I agree 100%.
Been riding even longer, and never had an issue on the street.
Dirt is different, and you can fall and get busted up even when using care, at least on a bigger heavy bike.
At least, its a lot easier in the dirt.
In my case, if I had been riding a smaller lighter lower bike, I might not have been hurt at all, and that is part of it I suppose, as an old guy with brittle bones, a dr650 was likely a bad choice for rough dirt riding.
After switching to a TW200, I did not fall at all.
If the dr was bad, a klr or anything heavier is just asking for trouble and broken bones.
After a few close calls early on, I use great caution in places with limited sight lines.
Once I came around a well known turn at speed to find a huge hole, did the super man flying thing, lucky I was young and flexible.
I also had a few very close calls with jeeps, like hitting their mirrors at speed in turns, and that made me think about what would have happened with a full head on, its pot luck if you can avoid something like that in heavy sand with limited space and warning at higher speeds.
Deer are a risk, but I think you can reduce that a lot by not riding where they are at the times they are active, and if you have to, slow way down and look for them.
I had one close call with deer on the BRP, riding when I should not have been, and even though I saw them and slowed down, they timed their jump to pass a foot in front of my bike, stupid squid deer things.
Not sure what would have happened had I hit it at 40 mph...I doubt I would be dead, but I would not have been happy.
I think there are just way to many people who over ride their sight lines, unable to react for whatever, and then say there was nothing they could do.
Originally Posted by rivercreep
I'm 45, been riding since my late teens.
I'm not only a daily commuter (all-weather in Pa. and that means snow and ice) I also log lots of long distance rides whenever my crummy retail job allows it. (around 10-14,000 miles per year)
I've also been down on the road several times and will say this, the things that have put me down; will never put me down again. (I learned from the experiences)
I guess the main difference I see between the two of us, is that (based on the comment I highlighted) I don't ride carelessly into the unknown, beyond what I know my abilities to be.
If I want to ride like a bat out of hell, down a logging road or other area, I'll do a pre-ride first. There's no reason to find yourself in the situation you describe unless, as the expression goes "fools rush in"...
I.M.H.O. there is no such thing as an unknown/surprise hazard the way I ride.
I'm sure what I describe might not sound like fun to all you adrenaline junkies out there but, if you are aware of there being hazards first (like what you describe) you can turn it into a fun event by taking it on with skill and not being surprised by it. (and shattering your tibisa)
I've eaten my share of shit (while going through a long learning curve) but, now ride with enough care to avoid as much shit eating as possible. I still ride spiritedly but, only on roads or areas I know well. To do otherwise invites seconds of eating shit. (that's the difference between skill and recklessness)
Why eat shit twice when you didn't like it the first time?
My definition of "skill" is knowing what you can and can't handle.
If you can't handle the type of surprise you mention and still ride so fast that you can't handle that type of situational surprise = you're riding beyond your skill level and deserve to eat shit. (just like I deserved to eat shit when I fucked up in my past)
Skill = the difference between delusional and applicable.