Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Getting old(er)

Yesterday I turned 62.

Wasn't such a big deal, I saw it coming, it didn't sneak up on me. 

I feel fine, except for the ache in my left knee which isn't usually as bad as the left shoulder that was injured in my 2002 rear ender.  My right knee gets nearly as stiff, but my right shoulder is pretty good 50% of the time.

Then there is the constant hurt in my lower back, to say nothing of the 10 damaged ligaments in my thoracic spine (that's the part between me bum and me head)  also a result of the Mazda running up my tail pipe in '02.  My left hand gets cramped up but not quite as often as my right, which of course works the throttle.  At least riding my scooters I don't have to use the clutch often, they're automatic (occasionally the brakes) but it's kind of slow going if I can't twist the throttle and there are days I can feel that.  I still get the headaches whenever the barometer rises or falls any significant amount.  Dr Molyneaux's staff used to hold a lottery on when the ice would give way in the strait.  Usually within 48 hours of my annual visit to deal with my aching head. I can probably predict a storm coming more accurately than the television weatherman!

I took this photo about 15 minutes prior to getting hit on HW 63
I get more cramps nowadays in my legs, sometimes bad enough that I feel like I'm going to fall over, but even they subside. 

Okay... so I'm not perfect, who is right?

I was thinking this morning of that near head on collision riding my then new 1972 Suzuki T 350 Rebel back to Edmonchuk, on a very dusty May long weekend on highway 63, which in those days was nearly all gravel.  Had I not been hugging the right tire track as was my custom in them days, I would of had a very short life.  I was barely 17 at the time.  Pretty near didn't make it to 18! 

The whole point of life is to use it, right!  Racing Motocross was dangerous, riding in the woods was dangerous, there was that time Dean and I, after pretty much an all day grind riding our TY 175's, I got stuck crossing a swift flowing Hangingstone  within sight of my digs.

The swollen river had washed over my engine and tank, killing it instantly. It was all I could to in thigh deep (read cold) water to keep myself and more importantly, my bike from being slept downstream to the Athabasca!

Jasper AB back in 1978 Then new RD 400E

Riding in Baja was dangerous...

Just Wingin' it!

Never mind, riding in traffic pretty much anywhere is dangerous! 

Getting married was dangerous!  Twice, even more so!!

Crossing the Continental Divide so many times I can't remember!

So I turned 62 yesterday. 

I used to think my father was old when he was early 40's.  I wasn't born until his release from a hard labor camp where he spent 6 years working the coal mines after defecting to France in '47 and then (perhaps foolishly) returning in '48.  I survived our ordeal of  leaving the country in '56 while the Rooskies were in there shooting the hell outa the place!  Course my survival had nothing to do with me, other than being small enough to fit into a potato sack that Pops carried to Austria, and eventually England and Canada.  Well, course I mean I wasn't in the sack except for the Hungarian portion...

There are benefits of being a 'senior' like you can buy meals for less. 

Of course they also give you less. Last night's dinner was just large enough to qualify as an appetizer.  When Brenda asked what I wanted to do after sitting back in the frosty Dodge, I said "let's go to Tim's" and there I had a large coffee and a Boston Cream doughnut.  Then I ate a Maple covered doughnut as dessert.  She thought it may have been a bit too much sugar but I've ridden my Divvie into the heart of Athens during rush hour and survived, what could two very sweet doughnuts do to me...

BEEMER to the west coast 1974
This is the time of year I plan my next 12 months.  I know I alluded to that a couple of days ago but I will repeat for my own benefit (my memory is not great these days) that I have some hefty plans this coming 12 months.  I've been covering long distances by bike since my early riding days, there was Lake Wabamun on the Super 90 at 62 mph flat out, followed by such epics as the Rockies with Merv back in my senior year of high school in Fort Mac.  Since then they have gotten longer.  A friend of mine pointed out to me several years ago that I've likely traveled a million kilometers on two wheels.  I don't think it's that much, a million is a lot of zero's but half that, yeah... could very well be. 

There is no danger of my filling in the back half of that million anytime soon but if I even do 75% of what's on my Goals sheet for 2017, I will have to do a lot of Kegals to strengthen my butt muscles!  Did I mention they hurt too?

So my birthday past quietly, very few people even remembered but the most important ones did.  I scored a nice dinner, a welcome card or two, best wishes from my girls and closest family and friends, even my Sister who at this moment is still asleep at Naranjo down in Baja CA, sent me an email!  She rarely remembers so I am still in shock!

I never forget my BD as it was and still is the day my Father was born.

Been there done that, riding the Diversion 600


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