I totally agree about group riding. If I know the other riders, I'm more likely to do it. However, in a group of folks I don't know, Im more likely to pass on it.
I just took a free class offered in NC called BikeSafe NC. If you live here, it's worth the time. Think of it as a preview to a more intensive course like the ones offered by MotoMark1 and the Performance Center Motorcycle Rider Training. Rider training is something that everyone should do on a regular basis. It helps me stay on my toes.
Last edited by 68820; 11-16-2012 at 05:40 PM. Reason: spelling...
Robert Peterson | Cary, NC | 68820
cat herder and pixel pusher
My main goal when riding has always been to be able to ride tomorrow. So, I've always been very cautious when riding, and I slowly gained experience and confidence. Part of my early riding was the monthly ride unofficially sponsored by a local dealer. I was the last in line for a year so. I learned a lot from these rides and were overall a positive experience.
This is my take from an inexperienced rider in a pack. First of all, I rode to my abilities. That meant the people at the front of the pack ended up waiting for me. People were OK that. I found that when more experienced riders were right behind me, I ended up going faster than I probably should have. I had a guilty feeling of holding the up, and I did not like that. I felt more relaxed and did better when no one was right behind me; as such, I usually waved riders past me. The biggest fault in riding in groups (at least the ones I've been on) is not giving people maps/directions on where to meet they separated. Not knowing where I was and how to get where we were going was another reason I ended up pushing my limits at times.
It's a real bummer about the rider in the OP. It was not my intention to make any correlation to my story above and the OP. I just wanted to give my input on riding in groups with varying degrees of experience.
Jeff in W.C.
1988 R100 RT (the other woman)
"I got my motorcycle jacket but I'm walking all the time." Joe Strummer
The insidious part of rides when riders have mismatched skill levels is that it is much easier to say "ride your own ride" than it is to do it. Whether it is pride, a fear of embarrassment, a little macho or testosterone, or a dose of I-think-I-can, often riders do try to keep up. Sometimes they get just a little over their heads. And a little over our heads can at times toss us on the ground.
I don't have a good universal prescription to avoid this. If leading, a less experienced, slower rider faces "they will think I'm too slow". In the middle they might try to keep up with those ahead, or outrun those behind. At the tail end they might try too hard not to delay the group.
I suspect the best way to do it is to have an experienced and sensitive mentor right ahead of the less experienced rider. When I say sensitive I mean one who can see in the mirror how the rider is doing, can pick good spots to run faster on a straight for example, but who can spot the next curve or whoop well in advance and slow down to a pace that does what is needed to keep the follower as safe as possible. Being the mentor is not the most fun way to enjoy a ride, but I think it is worthwhile nonetheless.
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
It certainly is tough when you get an unfamiliar person kind of forced on you. You are certainly not to blame, nor should you have acted differently. You went thru that spot and you waited for your riding buddy and the new guy. Maybe he tried too hard to keep up, or maybe he just had a brain fart or got caught daydreaming and wrecked. Whatever it was, HE'S responsible for his own life and machine.
At different times I've been a leader, a middle, and a tail end. Some days I feel I can, and do, ride any twistie. Some days I feel a bit off and adjust my riding to a slower pace. We have a destination or a waypoint decided ahead of time and we ride our own abilities, the plan is to generally try to keep within sight of the guy ahead and behind. But if someone lags, the guys ahead will generally notice and slow down, but even if they don't we all still ride our ability and don't force things. We'll meet up at the end. And we won't rag on someone who was slower.
2011 R1200RT - (Thank You, MOA!)
1978 Honda Hawk 400
Sounds like he high-sided and got launched somehow. Is it possible he hit a solid object somewhere?
..... aside from the road....
The thing about traveling is, you never want it to end and you can't wait to get home.
I answer to Roy, Chief, or Sarg.
04 R-1150-RT current bike. 94 R-1100-RS74,383, Sold, 78 R-80/7, K.I.A by a D.U.I
I was leading a group of older guys like myself, except they were riding that famous American brand. The road was curvy and I took it extra easy, keeping the speed way down. When we stopped for a break at a DQ for some ice cream some of the guys said "Hey, slow down, you are taking those curves way too fast!" I was thankful I did take it really slow for them. Could have ended badly but we had a nice ride and I never went with them again.
The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
Thanks to all for your comments. I did visit again today at the ICU at the hospital. His leg has been pinned and set, the shoulder realigned and there is a small bleeder in the brain. Thankfully, he was wearing a skull cap helmet. His face would be a lot prettier if he had a full face helmet on, but he will make it. He still has very littlle knowledge of what happened. Besides being more aware of who I am riding with, I am humbled at how much damage can occur in a relatively mild accident. Be careful out there.
I'm glad your friend will mend. Rightfully or not, there's sometimes some guilt when this sort of thing happens.
Interestingly, given the age of some of the responders here (and I'm 69 YO) I wonder if
you remember how YOU learned to ride. For myself, I'd been on the back of a Honda Superhawk in College--back in the mid-sixties. A couple of years later, in the Navy and away from parental oversight I bought a small displacement BSA from a dealer in Baltimore.
No training, no test, no nada. I rode it back to the base and parked it outside the gates since I had no insurance. I'm amazed I'm still alive and riding 46 years later given the lack of training, youthful stupidity and the condition of the bike (the headlight fell off one night with a Wave on the back -but that's another story )
1986 R80RT, 2005 R1200GS
Livin' Large On The Lake
My worst accident ever was bicycle riding when I decided I'd ride through a puddle which turned out to be a significant pothole. A needle in upper lip prior to a little plastic surgery is no fun, and of course there's the tooth crown. In the "didn't know what happened" category all I know is I landed on my face, never getting hands up in time for protection. At about 1 mph I imagine. I tell anyone I've been hurt worse riding a bicycle than a motorcycle but that doesn't mean overconfidence. Nevertheless, I think motorcycles are paragons of safety compared to bicycles. Something besides a full-face helmet--you've got to be kidding.
'12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S
I once was on a road trip with a guy who was slow as molasses on straightaways, always below the speed limit. The first curvy mountain road we came to, he took off like a scalded cat. I didn't even try to keep up with him. I rounded a curve to the right to find him on the left shoulder: he had gone so wide in the right turn he almost went in the ditch on the left side of the road. That road trip was not fun. I was always worried about him crashing. I'm always a little worried about myself crashing, so adding a noob rider into the equation does not make for a happy ride.
2003 R1150RT - Silver
I have to set traps sometimes to clear out the pocket gophers from an alfalfa field. Its frustrating that some are able to avoid the trap time after time. A simple mindset enables me to keep with it until I get one. I only have to get it right once. He has to get it right every single time. Curves in a road ridden at an exciting speed play by the same rule only it's I that have to get it right every single time.
It's difficult to imagine a man having anything but the wrong thought when riders in front disappear. "I just need to twist in more throttle and steer it between the lines, that's all they're doing". THIS IS THE NATURAL THING. All of the books, training, technique and experience are needed to counteract this thought.
If we crash, even at a low speed, our M/C's and bones are apt to be broken all to h**l. Denial stops when the sparks start.
Hopefully he learns that he is seriously lacking in either riding skills or paying attention skills and addresses those factors before he ever rides again, IF he ever rides again.
2011 R1200RT - (Thank You, MOA!)
1978 Honda Hawk 400