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Discussion Starter #1
I only want to post my experience in hopes that it could help someone make a decision one day about riding in a large group.

Personally, I was told by several people that large group rides are dangerous due to their unorganized nature and the few in the bunch that will always act up and put others in danger. I opted not to take this advice and joined a club of what was supposed to be thirty, then turned to seventy (expected, but never present) and now has numbers of seventy to one hundred thrown around. Sure, the people are great and the bikes are cool. It is not worth it and I found this out after only three rides.

The first ride I was almost taken out from behind while riding in formation. Someone thought he was being cool and shot up from the back, failing to realize that we went single file for corners. I got lucky. I made a plan, before switching my position for a corner I would just check my mirror and signal to be extra careful...

The second ride I brought my ego with me. I had to get in the front for the twisties and had the company of every ego mad aggressive rider in the bunch. They rode side by side (sharing half of one lane even) and right on each other and I was right in mix. The three that were in front of me almost crashed together when a car was on the other side of a blind corner. I have never braked so hard or felt the bikes front end dip like that before. I made another plan, I just would stay in the back and not get competitive next time...

The third ride took us to my favorite road. I couldn't keep my competitive nature in check after all. I got held up by three riders, the one in the front looking in his mirrors nervously. It's a very dangerous road and he was being pushed. Ashamed doesn't even describe how I felt when I found out he was new. I learned this after he crashed right in front of us. He trashed his bike but walked away okay. I decided I had seen enough and I wasn't riding with them again.

Nobody took care of the newbies, nobody ran a beginner group to trail the others, nobody called corners or road hazards using signals. Nobody waited around for this kid when he had to make his way back down the road with a half assed bike and still very shaken up from his crash.

The next ride was yesterday and I did not attend. This ride put three riders down. One was able to walk away with only road rash and a trashed bike. Another suffered a severly broken leg that will require surgery and much rest, I hope he is able to make a full recovery. My thoughts and prayers are with the family of the other rider who suffered fatal injuries. I have decided against posting any names or memorial locations as I believe most on this forum are not local.

Please ride with people you know and trust and always ride at your own level. Knowing that most, if not all of this could have been prevented is something very hard to deal with.
 

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Good you learned your lesson before it was too late.

As far as that newbie that wrecked, inexperienced riders are supposed to be in front and the golden rule is still in play--"ride your own ride"

From what I've seen sport bike riders don't make good group riders.

If you wanna speed - you should ride by yourself
If you wanna get low in the corners - you should ride by yourself
If you wanna practice your stunts - you should ride by yourself
If you wanna show off - you should ride by yourself
If you wanna prove yourself to your peers - you definitely should ride by yourself

If you wanna enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells while in the company of others, forgoing all the teenage adrenaline junkie mentality BS - maybe a group ride is right for you.

For the most part, I only ride in groups with cruisers. They know how to enjoy a leisurely cruise more than the crotch rocket biker boyz.
 

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I only want to post my experience in hopes that it could help someone make a decision one day about riding in a large group.

Personally, I was told by several people that large group rides are dangerous due to their unorganized nature and the few in the bunch that will always act up and put others in danger. I opted not to take this advice and joined a club of what was supposed to be thirty, then turned to seventy (expected, but never present) and now has numbers of seventy to one hundred thrown around. Sure, the people are great and the bikes are cool. It is not worth it and I found this out after only three rides.

The first ride I was almost taken out from behind while riding in formation. Someone thought he was being cool and shot up from the back, failing to realize that we went single file for corners. I got lucky. I made a plan, before switching my position for a corner I would just check my mirror and signal to be extra careful...

The second ride I brought my ego with me. I had to get in the front for the twisties and had the company of every ego mad aggressive rider in the bunch. They rode side by side (sharing half of one lane even) and right on each other and I was right in mix. The three that were in front of me almost crashed together when a car was on the other side of a blind corner. I have never braked so hard or felt the bikes front end dip like that before. I made another plan, I just would stay in the back and not get competitive next time...

The third ride took us to my favorite road. I couldn't keep my competitive nature in check after all. I got held up by three riders, the one in the front looking in his mirrors nervously. It's a very dangerous road and he was being pushed. Ashamed doesn't even describe how I felt when I found out he was new. I learned this after he crashed right in front of us. He trashed his bike but walked away okay. I decided I had seen enough and I wasn't riding with them again.

Nobody took care of the newbies, nobody ran a beginner group to trail the others, nobody called corners or road hazards using signals. Nobody waited around for this kid when he had to make his way back down the road with a half assed bike and still very shaken up from his crash.

The next ride was yesterday and I did not attend. This ride put three riders down. One was able to walk away with only road rash and a trashed bike. Another suffered a severly broken leg that will require surgery and much rest, I hope he is able to make a full recovery. My thoughts and prayers are with the family of the other rider who suffered fatal injuries. I have decided against posting any names or memorial locations as I believe most on this forum are not local.

Please ride with people you know and trust and always ride at your own level. Knowing that most, if not all of this could have been prevented is something very hard to deal with.
your wisdom grows grasshopper, fine you will be
 

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Mass Rides

Please ride with people you know and trust and always ride at your own level.
That is my mantra. My group rides are typically 3-5 riders, all of which I know well. ALWAYS ride at your own level. Whenever someone new wants to join us, I make sure to tell them this.

I once went on a "mass-ride" like you described. 130 riders. It was total mayhem. I personally witnessed two accidents (riders ok) and the aftermath of another crash (rider not ok). On that one, the entire ride was held up as the road was closed so the "ride for life" helicopter could land and haul this guy away after he threw his brand new Busa into the guardrail of a long right hand sweeper. The bike (what was left of it) literally looked like a bomb had gone off inside of it. The guy was seriously hurt, but lived.

Anyway, that was the first and last mass ride I ever went on. Glad you made it through ok!
 

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Strength and Honor
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I consider myself lucky to have found a fellow rider with similar skills and experience who I actually like personally. Riding with one other person when you're pushing it creates a bit of comfort since you know you'll have support to help get the bike home if there's an incident.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I know I have learned from everything but it wasn't worth it for the lesson. Aside from everything the hardest part has been really liking some of the people that I have met and remembering the late night dinners and laughs. It's hard to walk away from people that call you 'family' but it's even harder to see them get hurt or find out that they're dead. I almost wish I had never met any of them, but I know I don't really mean that.
 

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Well, maybe you can carve out a couple of friends from that large crowd and make up your own little group of riding buddies.
 

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I do alot of solo riding, but iam also a member of ITriderz, we are a small group and we do group rides but they are small, the largest was about 20 but for the most part 10 to 15 or less. 1 experanced rider in the rear to make sure no one is left behind or gets in trouble. but even with small groups things happen. we lost a new member to our club at the begining of the year, it was his fault, we do not allow stunting on the rides we have places that is done. he felt he needed to pull away from the group and do a wheelie, it did not end well and about a dozen of my friends saw something they will never forget. in erics death he changed alot of lifes and brought reality to a few.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Well, maybe you can carve out a couple of friends from that large crowd and make up your own little group of riding buddies.
I wish it was that easy but the guys that I spent most of time with are the ones who run the club. And it's kinda like you're in or you're out, you gotta wear the colors and have the windscreen logo (which I was catching shit for already). It just sucks.
... in erics death he changed alot of lifes and brought reality to a few.
Thanks for adding that statement and your experiences to the thread.. There are so many people affected by the death over the weekend. With all due respect to the fallen, it's been a devastating eye opener for a lot of people here. A lot of people want out, a lot are changing the way they ride and though I'm not positive, I think there's some like me, who don't even want to ride. I know that will probably change but for now I have absolutely no desire to get back on the bike, it's just sitting.
 

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Strength and Honor
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I wish it was that easy but the guys that I spent most of time with are the ones who run the club. And it's kinda like you're in or you're out, you gotta wear the colors and have the windscreen logo (which I was catching shit for already). It just sucks.

Thanks for adding that statement and your experiences to the thread.. There are so many people affected by the death over the weekend. With all due respect to the fallen, it's been a devastating eye opener for a lot of people here. A lot of people want out, a lot are changing the way they ride and though I'm not positive, I think there's some like me, who don't even want to ride. I know that will probably change but for now I have absolutely no desire to get back on the bike, it's just sitting.
As cookee noted, that kind of viewpoint is silly. Might as well join the Bloods or Cryps :rolleyes: Even if they're MotoGP skilled, their maturity level is clearly not there.

Don't rush back into riding, give it a couple of weeks, then take it for a short spin and see how things feel. It took a couple of weeks after my really serious crash to convince myself that getting back on was the right thing to do. If things go well, later this morning I'll post up the weekend experiences that hopefully have an atoning effect for you. The grass is truly greener on the other side, so don't lose hope!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the encouraging words Kanwisch. That was really nice. I had actually 'made' myself go out for a ride on Wednesday even though I didn't want to and I regretted it. It was an awful ride and really depressing. I just couldn't twist it and then when I finally forced myself to, it was pretty bad. I wasn't in the right state of mind. How did you crash (if you don't mind posting it)?

My saving grace has been having a great riding partner. He actually canceled a nice ride he had planned for Saturday and rode for over an hour to come drag me out of the house and back on the bike. I guess I was scared after all the recent crashes so he talked me into a slow paced ride, then increased the pace slightly over the course of the day (without me even realizing it). By the end of the day I was riding like normal and having fun. Death wasn't even crossing my mind anymore, just thoughts of body position and lines. Just like normal. It blows me away how much bikers look out for each other sometimes.
 

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Ok ....from now on, we all wear a red bandanna under our lids...


and we hunt down the blue bandanna people and cap em...






or maybe we just go for a ride....anybody got any gas money ? :D
 

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group rides in NOVA are no joke. My fiance is from there, as well as she rides. They ride in huge packs and ride pretty hard. I enjoyed all the times I have ridden there.
 

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Strength and Honor
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How did you crash (if you don't mind posting it)?
I'm still trying to find the thread but will post it when I can.

My saving grace has been having a great riding partner. He actually canceled a nice ride he had planned for Saturday and rode for over an hour to come drag me out of the house and back on the bike. <snip> It blows me away how much bikers look out for each other sometimes.
IMO, that's important in any riding partner.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
group rides in NOVA are no joke. My fiance is from there, as well as she rides. They ride in huge packs and ride pretty hard. I enjoyed all the times I have ridden there.
Yeah that's kind of the problem though. You might have half of them that are awesome riders that just rail but can do it safely.. Then there's the kids who show up based on what the website says (only 15 mph over the limit riding) and get in waaaaay over their heads. They get put in a position where they lose face if they back down so they try to keep up. Then you have all these noobs around you that don't know what the hell they're doing and speeds they can't handle. If it were a pickier selection process it could be a really great group but when anyone is free to ride (at least once) you just never know what you're going to get when you head out. We've got some sick mountain roads that have no room for error.

I'm actually going to be discussing all of this with the pres. who wants to remove some of the other guys if I'll stay. I don't know if it would be enough for me to go back but at the very least maybe I can help him to see why he needs to break the club into two or three groups on the rides. Maybe I can help make a difference.
 

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You might also mention the lack of maturity in "requirements" they have. I mean colors and logos :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yeah that one's kinda touchy though.. The guys seem to like it 'cause they know who's who in traffic and at bike shows and all. I was the only girl in the club and the only one who didn't have a supersport so I kept telling them that I didn't want to make them look bad by putting their tag on my bike, lol. :D
 

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I'm still trying to find the thread but will post it when I can.
Found my crash thread. I guess Search won't return more than 8 pages of results so you have to be pretty specific in what you're searching for, which wasn't working out for me :eek:
 

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No matter what you or the group does there will always be crashes. Pushing the limit while in a group will always have it's incidents, even professional racers wreck or get wrecked by someone else. If you want to not bear witness to other riders wrecking or getting wrecked by someone else riding solo is the only way to have good odds. I know it sucks but you can't have your cake and eat it too.
 
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