Need help from experienced riders. new vs old quality

Which bike to keep

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Sold your dirt bikes? I'm sad!

I still have a bunch of antique and newer road motorcycles. Kept the sports cars. I also collect tractors and farm implements, things that make loud noises...all kinds of different interests. The one bug I'm glad I dodged was flying. My father was into it and the price and associated costs climbed faster than a sport plane did!

Yep. I was sad to sell. 2 KTMs and a Yamaha. I used to ride with my sons from mini bikes to trips when they were older out west on big bikes. They are in their 20s and sports, football, college, beach, etc, we were not getting out much. My daughters ride horses. The skills and bikes were degrading between the rarer outings. When they sat unused for a year, I sold them.

I don't miss the bikes, but I do miss the camping weekends when we all rode together. I didn't have much interest riding without them. On the brighter side, I started racing cyclocross and get out more on group rides I passed on when kids dominated weekends.

Choices and priorities. Horses put a big dent in fun budget.
My daughters ride horses.

You poor...poor...*******! A big dent? More like totaled the budget! Heheh!

Yeah, I have a few of those myself. I'll trade two of the nags for a rebuildable enduro!

Nags, like racing bikes, are cheap. It's the dirt, the barns, the fence the feed, the vet, the farrier that take some money. Horses...turning green into brown....





Not road bikes or motorbikes, but still fun tools!
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You poor...poor...*******! A big dent? More like totaled the budget! Heheh!

Yeah, I have a few of those myself. I'll trade two of the nags for a rebuildable enduro!

Nags, like racing bikes, are cheap. It's the dirt, the barns, the fence the feed, the vet, tools!
Yep. I keep trying to convince my wife and daughters to give up the horses and take up something with 2 wheels. No success thus far. I grew up a city boy so horses were an unknown. Wife grew up a hick riding and showing. I had no clue what I was getting into. It's a whole nother level of bleeding cash.

Plus it's a dangerous sport. Way more than anything with two wheels. You forgot lessons, show fees, trailering, boots, saddles, clothes, and the occasional ER fees when someone gets thrown or falls off. And leasing another horse or pony when one of the owned ones go lame or get injured for a while.
Similar histories! I was a townie, but pretty much grew up milking, making hay, working for farmers. Wife had ponies and horses since she was a little girl. Now it's beefers and nags.

You better believe horses and riding them is dangerous! I could tell you some VERY hard horse crash tales and all about the lifetime injuries that followed. A neighbor drowned when he became unhorsed in a lake.

Wife was 4-H so no formal showing or riding lessons, but she found out the cost of boarding away from her family farm when she was in college.Show is that stuff priced out of this world! Almost as bad as Castelli cycling gear! LOL! I think my last hat was $250 and that was a 'cheap' one!

In my hood, the nags are pretty cheap. During the recession people could not GIVE them away on craigslist. To this day prices for horseflesh are reasonable as long as you're not looking for some pedigree-carrying dressage or jumper nag. Western and pleasure are still less than a Claris/Aluminum road bike.

I also found these folks for good deals on tack: Just up the road from me and they import leather goods from China like TREK does carbon bike frames.

Sorry for the hijack, OP! We got carried away....again!
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At the level my girls are involved in, the horses/ponies are cheap, everything else is ridiculous. Plus, when they outgrow one or it goes lame, you're stuck with a monthly bill for an animal that can't even be ridden. Much more than an extra bike hanging on the wall. I've donated horses to college equestrian teams or riding schools rather than try and wait around for a good buyer. I've got a pony now that is too old and small to be ridden hard every day. Nice quiet pony to learn on, but he's not a show pony for jumping or events. He has zero market value and is just a very expensive pet.

Then again, makes it very easy for me to roll my eyes if complaints are made about the cost of my hobbies. Nice tractors. All my horses are boarded elsewhere. least the tractors make me some money. The beef cattle are saleable and edible. The horses...not so much. Before the Great Recession I actually made money selling a nag. Once. After that...used riding shorts are easier to sell or give away!

Neighbors are constantly bombarded by pleas to take in, adopt horses that parents can't sell.

Cycling is not a 'cheap' sport or hobby, but when I hear guys whine about the cost of a mid-line racing bike I have to laugh. I'm guessing they never bought machineguns, an airplane, a high performance ski boat or any of life's other genuinely expensive toys.

Maybe that's why I advise riders to keep the bikes they have. They really don't take up much space and resale value? Maybe just a bit better than a horse! LOL! least the tractors make me some money. The beef cattle are saleable and edible. The horses...not so much. Before the Great Recession I actually made money selling a nag. Once. After that...used riding shorts are easier to sell or give away!


I have another horse dad that I hang out with at shows. Opposite upbringing, but same "enthusiasm" for the cost and time commitment of the sport . He grew up poor on a dairy farm within Amish-Mennonite SE PA-though he is not part of any plain sect. He always tells funny stories. He tells his daughter, "my childhood hobby was raising cows for 4-H--at the end of the season, I would sell the cow and make money, or we would eat it. " Suffice it to say that he has a very different view of livestock, including horses, when they've reached the end of their useful life. His proposal that if the kids aren't riding them, they have to eat them, doesn't seem to be winning over too many people.

Too many horses are coming off the track, or dumped by parents to really make any money off horses in our area. For many girls, horse interest peaks at 13, parents buy a horse, and then interest is downgraded in priority when high school starts and boys, friends, and other school related distractions become more predominant. As they get towards college age, the parents are all looking to sell or "dump" horses that they just paid a premium price for three years earlier. I went through the same thing with my sons with dirt bikes, but the bikes are a lot more tolerant of being left alone for months without any real attention. Too many parents of too many 17-18 year old equestrians are trying to sell some horse that went sour through neglect. I am behind my buddy on this one. If they are not being ridden, then I might recruit my buddy to teach these kids how to butcher and eat them. My wife rides (and works to pay for this absurdly expensive "sport") so I can at least benignly ignore what happens at the barn. I know she is at least riding everything we own regularly.

If I had a barn, I might keep old bikes. They take up plenty of space in a garage after you've already stored or hung the half dozen bikes you ride regularly, and any other toys.

Machine guns? Now there is a hobby that might work just great with horses.
I do think you are better off mounting it on a motorcycle side car.

We have a biatholon cyclocross in PA in mid summer. We could add an automatic rifle division although it might be a bit heavy to carry on a bike.
One of the gun clubs I belong to also does a biathlon, but it is running and shooting. The rifles stay on a bench or in a rack and the athletes run loop routes that bring them back to the shooting stations.

There's a 'Do you carry a gun while riding?' thread somewhere in this forum. I posted pics of a few of my firearms in it. I think there's one of my Wilier's with a STEN gun propped up against it. Go to YouTube and search using "Bulletfest Ohio". Yeah...I'm the same CampyBob that put on CampyBob's famous Bulletfest machinegun shoots. There's lots of good video from those events online and if you see a skinny guy in a contractor's vest wandering around behind the firing line...that's me.

This biathlon takes place in the spring near State College PA. The winner gets a jug of hootch. .22 rifles stay on a table between laps. My buddy is a big hunter and crack shot so we are thinking of jumping in for fun. It's different when your heart rates up around 180 so we'll see. You can also do a variation in the summer at Lake Placid.

I like the running biathlon idea but lately have been sticking to 5ks to avoid nagging injuries that develop as running miles add up. Same idea. Can you settle down and shoot when your heart is racing. Great excuse to get a .22 and start target shooting.

Shooting is an organized high school sport in PA. I would love to see cross country running or biking biathlons added into the mix.

There is a lot of conflict in PA between hunters, gun clubs, and two wheeled vehicles over trail access on state game lands and other land. Supposedly 4wheelers, which are permitted, don't spook the deer but dirt bikes and mtbs, which are not permitted, do. My old dirt bike club had good relations with gun/hunting clubs as far as trail access, but these types of biathlon activities would go a long way in bridging the divide. If I'm riding in some areas on a Saturday during rifle season, I'm wearing bright orange.

Sorry for Off Topic.
Can you settle down and shoot when your heart is racing.

Yes. Pulse pump, as it's called, is an issue though. From standing position the best strategy is to use a heavy shooty mitt or glove for the forearm rest hand. Hold hard with bone-on-bone support...elbow against ribs (no chicken wing). For prone, use the sling! Tighten up on the trigger when on target and release the shot between muzzle jumps. Keep your eyes OPEN and on the target as the shot is released. Follow through of the shot is critical for accuracy.

Damned near every hunter in my area has a huge truck and an ATV or UTV. Mostly, they are old and fat or young and lazy. Walking into a blind or tree stand from the truck...that's a short hike!

No real problem with MTB's here as there are so few and everyone stays out of the woods during hunting season when anything moving 'looks like a deer!'. We do not have anywhere the acres of Public Game Lands that Pa. does, but we restrict ATV's and UTV's as much as MTB's. Some of the State parks are finally opening some MTB trails after years of claiming "But erosion!!!1ONE!!!".

Equestrian trails are everywhere in the State park system...less trail erosion?

We do have lots of private MTB areas and even a really cool indoor MTB playground (Google Ray's Indoor Mountain Bike) and most of our hunting is done on privately own land.

The Rails-To-Trails network is just getting to the point of being 'good' here. Connections are being made and over the next 20 years it may finally amount to something.
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.Mostly, they are old and fat or young and lazy. Walking into a blind or tree stand from the truck...that's a short hike!

Maybe I will set up the NOS Cinelli as a Cyclocross bike and hit the biathlon circuit. In PA, state game lands are financed through the sale of hunting licenses. The hunters want ATVs so they are welcome on game lands. They don't want mtbs or dirtbikes so we get kicked off or harassed even when we are riding out of season. If you check out this month's Bicycling, there is an article about a NM bow hunter who goes after Elk on his mtb. Very cool.

I do represent some major players in the firearms industry so I try and be careful commenting on a public forum about anything gun related. Without breaking that rule, I am somewhat distressed that our citizen "militia" and sportsmen don't spend equal time working on their fitness and cardio, as they do shooting paper targets at the range and pontificating about imaginary and unlikely scenarios where a 350 pound Type 2 diabetic hypertensive who can't jog a mile in under 20 minutes, and struggles getting in and out of his pick up, saves the day with his AR 15. The military spends a lot more time in boot camp/basic, running, marching, and exercising guys than shooting. I'd hate to see how our citizen shooters would perform if their heart rates were even slightly elevated from a little walking or exercising. The nordic countries have the right idea in terms of training citizens.

Hiking out to where the game actually is and tracking them weeks before the season opens is why the same group of hunters harvest deer every year, and the other group drinks lots of beer, rides around on ATVs to their stands, and admires each other's pick ups at the local convenience store while talking about the deer they almost got. I will get off my soap box but in a SHTF scenario, It would take a lot less time to train an already fit person to shoot reasonably well under pressure, than train said 350 pound Type 2 Diabetic hypertensive to jog a few miles in the woods without being heard or seen. I commend your gun club for holding this type of biathlon event. My wife and I were at the Lake Placid biathlon range a few summers ago, and the instructor got her shooting 20/20 (10 prone/10 standing) after mtb riding around the xcountry skiing course for a few hours. She had never picked up a rifle in her life. (For some reason, the instructor spent a lot more time with my attractive wife than me--my training consisted of, "ever shoot a bolt action rifle before, OK shoot ten prone and ten standing until you're getting at least 18/20") It doesn't surprise me at all that the skinny guy at a machine gun shoot stands out like a sore thumb. Ok, now I will step down from the soapbox about the general physical state of so-called "sportsmen."

That's another reason I gave up on the dirt bikes. I can roll out of my house and ride for 3 hours on a roadie or cyclo before I can even load trailers, ride up to the better areas, gear up, unload bikes and get moving. Anything close to the metro areas have been closed off to dirt bikes. I'm about 20 minutes away from good mtb trails. You need at least an 8 hour stretch to get a few hours of dirt bike riding in; or a weekend to throw some camping in. Some day, I will have my cabin in the sticks where I can just start them up and ride door to door. For now, I am happy cycling out to my daughters and wife's horse show, or getting a cyclocross race in before they've even unloaded the horses and started schooling.