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Memorial day ride goes from memorable to bummer:

Just got back from a nice 329mi. scoot today.
Awesome ride: crisscrossed the Delaware six times going from NJ up to Hancock, NY and back to NJ.
Going over from Milford, NJ to 611 north to Portland/Columbia back to NJ;
Up the old mine road-606-615 to Dingmans Ferry back into PA;
739 up to 6 east over to 434 north to Barryville, NY;
Up 97 along the river to Hancock, NY;
Down 191 to 6 to 507 south Lake Winnepausaukee to 447 south to 191 again in Stroudsburg, over the Mountain Road pass 191 to 611 south and home.

Only bummer, friend on Ducati ST3 goes down on 447 south.
Over-cooks sharp up and over right hand, goes wide, cars coming, goes left of cars coming, hits ditch (no shoulder), hits guardrail, bike goes down right side; he highsides. Sounds worse than admittedly expensive damage caused but could have been deadly, 4 seconds later. Tried to remind him of that small blessing.

What caused it? He was more worried about keeping up than concentrating on what HE was doing. An important reminder for all. In the end, no harm done, just expensive plastic destroyed. That is memorable.
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Old 05-24-2009, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by cageyar View Post
What caused it? He was more worried about keeping up than concentrating on what HE was doing. An important reminder for all. In the end, no harm done, just expensive plastic destroyed. That is memorable.
What put him in that position? How many were on the ride? What were all the skill levels? Was he constantly stretching to keep up? Was anyone mentoring him? This is classic accident scenario by the way.
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Old 05-24-2009, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cageyar View Post

What caused it? He was more worried about keeping up than concentrating on what HE was doing. An important reminder for all. In the end, no harm done, just expensive plastic destroyed. That is memorable.
I've seen this all to often. Glad it wasn't worse.
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Old 05-24-2009, 01:17 PM
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ditto.
best wishes to him
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Old 05-24-2009, 01:18 PM
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Never a good ending of a day. I hope it will be his last get-off... that is sometimes the upside of such happenings... glad that no severe injuries were involved.
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Old 05-24-2009, 02:09 PM
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What put him in that position? How many were on the ride? What were all the skill levels? Was he constantly stretching to keep up? Was anyone mentoring him? This is classic accident scenario by the way.
It's a reasonable question but there were 3 riders of equal skill. I've ridden with this individual since we were Honda motorcycle district managers 25 years ago. We ride together often and know each other's characteristics. The third rider was new to me but 30 years known to the Ducati rider and he was of equal skill.
I really don't think it was anything more complicated than shifting concentration from the corner in front of you to something else, which in this case, he said "keeping up". I've not know him in the past to be in that position but not everybody clicks 100% on every ride. There was no indication earlier that he was having any difficulty.
Frankly, I think maybe the "keeping up" thing maybe an alibi vs. the embarassment of just missing the radius. I'm not sure, but, I guess we'll need to discuss it later and see if we can encourage some frank assessment by avoiding recriminations.
I'd like to know for sure before we go out again.
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Old 05-24-2009, 02:44 PM
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Happens to the best of us...glad it wasn't worse for your friend. And yes, the "Keeping up" part is more difficult if you're the last rider in a group...slingshot effect and all.

Like our Breakfast ride this morning, I was leading...had 8 riders behind me. I set the data logger on my GPS to record Max Speed, Average Speed, and Actual Speed. This morning we rode the usual countryside blacktops with some pea gravel, potholes, road kill, and gravel strewn in corners, etc. My average speed was 43 MPH. Top Speed was 84 MPH. I tend to ride between 60-70 on the straights and avoid slowing down in the corners as much as possible...all the fun is when you're leaned over IMO.

The riders behind me?...even though I wait for them to re-group at stops and intersection turns, several said they were going in excess of 100 MPH to keep up. What were they riding?...V-Strom 1000, V-Strom 650 (2), R1200GS, K1200S, Honda Super Hawk, KTM 690, R1200RT. IMO they're all competent riders...but I've seen a few of them go down on occasion too...with minor consequences thankfully.
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Old 05-24-2009, 03:03 PM
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I'm a little lucky to be alive my self.

Back in the eighties when I was about 23 or 24 and on my first street bike (Suzuki GS700) I met a guy who had one of those Kawasaki Lawson replicas. First night I was following him out to some spot out in the country somewhere where we meet up with a bunch of other guys. Anyway, I didn't know the roads at all, it was at night, and had little experience on a street bike. Trying to keep up with him going around a curve I had to stand it up. Went off the road and ended up in a gravel parking lot a few feet from the door of whatever the building was that was there. Just think if there had been trees or an oncoming car! I didn't learn my lesson that night, but finally did either that year or the year after when on the same ride a guy finally got killed. Then I got into road racing which was my salvation. Now I'm a lot more confident (confident enough that I don't feel the need to keep up with anybody). I ride by my self these days anyway.
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Old 05-24-2009, 03:45 PM
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...(confident enough that I don't feel the need to keep up with anybody). I ride by my self these days anyway.
I hear you, I am kind of the same way. Although I love to ride with others, when I am on my own its always my pace, with breaks when I want them, and I go as fast as I feel like, no more no less...
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Old 05-24-2009, 04:40 PM
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You know, something else just came to mind that I believe contributes to a mistake like this.
Every gas stop, at brunch, my friend on the Ducati is on the FREAKIN' Blackberry.
Got to check if there's any messages, does someone need me at home, is my wife trying to contact me, etc.
WTF.
I didn't check anything. I was out riding. My wife knows better than to call me when I'm riding. If it's not life and death, I'm out for the day-see you when I'm back. The 3rd guy didn't check anything. He was out riding.
Riding at a sporting, assertive pace, blitzing cars when there's room, nicking along on curvy roads requires your full f**king attention.
I told him at brunch I was going to throw that piece of s**t in the river.
You don't need to be in constant communication. Riding a sport bike is not sitting in your office chair. It's just so stupid, I'm getting aggravated.
1,2,3,4,5,6......10. I feel better but I'm starting a new rule-cell phones off and only taken out in emergencies. That's it.
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Old 05-24-2009, 05:02 PM
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Agree that this happens all to often. A good pre ride brief that sets the tone is what's best. Telling the group that you'll wait at turn points and that this is not a money event helps. Also the pace varies greatly with those who are famaliar with the route and those who aren't. The most important point is to check ytou ego at the starting point. Very glad it was limited to plastic damage. I'll be te riders sobered up to reality very quickly after the get-off. Having a buddy go down kind of takes the fire out of the day for me.
Old 05-24-2009, 05:06 PM
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Agree that this happens all to often. A good pre ride brief that sets the tone is what's best. Telling the group that you'll wait at turn points and that this is not a money event helps. Also the pace varies greatly with those who are famaliar with the route and those who aren't. The most important point is to check ytou ego at the starting point. Very glad it was limited to plastic damage. I'll be te riders sobered up to reality very quickly after the get-off. Having a buddy go down kind of takes the fire out of the day for me.
He knows, since I'm the route guy, that I'll stop at every change of road. If no one sees me, the rule is you just keep riding the road you're on. I wait at ANY & EVERY change of direction.
I appreciate all these ideas. Everyone is correct and we practice all these rules. You don't know us but we're not rookies at this. For God's sake, we've been doing it for 30 years.
I'm telling you when you make a mistake like this, your head's not in the game.
The truth is, his wife doesn't like the bike and she's as much at fault because that's one reason he's always checking for messages.
I see that f**king Blackberry again, it will be in pieces two seconds later.
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Old 05-24-2009, 05:16 PM
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Old 05-24-2009, 05:27 PM
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I got an Interphone headset in my helmet. It's blue tooth, so if anyone really needs to get me they can call, and if a riding buddy has one, they are good for 500 ft as a 2 way radio, pretty cool.

http://www.webbikeworld.com/motorcycle-intercoms/interphone-bluetooth-intercom.htm
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Old 05-24-2009, 05:35 PM
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I got an Interphone headset in my helmet. It's blue tooth, so if anyone really needs to get me they can call, and if a riding buddy has one, they are good for 500 ft as a 2 way radio, pretty cool.

http://www.webbikeworld.com/motorcycle-intercoms/interphone-bluetooth-intercom.htm
That's cool and I'm not anti-technology, but I'm not taking phone calls when I'm out riding. Just to make sure, I just asked the little woman (I'm lucky in that she rides also-I met her 33 years ago when she brought her bike in for service where I was a technician), would you think to call me when I'm out riding and she said, "No". Of course, after 33 years, since knows what's in the soup so to speak.
I just think if you're wired in and constantly available, you're more apt to be thinking about something other than the next curve and that's when it can happen. I'm not riding with any on-call brain surgeons-how f**king important can it be?
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Old 05-24-2009, 05:46 PM
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An important (to me) issue mentioned above is "when I ride alone I ride at my own pace, stop and take breaks when I want to." A couple weeks ago I ran my R1100S off the road in AZ. It was a target fixation scenario, and when I analyzed the incident in retrospect (as we all do a thousand times) I concluded that three major factors came together to cause my loss of focus: fatigue, overheating (100+ degrees) and dehydration. Were I riding alone, I think I would have stopped for cold water and not have become so dull as to run off the road at speed.
An embarrassing and humbling lesson - I've been riding over 40 years and am a professional motorcycle tour guide...
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Old 05-24-2009, 06:05 PM
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I'm really glad your friend is okay and I appreciate you sharing the story. I'm reminded of an article by Peter Egan in Cycle World a few years ago called "Ride your own bike." In that story Mr. Egan explained that on a group ride at a sporting pace some of the riders complained that they nearly got killed trying to keep up and they argued that the leaders should slow it down. To that the guy out front merely counseled that he would ride his own bike and they should ride theirs. Good advice and it stuck with me because I've been guilty of riding over my head, especially when I was younger, because of peer pressure and machismo.

Regardless of whether your friend's mishap was from riding over his head or due to distractions, one must always be mindful that riding successfully requires 100% concentration and the recognition that we don't always feel like concentrating 100%. Sometimes we simply adjust his pace accordingly and other times its best to not go out at all. For example, right after a fight with the wife or girlfriend is when you most want to go out and ride but ironically that is precisely the time one should leave the bike parked.

As for riding over one's head, a little bit of maturity goes a long way. We probably put undue pressure on ourselves to avoid being seen as the 'weak link' and I'm just thankful that I survived being a complete dumbass and matured to the point of being only an occasional dumbass. Many factors come into play...familiarity with the road, weather conditions, lighting, etc. But it takes a certain amount of maturity to evaluate all these factors and objectively say, hey, maybe I'd better back off a notch and live to ride another day.
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Old 05-24-2009, 07:42 PM
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damn he was lucky!

I was your friend last year - high side onto wrong side and into hillside, no cars, very lucky, got a couple of fractures and as soon as I was better I went off to School at Phillip Island.

It just happens sometimes though, I had a pretty ordinary ride on Sunday. Th eold chewie could have quite easily hit some oncoming traffic...I was running wide through a wet 2nd apex corner... I forced myself to look away from the oncoming caravan towing cars and back to the corner and held the throttle.

I cursed myself, slowed down and shook my head - I must have been day dreaming. SOmetimes we should put the bike on the side of the road and get a lift home. I guess knowing when your having an unco day helps you back off.

Best wishes to your mate, reckon I can put a fiver on where he was looking before he went down
Old 05-24-2009, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R111S View Post

The riders behind me?...even though I wait for them to re-group at stops and intersection turns, several said they were going in excess of 100 MPH to keep up. What were they riding?...V-Strom 1000, V-Strom 650 (2), R1200GS, K1200S, Honda Super Hawk, KTM 690, R1200RT. IMO they're all competent riders...but I've seen a few of them go down on occasion too...with minor consequences thankfully.
The issue here is not that you are going way faster than the rest, Dan but more that the rest of the group goes at different speeds at different times and starts stretching out... that's when some feel the need to catch up and go faster.

We do experience that during out TC rides... but in the end, most everyone is disciplined enough to not get into trouble. The TC group is the ONLY larger group I ride with... normally 3 is a large group for me for the above mentioned reasons.

Sometimes, stuff like that happens to the most experienced riders leading the way in their own backyard... seen that too! A moment of not paying attention... a little distraction... that's all it takes to push the limits...
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Old 05-24-2009, 10:12 PM
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I just think if you're wired in and constantly available, you're more apt to be thinking about something other than the next curve and that's when it can happen. I'm not riding with any on-call brain surgeons-how f**king important can it be?
For me it's not really the anticipation of being called, as a matter of fact if someone calls I have to slow down to actually hear them. I have 2 young kids at home and the wife always feels better knowing she can get me in an emergency. As far as chit chatting while out riding, its not my gig. I dont listen to tunes either, ear plugs all the way.
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Old 05-25-2009, 04:07 AM
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