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Hi-

I was just recalling to a friend a story that I think is worth repeating in this forum.

About two months ago on a Friday lunch hour, we were blessed with an exceptionally warm temperature. I had ridden my then new-to-me CBR600(complete with wasted rear tire, 12 yr. old rubber isn't fun!)to work. My boss rode his Shadow aero, and two co-workers had their bikes- a new ZRX 1100 and a Harley Super Glide. The invitation came as "Hey, we're gonna ride out to lunch- wanna come?" I thought that would be great on a boring Friday- so I said "Sure."

As the four of us were mounting up, I asked where we were headed. The plan was to take the scenic back twisties out to another nearby town about twenty minutes away. Only the guy on the ZRX was familiar with the roads so he led our motley crew out.

Almost immediately, the ZRX took off- I mean fast. Not to be put off by a "Jap" bike ( no offense intended) the Harley, which is heavily modified, tore off as well. As the first intersection was only like 100 yards away, it didn't seem to me that blitzing through the gears was appropriate. At that first stop, the ZRX was in front, the Harley and I were beside each other and the Shadow was behind us. Sure enough when the light changed, the ZRX screamed off and I could hear the Harley thumping hard. In a moment of stupid ego- I wrung the the throttle back and shot past the Harley, not realizing that the road past the intersection dropped off hard to the right. When I came over the crest of the hill I was already left of center- where a car was coming up the incline. I flicked my bike to the right and maybe stupidly, stood on the rear brake. My rear tire slid- a weird feeling to say the least- and I recovered. By now, the ZRX and the Harley are well on their way to blasting through the twisties- and I'm still trying to unclench my butt. The two guys up front are flat out flying, and I'm trying to keep up feeling certain my rear tire has warned me for the last time.

The Shadow stayed pretty far behind as I'm sure he was just enjoying the ride. We had to keep up though, as we had no clue where we were going. So I did my best to split the difference between the two leaders and the Shadow behind me. I could see the ZRX leaned way over through some bends, knee hovering over the asphalt. The Harley just got pitched over at every turn and hammered out as they disappeared from my view around the bends. We would catch up at stop signs and were heckled- "What's the matter? Don't you want to ride with us?" Of course, they acted like they were riding casually at best.

We finally reached the restaraunt with more of the same- "Guess you Honda riders are too nice for us, eh?" I tried to laugh it off, but it did honestly get to me. I felt like I was led into having my relatively novice skills exploited for mockery. Both the ZRX and Harley riders are almost twice my age and have tons more experience on all sorts of bikes.

On the way back the ride went pretty much the same way. I did find that by concentrating on my lines through corners, I could keep up better without grabbing lots of throttle as often. That afternoon was rough, as I got to hear the story of how the Honda riders were humiliated, repeated to any of our co-workers that would listen. Even now when it gets brought up- I get peeved.

I guess my point is this- ride for yourself and to the best of your own abilities. Don't allow any other bikers make you feel like your manliness or womanliness is up for scrutiny. Riding, and especially sport riding, is a potentially dangerous activity to begin with- no one needs the extra stress of someone atagonizing them.

What I thought was nothing more than a group ride to have lunch turned out to be a group race to have lunch. I also think that it was irresponsible for the more experienced riders to portray motorcycling in a competetive light on the streets. So now, I'm made fun of for having the bike that I do because my current abilities don't match it's potential.

Ride for your own gratification- not anyone else's. We've all got to start somewhere.

'cane
 

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Good story 'cane, I agree and see the same $hIt all the time. I've gotta go to bike school damn it! :)

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Kyle- 99'CBR600F4
email: [email protected]
 

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It always sucks when you know that you've been humiliated into riding faster than you feel comfortable........I ride alone most of the time too. Funny thing is that my dad dusted my ass off yesterday........I'm going to penguin this summer.
 
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Hurricane, definitely a good story with a good lesson. Thanks for sharing it with us!
 

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Hurricane,

Great story! I currently ride with a group of about 30-40 riders every weekend. And I see the new guys getting the same rag from some of the other guys that ride up front with me. Afterwards I *always* let them know not to worry about it, and that I would rather wait for them at the gas station on the top of the mountain, than going back down the mountain to pick them up off of the road.


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Robert Basil
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I rarely go on group rides for this very reason. I would rather ride my pace, enjoying the sensation of wind, sun, scenery, etc. than have the entire ride be a competition. If anyone can find the article on "The Pace", if would be very applicable here.
 

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Yes, you're right, that article on "The Pace" is excellent! Someone posted it a couple years back on my hubby's VTR mailing list but I don't have a copy. We both read that and really agreed. Although we love to ride, we certainly don't love it enough to die doing it. We ride with some guys from our local Honda-Kawasaki shop and they're the best riding buddies one could ever ask for. They're patient and never push you over your limits. Riding partners can make all the difference in an enjoyable ride vs. a terrifying one!

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Stacia - 95 ZX-6
"Objects in mirror no longer matter!"
 

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I must say I feel much better after reading everyone's posts. I tend to ride by myself a lot more than I had originally planned when I first started riding. This due to the fact that a lot of guys I have ridden with tend to want to show off in front of each other...and me. I love speed and twisties just as much as the next guy/gal but I also love my body just the way it is. I don't like feeling the pressure of riding with people on the street who think they're on a track. It's not worth it!!!! I'll save the competition riding for the races!
 

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I ride with a group of guys with a very different riding styles, machines, etc.

We always had an unspoken rule. That's why we have what I'll call 'the stop sign rule', everyone rides as hard as they want, you wave faster guys past you, don't pass unless you're waved pass or it's a straight line and pass in the other lane, and don't worry if you're the guy everyone's waiting for at the stop sign, we've all been that guy.

We also never bust balls that someone was slow that day (unless they mention that they aren't riding well). We are such good friends that we make fun of hundreds of other things instead.


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Tony

94 CBR600F2 and 88 FZR400
 

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Here in beautiful Southern California, we have an awesome twisty road called Angeles Crest Highway. It's one of the roads that Ienatsch and those other Motorcyclist/Sport Rider guys used to ride pretty often at "the Pace".

This is also a very dangerous road, in that many motorcyclists who try to use the Crest as their own personal race track end up in the hospital or sometimes in the morgue.

Anyways, since I am not a very fast rider and I pretty much have fun riding at a much slower pace than some of my friends, I usually just take up the rear of the group and go at my own pace.

However, whenever there is a person who is new to this road or new to riding who we just happen to hook up with either at the gas station at the bottom of the road or some other way, I usually tell that person that I will ride behind them. This way, the new person will not have to worry about being left behind or what will happen if he/she does get into trouble, because all the other guys will probably be miles down the road before they realize someone is missing.

Maybe some of you guys that are veterans at your own favorite road could do the same for a new guy to help them enjoy the road and take off the pressure of having to keep up.

Ride on,

redrider647
 

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What a nice idea, redrider! I, too, usually am at or near the back. I love to ride fast on a long, straight, flat road but I tend to slow down lots for curves. I'm usually at the back of our "pack" as I don't like to feel someone behind me pushing me and I HATE having someone fly by me on a curve, which has happened, although with an "outside" rider, not someone from our group.

This weekend, we had a new guy ride with us on a cruiser. It was nice because none of our riding buddies were pushing him and one of the guys who is usually near the front offered to ride behind him and I thought that was really conscientious. At the end of the ride when we stopped for a late afternoon snack, he commented on how he didn't feel rushed or pressured and he really appreciated that.

I can't imagine trying to make someone feel bad for either not keeping up or for not outperforming me. Of course, I love it when my hubby notices that I'm keeping up better, but it really isn't a game to me. I like to arrive alive.


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Stacia - 95 ZX-6
"Objects in mirror no longer matter!"
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks all-

It's great to hear that you guys feel the same!

I personally prefer riding with a group, but I will try to be more discerning when it comes to who is in that group. If only all riders were to take "The Pace" seriously. Wouldn't that be too cool?

Thanks-
'cane
 

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I too learned the hard way.I had only been riding 1.5 years and was trying to keep up with a friend on a twisty road(he was riding a 82 1100 katana, I was on a 82 yamaha 750 seca) at night on a road that he knew very well.I thought he would consider me a wimp if i did not keep up as we were passing everything in sight.the next thing i remember is waking up in the back seat of a police cruiser(I was out for 45 minutes)and waiting for the ambulance to show up.every time i took a breath my entire back hurt like hell and they thought i had broken my neck.It was after that accident that i told myself i would NEVER ride over my head again.always better to bring up the rear of your group than to end up in a wheelchair and never go riding.I have been riding sportbikes now for 18 years,the last 9 years without an accident.So please, to all the new riders out there dont feel that you have to keep up to those more experienced and take a riding school,you wont regret it.
 

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I've witnessed too many accidents and comforted too many crying boys to let myself get caught up in the "group mentality" only to go home from a ride in an ambulence, not on the bike. Not trying to beat a dead horse here, but as a girl, I get teased all the time and any ride out w/ the guys, especially new ones, tends to be an evaluation of my ability to hold my own w/ the big boys. Riding like a squid, tossing your toy away on some curve b/c you panic when your passed on the inside, and dropping your bike in your endeavor to keep up w/ someone is no way to earn respect. I've learned you have to go slow first in order to go fast, and I find I ride much faster, much smoother when I am by myself. Don't get me wrong, I'm now able to keep my own w/ the boys but will not over ride my abilites just to keep up w/ the guy on the 900RR in front of me. I have nothing to prove to anyone except myself. I was voted "Most Responsible Rider" by the guy's I ride w/ and then "Most Motivated Racer" at my race school....I dunno where I fall exactly, but I do know that on the street, there isn't always a corner worker to pick your bike outta the grass, so you better not ride like your on the track......well, not all of the time anyway...

Kirsty...

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"No, this isn't my boyfriend's bike..."
My web site http://www.geocities.com/MotorCity/Street/9025
 

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This is way off topic (and rambles), but I love cbrchick's auto-signature.

BTW cbrchick, your enter link failed on me at your website.

Geocities said that the Welcome.html didn't exist at http://www.geocities.com/MotorCity/Street/9025/.

Maybe you loaded it as welcome.htm (lots of page makers use the extention *.htm instead of *.html)?? Just a guess.

More html crap on geocities. If you title your cover page (welcome screen, whatever you want to call it) as index.html, you can use--http://geocities.com/your_screen_name and it will go to it automatically, instead of listing it through the geocities community method. For example, you can also link with--http://geocities.com/your_screen_name/mybike.html if you use your geocities web name for more than just motorcycling, or want easier to remember addresses to link with. I hope this is helpful to anyone building pages on Geocities (or any other serve I've dealt with).

I'm sure that Robert can find 500 holes in what I just said (I'm a functional type, not a technical type). But I thought it would help since everyone seems to be building webpages today.

Once again sorry for posting off topic, but I just want to help out if I can.

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Tony

94 CBR600F2 streetbike
88 FZR400 trackbike
e-mail:[email protected]


[This message has been edited by cbrf2boy (edited January 04, 2000).]
 

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I know the post is a little late, but feel I need to give my input on this because it is such an important part of riding for most of us.

With our riding down here, we usually ride with 2-15 of us and there is always somebody faster or somebody slower than yourself. Everyone needs to ride within their parameters or with whatever they are comfortable with.

I used to ride with some guys in Arkansas, 5 or 10 of us. All were faster than me. They were riding FZ's, Ninja's and I was on an FJ1200. I pushed myself way beyond my limits just to be "one of the boys". Fortunately, I never had a serious accident and it did NOT make me a better rider.

We must all remember the reason we're doing this is for pleasure and when it becomes more than that, it's time to take it to the track. Have fun and ride safe. It's easy. Just do it.


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TJ
'98 SuperHawk
 

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I think that this falls into this catagory,but when riding with a group of friends this really bugs me.I`ll be at the back of the group and I`ll see a passing opportunity for the lead guys and it may be safe for 3 riders but 6 or 7 go,by the time the last guy passes,he is riding the center line because of oncoming traffic.Its like that lemming thing,one goes,they all go.I do enjoy riding solo but I also like riding with a group because of the b.s. sessions at each stop.--------------------------------------- 98TLR Langley,BC "Better Predator Than Prey"

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GUILTY, right here... I can't help it though! Everytime I get on my bike, I make a firm commitment to obeying the fair and just laws of the land... but why the hell does Kawasaki make a bike that can do 140 mp/h at the end of the highway on ramp??? I don't stand a chance here (I'm sure you can see). To put the icing on the cake, my 99 ZX9r going touring with my buddies GSXR1100.... well, we always WANT to stay with the Virago rider... but he takes those corners so damn slow... and for some reason the GSXR is always that 1/2 a wheel ahead of me! and we both have our F.A.S.T. racing school knowledge fresh in our heads.... although I never trash talk at the end of it all... usually can't force bad language through a mouth that's grinning from ear to ear! :) (our rule was no overtaking on the right or in corners... everything else was fair game)
 
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