Eon, I keep near-running into you
March 1, 2010 at 1:03 am #3728
I saw you ride by just as you were leaving the parking lot at magnuson with the big PNWRiders group. I was busy setting up an autocross course with my girlfriend. I was teaching her basic driving (i.e., not how to drive (she’s been driving since 16), but how to drive ) and then we time-trial raced around it, me on my DR-Z and the lady in her car.
How was the PNW meet-up? What was it for? Don’t really check the event schedule over there as much as I should. Anyway, one of these days maybe I’ll actually run into youMarch 1, 2010 at 5:16 am #24687owlieParticipant
Okay guys, it is time to get you both down at the same table. NO ARGUMENTS!
I’ll be in town April 2 through April 5. My preference is for the 5th, but, hey, its my vacation, I’m flexible.
See y’all soon,
OwlieMarch 1, 2010 at 2:54 pm #24690
Dammit, I wish I had known that was you. When I saw that course set out I almost had a spin around it till I saw the car sitting there. That looked like a lot of fun but it must have taken you forever to set it up. Next time you do that give me a shout and I will be there to help out and share in the fun.
It wasn’t a PNW group. I rarely visit that site as most of the conversation seems to be at the teenage boy level. There were 8 or so sportbike guys there who may have been from PNW. They were practicing their wheelies and stoppies but they were pretty responsible and pretty cool. Certainly had some impressive leathers on.
No, it was a Meetup Group get together to practice basic riding techniques. Think we had over 30 bikes show up which was pretty impressive turn out for some parking lot practice. I was expecting some god awful riding on show but it was not as bad as I had feared. Some people need to make this a more regular part of their riding routine. I was given a hard time as I had an unfair advantage on my scooter. Not having to worry about friction zone makes things easier and I could have done these exercises with my eyes closed, but I only got their with many hours of practice.
Here is a video I put together of the day.
The one disadvantage of making videos is that you don’t get to be in them
So here is a gratuitous shot of me showing how it should be done
edit: Owlie, April 5th works for me.March 1, 2010 at 3:39 pm #24693MunchParticipant
Watching that video at the end I would have been sure you were here in NC. Other then the mountain shots you get over there, theres not much difference.
Looks like fun to have a group like that to work PLP with. Wish I could spend some doing it myself. The most practice I get is slow race on a high bank turn when traffic slows. Though I can still bang a U-ey in the space of the width of my driveway so for now I will call it good.March 1, 2010 at 6:50 pm #24697
It did take a while to set up, but not because of laying down cones. The thing that took longest was trying to come up with a variety of different corners (constant/increasing/decreasing radius turns, big sweepers, hairpins, etc.) and then making them flow together and fit the parking lot. The first course I made was so tight that even her tiny sport hatchback couldn’t make some of the turns.
Anyway, I’ll be sure to invite you out one of these weekends for some fun!
I totally agree about PNWRiders. I think I still have a single-digit post count over there…most threads are just silly. In fact, even the threads I have posted in are just silly. Glad to know those sportbikers weren’t giving us too bad a name
As a side note, how ridiculous was that chopper? Despite having bright cones set up, EVERYBODY drove right through the course, even when our car was peeling through it. The chopper even tried to follow the course a bit, but hit the first hairpin and gave up! Choppers with that kind of fork rake are a rare beast in Seattle.March 1, 2010 at 7:27 pm #24699
From my one weekend trip to NC I would say yes, they are pretty similar. Yes we have higher mountains here but you can’t ride up them! Riding the foothills of them is a lot like I remember NC to be.
This was only the 2nd time this group has had a PLP session. We watched Ride Like A Pro and then hit the practice range. To be honest there were slightly too many people there or at least, we needed to be better organized. A lot of time was spent waiting your turn. Could’ve/should’ve set up at least two lines for each exercise but on the whole it went smoothly.
One of the guys set up an 18ft circle and I wish someone had videoed me going round that. I could do it with a couple of feet to spare and do it real slow. Would like to have seen what that looked like.March 1, 2010 at 7:36 pm #24700
The guy with the chopper is actually a pretty good rider. Apparently he took the Police Riders course. Not sure what course this is exactly but you take it on supplied Harley. Costs close to a grand for a one day course so not many people take it!
Course this guy has more money than sense. He has a Harley bagger (whatever that is) that he has spent $56k on. Amazing paint jobs on his bikes and all kinds of special clutches and what not. Shudder to think what that chopper cost. He also recently bought a Hayabusa that he is going to chop and drop ~$24k on a paint job and take to shows. I think I took the wrong career choice somewhere along the line.March 1, 2010 at 7:56 pm #24701
There are several places where you could go to get some course layout ideas. Lee Park’s book has some, and you might be able to find some MotorCop exercises online. The slow stuff that motorcops do is REALLY challenging if you’re not used it, but it develops great skills that apply across spectrum of riding.
And just a suggestion…why the name of beer and all that’s holy are riders allowed to participate sans a helmet? What’s worse, what’s up with the mental giant riding a course with her helmet protecting her sissy bar?!?!? That could turn embarrasement or at worst a broken collarbone into a coma or death, right there in the parking at 3MPH!March 1, 2010 at 8:38 pm #24702
I agree with you but in case it wasn’t clear this was just an informal get together, not an organized course. This group is 95%+ cruiser riders and without passing judgment we all know what that means when it comes to gear. A situation not helped IMO by Ride Like A Pro where t-shirts and fingerless gloves are the norm. But if you are barely in control of your bike (like that woman was) and you choose to wear a cowboy hat while leaving your helmet on your sissy bar, well I’m not sure what to say. I make my choices and I let others make theirs but don’t expect me to cry at your funeral. If I was responsible in any way for their safety (or if I had been one of the organizers) then I would have insisted on helmet use at all times.
Slightly different topic but I also have a different philosophy when it comes to group riding. This group insists on riding like a pack and is terrified of the group being split. This means they ride in tight parade formation (even at speed) and use blockers at junctions, all stuff that I hate. I consider that riding dangerous and want no part of it. If you notice in the video I am way off the back and don’t mind when a car gets between me and them. I ride as an individual, not as part of a collective, but I don’t think they are unique in the way they ride. I’ve seen those guidelines published in many websites. I consider that at least as dangerous, if not more so, than riding in a parking lot without a helmet.
I’ll get off my soapbox nowMarch 1, 2010 at 9:25 pm #24711
I guess I’m just paranoid because I’ve been around things like this when someone falls and then they’re forced to lawyer up by their insurance agency. Not sure how it works out there, but here it’s illegal to conduct a class that hasn’t been approved by the state. I have no idea how they decide what a “class” is, but I don’t want to be on video teaching anyone anything and have them fall and crack their skull…
I’m with you on group riding. I get asked at least once a class about group riding. As it’s part of what we instruct (and the state tests on it) I stick with what “the cards” say. When a student asks me away from the group? Oh, hell no! Don’t do it! And if you do, make sure you’re at THE BACK of the line.
I get a bang out of group riders and seperation. It’s almost like you’re traveling in a foreign country and have to be off the road by dark…and if you get lost, you’re a goner! The argument is that the group is safer together (fat chance) and can respond to an emergency should one arise…ask anybody in most groups if anyone has even the most basic of first aid or CPR training…March 1, 2010 at 9:36 pm #24713
I need to clarify just a little…I’m not against helping people hone their skills at all! I’m only suggesting that folks be smart about it and be sure to ENCOURAGE everyone to be safe. If it were me personally, I’d politely let it be known that I don’t like to be around folks who don’t take safety seriously…
And then I’d give them the parking lot test….
“You may ride with me at anytime (provided I have a motorcycle suitable for two-up riding) in any gear (no gear if) you wish, provided you adhere to two things; 1) You must be comfortable running as fast as you can, and then dive head first into a curb, baseball style in whatever you intend to ride in. 2) I reserve the right to ask you to do perform this readiness test at anytime I think you’re improperly attired.”
I never have an argument.March 1, 2010 at 10:32 pm #24714
“I never have an argument.”
Yeah, this is a common test, and a great one. But to each their own…just not in my group rideMarch 1, 2010 at 11:32 pm #24715
I can see if money changes hands it would need State approval but it’s hard to legislate against giving/taking advice from a friend. But I agree I would not want to be on video giving advice to someone who then falls over and gets hurt. Damn lawyers!
But group riding can be fun. Some of my best rides have been group rides. There is a local motorcycle website here that organizes occasional rides and they have been a blast. Got to have lunch and ride with David Hough so you can imagine safety is paramount. You gotta have full gear (including boots and pants) and you essentially ride individually. The guy in front will wait for you at an intersection so you know which way to go and you wait for the guy behind you. Not exactly rocket science.
Since we are talking about safe riding, I’ve been meaning ask you about Iron Butt rides. I am surprised to see you promote them as they seem inherently unsafe to me. The whole idea of setting yourself an artificial deadline that forces you to ride at night while fatigued on unfamiliar roads in all kinds of weather just so you can get a ‘certificate’ and join an ‘exclusive’ club seems bizarre to me. Everyone I know who has done it talks about riding through a mental fog. Normally you would pull over and rest but instead you press on as that is the ‘challenge’.
Maybe I am missing something but it just seems unsafe to me and anything but fun.March 2, 2010 at 1:45 am #24718
Ah yes…the question of safety. Well, it’s a great question and one that should be asked. I’m not sure if you have the last two issues of MCN, but an individual wrote into the magazine complaining about the coverage of the Iron Butt Rally as it surely must be unsafe as three people have died in the event since it’s inception. I wrote a rebutal letter that was published that refutted the original authors claims. Catch those if you can because I think the questions were intellegently posed and I hope my answers were as well!
The safety issue with the IBA and most definately the rally comes down to a very few simple principles; preparedness and personal responsibility. I think personal responsibility is an absolute; riders need to decide what their risk tolerance is, their individual limits, their level of preperation…and they need to weighed against the goal of that ride. There’s no question that you’ll read stories about “the fog” and maybe even a little bravado with speed and stories of mayhem experienced along the way. At the end of the day, EVERY rider is accountable to his/herself and their families. A pretty good comparison is to SCUBA divers (which I am a divemaster) or mountain climbers (which I did once…oh my God why did I do that?) There are varying limits of risk/reward…every diver and climber must assume those risks, but each is usually well prepared and incidents are rare.
This is true with the IBR as well. The safety record is remarkable by any measurement. In the history of the event, there has been one rally related death, which occured in this year’s addition of the rally. It was a tragic event, and our community is still realing from it. But consider that the event has taken place 12 times since it’s inception in 1984. In the modern history of the rally (’95-present) roughly 100 competitors start the rally with the average mileage around 10K over 11 days. Total mileage, per rally, is between 700K and 900K. If you take the smaller number, that’s 5.6 MILLION MILES….with one death. Yes, there have been some tragic accidents with serious injuries. It’s a small percentage that I don’t have a figure for, but again, by any measurement, that’s a pretty impressive saftety number.
For people who ride distances on a regular basis, 1000 miles in a day is not that big of a deal…an experienced and prepared rider should cover that distance in about 15 to 16 hours without much trouble. I know that sounds odd, but it really does come down to preparation and experience. Once you’ve done it, you understand what it takes and with each ride, it’s an easier ride.
Eon, it’s a good question and I appreciate you asking it. The IBA and rides certainly aren’t for everyone. It’s doesn’t mean that the riders are superior (believe me, there are some REAL knuckle heads that have a plate backer) or are any smarter. It just means they enjoy different challenges on a bike. Nothing more, nothing less.March 2, 2010 at 1:58 am #24720
You may be perfectly fine! Every state is different. Texas doesn’t police that stuff much, and technically, even track day instruction is supposed to be state approved, but none are.
I’m not poo poo’n, just saying please be careful. My best friend is an attorney…but…subjegation is a bitch!
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