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  1. #1
    LBKA punkncat's Avatar
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    As you have gotten older.....

    Assuming that I live to be of average lifespan, I find myself firmly planted in middle age. My eyesight is going, my waistline is growing, and hair is popping out everywhere it's not supposed to and going away on the top of my head. I hear tell it's better than the alternative and I am not quite ready to find out....Along with the physical changes I have found a growing trend on the social front and wondered if it's just me being a cranky old coot, or if others find this occurring as well.

    For the past couple of years I have found I have less and less patience for other people's drama and bull****. I have no issue speaking my mind in a very blunt and to the point manner, which quite often hurts peoples feelings, particularly when not in person. The social media doesn't convey my feelings well. As a result the list of friends and social acquaintances is becoming smaller and smaller. I have found that I prefer hanging around the house with my wife more than I desire going over to other peoples hanging out. It makes it really hard to meet people when you don't go out. With the new people we meet we often hold them at arms length and even with the long time friends, we talk less and less. We always claim how busy we are and how life gets in the way. I have always found in life that we make time for the things we want to do and excuses for the things we don't.

    Over the past two years we have purged ourselves of a large group of long time (since right after high school) friends and cut ties with a great deal of her and my family. This wouldn't be a point of concern for me aside from the fact that my father did this to a greater degree some years back and literally took off to the woods for a few years. It makes me more vigilant that I could be following that same path, and I just don't want to end up a lonely, cranky old man living in a cabin in the woods....I haven't purchased a cabin yet but have been thinking strongly about a tent and some touring.
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  2. #2
    Littledog Mark Stone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by punkncat View Post
    Assuming that I live to be of average lifespan, I find myself firmly planted in middle age. My eyesight is going, my waistline is growing, and hair is popping out everywhere it's not supposed to and going away on the top of my head. I hear tell it's better than the alternative and I am not quite ready to find out....Along with the physical changes I have found a growing trend on the social front and wondered if it's just me being a cranky old coot, or if others find this occurring as well.

    For the past couple of years I have found I have less and less patience for other people's drama and bull****. I have no issue speaking my mind in a very blunt and to the point manner, which quite often hurts peoples feelings, particularly when not in person. The social media doesn't convey my feelings well. As a result the list of friends and social acquaintances is becoming smaller and smaller. I have found that I prefer hanging around the house with my wife more than I desire going over to other peoples hanging out. It makes it really hard to meet people when you don't go out. With the new people we meet we often hold them at arms length and even with the long time friends, we talk less and less. We always claim how busy we are and how life gets in the way. I have always found in life that we make time for the things we want to do and excuses for the things we don't.

    Over the past two years we have purged ourselves of a large group of long time (since right after high school) friends and cut ties with a great deal of her and my family. This wouldn't be a point of concern for me aside from the fact that my father did this to a greater degree some years back and literally took off to the woods for a few years. It makes me more vigilant that I could be following that same path, and I just don't want to end up a lonely, cranky old man living in a cabin in the woods....I haven't purchased a cabin yet but have been thinking strongly about a tent and some touring.
    Get off my lawn.

  3. #3
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    I think that when you start thinking about whether or not to spend time with other people you will have a story in your head about why or why not. You have to remember that it's only a story. If you go into situations without preconceived notions you may find yourself more interested in the event. Remember...disappointment lives in the shadow of expectation.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Ronno6's Avatar
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    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.

    I have seen 1 reference to Pope Leo XIII as the author.

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    I'm 26 and I already feel the same way. Over the past few years I've found socializing to be less and less fun. It's hard to care about other peoples' BS, which is always going on. It doesn't help that since quitting booze I feel borderline socially inept, even with my best friends.

  6. #6
    Potential Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    A tent and touring would be nice...
    You can further the brotherhood of man by eliminating class.
    You can lift the wage earner up by equalizing earnings.
    You can bring about prosperity by overturning the holders of power.
    You can strengthen the weak by eating the the strong.
    You can help the poor by destroying the rich.

  7. #7
    holyrollin' FlatTop's Avatar
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    As someone older who has experienced what you are talking about (your world getting smaller, friends falling away or just becoming disaffected with socializing) I have only this to say: try to be the person you admire at whatever age you may be.

    I have a friend who, at 78, is happier than I am at 57, has more interests, more fun encounters, a larger circle of friends and more to think about than I seem to. His life is my benchmark, and as soon as I figure out what he's doing right, I plan to do it too.

    I have another friend who is eight years younger than I, and his life is even more of a trainwreck than mine.

  8. #8
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Other people's drama will continue on as it ever has. It's background noise.

    Your feelings pass, don't get too attached to them.

    The wisdom of age tells that everything will fall away, no use in clinging. A tent and touring sounds much different that an isolated cabin in the woods.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  9. #9
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    My personal take is that much has depended on the work I have done over the years. If you have to deal with more than two or three people in a day, then I can become quite tired of dealing with their petty little issues and lack of focus.

    In a previous life, I was a newspaper journalist, and the friends I had, as I discovered later, were false... always hoping to get some free publicity for their own activities. I suppose I understand the problems of loneliness that celebrities often have that drive them to self abuse and suicide.

    Then I got involved in cycling advocacy and promotion. There were some cyclists who were downright hostile when they didn't get what they think they deserved; there were others who took what was provided as a god-given right without a simple thanks; and others who were supportive. Just like every other job in the world, I suppose.

    I've just finished supervising a picking season in a cherry orchard (here in Australia, people are paid fair wages rather than the step up from slavery in America).

    In some respects it is great dealing with a wide cross-section of ages and talents. Petty issues weren't really a problem for me, although they have been for the packhouse manager.

    I am almost 60, but I am grateful that I can garner the respect of younger people from a wide variety of countries (we employ quit the number of backpackers who are on working holiday visas).

    At the same time, I am grateful that an intense five weeks is finished, and my boss and I can return to working the orchards by ourselves.

    Machka and I also are not keen on riding our bikes in large groups. That way we have control over what happens to us rather than putting our welfare in the hands of other riders whom we don't know and who may be unpredictable and downright dangerous.

    We also have a very small social circle. In fact, we make friends more easily with people in other countries that we visit. As to family, it's nice to visit my sister and her partner, and my kids and I are estranged anyway. The fact we don't engage in booze fests probably alienates us from the typical Australian social group.

    I tend to agree that as we get older, we have the experience to choose more wisely the people with whom we associate and the social and professional situations into which we place ourselves.

    But, we do try to be friendly to people with whom we interact... unless they are rude, unfriendly back, or are in a self-absorbed world of their own; then we just ignore and move on.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  10. #10
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    I feel that you're as old as you feel or will allow.

    Having recently become an empty-nester, I feel finally free of the obligations that having a family so young implies upon an individual. With that newfound freedom I plan to become a complete grasshopper, taking risks with investments (after finally divesting myself of the debts that have ruled my life trying to raise a family), investing in myself and taking full advantage of the lower overhead and and income that my years of investment in my own skills can afford. It is finally time for me.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlatTop View Post
    As someone older who has experienced what you are talking about (your world getting smaller, friends falling away or just becoming disaffected with socializing) I have only this to say: try to be the person you admire at whatever age you may be.

    I have a friend who, at 78, is happier than I am at 57, has more interests, more fun encounters, a larger circle of friends and more to think about than I seem to. His life is my benchmark, and as soon as I figure out what he's doing right, I plan to do it too.

    I have another friend who is eight years younger than I, and his life is even more of a trainwreck than mine.
    This post sums it up best to me, particularly about trying to be the person you admire at whatever age you may be. If you find yourself a hermit and are truly happen with that, you did not fail. Not everyone has to progress in the life the same. But, if you find yourself in a situation that you really don't care for, you owe it to yourself to do what you can to change that situation.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by punkncat View Post
    .... I find myself firmly planted in middle age. My eyesight is going, my waistline is growing, and hair is popping out everywhere it's not supposed to and going away on the top of my head. ..........Along with the physical changes I have found a growing trend on the social front and wondered if it's just me being a cranky old coot, or if others find this occurring as well.

    For the past couple of years I have found I have less and less patience for other people's drama and bull****. ...... As a result the list of friends and social acquaintances is becoming smaller and smaller. I have found that I prefer hanging around the house with my wife more than I desire going over to other peoples hanging out......... With the new people we meet we often hold them at arms length and even with the long time friends, we talk less and less.

    Over the past two years we have purged ourselves of a large group of long time (since right after high school) friends and cut ties with a great deal of her and my family. ...
    I have found the physical changes are somewhat unavoidable. Although a bit of dieting and exercise goes a long way... deterioration from age is relentless as well as effective.

    But social skills should be improving with age. I have found that our group of friends continues to grow as does the youngest members of our family (as the older of us die off). Even the tiffs that often disrupt family relations are handled better with as we have matured.

    People are pretty much three sided. Physical, intellectual, and spiritual. Rarely does any individual properly care for all three aspects of the person.... and as a result feels the discomfort of neglect. Like a bicycle chain.... the longer neglected, the greater the signs of neglect. What used to come natural... or was "worked around" now takes a little effort and/or attention.

    Physical: Diet and exercise. This is a cycling forum. Plenty here as how to care for your body.

    Intellectual: Keep learning, studying, growing mentally. Having a beer and watching the game or CSI every night will dull the brain and make you unhappy.

    Spiritual: If that sounds like religion... it could be. Not everyone thinks so. But there is a need within humans for something other than a hearty breakfast, a jog through the park, and a piano lesson. If church isn't your thing.... try a book club, a bowling league, volunteering at the hospital....

  13. #13
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    I read once that the Chinese have a pictograph (?) that can mean either opportunity or danger. The people who see opportunity are the ones who are happy. Quantum Physics seems to be confirming this to the extent that it posits that we each create our own reality. I've often thought that when I was looking for a partner in life my first quality would be: is she happy in life?

  14. #14
    LBKA punkncat's Avatar
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    The decisions we made to eliminate this core group of friends and family wasn't without thought. It was the product of the advice and counseling of a professional, and the applied lessons from it. In that respect we don't feel badly about what needed to be done, perhaps nostalgic on occasion. My concern in respect to this situation is that now that we eliminated the chaff and gotten down to a core of true, good people whom care about us and what is good for us moving forward, do we even WANT to collect another group of social buddies? Seeing as how I apparently can't Facebook without ticking people off....

    The challenge being that you don't meet new people hanging out around the house with the SO, and whether either of us actually want to spend our energies in that way. Making new (real) friends takes a lot of time and energy. We are good friends who are happy with one another, enjoy spending time together. I think the major distinction has come in that we have learned to accept who our true friends are and whom has become or remains an acquaintance, and the latter list is a lot bigger than it used to be.

    I laughed more than a bit at the "Get off my lawn!" comment, and luckily (or perhaps not so) I haven't gotten quite to that point. I appreciate and take council from several of the comments made and see clearly that I am not the only one experiencing this. Thanks for your thoughts and comments.
    Last edited by punkncat; 01-26-15 at 09:19 AM.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member locolobo13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by punkncat View Post
    ...I have found that I prefer hanging around the house with my wife more than I desire going over to other peoples hanging out. It makes it really hard to meet people when you don't go out...
    You either married the right wife or the wrong one.


  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
    I think that when you start thinking about whether or not to spend time with other people you will have a story in your head about why or why not. You have to remember that it's only a story. If you go into situations without preconceived notions you may find yourself more interested in the event. Remember...disappointment lives in the shadow of expectation.
    +1

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    You have entered The Curmudgeon Zone

  18. #18
    Crawlin' up, flyin' down bikingshearer's Avatar
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    There is no surer way to feel good than to help someone else. Sounds like pablum and hokem, but it really is true. Look for ways ot give back - even if nobody ever gave you anything in your life. Look for groups in your area where you can lend a hand. Church, the library, a homeless shelter, a food bank, a school, a service organization (Rotary, Kiwanis. Lions, etc.), a veteran support organization, a bicycling advocacy organization . . . the possibilities are endless. Try one. If it isn't for you, try another one. But keep trying. You will be doing yourself a big favor.
    "I'm in shape -- round is a shape." Andy Rooney

  19. #19
    Senior Member bikecrate's Avatar
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    Actually, having an isolated cabin in the woods has always been a fantasy of mine. However, I'm an introvert and I find spending time around people physically and mental draining many times. So the idea of having a sanctuary away from humanity sounds kind of appealing.

  20. #20
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tractorlegs View Post
    Get off my lawn.
    Both of you get off my lawn.
    I've found the desire to go out and mingle to have faded with age, especially when much of what I was doing gave me the feeling of been there, done that. My ex-wife's family has a cabin in the woods, and we used to like to get up there when we could do so alone. But she came from a family of extroverts who loved to cram as many people as possible in there, and that wasn't fun after a while.

  21. #21
    Nobody mconlonx's Avatar
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    I go back and forth from working retail to some non-retail job. When I work the non-retail jobs, I miss the steady flow of people... and endless BS. When I work the retail jobs, I find out why I quit retail on a regular basis.

    I have immense patience with people and that just seems to be growing with age. What I have also trained to do is to self-censor and limit spontaneous Tourettes-like outbursts. Sometimes it just can't be helped... but for the most part, I will smile, nod, and keep the hate to myself. If they are ********, I would be doing them a favor by letting them know it...

    Call it a crisis, call it a meltdown, whatever, but this past year has been one of purge and rebuilding. Foreclosure, bankruptcy, divorce. Instead of finding an apt, I decided to start vandwelling. Which put me in a situation flexible enough that I could caretake my mentally disabled son when his mother (ex-no.1) called for help. Getting back in with those exes netted me a PT job through the Fall after the bikeshop PT job seasonally stopped. I cut meat on their beef farm, but also took on additional tasks, helping out their slaughtering operation.

    A cabin in the woods, you say...? As a result of getting back into the good graces of ex-no.1-in-laws, they're letting me build them a shack in the woods:


    8 x 12, timber frame, board and batten siding. The window and others are recycled from the farm or other sources. The frame was from a local community college's timber framing course; all the other wood is off the farm, cut on-site with a woodmizer. Ostensibly (and permitted as) a sugar shack, it will first be a tiny off-grid house for me.

    Originally, we'd planned to hit the road in a tiny house or RV/TT this past Sept. Then "we" became just me, and I stumbled onto vandwelling. I'd still thought to get mobile in the early Fall, but current professional job in publishing has worked out. And where I'd cut my living expenses and lifestyle down to where I could afford to be a bike mechanic, I'm now saving mad bank for inevitably fleeing the area for points... away. I never used to have the patience for this kind of long term vision, so that's a benefit of age-related wisdom.

    All my stuff in the world now fits in a van and 5 x 10 storage unit. And this Spring, things I haven't touched in a year of storage will go through a Final Purge. There's now more people in my life, but way less stuff. I couldn't afford a Vette and twentysomething blonde for my midlife crisis, so this will have to do.

    And in the meantime... I'm not losing hair, but it's all turning grey. I don't heal or recover as well as I used to. Easier to gain weight than to lose it. Harder to go harder regarding anything physical.

    I don't mind getting older. In fact, I haven't got to a point where I'd say "Man I wish I was still (XX) years old," not if it meant giving up hard-earned experience. And my life hasn't sucked, on balance; I like where I'm headed.
    I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.

  22. #22
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    punkncat, I'm not saying this is for you, but both my wife and I refuse to get caught up in the social media thing. Neither of us have active facebook accounts, no twitter accounts, and our cell phones are, by design, NOT linked to our e-mail accounts. If someone wants to talk with us, call us. If you want to send an e-mail, know that we'll get to it when we get to it. We have a group of friends that we hang with, make new friends easily and have our hobbies. We both have zero need to be one of those married to their cell phone, walking around texting.
    Perhaps if you just make the whole social media thing something that you use sparingly, and take time to think about e-mail responses, maybe your feelings about interfaces will change.
    Roccobike BF Official Thread Terminator

  23. #23
    Lost Again gitarzan's Avatar
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    I'm 60. As I have gotten older I have made it a point to make friends, tolerate differences and try to help people. Not every friend is my best friend, but I like people and whether we have differences or not.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jseis View Post
    Is a ukulele player in a mandolin town and banned from all bars by the chief of police unless he leaves his strings and gravy at the front door.

  24. #24
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    A few comments ...

    First, personally, I find social media a great way to keep people at arm's length, while still maintaining contact.

    I'm not big on in-person contact with most people. We're busy ... we both work full-time, we spend time in the evening and on weekends cycling and participating in other sports, and we enjoy the local entertainment (theatre, symphony, etc.) relatively regularly. Therefore, we might get together with friends and family once a year ... maybe once every couple years ... sometimes even longer than that ... and if we happen to be living near family, we might get together a few times a year.

    And that's OK. It can be nice to see people in person once in a while, but we keep in touch through social media ... through Facebook and emails, NOT the phone ... I don't like phones, I don't do phones. My small group of Facebook friends consists mainly of family and that's how we communicate. Fortunately, there is very little drama ... my family tends to emply a fairly casual but friendly "live and let live" approach.


    Second ... I think purging or eliminating a group of friends and family is a bit extreme. That sounds like a deliberate act. Maybe it's because I move a lot, but my group of friends drifts. I'll be somewhat close to a few people for a little while, then I'll move and gradually lose contact with those people for several years, then maybe we might connect again for a bit. No drama. No deliberate slamming the door in their faces. Nothing unfriendly. Drifting in and out of each others lives is just how it is. I am friends on Facebook with a small group of girls I went to high school with. We were reasonably close ... then I moved, as I do and we drifted apart ... then there was a 25th reunion a number of years ago. I couldn't go because I'm half a world away, but we reconnected. We haven't seen each other in person in 30 years (although I would like to one year soon), but we exchange bits and pieces of our lives now. And who knows, we might keep doing that, or we might drift again.


    Third ... get a tent and do some touring? You make it sound like that's some sort of unusual and extreme act. IMO, travelling and touring ... whether by bicycle or some other form of transportation, whether with a tent or staying in other accommodation ... should be a regular and vital part of a person's life. I have trouble going more than about 2 months without travelling somewhere for at least a weekend or long weekend ... and it is very important to take a longer holiday at least once a year.

    So yes ... start frequenting the Touring forum here. Get a touring bicycle (if you don't have one already), get touring equipment ... and start hitting the road for a long weekend once a month ... or more!


    Fourth ... you've got to live your own life. Do things that interest you. This is a cycling forum, therefore you must be interested in cycling ... so cycle more. Try out different kinds of cycling, explore, experiment. Take classes on various subjects. Try out different sports and hobbies. Travel lots. Don't worry about what others are doing ... do your own thing. Along the way, friends may drift into or out of your life ... and that's OK. Meanwhile, you're enjoying life.

  25. #25
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    I thought the name of this post was "golden otter" (I'm on my phone) I am disappointed.

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