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I hear you Miguel. My stroke was a left-medula-ishemic type. The neurologist showed my MRI and told me I was a very lucky man.
He pointed to the white speck on the scan and said if that area had been to either side, or larger, I would have suffered permanent disabling damage.

Here in Florida, the summers are long, hot, and humid. Essentially, from May 1 to mid-December, it's Summer.
The humidity is what hits the most, as the body can't evaporate perspiration to cool the body.
While working on my bikes outside, even with a fan (actually a contributing factor) I twice got very dehydrated.
I felt fatigued and was making my way through my shop to the inside, when I felt faint and had to drop to my knees to keep from blacking out.
After a few minutes, I was able to pass through the door inside where I downed a quart of sports drink to hydrate and add electrolytes. 20 minutes later, I was fine.

The arthritis (spinal stenosis) is in the lower back due to age (and probable contributions of dirt bike riding when younger), where the discs dry out and vertebral distance decreases.
As my orthopedist stated, "Welcome to the bad back club!". He stated most everyone starts to develop bad backs in their mid-30s, they just don't become apparent until late 40s to early 50s.
I told him I didn't care for his damn club at all. That was 13 years ago, but now my right side is feeling jealous of the attention the left got.
Getting old sucks! The brain is young, the body fails it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 · (Edited)

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Sounds like we had very similar minor strokes. One in 10 of us get it. I don't feel a thing now, but I never thought I'd have a minor stroke either. I'm energetic, vegan, don't smoke, not overweight, no stress, good life, eat healthy. Still, shit happens - apparently, a lot more during months of weather when dehydration can occur. We were both very lucky, Sub.

Yeah, a friend who is in his 70's was just complaining about age, only yesterday.
He's been getting vertigo and falling down a lot.

I hope I stay young, like some of my Japanese friends: Some still race carts, some sail catamarans and some are out in the fields, farming. I want to be like them in 20 years. My wife's grandmother used to ride a tricycle with 3 kids aboard, for up to 12km into town, in her mid-60's. She lived to 101 exceeded her goal of living to 100, only she got Alzheimers at 98 and lost count. Poor lady only had one tooth left in her last years; she'd never liked medicine or visiting a dentist, for that matter.

Was talking to Atif just this evening and catching up. He cracks me up. Said he wants to attend riding schools and learn to get his elbow down (on the track only of course). He's 58 ferchrisakes! LOL.

You're getting me inspired to not waste time. We've all gotta live and enjoy what we like most, for as long as possible. I'm 53 this year and will ride more this year. Must call my friend about that spring ride we talked about doing.
 

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Vertigo after the age of 40 can be caused by vestibular crystals in the balance centers. Otherwise called "Vestibular Balance Disorder".
It can also occur during head trauma, as in an accident.
There are crystals in the balance centers that can get dislodged and float around the vestibular canals.
When these crystals make contact with the hairs inside the canals that sense fluid motion, they can cause vertigo, disorientation, etc.
This is why I waited too long during my stroke to go to the hospital for an injection of "clot busters".
My wife suffers periodically from VBD and I thought I now had it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Thanks, Sub. Your explanation makes sense. No apology necessary. There's only so much we can talk about an online magazine's article.

My friend in the U.K. has recently had his second dose of the mRNA vaccine, so he's unsure if vertigo he's been suffering is a side effect. He is now on medication for vertigo, which he says gives around 90% relief.
 

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Miguel, I've lived with arthritis for 15 years now and I avoid the anti-inflammatory tabs as much as I can, but some days (especially in our Gawd-awful winter months) it can be quite debilitating. Martial arts helps but kneeling on the hardwood can be a killer at times. Strokes are no nice thing so both you and Sub take care of yourselves.
Daryl
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 · (Edited)
Arthritis must be tough, especially in colder months.

Our planned trip through the mountains this weekend on sportsbikes, is to be delayed for a couple of weeks, in an effort to make friend's plans coincide.

Was invited to another event by one of the group, riding off-road next throughout weekend, covering some 60km off-road per day.
I've confirmed today that I will attend. A good opportunity to use the Honda CRM250 2-stroke bike.
I was subsequently told by my friend that a couple of the more experienced riders are very quick on the dirt, with MX race experience. I'll probably be quite a bit slower, then. LOL.
I've no intention of splatting myself against trees (even fully armoured & dressed for such antics), on my first time doing any serious off-roading in over 2 decades, nearing 3.
I don't mind being laughed at. Self-preservation is of greater priority than massaging my ego, or broken limbs.

My 9-year-old was keen to join me, but knowing he'd be butting his helmet against my back, and I'm probably going to be falling off at some point, best I do this first off-road trip with the group alone. I might even begin to like the CRM250 and begin using it more in the future. Definitely needs it. Riding on the local beach loses it's novelty after a while (though my son is keen to go again). Will post some pics after next weekend.

Stay well Daryl, and hopefully enjoy plenty of riding this summer!
136032
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 · (Edited)
Sod gardening, I’m ready for my kind of dirty weekend. Rain tomorrow and a brighter Sunday riding off-road in Shizuoka (Around Fuji - lots of hills - we used to live there, so I know it won't be flat!)... Spent yesterday going over the CRM250R, replacing old hoses, and even changing the fork oil and dropping the front a tad. It was horribly vague, and not confidence inspiring at all. Seems a lot better now. Fork oil was very old & black. Yuk.

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Next weekend will be riding with friends over the beautiful mountain roads to Izu, over Hakone turnpike, Skyline roads to Izu Kogen.

Had planned to take the SP2 as I did last year, but I’ve had the itch to scratch for years - of wanting to ride the Husky on mountain roads.
It would be rude not to, since she’s in such rude health, despite being 15 years old now. Can't believe I've owned it for 4 years and only done a few thousand km. The SP2 will have to wait for another opportunity, as will the RVF.

SOON!

The SMR450's oil is freshly changed, all lubed up, washed and almost ready to go. Just a new front tire to fit, as the current one is nearing the end of its life. Fortunately, I keep some stock of new tires & tools to do the job. So glad Jondog taught me to change my own tires. I hope you join me in spirit, my friend.

Other road bikes that'll be with us, are mostly a lot more modern with up to 3 times the power, so it’ll be entertaining to catch them through the corners.

But first, off-roading - with experienced enthusiasts. This will be fun. Apparently one older guy (In his early 60's) is very quick on dirt. I fully expect to get filthy and fall off. Hopefully not a lot.

Better pics soon.
 

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Have fun out there. Sounds like a great trip. I'm jealous.
Love the Husky, I almost trades my Aprilia for a 510 years ago after a test ride through Denver. Still search every once in awhile to see if something locally pops up cheap. For the type of rising I do these days, would probably make the most sense. That or a naked.
 
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Discussion Starter · #31 · (Edited)
Well, if you haven't ever ridden rocky, bumpy loose dirt & gravel roads, after this weekend - I'd heartily recommend it.
The weather forecast of 100% rain on Saturday and 100% sunshine on Sunday was true to form.
Despite the weather, and the leading rider's glasses steaming up, we went for a ride on dirt in the pouring rain on Saturday afternoon, after riding 180km to get halfway from Tokyo to Nagoya, deep in the mountains.
The organizer wanted to avoid losing too much opportunity, and so that was my first foray into off-road group riding after we'd stopped for lunch and lowered our tire pressures.

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I think riding on sand, and sliding the CRM250 on the beaches near us helped. I didn't expect it would so much, as the beach has no roads, so I had no idea how accurate my lines would be, but I wasn't afraid of how the bike would react when it would inevitably slide. Although I had to work hard especially on the straights, to avoid losing sight of the two leading riders, I just about kept up with them. When we stopped, I had a big smile on my face. I'd enjoyed the squirmy response to throttle and the suspension working hard and was pleased I'd not been left behind. Euan, my friend who has been doing this sort of riding with the group for 2 decades, commented that I was very quick for a first-timer on, but then having seen my road riding, said he'd expected I wouldn't be slow.

I'd prepared the CRM as best I could, even draining the (dirty black!) fork oil the night before, and refilling with slightly heavier weight (7.5) oil, as recommended from having done a google search and finding info on the CRM250 forum. Put some paper packing tape on the sliders and used that to push out any dirt trapped on the oil seals (which after the weekend, clearly did the trick, as one of the fork legs had weeped a weeny bit, before). I also checked the air pressure in the rear shock reservoir & added a tad more. I'd dropped the forks 15mm, for more front-end weight bias and to help quicken the steering. The bike had felt immediately a lot better composed and responsive to steering inputs on the road, where before, the forks had seemed vague and wallowy with insufficient damping, and hardly been confidence-inspiring. Shit like this happens with old bikes that weren't well maintained by previous owners. I have hardly used it, since buying 4 years ago, and adding some cool things like a big expansion chamber, noist silencer and a big front brake conversion, all found used on internet auctions, presumably from other bikes which have died of old age. The intention for it had always been to ride it on the beach with our now 9 year old son, and it has done its job. It's not been a bike I've loved much and I bought it out of nostalgia, as my first bike when I got to Japan 23 years ago had been a faded pink CRM250, I bought cheap, as a non-runner and fixed at the previous owner's house before riding it away.

We refilled our tanks for the umpteenth time, as Sunday the local countryside gas stations would be closed, and we'd have about 100km riding in the morning, about a third of which would be off-road. In the rain, it was easy to see telltale rainbow coloured signs and we discovered that my carb was leaking a tiny bit of fuel when stopped, which I guessed was probably the float needle valve. I'd need to remember to switch the fuel tap off when stopped. No biggie. It's a 1991-1993 2-stroke Honda, and still going well.

We arrived to the Ryokan guest house soaked to the bone. My Aerostitch suit had tried but failed to keep me dry. I looked like I'd pissed myself! Luckily, the tradition is to wear a light cotton robe and have a hot bath. Perfect. I squeezed out water from my gloves, newspaper stuffed my new MX riding boots, and hung everything to dry, before we ate a traditional Japanese meal, drank plenty of beers and I got to know this bunch of biking enthusiasts. They're all riders of bigger bikes too, from a Ducati Mike Hailwood replica to (expensively problematic!) modern BMW sports bikes, through classic off-road and 2-stroke bikes. A good bunch of guys, not atypical - when it comes to people have lots of experience of riding and adventure.

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The next day was even more fun. Although the speeds didn't change, despite being drier, now we could see better. I loved every minute of off-roading, and by now was relegated to the front, with Euan and the trip organizer, who despite being 62 years old, was clearly no slouch. I could see he wasn't trying his hardest, but his lines were well chosen, where mine were less accurate. They'd pull a lead over me on corners where I'd slacken, so I'd keep the throttle pinned on the few straights in between, as an effort to catch them, but they'd also open their throttles at every opportunity. Riding uphill was definitely faster and easier than downhill, as to be expected.

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136100


I noticed we were each quicker and more confident on dirt, than on occasional concreted bridges, etc. When the rear tyre would slide, it would be gradual, rather than sudden. I only began to lose the front once, but a foot on the ground, weight on the outside peg and a push on the inside, kept me upright. I hadn't forgotten the advice an old friend had given me in my 20's, when we'd toured from England to Greece, and ridden off-road on big enduro bikes.
Going fast clearly helped stability, as is usual on 2-wheels, and a loose grip on the bars, let the bike's suspension and geometry do its job, as I could feel the suspension working busily.

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I was pleasded, despite their years of experience I wasn't being left behind & could see glimpses of them in corners ahead. Then suddenly, my exhaust became really loud. I knew instantly I'd lost the silencer and stopped to go find it, hoping it hadn't been flung into the fast-flowing river . Yep. the single bolt holding it on had worked itself loose with all the vibrations I picked up a very slightly dented muffler lying on the dirt. Shortly after the following 2 riders then caught up. I re-configured one of my bungee cords to hold it steady, till we came to a farmer's house where the other two were waiting for us. I was kindly given some thick wire by the farmer, to hold it on with and loaned a pair of pliers.
The wire held it on for the rest of the trip, especially as the off-roading was then over.

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At around 2 pm, we stopped, as we'd lost the rear-most rider. Two went back to find it, and so they suggested as we had the longest trip home, we should part ways.

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We bade the others farewell, then Euan and rode into Shizuoka city & stopped for a (vegan, in my case!) burger, then some 2-stroke oil, as I didn't want to risk running low and had no idea how much was left in the tank integrated in the frame. Turned out I'd used roughly half of the 1L capacity. Good to know for the future.

We took local roads, to avoid the highway, riding over Hakone's mountain roads, and down winding roads, to Kamakura, as a much more scenic and interesting route home, than returning a full 200 km or so, on boring highways.

Washed the filthy CRM this Monday morning, refitted the muffler properly and took the minor dent off the silencer tip, then took the carb's float bowl off to see why it was dripping fuel from the overflow pipe. Hmm, the previous owner had used silicone seal because the float bowl gasket had hardened. Yuk!
Presuming Honda no longer makes the gasket, I've ordered an ATC 250R float bowl o-ring together with a needle valve from China that I cross-checked, and is the same float valve as I measured the CRM's to be. The o-ring is slightly different, but by bonding a small o-ring to the side of it, cut from the old gasket, I'm confident it'll work.
Also need a new air filter, as the old one is falling apart, but hopefully, as a service item, Honda still makes it. Will pay the very friendly local honda dealer a visit this afternoon. He'll be happy to hear I used the CRM for a dirty weekend.

All in all, despite its age, the CRM250 performed well. A lot of fun, more so off, than on road. To be expected, I guess. It was still fun to tour the beautiful country roads on knobly tires and slower than usual road bikes. Two of the riders each had an XR250, which is what I'd really wanted, before - but never found. They're sought after bikes that were discontinued in 2002, later replaced with CRF250's, which heavier and aren't as good, I'm told.

Euan rides an older XLR250R, which has slightly less aggressive gearing and a little more weight. One of the guys (Seems the quickest rider was relegated to the back this time since he could catch others in front if needed) had a higher capacity bore and longer duration, higher lift cam. Sure sounded nice!
The CRM250, being a 2-stroke has more power, but less torque. I'd probably have been slower, had I been riding their bikes with about 1/3rd less power. I dunno. I was enjoying spinning the rear, with the back squirming around on loose gravel

I've still much to learn about trail riding and am looking forward to the next time.

I hope this shared account, will inspire some of you to look into and possibly explore other riding opportunities than purely on-road riding, or even track.

Will be taking the Husky SMR450 to the mountains with friends next weekend, as planned - the first time I'll ride it on really nice roads, that I'm familiar with, having lived in the region, 10 years ago. They used to be my long way home from Tokyo. Can't wait. On with the next riding adventure!
 
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