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Go Back   BARF - Bay Area Riders Forum > Club House > Group Rides (scheduled, w/date in the title)


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Old 04-17-2014, 02:28 PM   #1
budman
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Group Ride mentality.. you want to get home safe right??

Given the bad start to the riding season I decided I should share my take in regard to group rides. It is easy to get in over your heads when riding with a group and you can even get taken out by someone who is in over there heads...this is about you!!

You are just you. Your skill set on a motorcycle is what it is and when you ride you can do what you can do. For the most part we have an image of ourselves inside our brain that is realistic and understands our own limitations in whatever activity we choose to engage in.

Growing up we all were good at this sport and lousy at that one and we spent time either trying to get better or just having fun doing what we could do.

I was a poor soccer player and knew it. I was not a fast runner. I had little ball control and because of that I never really played soccer as a school sport except in PE.

Don't get me wrong I enjoyed it. I just knew I had limitations that would be impossible to overcome to allow me to be on the high school soccer team. However when we played in PE I gave it 100% and would hussle to make up for my athletic ability.

When I played football I was better, but I still was not a top physical specimen. I wanted to play and did and once again to be competitive I really hussled. I took chances too. A full steam ahead attitude had me smacking heads with some good athletes and got me a starting position as a sophomore. It also got me hurt. The impacts/concussions and ultimately a knee injury took a toll.

Head to head stuff with faster and more mature guys gave me a lot of pain. However the chance of getting killed was low. All of those things I accepted because I wanted to show my worth to the team. I wanted others to respect who I was and what I could do on the football field.

The group ride mentality can be found in my high school example.
I had in in football... I did not in soccer.

I know from my own experience that I can get a little more zing in a group ride. Zing meaning pumped up a bit - the fun is at a little higher factor with others sharing it.

I also know from years of racing that I am not going to let that Zing put me into a place I don't belong. I am still slapping myself for the one time I blew a DY. It really was not a DY as it was on a goaty road and there was not one, but I was in the other lane.. it was on a barf group ride. I really swore to myself that would NEVER happen again. It has not.

If the group is faster.. go have fun boys Hope I see you at the stop and not on the tarmac. (This took place for me this year already... lucky for us the rider was AOK).

For the newer rider it is easy to get in over their head.. listen to that inner voice of reason please. You have nothing to prove to anyone on the street.. EVER!

As Tharkun said the road is not our playground.. as motorcyclist we do do that at times. Myself included. Sorry Officer... and if you catch me doing that I deserve my ticket. However.. I will not take it to a level that puts me in danger of running off the road..blowing a DY.

I may get bit by gravel, oil... a stalled car.. fate. I accept that part.. sure pray it never happens as I too want to get home safe. It is so much nicer sleeping at home than in the hospital or permanently in a box.

It is the beginning of the riding season and I hope/ pray that all barfers will be talking about how great 2014 was and how your looking towards 2015.

More on choosing your group in another post.
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Old 04-17-2014, 02:57 PM   #2
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Choosing your group Hell why are there groups??

Some group rides for sportbikes will break into group to do a couple things.
1. Try to get riders to acknowledge their skill sets and what they want out of the ride.
2. Keep a massive group from heading out. Mayhem can happen more easily the larger the group.

My favorite groups are my friends that I know and trust. Usually fellow X-Racers that I feel comfortable being close too and I feel comfortable with their pace. However in the example of the crash above it was with mostly unknown riders.. so I chose to sweep the A group..Sweep meaning the last guy.. following all to makes sure no man is left behind and in this case I really did not know the group so I felt it was the safest place for me.

What is A.. B... C ..? Why do we need them..? Why they are for more than just trackdays.

A being willing to go a little faster.
B being probably limited to a bit over the speed limit.
C being limited to the speed limit.

Any group rides that are knee dragging speeds are headed for disaster. Don't be afraid to ask if the above description applies.

Many folks think that labeling groups are not needed and actually can cause problems.

Example.
1. Young guy wants to be known as a fast mofo and gain some respect here on barf or with the guys in the group. See Football in post above.

2. Older guy has been riding a long time and thinks he is fast and/or has a fast bike that allows him to keep up. See Football above.

In the Group ride I was on where I swept the A group there we a couple of both.

An older gent on the latest 1K bad ass machine was speeding well over the speed limit in the straights to keep up with the pack. The pack would lose him and he was then forced to ride a much faster pace on the straight to catch up.. then he would “park” it in the corner. Sure not riding the Pace. In fact he is doing two things that are bad.
1. Coming into corners too much on the gas and having to break way too much for the street.
2. Holding up other riders who are capable and can ride the Pace.
3. Creating a NEED for that rider who can ride the pace to get around and we know that the straights are the best place to pass and now you have an unsafe pass or if they are on a smaller bike (which can sure ride the pace) they are stuck because they cannot out accelerate Mr. Park it. (This was also noted on the ride example.. the guy on the Ninja 500 could not get around the 1K bike and I could see his body language of frustration. He hounded Mr. Park it in the corners filling his mirrors with lots of WTF’s).

The young guy (can be whatever age... just not very experienced) is easy to pick out as you see them braking when they should not or more common really fighting to stay in their lane and if they blow the double yellow.. you know that is a rider that you want not to be around and is NOT in the right group.

So I do agree that Group ride classification can cause some folks to bring their ego into choosing which group to ride with. If you fit either of the two examples.. go reread my first post again and get real and ride within your limits. However getting more riders who want to ride the Pace in the right group is really what Group are meant to do.. GO READ THE PACE!!!!!!

So.. Group Rides are:
• A great way to meet new people.
• A great way to find and explore new roads. (If the roads are new.. consider moving down a group so you can learn them without having to engage all your skillset to stay on them!).
• A lot of fun.

People who lead group rides tend to be very experienced. They likely will not even lead the faster of the group because they really care about helping the riders gain skills, learn new roads and make new friends. That is cool.

And remember.. the smaller the group the less likely of trouble.
And if you know the peeps.. that makes it safer still.

You have to make the call for you. Just because I like them does not mean you will.
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