One of the things I like so much about this forum is the continuous exchange and updating of information, tips, tricks, and yes, lessons learned. Pilots and other professionals continually upgrade their skills, why shouldn't we?
The lesson I re-learned today was NOT to fixate on a situation that has occured in front of me and let it distract me. Here's what happened...........
A small group of us were out today enjoying our version of the twisties (hey, in Iowa, we take what we can get). We had just gone through a series of about six 90 degree sweepers (marked at 40, taken at 80), and came up to the last of the series (marked at 20, TAKEN AT 20). One of the riders behind me had developed a rhythm on the 40MPH turns and when it came time for the last one, over cooked the turn and low-sided into a shallow ditch. It cost him a badly broken wrist and some damge to his bike (and his pride).
Unfortunately one of the riders following him fixated on what was happening ahead, and did almost exactly the same thing in almost exactly the same place. The second rider allowed the rider ahead to determine the entry speed, the line and ended up with the same consequenses. I've seen it happen before.
It was all over in about 5 seconds, but what started out as a planned two-hour ride, ended up being a 6-hour ordeal, involving ambulances, EMS personnel, hospital emergency rooms, county sherriffs officers, arranging for friends with trailers to get the two damaged bikes home (40 miles away), insurance claims and things we haven't even considered yet.
Lessons re-learned: When riding "aggressively" in a group, ride your own pace, ride your own line, and lastly, don't let situations happening ahead of you cause you to loose your concentration.
Even though Chris and Betsy aren't members of this forum (not yet, anyway) I hope you will join me in wishing them both a speedy recovery.
"After all, we ARE professionals, here."