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General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: andyoutandabout on April 11, 2019, 09:29:51 PM



Title: A cautionary tale
Post by: andyoutandabout on April 11, 2019, 09:29:51 PM
Riders, so coming back through some lovely roads last Sunday in the truck with the missus, we come across a harrowing scene. Four bikes parked up on the roadside, two of which had clearly been wrecked. Pulling up, two bikers came walking to my window with a sorry tale to tell. Emergency services had airlifted their riding buddies a while back and they were just picking up plastic fragments and discarded riding gear. Seems that the lead rider had over cooked he’s corner entrance and the second guy had followed him up the bank and into the weeds. The story unfolded further......they’d only just started out on the ride and they’d only met each other that morning. Apparently it’s a thing in the Bay Area to join meet up groups and hang out with strangers. Of course this might be a good way to meet fellow stamp collectors or bird watchers, but surely common sense dictates that this might not be the best option for a Sunday motorcycle trip.
Agreed, the first time a person attends an FJ rally, the situation could be viewed as similar. However the ‘ride your own ride’ mantra and absence of inflated egos goes a long way to setting the safety standard.
I’m so glad I’m in this group of riders.
Andy


Title: Re: A cautionary tale
Post by: Pat Conlon on April 11, 2019, 10:20:39 PM
Yep, good point Andy.

Years ago, Marsh, Klavdy and I went back to Tellico Plains Tennessee for the East Coast Fall Rally.
That was the first time I met Jeff (your suspension sucks) Hoffman, who was in charge of giving the morning pre-ride briefing. I’ll never forget his advice...”Ride your own ride. Today’s ride is NOT a race....there will be no winners today...only losers.”


Title: Re: A cautionary tale
Post by: Millietant on April 12, 2019, 01:34:04 AM
I couldn't agree more Andy & Pat, and the most frustrating thing is when people post ride videos which show why these things happen, even when they don't actually happen on a particular ride.

The biggest culprits are riders who enter turns "tight" (ie., entering left turns on the centre line, or entering right turns hugging the kerb/inside line) and then either run out of road and up an embankment or off an edge, or they run out of their lane and end up in the opposite lane facing oncoming traffic - and then riders following them target fixate on their "buddies" and follow them off.

This cornering approach means going into turns with minimal visibility, leaving no room for adjustment when a corner tightens up, or if an obstacle appears etc.

My wife and I have witnessed this phenomenon numerous times, riding at the rear of groups, with "friends of friends" who we don't really know, in the group. On more than one occasion we've both watched pairs of riders in front of us (predictably) run off the road because the first rider took a corner wrongly and the second followed him.

Each time, it has been because riders got over-excited in groups and were riding too fast for their skill levels - more often than not believing that they fell off because they were going "too fast", not because they were unskilled riders

I was taught the CSS/Keith Code cornering approach (wide in, tight out, look to your vanishing point) at various race schools and track sessions (as far back as the early '90's), as well by Institute of Advanced Motorist Instructors, and have taught that to others on guided track sessions. My wife was also taught that as part of her Riding Instructor training and yet, 90% of the riders we meet on the road, or on track, are unaware of this - there's a huge gap in motorcycle training regarding what Police riding instructors here call "Road-craft", which is all about position, line and observation.

As a result, Liz and I rarely ride with people we don't know and when we do, we always start off with a very slow pace until we know they're going to ride "safely". We often get accused of being boring/slow-pokes, but we're not bothered by this and we refuse to get into the group go-fast mentality. I'm sure it's probably an age thing, but we do know it can be taught, because our 24 year old son rides just as we do - he too wants to be an "old" rider at some point in his life.

Just recently someone posted a ride video on this forum from the recent Aus meet-up and that was the first time for a long time that I saw a video from someone I would be happy to ride with  - FJ riders are good people  :good2:

Hopefully I never forget this and I don't allow myself to get sucked-in in the future - I still want to be riding even when I'm as old as Pat  :biggrin:



Title: Re: A cautionary tale
Post by: Tuned forks on April 12, 2019, 04:52:28 AM
Two kinds of riders, old one and bold ones.  They are mutually exclusive.  I learned to ride your own ride on the Fall Rally.  Some seriously fast cookers in the front of the pack.  Early on I stayed with Father Pat until I felt confident enough to roll on some more.  Here in the Bay Area, there are a lot of young men riding crotch rockets and I see them pull some really stupid stunts.  I just shake my head and think that Darwin will take care of them.

Joe


Title: Re: A cautionary tale
Post by: ZOA NOM on April 12, 2019, 08:57:44 AM
This reminds me of our own young Ryan from Arizona when he made the trip out for an RPM Rally. He made it clear to all of us that he was not comfortable at some of our speeds, and would be taking his time. I thought it to be an admirable trait in a twenty-something these days. I agree with Andy that our group is very safe, while still having spirited rides.


Title: Re: A cautionary tale
Post by: Pat Conlon on April 12, 2019, 10:51:27 AM
Yea, Ryan did a fine job at the RPM Rally.
Remember, in Phoenix there are no roads comparable with the little dragon, so it can be overwhelming.
I think the key Ryan learned that afternoon was rhythm and corner set up. He followed Joe and watched.
Joe set a good pace for Ryan. It worked out well. I recall Ryan being much more comfortable on the way down the mountain.

That’s what it’s all about. When Ryan gets to the age of Joe and I, he will pay it forward to some young rider.


Title: Re: A cautionary tale
Post by: giantkiller on April 12, 2019, 11:14:42 AM
Yes my first rally was at Tellico. I hadn't been on 2wheels in a long time and I had just gotten the Fj running the day before. And definitely no mountains like that in Wisconsin. I stayed behind the midget and learned a lot. I remember how smooth and effortless he looked riding the tight stuff.


Title: Re: A cautionary tale
Post by: FJ Flyer on April 12, 2019, 11:36:20 AM
Reminds me of that tight right gravelly turn I hit at my first Boone rally.  I stayed upright, and didn't go down into the ditch.  Big lesson learned.


Title: Re: A cautionary tale
Post by: 1tinindian on April 12, 2019, 12:30:20 PM
Nothing against the group, as a whole, but while at the rallies I have attended, I feel most at ease with "MY" group, if you know what I mean. You just become aware of the same people over time, and yes, even trust them to some degree.
Over the years of owning my FJ I have learned a lot, and with that, speeds have risen to the enjoyable level I have today.
I've told Capt Ron more than once, that I'm always looking for that certain ride at each rally that ticks off all the check marks of an heart pounding thrill ride. And with his leadership, we usually seem to do just that.
Getting to know the riders we have around us is key, and I could name a handful that I'm comfortable with and always seek out at a rally.
My only concern, is that they have the same feeling about me, as I do them.
God I miss you guys! haha!


Title: Re: A cautionary tale
Post by: Mike Ramos on April 12, 2019, 07:07:48 PM
This reminds me of our own young Ryan from Arizona when he made the trip out for an RPM Rally. He made it clear to all of us that he was not comfortable at some of our speeds, and would be taking his time. I thought it to be an admirable trait in a twenty-something these days. I agree with Andy that our group is very safe, while still having spirited rides.

Great observations!

Collectively his is truly an exceptional group of riders.  No matter the skill level, the comfort & competence levels are high.  NEVER is a rider pushed to ride beyond his comfort level.  In fact the opposite; as Pat noted it is emphasized to ride within one’s own comfort and SAFETY levels.

Even in spirited riding there is no actual racing.  True, a good fast pace is attained and perhaps particular riders are confident in winding roads while others are comfortable in high speed sweepers.  Often the rider most comfortable with a particular road migrates to the lead position.  It has certainly aided me personally to be a more competent & confident motorcyclist.
   
Yet whoever is leading and whatever the road encountered the confidence that is placed in each other among this group is an absolutely memorable experience.

Being a part of this group is pure pleasure of the open road truly enhanced…
 
Ride safe!


Title: Re: A cautionary tale
Post by: Zwartie on April 12, 2019, 09:33:56 PM
Reply with Quote
...and the second guy had followed him up the bank and into the weeds...

Lots of great advice from everyone so far. The phrase above especially caught my eye. How many times do you hear about more than one rider heading off into the weeds, woods, or off the cliff? It's great to stay relatively close (but not too close) if it's a leisurely ride but when you're in the twisties it's much better to spread out, ride your own ride and ride your own line through the curves. If you're trying to match the line of the rider ahead of you you'll end up being fixated on the bike - something known as target fixation and bad things are bound to happen! I would rather ride the curve on my own, go in (relatively) slow and power out. Save the heroics for the track.

Stay safe out there!!!

Zwartie!


Title: Re: A cautionary tale
Post by: FJ_Hooligan on April 12, 2019, 10:23:51 PM
Reminds me of that tight right gravelly turn I hit at my first Boone rally.  I stayed upright, and didn't go down into the ditch.  Big lesson learned.

Uh? Ditch?  That was a tight righthander and I remember seeing you in my mirror slide into the oncoming lane and thinking you were going off the side of ROAN mountian.  I had a radio and Jeff had just warned of gravel on that corner.

Still remember that to this day.  Kind of like the day we traded rides and your rear shock was a piece of $hit and you rode my '85 after I upgraded to a 17 inch front wheel.

That was the rally where Andy York ran out of fuel coming down the mountain and when he caught up with the rest of us, when we stopped for fuel, the dog in the truck backed over his FJ

Good times and memories indeed (except for the dog).


Title: Re: A cautionary tale
Post by: Firehawk068 on April 15, 2019, 04:40:03 PM
Nothing against the group, as a whole, but while at the rallies I have attended, I feel most at ease with "MY" group, if you know what I mean. You just become aware of the same people over time, and yes, even trust them to some degree.
Over the years of owning my FJ I have learned a lot, and with that, speeds have risen to the enjoyable level I have today.
I've told Capt Ron more than once, that I'm always looking for that certain ride at each rally that ticks off all the check marks of an heart pounding thrill ride. And with his leadership, we usually seem to do just that.
Getting to know the riders we have around us is key, and I could name a handful that I'm comfortable with and always seek out at a rally.
My only concern, is that they have the same feeling about me, as I do them.
God I miss you guys! haha!

I am one of those Leon, and Yes I have the same feeling about you! I'm glad to be part of "Your" group.
We'll make sure to have a blast if you make it to CO this summer..................
I'm going to just have to Map out a 400-mile loop in your honor this year at the WCR  :sarcastic: