I raced my very first Old Timers National a short while ago, and, at the risk of letting on just how old I really am, I must admit that I enjoyed myself immensely. While there, I ran into Dave McCoy, a gentleman who rides in the Master class. Dave, it’s said, is in his mid-60s and rides a 450 Maico quite rapidly.
One of the people in our group said, “Isn’t he a bit too old to be riding motocross?”
Hmmmm. Good question. However, I was able to get a copy of a little-known section of the AMA rules—a section on rider ineligibility. These strange rules are kept hidden in a vault by Joe Parkhurst, who some say is in his 80s, but who is still riding steadily.
Anyway, after plying Joe with drinks and an inflatable rubber life-sized doll, he gave me a copy of those rules, and here they are, for your edification.
AMA Rules on How to Tell When You’re Too Old to Ride Motocross— Section 12
You’re too old to ride motocross when:
1. You sink your teeth into a big, thick steak … and they stay there.
2. You look forward to ten-minute motos.
3. Everything hurts after a moto, and what doesn’t hurt, doesn’t work.
4. You get leg cramps from bending down and lubing your chain.
5. All the members in the Over the Hill Gang look like kids.
6. You can remember short-travel suspensions.
7. Your knees buckle easily and your leathers buckle hard.
8. You start looking for the white flag after the first lap or two.
9. You get a lump in your throat (instead of your shorts) when a pretty girl walks by.
10. You get lapped by the water truck.
11. You go out to the track the night before just so you don’t have to get up in the morning.
12. Your back goes out more often than you do.
13. You get to know your doctor on a first-name basis.
14. You have more stuff in the medicine cabinet than in your tool chest.
15. A lot of your friends have shiny heads.
16. You know everything there is to know about bikes, but no one ever asks you about them.
17. The worst part of your day is when you have to wake up.
18. You still like to look at pretty girls, but have a hard time remembering why.
19. You buy the most powerful bike on the market so you can get a holeshot and won’t have to fight through the pack.
20. You can remember when all the tracks used to be “a lot tougher and much more challenging.”
21. You park your bike on top of a hill, so you can bump-start it, instead of kick-starting.
22. You break a bike during a race and breathe a sigh of relief.
23. You know the names of all those Italian bikes that used to be around in the ‘50s.
24. You find out that your kid is a jerk pit racer.
25. You start thinking about restoring one of “those grand old singles.”
26. You own a Greeves T-shirt and it doesn’t fit anymore.
27. You learn how to hog corners and keep faster riders from passing you.
28. You can limp convincingly after a hard race without having to fake it.
29. You have to go to the bathroom right before the start of a race, even though you just went five minutes ago.
30. You walk through the pits with your head held high, so your chin doesn’t rub against your riding jersey.
31. The little gray-haired lady at the sign-up booth is your wife, or your girlfriend. Or both.
32. You try to deduct your racing injuries on Medicare.
33. You’re registered for the Organ Donation program and the only thing they’ll take is your left retina.
34. Your friends sure look old lately.
35. You’re sorry the minute you send an entry in.
36. You just can’t stand people who are intolerant.
37. The old guy who runs the gate calls you “sir.”
38. You start to bitch a lot about dangerous jumps, dust, lack of flagmen and mini-bikes being allowed to ride in the same state on the same day.
39. Someone says “Canadian” and you think of whiskey instead of Can-Am.
40. You start to tell a story and everyone goes to sleep.
41. You are shocked at how young Dick Mann still looks.
42. Someone says four-stroke and you think of BSA instead of an XR500.
43. Your hearing aid puts out more voltage than your CDI.
44. Getting in shape means cutting down to one six-pack a night.
45. You turn out the lights in your camper early at night to save the batteries; instead of for romantic reasons.
46. Your bike doesn’t break anymore.
47. You join a health club and only use the steam bath.
48. You buy a certain kind of boots because the buckles are easy to use.
49. You explode a Gold Belt when landing from a big jump.
50. You actually remember the first issue of Dirt Bike.