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Old 10-25-2009, 08:45 AM   #21
texlurch
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If you really want to improve rider skills and increase rider safety, the best recommendation I have is to bring them to the track. The instruction and supervision in a safe environment can build effective skills very quickly.



-Curt
That being said, are any of the track groups doing dedicated "noob" days? Used to be they would have one or two a year for first timers, so they aren't thrown in with a larger group of experienced track guys..
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Old 10-25-2009, 08:47 AM   #22
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tex you just pointed out why i dont ride in groups anymore... over time, you come and see people go down either in person or after the fact and you get tired of not being able to enjoy YOUR OWN RIDE... which i think is why many people go down... they try to keep up... its as simple as that...

Lets face it folks, not everyone is a motogp superstar and the streets are no place to try and prove you can ride... the streets throw too many different things at you to ride at a fast pace... dogs.. cats.. dirt.. rocks.. women on cell phones... you name it... the track? all you have to worry about is the guy infront of you, (atleast thats how it suppose to be, cant forget about the guy behind you now days either)
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Old 10-25-2009, 08:48 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by texlurch View Post
That being said, are any of the track groups doing dedicated "noob" days? Used to be they would have one or two a year for first timers, so they aren't thrown in with a larger group of experienced track guys..
Track is typically broken up into several levels to accommodate various riding levels. Take MSRH for example, you have Level 1, 2, and 4. Level 1 being for the noobs, 2 for intermediate, 4 for people like Maxgs
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Old 10-25-2009, 08:49 AM   #24
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Even among noobs there is a wide variety of skill levels. I do not really like going on group rides, it is cool being with a crowd at some point, but I find it much easier to ride my own ride when I have a small group of people I trust. If I am going to ride with a person who has not been out in the forest or on 3090 i prefer to go with them alone, so I can see how they ride and slow my pace down to make sure they are not pushing too far past their comfort zone, you can't do that with 10 noobs.
I have even had more experienced riders get in trouble, we picked up a guy one day who rode 3090 with us, much more experience rider than any of us, but he had not been on 3090 before. Everything was fine until the narrow bridge with the big ripple and hard left turn. We all knew it was there and adjusted accordingly to still go through quickly, while he almost high sided.
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Old 10-25-2009, 08:53 AM   #25
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As a rule, I don't like to "pick up" others along the way, just for that reason. I prefer to start and end with the same group. Never know what you are getting anyhow, so I try not to add anymore variables.

Seems like the theme is smaller, more "core" type groups. The more the mix, the more chances of issues.
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Old 10-25-2009, 09:00 AM   #26
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So that being said, do you feel like it might have been better to split off the "new to the group" people so they wouldn't feel so much pressure?

Would it have helped you?

Yes, it does help, but at the same time, there are riders that are "new to the group" but still want to ride the way they normally do, which sometimes may not be suitable for a rider that's still new to the group, who's skill level is not the same. I think it's really difficult to get a group of riders of different skill levels, and have them all go the same speed, and be all on the same page. There are so many different "levels" that we probably could've had like, 30 different skill level groups yesterday. I agree with Curt that considering how many people we had, and the events that happened, it was statistically good that we only had 1 major incident. I enjoy the group rides that don't put any pressure on any of the riders to keep up, and like I said before, with the leaders and sweepers doing an awesome job that they did , I think we minimized chances of more stuff happening, with all the crazy stuff going on yesterday.
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Old 10-25-2009, 09:09 AM   #27
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I just try to not ride with noobs and if I do it's on the freeway that is a bajillion lanes wide so there's room for error. I think all noobs should go hit a track day before hitting the back country roads. That way they have a better understanding of going around a corner
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Old 10-25-2009, 09:24 AM   #28
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Another thought....when posting up a group ride, require minimal safety gear. i.e. helmet, gloves, jacket. Anyone not showing up with that minimal gear, don't allow them to ride. This tends to attract people that are more willing to listen when you have that riders meeting.
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Old 10-25-2009, 09:31 AM   #29
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What's the problem? The problem is simple.

Inexperience and Ego. No one wants to be a n00b and everyone wants to be the fastest. Some people just don't know their place.
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Old 10-25-2009, 09:51 AM   #30
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Quote:
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Another thought....when posting up a group ride, require minimal safety gear. i.e. helmet, gloves, jacket. Anyone not showing up with that minimal gear, don't allow them to ride. This tends to attract people that are more willing to listen when you have that riders meeting.
Yup.. that's my standing rule, no gear = no ride with me.
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Old 10-25-2009, 09:55 AM   #31
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What's the problem? The problem is simple.

Inexperience and Ego. No one wants to be a n00b and everyone wants to be the fastest. Some people just don't know their place.
werd.

When I accidentally rode with the fast group yesterday I tried to go fast, actually near my limit.
Why am I still alive and my bike still in one piece?
- It might be the fact that I didnt go over my limit.
- The leader of the group was kind enough to wait for me (and others behind me) at turns we were going to make. I thought this was very important because knowing that they will wait for me made me not rush through the turns.


Also, the dude on the white r6 accidentally rode with the fast group. When they smoked him he knew instead of going faster to slow down and wait. He actually turned back around in hopes to see some other riders.


The reason I put out these instances is to balance the table. There are noobs with egos and don't know their place but there are also noobs that know the better thing to do.

Are group rides a bad thing? Should we stop having noob rides? I honestly think not. I for one learned more from yesterday's ride than riding on my own on twisties and other back roads.

Question:
Have experienced riders been down on that road? Im pretty sure that even experienced riders have gone down on that road or in other group rides as well.
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Old 10-25-2009, 09:55 AM   #32
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personally i dont think there is much you can do about it, thats not already being done. Good riders meeting stressing all the big points, good sweepers you trust. I think stopping more often and talking to everyone would be something that would help, but i dont think its practical. I miss going on group rides. i miss riding period, but group riding is what its all about. Meeting new people and hearing the info that every rider has. Unless you sit down and personally interview every person involved i dont think its gonna change much.
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Old 10-25-2009, 09:56 AM   #33
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You cannot blame the downed rider yesterday on this being a group ride. He went down 200 yards after he came out of a curve. It was a straight line. How he did that I cannot even imagine (I have read the threads).

I have been on 2 MH rides both seemed organized and safety conscious. Here are the things that I think could have been better done yesterday:

* Make sure everyone understands the staggered formation before heading out.
* Make sure everyone knows to change to single file and add more cushion in the twisties before heading out.
* Make sure everyone knows the hand signals before heading out.
* When there became more than one group it was unclear to just about everyone who they should be following.
* On the way back there was no designated sweeper and some folks were left behind at the point we turned on to 3090. Fortunately they went straight and did not turn in 3090 so they beat all of us to Anderson.

All that being said it was a safe ride and I still do not count the one downed rider as being attributed to this being a group ride.

I know some folks out there don't want to teach new riders all of this. I personally think that taking the time to teach this to noobs is part of what makes MH special. As soon as we stop placing an emphasis on safety I will stop riding with MH.
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Old 10-25-2009, 09:56 AM   #34
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Quote:
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Another thought....when posting up a group ride, require minimal safety gear. i.e. helmet, gloves, jacket. Anyone not showing up with that minimal gear, don't allow them to ride. This tends to attract people that are more willing to listen when you have that riders meeting.
It's not enforced. It takes a really rare individual to tell somebody to leave when they don't have the gear on. I've never seen it happen. Ever.
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Old 10-25-2009, 10:00 AM   #35
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Question:
Have experienced riders been down on that road? Im pretty sure that even experienced riders have gone down on that road or in other group rides as well.
Absolutely they have.
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Old 10-25-2009, 10:03 AM   #36
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personally i dont think there is much you can do about it, thats not already being done. Good riders meeting stressing all the big points, good sweepers you trust. I think stopping more often and talking to everyone would be something that would help, but i dont think its practical. I miss going on group rides. i miss riding period, but group riding is what its all about. Meeting new people and hearing the info that every rider has. Unless you sit down and personally interview every person involved i dont think its gonna change much.
You bring up a good point I have noticed before; fewer stops tend to string out the group more, so that is something to keep in mind when laying out rides..

That and occasional quick breaks at turns, and take a few minutes to make sure everyone is OK with the pace.
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Old 10-25-2009, 10:30 AM   #37
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+1 on more stops. Some of us had to fertilize the soil near where the rider went down.

I think it would be difficult to talk to everyone. In pp1, before the ride, someone went through the "noob talk".
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Old 10-25-2009, 10:41 AM   #38
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Yesterday's experiences:

1. When a noob ride has 40 people on the list and 62 show up.... that is unplanned.

2. All I get is complaints from people when I lead a noob ride that doesnt break 20 over in the straight, to which I always respond: then dont ride with me. We had a track instructor make a comment on a ride I didnt post in but decided to show up for last week and was asked to lead it; he commented "I thought the noob ride was next weekend"(jokingly.) My response was along the same lines: "After seeing that cop and the roads being as they are Im not pushing anyone."

3. Mudbug yesterday clearly stated "If you dont wish to ride my ride, go around me".... the rider in question did.

4. Yesterday I was merely asked to help fall in and lead where the gaps were and I did. I ended up about 15% through the ride at the back with 6 people behind me. On 3090 I led a group going under the speed limit when I assessed that group required and HONESTLY asked they werent and didnt feel comfortable riding the speed limit on these roads.

AT 3090 I felt bad when mudbug left on his noob leader position and only 5 or so followed him, while I stayed for the slower of the noob group and over a dozen stayed with me. As we rode I controlled the speed of the group based on the gaps by slowing down in the straights to keep the group together. Every stop I awaited for my designated sweeper and no one else to give the thumbs up.

When the slowest rider of the day(average speed 45mph) was being pulled away from, the second to last(sweeper) pulled infront of him to give him a reference. By all means did this rider not know the roads, but he rides for himself first for safety and knew the position that rider was in through his own experience and wanted to be there for this rider.


My experiences:(i'll try to keep this short )

The best groups: your close friends with the same skill level or riders that are openly WILLING to ride at eachothers level or at least respectful and wait for them; not everyone rides at their safety level everyday.

YOUR level: why ride over 70 or even 50% of your level on the streets? Why the ego boost of "I ride w the fast group now" so if you dont feel like sustaining that ego you dont go on rides because you only want to be known as the fast guy?(referencing newer riders you see try to keep up w the faster guys on the street but are obviously all over the road, not reading other riders etc.)

Group meetings: Very important. It sets the tone but its the fault of the leader for not sustaining the words they preached.

Leader/sweepers/helper: can you talk w your hands and UNDERSTAND and COMMUNICATE w eachother? A good leader will use his speed to keep the majority of the group together by closing the gaps. Wait times would minimize. A good sweeper will aid in controlling the group by keeping them together.

Open rides: Ever been on one? Where everyone meets and then goes and rides? How about the ones where you are left because you dont want to ride 100 in a 25? Not a cool feeling.

Experience: The only way to gain it is to ride. Track level, condition, street, etc... it all adds up to your experience. You cant put a number on it by years or even factoring time on the road from commuting.

Group rides: Can you read the riders around you? Can you RESPECT the GROUP? Fluidity of the group is what makes it successful because every rider is in sync. There is something to learn from every ride you go on. If you dont think you have, then you are not aware of how the group functioned that day. And thats a matter of open critism.

Besides being a long post, which is obviously going to be scanned; Im trying to open up the debate subject.

Last point:

"Ride your own ride" doesnt mean you're by yourself on a group ride. It means ride your own bike. If you showed up at the meet spot, guess what you're apart of the group until you told the leader your breaking off. On our regular ForestGnome rides we split up at 3090 and everyone rides up at respectful speeds until then. If we're in a smaller group I'll tell our regulars that want to go ahead to go if they so desire. And they near always sit and wait for the group to hit sight before continuing at each stop. On 3090, our rule is your first trip you ride in the back group.

And yes, we do end our rides now at our destination. Why? Cuz everyone breaks apart anyways. I schedule my day around these rides not just the morning. And I dont leave anyone at the end spot so that there are always options for people to return. This would put my usual smaller group ride w myself and a couple friends from a 4 hour ride to about a 6-7 w the extra stops, fatigue or riding remaining peeps out of my way to the highways they want to get to.

I mentioned it yesterday because it was obviously going to happen:
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It is assuming if u sign up for this noob ride u r riding per OP's rules. If he sets a faster group have fun. Otherwise b apart of the ride or make ur own. For those that want to give back to the community we appreciate ur help, and it shows great character.
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Old 10-25-2009, 10:45 AM   #39
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Group riding is a different animal then small group, track, backroads etc.

Its about the group, not the individuals. The moment you step out from the group you arent riding with it.


As for track experience, it is the best way to learn to take corners, learn about yourself and controlling a bike. But noob, noob riders on the track feel like speed bumps especially when rules are set for no passing and they are crawling around at sub 50 speeds. There should be some confidence before hitting up a track, or a level just for the people that are withholding the rest of the level back.
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Old 10-25-2009, 10:51 AM   #40
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Group riding is a different animal then small group, track, backroads etc.

Its about the group, not the individuals. The moment you step out from the group you arent riding with it.


As for track experience, it is the best way to learn to take corners, learn about yourself and controlling a bike. But noob, noob riders on the track feel like speed bumps especially when rules are set for no passing and they are crawling around at sub 50 speeds. There should be some confidence before hitting up a track, or a level just for the people that are withholding the rest of the level back.
Level 1 is specifically tailored for novice riders. There are many folks who ride slowly in the beginning and build skills and confidence as the day progresses. The only session with "no passing rules" is the first session of the day, the round robin. New folks should not worry the slightest bit about whether they are holding somebody up. There are passing zones and hot pit if somebody feels as if they are being held up.

There is no reason for a new rider to be intimated by level 1 at the track.
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