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Thread: Riding with the Pirates

  1. #1
    maacova maacova's Avatar
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    Riding with the Pirates

    Ok a buddy of mine is a former football player and alum of Virginia Tech. He rides a Honda Vtx 1300 but is a member of the Richmond BMW club. Anyway he wants to go on this charity ride with this group called Hogs for Hokies. Great mission to raise money for scholarships in the name of the 32 killed at the school. This is a very well organized ride with groups meeting up from all over the state. Police escort towards the end as we got 50 miles from school. Our group of about 50 left Richmond area at 8 in the morning after breakfast and group meeting. The leader says we will be staying in the right lane on I-64 and pick up other groups along the way. We got on the interstate and out we go into the passing lane at 65-70. We were not making people happy as we blocked the passing lane the entire trip. As the group got bigger it got worse. Harley riders have gotten a secret memo that I never got. They have this double line staggered thing going that I did not feel was safe. Ridding on interstates with 250+ bikes is mind numbing but scary also. Stopped at the Harley dealership in Staunton VA for a great lunch. Finally got off the interstate and road Route 11 with police escort most of the way to Blacksburg. I told my buddy lets send the $32 bucks in next year and just meet them for lunch. I don't get why anybody would want to ride in a group of 250 on interstates. And what is the deal with very little or no safety gear. These are nice people. Harley needs to fix this rebel image it makes no sense. I saw women riding as passengers in flip flops. There was a group of 20 something sport bike riders and they had the gear on. I guess I am never going to be a pirate.

  2. #2
    OldBMWMaster JDOCKERY132445's Avatar
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    I feel your pain

    I have buddies who ride Harleys and I don't get the whole pirate thing either. I guess since we don't won the brand we will never "get it".
    Jerry Dockery
    309 N. 3rd. Ave.
    Kure Beach, NC 28449
    1996 R1100RT main bike & 1985 K100RS...too fast to believe.

  3. #3
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maacova View Post
    I don't get why anybody would want to ride in a group of 250 on interstates.
    It is an expression of a pathetic and plaintive cry, "notice me, oh please notice me", not unlike a grade schooler crying "pick me, oh pick me" when teams are chosen on the playground.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

  4. #4
    maacova maacova's Avatar
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    Gas Mileage

    Forgot to mention the two count them two gas stops. Can you imagine 200 bikes getting gas at the same time? I filled up before we left and 260 miles latter on arrival still had 2 bars left on the gauge of my 1150RT. It took us all day for what should have been a 4 hour ride.

  5. #5
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    I do not like group rides

    I don't fancy riding in large groups where riders zoom by in the same lane, horse around, and act irresponsibly. And that's in the first leg of the trip, before the mandatory beer stops. Later in the group rides, after 2 or 3 beer stops, you are trying to survive with numerous riders under the influence. Is that supposed to be fun?

    And yes, it takes all day to do what would normally take you 2 or 3 hours.

    It's just not for me. When I see a group of ridings flying the Jolly Roger, I tack to starboard and get away as quickly as I can!

    Harry
    2003 R1150RT - Silver

  6. #6
    Registered User
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    It's called posing and seems to be prevalent in todays' culture way beyond Harley riders. It is intensified by advertising. I will go out on a limb here and suggest that a certain amount of posing takes place in the "GS crowd" too, though of a different kind than the raghead thing.

  7. #7
    maacova maacova's Avatar
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    More comments

    No beer on this trip till the end. After the presentation at the school the group headed to the Harley dealer nearby for dinner and the party. We had enough and skipped this part. I did notice that almost nobody had gps on their bikes. They were all walking around asking how to get to the party from campus. I guess they just get in the large groups and let someone lead them around. Virginia has great roads for riding but the Interstates are not them. We had a great ride home on back roads. Stopped in Farmville to visit my daughter in college. The weather for the group ride Saturday was perfect. We rode most of the day Sunday in the rain. I liked the rain.

  8. #8
    Registered User Doubleplay's Avatar
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    Most of the "pirates" are not good or very novice riders and don't know how to handle their bikes in emergencies or twisties. Harley's or most of the same type bikes are meant to be ridden on the Interstates or on relatively straight roads or between watering stops anyway and they never learn to ride a bike properly.
    Flip-flops or running shoes are the normal attire along with no protection here in NC/SC.
    Helmets are a joke!!!! I wonder what happens when you get hit by a piece of rubber in the face doing 65-70 mph...
    2009 R1200GS LE

  9. #9
    Registered User lastsix's Avatar
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    All Harley people aren't pirates. I ride a Harley and a BMW. The Harley people I ride with wear all the gear...all the time. Riding in staggered formation is not just a Harley thing. When I ride in a group of BMWs we always ride in a staggered formation on the heavy traffic roads. Once we hit the back roads we spread out a lot more. When riding in a group the staggered formation is proper group riding etiquette.
    2010 R1200 RT
    2006 Harley-Davidson FLTSI

  10. #10
    John. jstrube's Avatar
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    I rode with my buddy in a 250 rider pack for Wounded Warriors on about a 44 mile ride that took 2 hours. I would not call it fun at all. They didn't even ride in, nor talk about a proper staggered formation. It was more like 2 lines riding past each other at alternating times. When they got to the Harley dealer's in Jamestown, they had one restroom for men & one for women. one hole each! Then they broke out the beer... I got the heck out of there before any of the drinkers rode off... I like beer, but not before riding. There were about 1% non-Harleys in the group, including a scooter & some sport bikes.
    John.

  11. #11
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maacova View Post
    Harley needs to fix this rebel image it makes no sense.
    it does, however, sell a couple hundred thousand motorcycles a year.

    interestingly, the scary thing for HD is the same for BMW... younger riders are not flocking to either brand.

    ian
    Go soothingly through the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.
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  12. #12
    Registered User Scott C's Avatar
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    I own a BMW and Harley Softail.

    Am going on a large Harley benefit run this weekend. I guess it's my pathetic
    inner voice saying "notice me,oh please notice me" thats making me do it.

    Well, its nice out tonight so time to ride the Harley for awhile and stumble around on the thing.
    2004 BMW 1150RT
    Secretary--Chicago Region BMW Owners Association.

  13. #13
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott C View Post
    Am going on a large Harley benefit run this weekend. I guess it's my pathetic inner voice saying "notice me,oh please notice me" thats making me do it.


    naw, it's your "i know you think i'm a dirtbag, but what you don't know is i carry a platinum amex card."

  14. #14
    Motorradfahrer jogitu's Avatar
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    There have been some big crashes associated with rides like that because of the tight packs. Inexperienced riders drinking beer in tight packs lead to nothing good. To be fair I have seen it in sport bike rides where they ride in the same packs. I never do those things because I don't trust anyone around me I don't know. I really don't trust some I do know. I have two friends that were plowed by other friends when they had to make quick stops and the buddy with them was not paying attention. If your mind went somewhere else for a second shame on you! Both of these happened in packs of two! Our local MOA has rides and everyone just shows up at the designated eatery at the designated time. I prefer the ride alone with my wife. When I got back into motorcycling I never really planned on her being on the bike. I defintely do not ride to be part of a pack, club, organization, gang or anything else that requires some conformity. I ride to be alone with my thoughts or more appropriately the voices in my head. Playing dress up like a gay pirate and riding with 200 mostly inexperienced riders is not my idea of fun. I am not not a snob, just secure enough that I don't need the validation of 200 people I don't know to tell me I am cool.
    Kevin
    "I ride therefore I am"

    2012 1600 GTL

  15. #15
    Registered User SilverSurfer's Avatar
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    When the Magna Riders Association was still in operation, we had several rallys. We always told everyone two things...

    First, ride your own ride. In other words, don't go out with the fast group if you can't keep up with them, and don't pretend that you can. Safety first, as we wanted everyone to make it back home. We had 3 different levels of groups that went out on rides, a fast group who would twist it and rip it, a mid-level group that still rode a pretty quick pace, and a slower group for those who just wanted to enjoy the scenery. We wouldn't let more than 8 bikes go in each group, just to make it easier to stay together when going through intersections and towns. Most of the time it was no more than 6 per group, and some rallys we had about 50 bikes that showed up. Smaller groups of similar style riders is safer than a big group of different level folks.

    Second, we always rode staggered formation out on the open road, with each biker having room all around him just in case of an emergency. This is by far the safest way to ride in a group. The lead rider is always on the left side of the lane. The 1st rider behind him was on the right side of the lane, one second back. The 2nd rider was on the left side of the lane, directly behond the lead rider, but 2 seconds back. And so on throughout the group. Thus every rider has a 2 second cushion in front of and behind him, and no bike is along side of him just in case he has to swerve to avoid something. The only time the group moves into the 'parade style', which is 2 bikes side-by-side, is when the group comes into a town. This helps keep the group together to get through intersections without having to stop and wait for those who get caught by red lights.

    I rarely see Harley groups riding a staggered formation. For them, it's always the parade style, side-by-side, and they tend to 'bleed' into oncoming traffic to give both bikes room in their own lane. And their groups are quite often very large, which means if someone has a problem, EVERYONE has a problem!
    SilverSurfer

    My surfboard: 'Fantastic 04' R1150RT Titan Silver

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