...I just passed the 50 year mark for riding dirt bikes, and I can truly say that I enjoy it as much now as I ever have. For a long time it has been about the bike, the mountains, and the experience... and not the speed and/or competition..
Back in the late 50s, riding the Buddy Stubbs prepared BSA 650 Spitfire Scrambler I purchased from him, a fast bike if there ever was one, more than once riding country dirt roads in the west part of the Valley I hit 130 mph plus, thinking this is about "as good as it gets".
Looking back I think "how stupid" I was back then, and how fortunate to have survived those early riding years. Still carry scars from the accident I had on the BSA that put me in the hospital, once again fortunate to be alive.
Took too many close calls and one near fatal accident to wake me up. But once I did I realized that, as you put it, it's "about the bike, the mountains and the experience", not the speed or whether you 'win' a competition you find yourself tempted to participate in.
Love these smaller dual sport trail bikes, and truly enjoy the time I find to explore this White Mountain Rim Country area on them! This is what makes biking enjoyable for as long as we want to stay with it..