I suppose I can participate. I was 29 when I started, but only 4 months off of 30. I never had any exposure whatsoever to motorcycles growing up, and never really had any attraction to them. After college I concentrated on a career and buying a house and never gave bikes a single thought. After debts were paid and some dabbling in ATVs, I started eying dirtbikes.
In the spring of 2004 I started looking at economy cars. For a great many reasons, I needed a second mode of transport but couldn't give up a 4X4/tow vehicle. I wanted economy, but hybrids are far less than ideal in this neighborhood, and VW TDIs were looking pretty great. However, light cars are torn up quickly here (I ruined a Geo Metro in 2 years on these roads). It dawned on me that a motorcycle would be a great compromise. Obviously a lot less usefull in the winter, but it wouldn't get torn up on the roads and is almost as efficient as the TDIs I was looking at. I started by looking at the 650 GS Dakars, but was also looking at the 1150 GS. A GS riding neighbor steered me to the KTM 950.
May 5th, 2004: so now I'm a rider who has never been on a bike that now owns a 950. For the first day I felt completely overwhelmed. The first ride consisted of a 2 mile loop through the neighborhood, with a foot deep ditch at the bottom of my driveway I had to negotiate getting both in and out of. I didn't die... I didn't even fall, so I was feeling pretty good. However, Colorado MSF schedules sucked pretty bad and my class was still more than a month away. I had to rely on my neighbor to ride with me for that time, and yes, I developed bad habits. But in the end, I, a complete n00b (with a 30" inseam no less) managed to learn on a bike that is arguably not for beginners.
I was hooked. I managed to get a fair number of miles under my belt the first year - enough to expire my bike's warranty for our riding season (May-Oct for my first year). Come the following February I bought a dirt bike (KLX 400) to further develop my dirt skills on the 950. Now I am hooked on that too. A mere 18 months later I have 3 bikes (got a KX 125 for a mere $250 this summer) and a horrible (horribly great) addiction.
I occasionally regret that I hadn't found bikes far before now. On the other hand, I am enjoying the learning process and the travels greatly. Sadly, my pups suffer from some of my impromptu 15 hour rides, but I make up where I can. Hey, sometimes it takes 6 hours to get home from work.
And then there's this place... bottomless wealth of information (good and bad) and opinion (mostly bad
). I've even been sucked into helping out with the Chaingolian invasion of Idaho Springs. I think I'll be around a while... and I'll see you all around the campfire sooner or later.