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Old 01-11-2009, 05:19 PM   #1
Tomcat101147
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Riding with the wrong group?

I've discussed this before but now it's time to decide. I occasionally ride with a STAR chapter in Dallas but I think it's time to look elsewhere for riding partners.

The Chapter has yet another rider down. That's six in the last 11 months. None were wearing ATGATT and all survived. The latest one got scuffed up but didn't break anything that I know of for certain. He's home after a night in the hospital.

One drove into the side of a truck that pulled out in front of him, one got trashed trying to avoid a vehicle coming over into his lane, two got taken out at a stop by being rear ended, one (guest) wiped out on the Three Sisters (Texas ranch roads) during a ride, and the latest said only that he dropped it (no details).

None of these accidents occurred during inclement weather. The streets were clear and in the case of the latest the weather was chilly but not cold. None of the riders wore the correct safety gear although all wore helmets of some sort. 3 bikes were totaled.

I'm of the opinion that I'm in the wrong group. I began to suspect that when I found out that the Safety Captain had never heard of ATGATT and had no idea what it meant!

At the rate of one down every other month I have the definite opinion that something is wrong. Whether on a group ride or individually there's been ample warning that these folks need to gear up properly. The latest rider to go down wasn't wearing gloves and was wearing ordinary jeans and although I'm not sure what kind of jacket he might have been wearing, he received road rash on his hands, knees and elbows along with possible broken ribs which fairly screams "No Gear"!

I really, really think it's time to leave the chapter! I'm not interested in taking a turn in this roulette game! If folks get killed or crippled I don't want to have to help scrape them off the road.

It's simple, ATGATT, road awareness and caution, but they don't seem to listen. I hope they get a clue before someone dies. I won't be there to see it.
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Old 01-11-2009, 05:35 PM   #2
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Re: Riding with the wrong group?

Your own opinion is the best advice you can take IMO.

May I suggest an alternative though? Maybe instead of leaving, you could pass on your knowledge and experience? Just a thought, but maybe you could bring these numbers to your chapter as a wake up call? What could it hurt? If you're thinking about leaving anyways, maybe it's the best way to go. You never know, you may just save someone's life.
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Old 01-11-2009, 05:48 PM   #3
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Re: Riding with the wrong group?

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Originally Posted by FD929 View Post
Your own opinion is the best advice you can take IMO.

May I suggest an alternative though? Maybe instead of leaving, you could pass on your knowledge and experience? Just a thought, but maybe you could bring these numbers to your chapter as a wake up call? What could it hurt? If you're thinking about leaving anyways, maybe it's the best way to go. You never know, you may just save someone's life.
Perhaps if you are in good enough standing with the club, you could volunteer to be safety captain for a time. Have you spoken with the chapter pres. about your concerns?? You could set up a meeting which totally adresses Safety. Barring that, if any group you are riding with fails to ride at a level of safety you are comfortable with, it is your responsability to bail. Last time I ignored that advice, it cost me $400 and 2 points.
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Old 01-11-2009, 06:00 PM   #4
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Re: Riding with the wrong group?

so....what is ATGATT stands for...???

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Old 01-11-2009, 06:13 PM   #5
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Re: Riding with the wrong group?

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so....what is ATGATT stands for...???

All The Gear, All The Time.

Beats finding out that asphalt always trumps skin.
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Old 01-11-2009, 06:15 PM   #6
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Re: Riding with the wrong group?

Lyn I'll wager you have already voiced your concern clearly (you have no problem about being direct here ) and been ignored. Your call...mine would be to find a more sensible group. Personal philosophy is that if one is sloppy with safety gear, they tend to be sloppy with other aspects of riding...like improving skills or drinking while riding etc. I'd rather ride alone than be with fools who might get hurt or worse, hurt someone else.
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Old 01-11-2009, 06:34 PM   #7
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Re: Riding with the wrong group?

Another clear cut example of why I choose to ride solo. Like a cat, I only have to please myself.

I know there are many group riders here, and as Ben stated, you are your strongest influence to decision making. I do believe that most of the cruiser groups are less adamant at requiring ATGATT for group rides. Syd has dealt with this in depth with the Star riders here in Sacramento. I do believe it is better now, but far less than perfect. Speaking out can't hurt either.

If you enjoy the company of other riders, why not seek out another group in your area or that is more like minded in safety.

Good luck, Lyn. I know finding good riding partners is sometimes difficult.
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Old 01-11-2009, 07:14 PM   #8
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Re: Riding with the wrong group?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomcat101147 View Post


One drove into the side of a truck that pulled out in front of him, one got trashed trying to avoid a vehicle coming over into his lane, two got taken out at a stop by being rear ended,

It's simple, ATGATT, road awareness and caution, but they don't seem to listen. I hope they get a clue before someone dies. I won't be there to see it.
I am not sure what to say here. I have had times that I have felt the same way and have left more then a few groups. To put it simply I ride to ride and not to practice medic skills that I learned a long time ago.

That said the star groups look to have large memberships that do try and ride so you will see more crashes. 4 of the crashes that you have brought up I would like to know more about why you hold it against the group. Some one pulling out in front of another. Is there a reason that you feel that he should have been able to stop. The person that lost control when some one came into there lane?? again need more details. The 2 bikes rear ended at a stop I see no fault on the riders here. The last 2 seem like there might be a reason to look at the riders.

Now is there a 2nd question here. How do you feel about riding with a group of people that do not share your feelings about gear and maybe safety in general ?? You are the only one that can answer that. There are a lot of cruiser riders that go 100s of thousands of mile with little gear and no problems.

As we know that is fine until some one fails to stop at a light or pulls out in front of you.

As a rule cruisers do not stop as well or handle as well as a sport bike or a touring bike. I feel that a lot of being able to stay out of a crash is me getting out of the way. If I am on a long heavy cruiser then I give up some of this so I do not ride one. Yes there is also that fact that I can not keep the metal parts off of the pavement.

To each there own but my guess is that most likely you are just uncomfortable with people that do not share your views on gear and would be happier to ride with those who do. I know I feel that way. I wear head to toe gear and my sons do when there are on the back. Yes I tend to just not feel comfortable when people are not dressed the same.

In the end a long post to ask if it is the crashes because 4 of the 6 where not the riders fault or just that you do not like to be in groups that do not share your view on gear.

Denis
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Old 01-11-2009, 07:14 PM   #9
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Re: Riding with the wrong group?

always follow your instincts.
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Old 01-11-2009, 07:33 PM   #10
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Re: Riding with the wrong group?

I am also a Star Member. I rarely ride with them anymore. I do like to socialize with them so remain in the group.

I have had more than one instance where I was less than comfortable with some of the riders. I do believe many of them only ride on the group rides. Very few I know of go practice skills. The Sacramento group tried to put together a safety day, but only a few showed up. And as Lynn says~chaps, t-shirts vests, no ATGATT. Only a few wear full face helmets. I see sneakers on a lot of the folks. I've seen some scary riding due to lack of experience.

I think they have good safe intentions but are deaf to the main issues of safe gear.

My Victory group is fairly good about gearing up, but still there's no telling some of them. I guess they don't see it fits the "cruiser image". At least most of the Vicsters do get out and ride alot.

I don't want to single out Star. I think no matter what group you are in there will always be a few people that just don't get it.
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