking along with your "normal" life. I empathize with you on a lot of points. I certainly hope that you never give up biking. (Maybe you'll have to give up the extreme stuff someday, but hopefully not biking itself.)

Myself, I'm a bit worried about the age thing. I'm turning 40 in half a year; I'm starting to feel knee pains & back pains whenever I do long rides; chances are, I have patellofemoral arthritis & a few degenerated intervertebral discs already (MRI scans pending -- I'm an orthopedic surgeon, so any pain that pops up tends to get medical attention quite easily ^_^). Yeah, I'll keep on cutting down the intensity of my biking as health & age-related changes take their toll; but I hopefully won't ever abandon cross-country & trail biking. It's been such a positive thing in my life though the years (been biking since I was 15, used a BMX back then until it got stolen on hospital grounds in '9Cool that to totally give it up would be like killing a part of who I am.
  • + 3
 ha educated, hardly. jobless and pretty much homeless at the moment. just another kid tryn to make it. hard to have the bike lifestyle living in atlanta. you will see me one day, all of you.
  • + 4
 well educated in spirit at least
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  • + 23
 steve peat, 37 years old, married with 2 kids, who says you cant have it all.
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  • + 19
 “Getting a bit old for that, aren’t we?”
- Nah... Still not as fat as you for it.
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  • + 14
 haha I relate but in a slightly different way! I am a 40 year old woman, expecting my second baby, and my other half is Brett Tippie, so we basically live eat and breathe biking. I ride with super rippers who range in age from 20 - 50 (there is no age bias in the love of shred, I always say). My non MTB girlfriends can't believe that I love getting muddy and when I show them my pedal bite scars or other mishaps they just shake their head. I never want to give it up, I love hitting jumps and live on the North Shore. The difference I guess in our relationship is instead of most couples is that I am jealous that I don't get as much bike time as he does! Granted its his job - but I want to play too! Growing up doesn't mean growing old.
  • + 1
 Lots of guys on here wondering right now if you have a sister? lol..good on you..what a great example for your children.
  • + 3
 A baby Tippie? Wee! Congratulations! Aside, by the way, dudes dig scars. *Smile.*
  • + 2
 @mulchee i am 68 this july and DH everywhere i can { the Shore / Sunshine Coast / Burnaby Mt. Whistler } my son is an organic farmer on the coast and i have been riding with him 4 years running including Christmas Day [ Mach Chicken Etc. ] and i can tell you i love the rush : flow, fast, gaps, drops, berms, i do it all; and when we return from a days winter shredding, kick back in front of his wood stove with a home cooked meal from his summer garden [ he is an ex executive chef - goat cheeses from his 9 goats ] and a bottle of home made fruit beer ! well, you can guess, i will do this as long as my creaky ol knees hold out !
hope i can hook up with you for a ride with you one day...you go girl !
  • + 1
 That sounds AMAZING jcinkits. Sounds like you two have a fantastic relationship, and your son is lucky to have a dad like you. Btw my brother was an organic farmer out in Roberts Creek for many years, up until a couple of years ago. Ask your son if he knows Madrone! It's a small place, I'm sure he does! (ps. Mach Chicken is one of my favourites!)
  • + 1
 You Rock!!! I also have two kids and even now riding is more important to me then before. It makes me a better mom and wife. Mountain biking is a great part of our life and their is no ages to enjoy such a beautiful sport!
  • + 1
 thanx for the kudos gals...only thing missing is a woman who DOESN'T play bingo, or her idea of activity is long walks on the beach :-) i will check w/ my son about your bro [ does he bike ? ] my sons name is Ananda, and before becoming a full time farmer / DH Biker / Artist / Musician :-) he has worked @ both the restaurant and cafe in Roberts Creek as well as Marcias in Gibsons and some other one further down toward Sechelt - anyway, he is my inspiration and he rides like that's all he does in spite of his 14 hr days !
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  • + 9
 Fantastic write up. I'll be honest, with my short attention span I usually skim front page articles for the pictures. I'm glad I took the time to read this one. I'm still a youngin myself, but being a college student I'm starting to feel societal pressure to be "productive" and focus on more "important" things, like what I want to do with my life outside of riding bikes. It seems I'm spending more time with my nose in the books than with my ass in the saddle these days. But I hope to make biking a life-long passion, and, like you, balance the joy of riding and the demands of real life. Even if it means owning a soccer-mom minivan with a roof rack for the gravity sleds.
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  • + 9
 Don't stop, keep on going!
I'm turning 30 soon as well and while I was into skateboarding in my late teens, I only got into Freeride mountainbiking like 3 years ago. And I have no intention to stop that anytime soon! I have had a broken elbow, sprained ankles, badly hurt shoulders etc.etc., but never did that keep me from getting on the bike again.

I work in an office, typical full time job, and I must say that I enjoy being the oddball that does this sort of stuff and comes into the office on occasion with a limp. I have a photo of myself doing a drop as the desktop image and people ask me in wonder "is that you?". I show them my video's and they gaze in amazement at the (relative small) stuff that I do.
I think when people come up to you and say "getting a little old for that eh?", they actually say is "Gosh, I wish I was more like you, but I have lost that free roaming spirit of youth somewhere between these grey office walls and don't want you to have more fun than me".
They are jealous of you. Jealous of the sporty lifestyle and the places you go. Jealous of the experiences that you gain. Jealous that you managed to hold on to your childhood enthusiasm!
  • + 1
 I feel exactly the same. I"m turning 29 in one week and people look at me as crazy guy in their entourage Smile
I"m as well in an office all day long and I feel like I"m in my own sphere when I ride, just feeling well, not stressing about anything, protected from this crazy world.

BTW becoming a better citzen, father or/and husband is not incompatible with our common passion Smile
  • + 2
 I am in the same boat, I am turning 27 soon.I started riding my freshman year in High School. My good friend got me riding and ever since then I always come back to it. Occasionaly I'll do some duathlons and local time trials.

Riding a bicycle has made my life so much better. In High School I was overweight; since riding I have dropped over 60lbs. I can eat anything and everything, I sleep much better, I enjoy the little things in life more. I don't think I'll ever stop. Heck, I'll throw on some slicks and ride my all-mountain bike to work 25mi round trip.

Man, when I have some kids, can't wait to go ride with them!
  • + 2
 Same here. I know the old dogs will say I'm young but I'm not getting any younger. I turn 32 in December. Got into downhilling later than I'd like. Work at an ad agency. Spend more time than I'd admit on PB or online looking for and adding bike items to virtual carts – always looking for that new bike, part or gear.

When I lay in bed before I fall asleep, I used to think about work. Now, I'm visualizing how to whip or scrub better or the run I had the last time I was able to ride. My girlfriend of 7 years doesn't quite understand the extent of my love for riding and how it's all I want to do when I have free time – don't know if she ever will. Most people can't. But that won't change me.

Good article. Enjoyed the read. I have to wait until holiday Monday to ride. So far away.
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  • + 10
 I'm not old...I'm Old School.

A friend of mine once said "You don't stop riding because you get old, you get old because you stop riding."
  • + 2
 True that.. I'm 59, just spent a week jumpin' (and some out-jumpin') with people from my age to a fifth my age. The only thing that will stop you from riding is your own decision to stop riding. Don't stop!
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  • + 7
 Last year, at the ripe age of 44, I entered my first DH race. I loved it. This year I'm competing all summer. Eastern States Cup in the northeast U.S. I am also a homeowner and a self-employed landscaper. A month ago I had a crash on a ladder bridge while sorta-training on my local hill. My hand got pretty bashed up. Broken finger, sprained thumb, sprained wrist, blah blah blah. Well, for the past month I've been working in pain, not able to ride, and wondering if I was fooling myself by being a 45 year old downhill racer. Well, I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that as soon as I can get back on my DH bike, hopefully next week, I'm gonna do it. Hopefully I will resume the race schedule in three weeks. It is my life. And a great one it is!
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  • + 8
 You don't quit riding because you get old. You get old because you quit riding! ...I'm 44 & 1/2 Smile
  • + 1
 and I just purchased my first dh bike. Pretty soon you will be riding maybe even racing with your kids, what better way to spend family time?

BTW who are you trying to kid here? I see you still have 2 mx bikes in the garage! LOL
  • + 1
 Very excellent article by the way *Thumbs Up*
  • + 2
 rluck82..."44 & 1/2" made me smile, thank you. I'm going to include the 1/2 when I'm asked my age. Cheers!
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  • + 5
 I started in BMX in 71 in So Cal were it all began and raced till 81. You couldn't get me off my bike as a kid it was my life. I had won my fair share of races and was helped out by Se Racing it was a great life for a kid back then. I spent the next 23 years in auto racing. You name it from Nascar cup cars, sports cars, sprint cars, Top Fuel dragsters and lots of kart racing. In 2005 I was burned out I had traveled all over and worked mega hours on race cars for most of my life and it was time for a change. I had two boys now and my older son Josh was starting to ride. Time for me to get back on a bike after 23 years of auto racing. So at 39 I was racing BMX again. Yes everyone at work thought I was nuts! More so I think because I was racing 20 inch and a 24 inch bikes not a mountain bike. My boss was real good about it but there were some that I gone mad. How do you go from going 100 mph to riding a kids bike? I raced BMX till 2008 had some fun won some national events but I had the MTB bug bad now because a friend loaned me his Specailized Enduro for month and that was it I was hooked! My whole family rides now and my older son started racing DH this year and has a good shot at top 3 overall for the year he is stoked. We just spent the week in Whistler for Crankworx for the 3rd year in a row and had a blast. My 9 year old rode the mountain for the first time and had a blast and my 12 year rips Dirt merchant now. I cant get enough of it and I'm going on 45 myself. I still race Dh, 4x and Dual and have done pretty well this year so far. But what makes my day is when I go to the dirt jumps and watch my 12 year old hit the same stuff I'm hitting that is really cool. Nothing better then taking your kids out riding trails... nothing.

"Get out of the stands and in the game"

Old Guys Rule!
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  • + 4
 well.....hate to one up all you old farts, but i turned 68 last week and still DH - i consider myself a intermediate / advanced rider and do Whistler whenever i can, Garbo all the way down...do the North Shore too [ CBC etc etc ] including Fromme though i am not a huge fan of the cardio to ride a 6 minute trail...i prefer flow and speed to endless man made stunts; and fortunately, as i get older i have had less injuries [ have done both sides of my ribs , shoulders, compacted both wrist and endless bangs and bruises including a Sternum Injury that i would never wish on anyone ] though i shred better and faster now than 4.5 years ago when i started...love the Sunshine Coast [ Mach Chicken Etc.] i occasionally hook up on the trail with much much younger rippers who stoke my ego with comments that they do not believe my age and the speed and skill that allows me to keep up and even pass them on occasion...i seem to have been blessed with a strong body and will; but none of that is enough without the love of this sport that is so cool, that no one seems to notice my age in a negative way - in fact today i rode Burnaby Mt. [ Nicoles / Gearjammer etc. ] with a 17 year old young woman i met 2 years ago who came in 1st this year at Whistlers Air DH and Juniors - She is fast and it is such a joy for me to see our ages disappear while riding together...so here's to all you youngsters out there - 50 and under - happy trails, and rather we 'do a drop than drop dead doing nothing' :-)
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  • + 4
 I'm 48, 2kids, still racing BMX & off road XC but switched to DH style (we don't have much dh here, quite flat) riding coz its more intense... Love it! Absolutely.
I'm not stopping... Its about balancing; looking after yourself so that you can look after your family.
And it's pretty cool when my teenage son who doesnt ride tells me, "Dad, you (& mum) are pretty cool... not like most of my friend's dads who are fuddy duddy and have a huge belly... "
Great read, i feel all you guys... we're not alone, we're rare, we're different ;-)
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  • + 4
 When you have 2 wheels and dirt in your blood, no narrow minded neighbour/ boring work friend. is ever gonna stop this train.
ride till u die dood. Craig. 40. england. still pushin uphill ridin downhill diggin jumps railing berms.. smilling in the woods.
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  • + 4
 Great story and so mine however I found additional remedy apart from keeping riding and racing. I've been starting to organize downhill contests for my kids as well as kids of friends of mine. Now it become regular series of races with quite a big group of children loving downhill and skilled doing that. You can watch the teaser and read relations from first two rounds of our Cup on a blog in our profile frowerpower.pinkbike.com/blog. Especially the last one shows that teaching kids may also give you adrenaline we cannot live without ;-) .
  • + 1
 This is fantastic! I really wish there was something like this when I was a youngster
  • + 1
 That's awesome.
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  • + 3
 30.. how young is that! 48 in 3 months with like you a garage full of Mx and trials bikes plus the love of my life an Orange mtb, also have a year old BMX which i go to the park with my 5 + 8 yr old daughters to ride the bowls, gives you some cred with the moms I'll tell ya!
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  • + 3
 thanks for write this. I'm 31 and I can't count all the times I had problems in my work because of a cast in my arm or a big scar in my face. My bosses always complains about it, my girlfriend always complains about why I spent more time biking than with her... and I think it's more difficult yet when you aren't a pro, just an amateur who do it just for fun and only fun. But I will not change... and I hope nobody of you old guys change either!!!
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  • + 5
 It doesn't matter how old you are... The second you take your first pedal stroke on a bike, you're instantly 10 years old again.
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  • + 6
 im 44years old and just finished building my first 20in STREET STYLE BMX in over 30 years.its a S&M BTM
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  • + 3
 Wow I really liked this article. I can say this is the vast majority of bikers thoughts around the age of 25 to 35. You are starting your life out of school, getting married, having kids, moving up in your career, on and on. I have two little girls and thought about this many times. Is my training getting in the way of time with them or with my wife. I agree with the balanced approach. There is nothing more fun then hitting up an XC trail with your 5 year old connected to your bike on a WeeRide. Seeing the joy they have doing something you love to do yourself is the best feeling ever as a dad. I don't have many of those memories as a kid since my dad was not super active when I was growing up. So I want to instill memories of great times with dad for my little girls to look back on. Keep riding just adapt to life around you. You might not get as much time but that little amount of time you get will mean even more.
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  • + 3
 Keep riding. I'm 37 and have found I'm a better person when I can ride, when I don't ride; the anxiety issues plague me as well. I get pent up and angry about the silliest things. My wife and kids understand my obsession.

I was injured badly a few years ago (torn acl, mcl, cartilage displaced, broken tibia, shattered foot... in one crash), and was unable to ride for almost 2 years because of it. The time off the bike made me realise what I was missing.

Never giving it up. Might slow down a little over the years though..... maybe.
  • + 1
 Ahhhh...anxiety. I know this mistress well. She gets me into many uncomfortable situations. If it weren't for the trees I'd be on death row!
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  • + 3
 Well put, thanks for writing this. I'm turning 25 in a couple of months and my girlfriend and I are discussing marriage after I graduate next Spring. I feel like I would need to slow it down while building a family but I'm the same way, this is my getaway, a safe haven from the norm that everyone feels the need to be. I understand growing up and having priorities but I don't see how this differs from the next guy with a picturesque lawn or an annual hunting trip? Everyone has their way out and this is definitely one of the healthiest. It's a great relief to know that there are other fella's out there having the exact same thoughts, maybe THIS is the norm...
  • + 1
 Wife and family will take a lot of time from biking for the first few years, but you start getting it back eventually.
  • + 2
 But in their defense, it IS a pretty fair trade-off. I don't think they really "take away" so much as you just have to learn to split your time between all the things you love. I battled with this for awhile as well...and YES, it does come back to you!
  • + 1
 well put dirteveryday
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  • + 2
 In a sense I can sympathize with you. It's fugly when society starts to divide between "normal" and "not-normal".
On the other hand, when you make choices like owning a house and having kids, you gotta put your money where your mouth is.
Sucks.
But it doesn't mean having to give it up completely, even if you don't compete anymore.
You could train the young and upcoming racers. You could direct a racing team. You could be involved in track building.
Go for that once-a-month epic ride in the wilderness, and use that time to build up a nice huff about all the things that Need To Change if you want to continue enjoying our favourite sport years from now... ;-)
  • + 2
 I disagree with you. It's called balance. He can still ride, train and race as long as it doesn't consume more time than with family. He could wake up at 5:30 am and do two runs or train and be back by 8am every day and not miss anytime away from fam.
  • + 1
 I ride before school for an hour several days a week, but sometimes the wife needs me home with the girls. It is a hard balance to to maintain for sure.
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  • + 2
 I'm 54 and my husband is 59. We have been riding/racing DH since 2003. My 1st broken bone was at 46 here in Whistler! My office mates have a pool every year to guess which bone I will break. I told them that if I come home unscathed, they should give me the money!
  • + 1
 yeaaahhh! an 'older' woman that rides DH...pleeeeeeease, divorce your hubby and hook up with me to ride ! OK OK - lets not, but at least hook me up with someone over 40 that rides :-) i will be in Whistler late next week and my biking bud is as usual a beautiful younger woman and we are 'just friends' - sighhhhhh......
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  • + 2
 There are so many things that I could say in direct relation to this article. I feel that it applies very well to my perspective on life and what I feel is "lack there of", if you will in regards to why I am where I am in life; primarily due to my passion for the sport even at MY age. THIS was a great article, man! I think it truly puts things into perspective!
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  • + 2
 I just got out of college. Four years of mentally fatiguing stress for an engineering degree. Riding my mtb's, especially my DH bike was the only way I stayed sane. While everyone else was out getting so hammered at nights they couldn’t go to class the next day I would go ride, come home, go into the shop (late night employee perks) and tune my ride after every ride. I even met my wife because of mtb's. Now I have a good job that is worth it because I get to go to my house, in my car, see my wife, and ride. Besides, when I come in to work with the occasional battle scars and someone comments on them, I look at the 40 something year old who is over weight, stressed out with no real past time besides work and compare himself to me I look at the scars proudly. After all, they heal fairly fast when you are in good shape. I think we mtb'ers have discovered true happiness in life and I don’t think age can ever affect that.
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  • + 2
 I just turned 40 and it's just a number. I'm still 20 at heart. it's just a bit longer to recover... from everything. The sport as evolved so much since i started. there was no category. i was using the same bike the race XC and DH and to commute to work. it's all about passion. if you want to do it, do it. anything else is irrelevant.
  • + 1
 everything has been said here! ;-)
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  • + 2
 3 years ago my then 13 year old son wanted me to take him and his friends to sun peaks to ride , so i thought i would give it a go as well! They all said i would die!..funny cuz i went and rented a brand new flatline and all the kids saw that day was my fat ass and dust. A few months later i bought my first downhill bike. Since then i have crashed and broke it repaired it and broke it again, i have retired that frame and just bought a 09 flatline pro frame. I dont keep up with the kids anymore as they all have gotten too fast for me..but i am the one going on bike trips with friends that i met here on pinkbike , i am the on out building new trails, i am the one who bugs the kids to go riding...i love biking and i love pinkbike! this site has helped me meet great new people from all over andd has been a constant supply of info and bike parts..i read a forum on hear and if any of you "older guys want to come and check it out it's called.."old riders.not old school" this is where older guys come to chat and find others interested in the same things...by the way i am 41 years old and just getting started mountain biking..
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  • + 2
 Great piece man! I have three kids and am 33. I can relate... Going to BC with some buddies in a couple of weeks and renting an RV, road trip style. The prospect of that trip has kept me going for at least 6 months. Keep on riding...
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  • + 2
 I turn 30 in a couple of weeks and between racing/ riding and touring with my band I feel absolutely no different than I did at 18 when I was doing the same thing. Thirty is just a number and time is just a theory. And as far as funny looks from neighbors and the stiffs at the office, I think Murphy's Law summed it up best "What will the neighbors think I say to myself... I DON'T CARE!"
  • + 1
 if they ever really think, not repeating and consolidating stereotypes Smile
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  • + 2
 I hear ya!
I'm now 38 and have had my ride life suddenly curtailed by a 7 month old boy (future world champ), I'm lucky enough to live in the counrty side by our main riding spot but this is a double edged sword.
I have permission from the Boss (read Wife) to go into the local woods as I can be there in 2 minutes and be ripping by 3 minutes, which is good but my routine of going further a field has been lost, a day away is almost impossible, where i used to be a regular at Wharncliffe and cannock chase, even a 5 miles down the road at Ambergate may as well be the other end of the country. When winters here and the nights are dark I don't know what I'm going to do.....HELP!
Like you I feel slighty meloncolic when I don't get the chance to buzz myself on the bike and in my view that makes me no use to anyone, they have to let me ride.
The pre nup I mentioned to the Mrs seems to have been forgotten.
  • + 1
 Get yourself a baby seat and teach the wife to ride!
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  • + 5
 Man, I needed to see this. I've got an eight-month old and it's been feeling like it's all over since she showed up...
  • + 4
 It's not over. Just limited riding. Twice a week for me @ 2 to 4 hrs each time and maybe a third "secret mission". It will make you enjoy riding more and love your daughter even more
  • + 2
 And drink coffee, it helps...Smile
  • + 1
 In a few more months she'll be lower maintenance. For now stick close by. I got out once a week for maybe 2 hours if I was lucky, but my wife was super grateful. Of course I have twins. Your situation may differ.
  • + 4
 I've got two 8 moth olds lol..and I don't drink coffee....yeesh!! but I'll tell ya I will gladly replace many of my old rides with time with my new boys.
  • + 2
 DW99 take good care of those little shredders, they'll thank you for it later!!!!
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  • + 2
 Going on 41, here I just got back into riding last year after being away from it 20 years. I have my 29 inch back yard poacher/commuter (2011 Specialized Hardrock); but its all about the 2010 custom P.1 and Old school urban assault! I see absolutely no problem in doing hard riding for as long as your bones can take it.Shit, I'm loving learning how to ride all over again!

Seriously, live to ride ride to live.

'Nuff said...
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  • + 4
 I once heard a statement which seemed to resonate with me...

"If you don't grow up by 40, you don't have to"

40 years old, and still given 'er. Good article and comments.
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  • + 2
 Going to be 40 in Feb. and I can't think of any reason why I should hang up the helmet.
I realize I'm not 20 something anymore and I don't send it huge like someone who is but I'm not ready to give up DH yet.
I have a wife and morgage which are always a consideration before I attempt anything out there but I'm riding better now than I ever have and I'm still progressing.
I even got inspired by the whip footage from Crankworks to go out and try a few of my own.
Almost ate sh*t on one attempt but pulled it back in.

Is there risk mountain biking?....Sure.
Broke a bone in my foot last November in a rocky section of trail.
In my down time I got the usual coments "You're getting a little old for that aren't you?"...."Is mountain biking really worth the risk?"
My answer was "Is sitting around watching reality TV or hanging out in some pub drinking and playing video slots worth the risk?"

Think about that while I'm out riding/living.
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  • + 3
 This is great! Perhaps one of the most mature discussions on pinkbike! Its good to see the human side of all you posters on the message boards as its often we only mention more objective interests.
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  • + 4
 I started mountain biking in 2007. I started downhilling in 2009. I'm planning to race DH next year. I just turned 52. You are never too old to do what you love to do.
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  • + 2
 Mountain biking is the fountain of youth. Stop riding and then you really get old. We all have to balance our time. I am also a family man and business owner. I am lucky I have a wife that allows me to ride when I want without grief. 37 years old and plan on riding until my body tells me I can't. Even then I still might keep going.
  • + 1
 yep. if it's any encouragement, i am 68 and still rip the DH trails....
  • + 1
 Damn touch pad. Meant to pos prop ya !
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  • + 2
 Well said. I feel the same way. I try not to let society get to me, but it does. I have one up on you, I run my own small business from home and make a decent living, owning home and cars. Neighbors and people talk bad, and it's just because it's not the norm. I hate that.
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  • + 2
 I read this article and I had to laugh, you summed it it all up pretty good. There has been so many times when I hear those words at work, "Getting a bit old for that, aren’t you?" I always laugh, and look at my younger staff, I am pushing 41 and the 21 year old just don't get it. They spend time on the XBOX, I spend time on my bike battling against my self each race. My wife and daughter share every event with me, never missed on in 6 years. Distraction is my daughters dance classes, nothing wrong with being a dance dad. Seeing that I am not only the family guy in the race series, just goes to show you that no matter what life throws at you there is still time for fun and family. We all ride, we all hit the bike park, we take bike holidays to Whistler. Life is great. In closing, to both my parents, I never did grow up. Well not completely.
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  • + 2
 I am turning 26 which is young, but I've got a wife, twin daughters, and college to contend with. I think about how hard it is to keep balance. My wife gets so sick of me talking about bikes, even though she rides too (xc with friends about twice a month). I feel guilty every time I ditch her with the kids so I can blast through some hard riding. I choose riding over homework and end up getting docked points for lateness. Money is tight and I still find myself buying the things I need to keep my bike going (like new brake pads). My girls are fascinated with the bike (they are almost 2) and I want to get them striders but that kind of cash is way more than i can drop right now.
I borrowed money from my dad for rent a couple months back and he said: "People who have to borrow rent shouldn't be running off to bike parks to go riding!" He thinks I need a second job and to sell the bike to pay for stuff.
I look forward to graduation and tell myself it will all be all right when I have a steady income and the girls are in school so I can take a bit of time for myself. But then, we want another kid. Maybe when the kids are older and I am in my 40s I'll be that young rider again. Midlife crisis is fine with me. I just don't ever want it to end.
  • + 3
 there is a time and a place for all things..I would have to agree with your dad that paying rent is more important (when you have a family) than heading off to whistler or whatever bike park it was. That being said....you are on the right track, bettering yourself with an education in order to provide for your family will pay off in the end hopefully. For now look for ways to make your biking dollar go farther...do you really have to hit the resorts or are there local rides that can provide hours of free entertainment. I am only saying this because I have been there...it gets better, but do not put recreation before your family. I am not saying you have to abandon it completely, but those daughters rely on you to be there for them...do not miss out on being that kind of a dad. cheers, I have twins too...it is the best!!
  • + 1
 I don't mean to make the family sound like a burden. I just relate to the feeling of wondering if I should back off of my obsession a bit. I am a very involved dad to be sure. I took a year off school and was a homemaker dad while my wife finished up her diploma and I love playing with my girls (take a look at them in my profile if you like), as well as changing diapers, feeding them, and teaching them general mischief.
The diablo trip was a little gift to myself after a year of being stuck at home all day and then doing work at night when my wife got home from class. Turns out though it was bad budgeting, not that my ticket would have payed the rent but it is the principle of the thing. Turned out to be a good investment in one way though. My buddy who was lukewarm towards came along and loved it. he bought a better bike afterwards and he's paying for another trip out for my birthday.
  • + 2
 sounds like you have a handle on things, My reply wasn't meant to lecture you at all...cheers man.
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  • + 2
 i want to ask two things;

Did you race the first 'Kill the Bill' at Fort William and did you have your kid in the cart thing attached to an older Giant Glory and end up rolling the cart over while cornering in the carpark?

Because that was quite funny to see Razz
  • + 2
 Haha. No, that must have been another conflicted parent.
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  • + 2
 Good to know I'm not alone. Just turned 40... Still racing bicycles after 11 years... Just started road racing motorcycles with a GSXR600... ...the more stuff I do the more I realize how lucky I am that I get to do such rad stuff. Thanks
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  • + 2
 Such a great article, I fully understand, the missus wants to lose her mind when I get the bike out ready for a weekend's riding. She keeps going on your 30, bikes are for kids and think of what you could be doing with the money you spend blah blah blah Life is good on bikes.
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  • + 2
 It's kinda relief for me, too see people have same problems that I have. It's still wonderfull to do what we love most, but as the time goes by I ask myself how much longer I can ride.I'm bit tired of all this stupid questions from my family and employers, but good God- riding my dh rig is still milion times better than sitting on couch, watching tv and grabbing couple of drinks. Don't listen to all of fat knobs, ride hard!
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  • + 2
 Not a dad myself, nor is my dad into the biking craze (hes where I got the muscle cars and the full belly from, workaholic but we never went hungry) But I'm creeping up on 30, so is one of my riding buddies and he is a dad. We have the benifit of still looking young to the odd passerby, but to those that know us...We're the old guys on bikes. We see kids out running and out riding us every ride. But we still try. Every chance we get we go out and obsess over how the last hill could have gone better, and do it over and over again till we feel both of us got it right. (Which you'd be surprised how long it takes us, ha.) To my friend, it's his refuge from family stress and the stresses from work. To me, it's the only thing that carries me to the next mountaineering and ice climbing season. Without it, theres the anxiety, the lack of the thrill. It seems that when your hitting a nice slider DH after a long XC ride, or a climb, or what have you, everything else gets the volume turned down for a while. Which to some of us, takes the edge off and makes things outside our hobbies seem that much more bearable. I say ride on, 30's not so bad(I hope) and do it as much as you can for as long as you can and for as long as it interests you. Maybe for a certain few, who feel it makes us who we are, will always need the rush. Maybe we won't always be able to feel it, so live it while you can.
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  • + 2
 I know the feeling Just turned 34 have two kids. Moved to NJ from my home state Colorado to take care of my wifes family. My wife likes me better after riding then if I am not riding. Its in the blood hope to show my kids when they get older the joys of riding. Great story you are not alone.
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  • + 2
 Great article! I'll be 60 in a month, and still consider riding one of the important things in my life. Riding with 3 of my 4 kids (youngest isn't interested) was and continues to be something that brings us closer together. My wife understands (up to a point) my passion, which I appreciate very much. I really enjoyed the article as well as all of the comments. I've not really been able to ride for almost six months, as I'm recuperating from surgery, but am slowly getting back to where this old interface will cooperate with my 20-year old mindset! Thanks Pinkbike for this article.
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  • + 2
 I'm 39 - three kids (6, 3 and 2) - and I get out fortnightly. Just some XC trails and fresh-air, exercise and solitude. The wife? I just have to earn points - look after kids when she goes out with friends - I call it the bike Bank - and then, hit the trails.

Never too old - or too busy - well, sometimes.

Ride on... and smile.
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  • + 3
 a wise young man
once said to me (as i passed up on a large step up gap) "f*in eh man, riding is about having fun and being able to do it for a long time, like i wanna teach my kids to ride one day! "
wicked good!
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  • + 2
 My father as well is almost seventy. 'scares me just thinking about it.' He still races RC boats and RC cars with me. He raced full size boats until he was fifty eight. I remember him wearing a shirt once that says 'Still plays with boats.' Here's the thing though.

It makes him happy.

You could just tell when he was in his element. And lets face it, truly happy people, not rich/successful/high status people are the ones that we remember. We all see the older guys at the skate parks or the bike parks. For me it includes the RC tracks as well and for me, I want to be like them because they have not lost that child like wonder and excitement over the years. Only if we all could be so lucky.

Don't ever let people tell you what you *should* do or how you *should* act or what you *should* be into because in all honesty, people like that *should* take a long walk off a short pier. Wink
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  • + 1
 I gave up DH'ing 10 years ago when I was 22 because of personal reasons. Ok, I've my fair share of bumps and scrapes but being away from the sport you love has so much of an impact on your life. I'm now back into it and have been for the past year or so. 32 now and I can tell you that I'm alot fitter now. Keep riding and just enjoy yourself.
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  • + 3
 Possibly the best article to have been published on Pinkbike....it's great to hear everyone's stories and the widespread support...ride on..
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  • + 1
 This certainly brought out the ahem - more mature riders

as for this "It all makes me think that I should shift my focus and stop dreaming so much about next weekend’s riding trip, stop spending so many hours scouring the Internet for the best deal on a set of Ruffians, and stop letting my daughter make off with so many Oreos. If I could only temper my obsession with riding, I would surely be a better earner, citizen, husband and father."

You would probably be a less happy human being if you didn't ride and therefore not as good an earner, citizen, husband and father. Kudos for a well-written article
  • + 2
 Never said he'd quit riding, just do less culture and race related stuff.
  • + 2
 Fair enough. I read your comment too - chin up - it gets better
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  • + 3
 only downside i find is it sure takes a long time to recover from my injuries... and makes me depressed when im not riding...
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  • + 1
 is the best selling goint to a ride and come back to hug and kiss your kid , ore like you say take your kid and see him how he start riding his bike then take the trainer wheel off and he take off , love it cant waite so he can ride with me..
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  • + 1
 Great article....but I would love to hear how a female rider deals with the family pressures and the desire to keep riding? My hubby and I ride and race DH, and we love pushing each other to do things that other people think is crazy! We have so much fun riding together and would love to start a family, but I have no idea how we would work our riding in, as that is time we spend together! We have no family network to help us out either. As much as society pressures us to get involved in a more socially acceptable sport when we have kids, I think it's more acceptable for guys to keep riding than girls. I think I would be upset if my hubby went riding without me (all the time) and I would resent the kids for keeping me away from time with my hubby and time on the bike. Pinkbike, this article has hit a cord with so many people, please provide more about riding families (wives included!) and how they manage it!

My fave quote: How old would you be, if you didn't know how old you are?
  • + 1
 I can answer that from my perspective. I am a female rider, mother, and partner to a pro mtber (so his riding takes precedence over mine argh!). You just have to be really organized. Shuttles are easier than epics due to time frame (when the babes are small you can take turns doing a couple of shuttles while baby sleeps in the carseat during naptimes). The biggest problem I encountered was that we don't ride together as a couple anymore. You in reality don't ride quite as much, but you don't resent your kids for it, honestly, because spending time with them is just as rad as any bike ride. And soon enough they hopefully will be more independent and able to go have playdates, which allows you to free up your time. Where there is a will there's a way!
  • + 1
 Like you, we're thinking of starting a family. And like you, I worry we won't be able to ride together as often (if at all for the first few years). We don't have any family network, but over the last couple years have met loads of other riders through ride clubs and the general mtn bike community. I'm sure we'll have to sacrafice some of our 'together time' for a few years, but as soon as they can crawl, we intend to get them on bikes and once again I will be able to ride with my favourite guy.

One thing is for sure, I'm not giving up riding.
  • + 1
 It takes more organisation, but it is possible. I have a 4 years old and a 14 months old. Last year I was breast feeding in between runs!! Of course I don't get to right with my hubby as much as before. But when we can, it makes it that much more special. We still manage to get one day riding each every week and often we make it a family outting as the kids LOVE being around all mountain biking people. My son loves to ride the pumptruck with his dad. And soon he will be able to ride with us it will be so much fun.
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  • + 1
 39. Married. After the 2011 target achived , one day 160km(100miles) MTB race, my next target is the BC Bike Race in 2012 or 2013.
At the age of 20 I didn´t had 5 bikes at the garage and did not had the money and enough life experience to travel from Portugal to western Canada "just" to ride my bike. Sometimes the dreams can turn real, my dream now is BCBR.
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  • + 1
 Turning 30 tomorrow. I'm not super gnar, so I don't feel so out of place (plenty of ordinary trail riders are 30+), but I do get jealous of this young bucks that can ride whenever and whereever they want without competing obligations.
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  • + 1
 same for me, i just got married and i am about to take the plunge and start a family, purely because i want to be able to take my kids out and be young enough to enjoy things with them. posted this to my FB page so my family can 'get' it. i have recently had a month off the bike due to injury and tuesday night was first night out. i got back in and felt no anxiety, no stress and didn't want to kill anyone at work the next day. raise your glass to the humble bicycle!
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  • + 1
 I wish my dad were into MTB. He tried once but he just didn't like it :/ He still prefers soccer matches Frown .. Now, don't get me wrong, he's like the best father ever, he's very supporting because he understands my passion, I just wish we could shred the trails together and spend more time that way. I'm 21 now, and when I get older and have kids, I hope they (and the wife) ask me to come to the mountain and shred together. That would be the most awesome thing ever!
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  • + 1
 As I was reading this, it felt as if I was writting it. I am 31 y/o and experience the exact same thing. In fact, I am currently off the bike for almost 3 months now after getting knee surgery due to a meniscus and cartilage damage produced mainly by a 10ft drop that did not go as expected during the landind LOL.

In the meantime I've been trying to sell my older frame since I already got a new one hahahhahaa!!!! and looking for good deals to replace some of the parts. And yes, corner office too.

Great article!

Cheers from Costa Rica.
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  • + 1
 37, wife, twin 6 y-o and a 3 y-o. Used to be obsessed with my BB-- well, not anymore, since I took up riding, that is! Now, my weight is down by 3 kilograms and I'm as fit as I've never felt before. As with all the riders here, it's a passion that I hope I can sustain for as long as I can. It also helps if you've got a wife who supports your passion Smile
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  • + 1
 Wow, what a great story. I am 30 this year as well, I have missed more work than I should due to MTB injuries. I've spent late nights with nurses at the hospital talking about healing and trying it again. I'm sure I've been closed to getting fired when I show up at work with a sling. I've also burdened our unemployment insurance system.........only a couple of times after injury. Every once in a while I think to myself 'I don't ride as much as I used to, maybe I should sell my bikes' then I take one pedal stroke down a chute, roast off a jump or shred one corner just right and I realize that I can't sell my bikes. I have 3 kids, still too young to ride, but I can't wait until we can all go out and ride and get hurt together. Awesome story. Keep riding.
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  • + 1
 Riding is a blessing of an obsession in my opinion. Look at the obsessions/passions of other people in American society: tv shows, famous people, fashion, technology... Riding is active, connected and challenging. It's the most fun thing to do that I've ever found... I am lucky to be in a relationship with a rider so the passion is mutual and benefits the relationship rather than driving it apart. I often wonder what will happen if kids come into the picture... probably load them off with their grandparents on the weekends until they are old enough to shred as well.
On a professional level I do worry somewhat about my riding lifestyle. I want to be a physiotherapist and if I get injured I will simply not be able to perform my job which would be extremely detrimental to my practice and my credibility....
Either way, I'm not stopping, regardless of the costs. I feel as though some people (such as the author of this article) may benefit from taking a break from racing and rediscover the simple joy of riding a bike smoothly without having to worry about a number plate or a timer. Riding is the most fun thing ever. I ate shit yesterday and am icing my shin as I write this... I'm going to work in an hour and am going to get berated by my colleagues for being a "crazy mountain biker" but hell... I don't care. They'll never experience the pure enjoyment I get from railing corners and shredding trails. Don't stop biking.
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  • + 1
 I've been riding XC since 1988, stopped for awhile ( 15 years ) and got back into XC riding last season... I'm turning 39 in two months, married with two kids ( ages 5 and 9 ). I realized just how much I missed riding, and don't ever want to give it up again!

Bikes may change, and the riders may seem to get younger and younger, but the great feelings that riding give me will never change. Now that my 9 year old son is wanting go out riding with his dad... it's just going to be that much cooler!

As was said in this thread before... growing up dosen't mean growing old!
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  • + 1
 My dad got me and my brothers into riding/racing many years ago. I am now 36 and have a 1 year old son. In a couple of weeks i will be riding in whistler with my dad, hes now 63, and my younger brother. Cant wait. I can only imagine what it will be like to, hopefully, take my kid out to explore the local trails.
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  • + 1
 Great article. I'm nearing 30 and spent the last 12 years of my life racing (kayaks, not mountain bikes). Now it is back-country skiing and mountain biking that are my new time-eating obsessions. I've been really worried for the past few years that I need to grow up and that all that time spent training and racing was a huge trade off in terms of working time and potential money saved. Anyways, I'm glad I read your article because it reminds me of all the experiences I have had that all my working serious pals never got. I can drink and watch TV when I have arthritis in the hips and can't do sports. Until then I'm going to keep sports an important part of my life and be satisfied that the trade-off is well worth it. Thanks Robert!
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  • + 2
 Hah my neighbor down the street is always laughing when I ride in the driveway. She says why are you jumping around in circles? I told her those are hop 3’s bioch… and i'm 42, hit it !!!
  • + 2
 Ha! Nice one. I learned how to 360 when I was 35. Took me long enough, but I got 'er done. Learned how to manual when I was 30. Now that I think, I'm going to have to work on something new. No-foot-cans? Shoulder-buzz-tables? Fxck it, why not?

Ride on, young feller.
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  • + 1
 I created an account just to comment on this story. I'm 38 years old and learning the whole freeride/jumping thing. Similarly to many of you, I have friends who are busy climbing the corporate ladder and simply cannot understand my passion for riding and jumping. I often wonder "am I too old to be doing this?" "Should I just grow up and focus on my career?"

Then I read this article, and I realize how many of us are out there wrestling with these conflicts. And fortunately, it seems many of us (myself included) have wonderful families who support us in our "childish" endeavors. Well written, wonderful, and inspirational. Thanks man.

I do think the world would be a much better place if more people rode bikes.
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  • + 3
 "Get busy livin', or get get busy dying." - Morgan Freeman in the Shawshank Redemption. You and I both know Morgan Freeman knows just about everything.
  • + 1
 Totally. Listen to Morgan. *Tips hat.*
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  • + 1
 Great read! Im 48, have a great career , a 4 year old daughter, and more into DH/FR than I ever was. But admittedly, it does comes with some caveats. Gotta definitely pay attention to body maintenance (eat right / party less). More importantly you have to be aware of where that line is. I have fun but you not going to see me going inverted (on purpose) in this lifetime. Its just a matter of balance.
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  • + 1
 WOW good writing man! I love the message. I'm getting close to 30, family and marriage are comming soon, and i do have worry a lot about these matters. Am i going to be able to keep living my passion? I mean i'm ready to compromise, no doubt things will change and i won't have 3 full days of riding a week like i used to do. But still, i want to keep riding.

I've never been scared at being different of other people, and receiving comments like ''Aren't you getting a little old for that'' is never gonna put any doubt in my mind that i'm a DH mtn biker. This is what i am before being a worker or other any ''normal'' shit.
What is a normal man today anyway? Boring quiet life in suburbs? Overweight? Need to stay inside with air conditioned? Spend your money on a nice car or fashion clothing? Beeing tired on daysoff because of job? Play golf?

Then i don't want to look like these that judges us anyway, so who care at what they say!?!?

I'll only quit DH when my body will need to, and then i'm gonna start XC and try to find the biggest descent around!
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  • + 1
 Great story. If you think 30 is old, wait till you start pushing 40. Experience trumps youth, muscle memory will have plenty of saddle time, speed will be easier, line choice and tactics become more second nature, riding becomes more effortless and more flowy. It's all a state of mind anyway.
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  • + 2
 46 and haven't stopped riding, I build trails on excavators, DJ's & pump tracks also woodwork then ride. Better then being in an office job or the corner tavern wasting away.
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  • + 1
 Well, this is interesting . The number of replies indicates that this article has struck a nerve. I've been riding since I bought my first kona lava dome 18 years ago. No suspension and crappy brakes ugly lime green I still commute on that bike. Now I ride a cove shocker, and mountain biking has been a great adventure. Two years ago I did my first heli- drop in Nelson b.c. I've raced put on races built trails done many road trips with friends. I've ridden most of the bike parks. This year I'm 54 years old my timing buddy is 63 he rides like a demon! Anyway, from my view point look after your family look after yourself ride when you can , enjoy your friends Screw every ageaphobe who tries to bring you down. See you on a trail sometime
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  • + 1
 Be a better father, husband, citizen by letting go of your passion?
Come on, how many people simply envy you because you have something that drives you through life? I definetly disagree with that! People get into stereotype thinking too easily, like "getting a bit old for that, aren't you", "look at that that dude, he should be at his office working nights, not riding a bike and fooling around with childish smile". What an empty world this is! If there wouldn't be passionate people, we could be still living in caves, chasing wild animals, called lunch Smile
I have the same with that "what is going with this world" growing concern like you said, riding is that thing for us that makes us forget about the daily crap we see and absorb.
You seem to be a very dedicated guy, thorough and meticulous in your passion. Not to worry about a career if you have a hart full of love and your head filled with dreams. People press others nowadays to go big with their life in therms of career. Leave that to the people who:
A. can combine a great life with a great job and passion for their hobbies
B. people who are stupid and empty with no idea of what they could have as a hobby.

If you would give up riding, you would probably get your focus on something else, as you are of that kind of people who see more than just the daily routine. People will pressure you, mainly because they feel inferior compared to you. In their eyes a human being past he's 30's should do what? Raise kids, pay a kid to mow his lawn? Complain about how they've been fit years ago? How they did ride their bikes as kids? I'll leave that for you to conclude.

I loved your write up, thank you for that!
  • + 1
 Thank you. When I write about being a better father/husband/citizen, I merely mean to say that I would probably have more time to devote to certain things if I didn't ride. That said, I would almost certainly be grumpier in doing so.
  • + 1
 I thought about it in the same way but just wrote my opinion slightly exaggerating Smile You can always measure your "enviroments" needs for your presence and divide your time for riding and the rest of life as many of us are doing! Big Grin keep up the good vibe going!
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  • + 1
 I don't know which I enjoyed more, the article or reading through all the comments! I'm 45 married with 2 kids and am blessed to have a wife that just gets it. Although she doesn't ride much, she understands it is part of me and I am a happier person when I get out to ride a few times a week. One person told me that biking is my meditation and I completely agree, the intense concentration required to make sure I'm having fun and not getting hurt means my mind gets flushed of all the BS that surrounds me in work and life, after a ride all I want is to be home and see my wife and kids, at my core it is all that's left. I'll bookmark this article so I can re-read it occasionally and remind myself of all the other people that are like me and although we all live hectic lives, riding a bike plays an enormous role in keeping all together.
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  • + 1
 Great read. Great pixs too.

I've worked in the bike industry most of my life and even at my office I get the "Oh man you're too old to be doing XYZ." Or after an injury "Wait until you're in your mid 30's, you'll need a walker to get around." I find most of these statements are more projections of their shortcommings and fears than what really happens. I think it's also an indication of the aging bike industry population. My coworkers don't go on group rides anymore, they go GOLFING. Seriously WTF?

I'll admit I'm a little slower now. I've spent a lot of time on the injured list and you totally nailed the effects off being forced off the bike and the anxiety it induces. Anyway, I'm 40 now and I don't feel like I'm gonna be done anytime soon. Thanks for the great read.
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  • + 1
 part two....sorry it is so long

anyways, fast forward a bunch of years. I am now in my mid 30's I have a good job that allows me the freedom to have some decent bikes...but what do I have in my garage right now? a 1977 norco/nishiki monterey 12 speed....yup, from the dump and I am thrilled to be building it up to get some training rides in on a pure steel vintage road bike..I also have two 8 month old twin boys...that I cannot wait to get on to bikes. I am so excited to ride with them. to help them work on their bikes, to help them pick out their first bikes etc. to hear the stories on here of fathers riding with their sons is awesome....kudos to all those dads out there that have looked past the mainstream sports (they are not bad..and I played them all too..) and have recognized not only the skill and talent it takes to do well in this sport, but have also taken up the torch themselves and jumped at the chance to build a better relationship with their sons/daughters. I hope it goes that well for me with my sons.

PS. my usual riding partner is my 58 year old father in law....he road rides 35 miles a day rain or shine and kicks my butt on any trail we ride, he is the carrot I chase!
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  • + 1
 A few things:

1) Life doesn't end after your twenties.
2) No one considers riding a bike for kids outside of perhaps some towns in Bible Belt America.
3) People with corner offices generally don't hang out at pool halls.
4) Given the high obesity and fat butt syndrome rates in America, your office co-workers are in the wrong, not you.
5) I'm quite sure your wife and kids are much more supportive of riding versus idling the rest of your life away with watered down swill while armchair quarterbacking whatever crap happens to be on ESPN that weekend. Those glory days of JV football are over my friend.

Last, as the illustrious Ferris Beuller once said: "Life moves pretty fast...", so go out, ride more and quit lamenting. Bike for life.
  • + 3
 1. Thank God. Still feeling like I did last month. 2. You should visit my work sometime. 3. That's part of the joke, really. 4. Amen. 5. Well, my wife does seem to enjoy watching football, and I can't drag her to the computer for the Freecaster WC broadcasts. But you may still be right. Lastly, I hope my lamenting didn't seem too genuine. There's some cognitive dissonance, maybe, but I'm less conflicted than parts of the story might suggest. Thanks for the comment.
  • + 1
 Now worries mate, just some thoughts I had while reading. Hope I didn't come across as a dick. Maybe I'm just lucky to live in a location that has a large cycling community. I don't ever recall anyone making any kind of reference to me about being "too old to bike" nor has it ever really crossed my mind. The only thing I've realized is that life speeds up as you get older and that gets me even more antsy to get out and ride every day!
  • + 1
 Don't worry--you didn't come across as a dick. To be fair, there are also plenty of cool people around Reno who understand riding well. But I can't help meditating on the others every now and then. My mom read the article tonight, and well...let's just say she sided with the people who stare when I'm washing my bike. Wink

And as for being antsy to ride, I'm right there with you. Tomorrow's a race day and I'm ready for my run right now.
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  • + 1
 I wouldn't worry too much about what the neighbors or co-workers whisper about. 90 percent of those faggots have no lives outside of their offices and picket fences. Its how the jealous types cope with life. Keep rippin it man.
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  • + 1
 as i sit in my desk chair at the office reading this i couldnt agree more with you on your perspective. not to get a bro-mance'ish, but your a great writer, and even if its the subject matter that makes this article good, its still good. and im glad PB posted it, EPIC.
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  • + 2
 Just keep riding, that means you will be able to live longer and love your family longer... just keep riding because if you stop you will probably became the father and husband they don´t konw they don´t want!
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  • + 1
 nice read on thursday morning your not old 30 still got loads left in you my grandad well quite young grandad rides and ex-pro skateboarder and his still going i cant wait when my lil one is born he/she will be on a bike keep riding mate
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  • + 1
 What your wife thinks matters, and since she loves you she would like to see you happy and out riding than not riding and miserable. What others think about your pursuits doesn't matter at all. And they probably have beer guts.
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  • + 1
 Thanks so much to everyone who commented on this story. I read literally dozens of replies that, if not for the need to leave the computer occasionally, I would have loved to respond to directly. I was really glad to see that the story resonated with so many readers.

To those concerned that age issues might eventually get me down on riding, don't worry much. While I like to contemplate the "stigma" of being a full-grown man who still loves bicycles, it's never going to dissuade me from horsing around on two wheels (though my mother still argues that it should.) Smile

Thanks again.
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  • + 1
 brilliant thread.

don't accept the compartments others try to squeeze us into.

just look at the numbers entering seniors and vets DH in the UK... even local mates races are oversubscribed.

4 kids, 60 hours a week job... so what... we are only here once.

Interesting to read the threads from the US... I agree with what was said above, that there seems more social pressure / a view of social oddity to those of us middle aged still riding. I only started at 32 ( 10 years ago), though admittedly the health care system / sickness rate from work is perhaps better in the UK ( more tolerant of smashing yourself up on occasion). I now manage 100s of staff and take the view I'd rather have a cadiovascular fit workforce that get bust up once in while than have couch potatoes with no stress outlet who then keel over from heart attacks / strokes who take for ever ( if ever) to come back to work.
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  • + 1
 I'm too far in to back out now. I forget my age when I'm out on the bike (well - until I crash anyway, you just don't bounce after 30, it's more of a SPLAT!!!).

The longer the gap between rides the more tetchy I get - nothing beats a good old thrash down a trail to clear the head and get the much needed adrenaline fix. Just got to keep doing it - there is no viable alternative.
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  • + 1
 I love this article and can related to it so much. As a wife of an aging man (who really wish he could be have 25 years old for ever... now 39!) that loves mountain biking, as a mother of 2 beautiful kids and a dowhhiller myself. I understand your wife and your point of view, made me realised that my husband is not alone out there!! I enjoy his passion for riding and I can never wait for the next day up the hill. I too dream about my next run down the hill and how fast I will be able to do the run this time. Will I have the balls to try a drop I have been scared of... But, I still have a hard time to understand how my man can spend so many hours looking and thinking about the right ''tires pressure'' or set up of the bike... But in the end, we all have the same passion, and there is no ages to have fun and follow your passion. Otherwise life those get boring and stressfull. Biking is a great stress relief Smile
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  • + 1
 Turning 35 here in two months...sometimes I wish I had a kid that was 15 now so I could ride with somebody and pass on my stoke. Most people my age seem to do 'grown up' things (aka not doing a damn thing) rather than ride on most weekends anymore!
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  • + 1
 Great article bro! I'm 34 and a week after my son's 4th birthday, he began riding his bike (without training wheels, thanks to a balance bike). It's awesome to see my son as happy riding a bike as I am. Makes me love the sport even more knowing that I will be riding bikes with him until I croak! As for the age thing... For some reason mountain biking doesn't seem to relate to age. Some of the best riders I have seen are in their 40s. And for the injuries, I broke my collar bone in May and received the same response when I was at work even by coworkers younger than me, "Aren't you a little too old to ride a bike?" Just laughed it off. RIDE ON brother until you can't do it anymore!!! Awesome article in writing about something so many riders think about as we all get older!!!
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  • + 1
 I will throw my hat into this arena as well...I have been on a bike since I was three..no training wheels, no stryder, no tricycle..straight from the big wheel to my older brothers banana seat cruiser....now that being said I am just an average AM style rider..i will never dazzle anyone, i will never be the fastest or the first to the top of the climb...but I will be out there. We grew up pretty poor and with 7 kids new bikes were never in the cards for me (I am number 5...hand me downs all the way)..but my dad loves bikes...not any style really he just loves the simplicity of the machine. So trips to the town dump often resulted in a "new" bike in the back shed. I had everything from a rebuilt kuwahara to hit jumps with to a sweet orange 10 speed that my dad built for me (too big of course) but I won our small town's first ever bike race with it...by a landslide....
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  • + 5
 That's Great,,, I feeeeeeel Yea !!! 53 started DH.Racing This Year !!
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  • + 1
 Better to get the occaisonal injury then to slowly rot from obesity and heart disease. Better to push your limits then to coast down the easy path (to the sofa).

Soon your daughter will be yelling at you to "hurry up old man", and it will be the best mock of your life as you hammer down the trail to catch up to her on her bike.

Ride on!
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  • + 1
 I am a 42-year-old mom who started doing local downhill races last year with the encouragement of a friend (also in his 40s). Even though I come in last place every week, there isn't a sport I have tried that I love more. Everyone is there for the same reason... a good thrill, good friends and a good after party. Your article was fantastic!
  • + 1
 You're welcome! Bringin your ice chest tonight?
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  • + 1
 I am 45 and still at it. Raced BMX cruiser class last night and renewed my license. Sorry but softball and bowling will not cut it for me. Nothing can top putting on a helmet and getting a few gate starts in.
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  • + 1
 such an epic wright-up man! I too have found myself spending as much time trying to forward my career, as trying to become faster, or building that new section on my trail. Dynomite article!
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  • + 2
 for me riding is worst then heroin, I'm an addict and I don't know, and don't want to find any method to cure me from this habbit
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  • + 3
 you`re not so old Rob ... I`m older than you and I just started to race DH in this season Smile
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  • + 2
 You've struck a good balance in your life and seem to have also struck a cord with the PB community. btw are we riding tonight?
  • + 1
 You're very right, Joe. If someone gives me a vehicle, I'll shuttle you guys tonight - I'm still healing =(
  • + 1
 Let me consult with--you guessed it--the family. I could definitely go for a spin.
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  • + 1
 "And before anyone suggests that I look into a safer sport, such as golf, I say to them: Stop. I am being serious here, and absurd suggestions like that are of no help." Awesome! I have that conversation weekly!
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  • + 3
 Grow Old, Live Young, my friends!
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  • + 1
 40 and fuck what the old shits who sit and watch soap operas and watch the football results think, DH rescued me from the brink of alcoholism and drug addiction!
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  • + 1
 Cool article. Never stop what you love. Especially if society thinks you should. Post up another when your kids are on the world circuit. Wink
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  • + 2
 remember only this. fuck the haters. live your life your way or youll be really really unhappy.
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  • + 1
 Wow that was a great story, def. feel you on all that, im 31 and i have a almost 9 yr old, im not pushing him be he has a sick Balfa BB7 ready for him to rip with dad!
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  • + 2
 everyone should do what he likes, regardless of the society opinion.
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  • + 1
 'look dad, a free mountain bike!' thats just brilliant, you've taught your kids well there sir Big Grin
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  • + 1
 This guy is only 30. Give him a few years and he'll be writing a book about it.
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  • + 1
 I'm 38 and will to ride till the end.. great article... same as my feelings..
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  • + 1
 I enjoyed this. I am only 20 and I get the same feelings when I'm riding street on my bmx.
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  • + 1
 amen brother amen........ i am not alone in this world... quality piece of writing! respect and salute!
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  • + 2
 Very well said. But im still going to ride Smile
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  • + 1
 amen brother amen........ i am not alone in this world... quality piece of writing! respect and salute!
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  • + 2
 best story of the year!!!
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  • + 0
 Fascinating story...I`m 16 now ,but this sory made me think of what I`ll be doing in future...of course everyone here wants to become a racer,but GUYS...be realistic .
  • + 13
 actually, some people just like riding their bikes, it should always be for the love
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  • + 1
 I've been riding for 34 years now and don't intend on stopping. keep rippin!!
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  • + 1
 great story bro!!

is it bad that i am counting down the next two years for when i will be 30 and can race in vets??
  • + 6
 Nope. People were asking me if I was afraid of turning 40 and I said "No way, I'll be able to race masters, time to get some podiums!"
  • + 2
 If you can't get faster, get older.
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  • + 1
 I found this rather depressing in a sense. but deffinetly no matter what keep shredding!!1
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  • + 1
 I'll soon be putting one of those trailers on my DH bike. My daughter will love it!!!
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  • + 2
 I am 45 and I love it. well put.
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  • + 1
 Good write up man, good read.
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  • + 1
 Screw what the neighbours think, is it childish to ride a bike and be fit?
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  • + 1
 I've gotten back into skateboarding again after 15 years off. I'm 38.
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  • + 1
 good article, i usually dont read the whole thing
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  • + 1
 That picture of the glory is painful to look at hahaha
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  • + 1
 Such a great article and so many good comments. Thanks.
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 Great article. Thanks
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 "Atom"article of the month
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 45 and counting ----
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 Article of the month. ATOM, AOM, ? ....
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 Bike comes first always! This one and only rule for me.
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 Do you have a wife/husband and kids? if not...your attitude may change in the future if you ever make that jump. If you do, well to each their own I guess, but my kids come way before my bike.
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 yep. priorities. and anyone who loves their bike more than their family...hmmmmm :-(
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 really cool write up. Sweet garage setup!
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 Minus the hurt part that's me to a T
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 Great article, I and alot of people I know can completely relate.
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 great article. ride or die yo!
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 you love to ride as much as you love your family and wife.
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 Man you rocked this article. I occasionally wonder if it's normal for a 37 year old office worker to spend his free time building obstacles in the carport for my two year old on her push bike (however, she shreds). The other day I told my barber, who's similar age and rides urban on an old Stinky when he's plastered, that I hit a jump park among a bunch of ten year olds so I could learn how to jump on flat pedals. Of all people he asked me how old I am... However I have a really cool wife and my girls will be faster than me in a few short years.
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 Hear ya on this :-)
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 Woke up one day and I'm 60(still can't figure out how I got here!) but still racing BMX, DS, 4X and a little DH (might take that back up again more seriously next year).Outside of fellow bikers people pretty much think I'm nuts and almost all of my friends are now 15-20 years younger than myself as I don't have much in common with people my own age.Gonna race and ride as long as I can - Old guys rock!
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 Awesome! I hope my body still allows me to keep riding for a long time Smile
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 Keep riding man... I have so much respect for the older riders. We have a local legend who is in his mid 30's has a wife and kid. He organises a local mini DH series every few weeks over the year and gets loads of people riding, as well as showing us that he can still shred like us young'uns. I only hope that when I am settled and have a career I can still ride at least weekly and race too!
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 I am in the same boat, I have been racing and riding a bicycle for as long as I can remember. My wife and I had our first child 16m ago and it has been a challenge to try and stay on top of my "game" if you will. But I have her support and both my jobs support my racing and allow me to take time to do that. I think that riding and racing after 30 and with a family does fall on the priority list a bit but if you truly love riding as all of us on Pinkbike do it will all work out. I frequently ride with guys that are my age or older and we can hang with the younger guys almost any day. I try and ride 1-2 days a week it might not be as much as I used to but it curbs the craving and prevents with-drawls. I just got back from Crankworks and got a bronze in DS in the 30+ class and plan on more races next year. Keep riding and keep it fun! Much respect to those that keep riding when others call you crazy!
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 @olddogbmxer : yep!!!
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