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Old 03-13-2009, 06:22 PM   #101
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PART 3:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave C View Post
in level two that early in the day you are not allowed to pass on the inside. packed or not that is a rule and it was broke. the injured was hit on the inside and the other that went down had bikes on both sides(not sure if in a corner but i would imagine so). I see this all the time guys going in trying to prove they are faster early in the morning.

Dirk and the other instructors say in the classroom to report these guys riding unsafe and they'll be forced to sit out a session if found to be stuffing or doing something dangerous. I've seen Dirk in action and he takes safety very serious.

yeah i'm not ready to do that. i'll sign up for level1 or novice if its new. Might even be in level 1 at ECR on the 4th atleast for the morning (2nd time there)

You have a very good point to bring up. In both levels, 1 and 2, THERE IS A RULE WHICH PROHIBITS ANY PASSING OF ANY KIND ON THE INSIDE.
This rule is explained in detail to all riders in class. It is possible the rider causing the incident did not attend, but it will be impossible to tell now.
We have plans to put in place that will deal with those who do not go to class. However, no matter what we try, we will not be able to stop anyone from breaking the rules. Those observed breaking the rules are made sit out as a warning (this has happened on a few occasions, and some were even asked to go home after repeated offenses). Ride Smart takes rule breaking very seriously. Riders are asked to report those who are a risk to others, and we pay attention to anyone who looks like a potential risk to others. I am sure this thread will serve as good fuel for all organizations to beef up their observation of all riders.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Candie View Post
From what I have read about both incidents that happened on that day were not the fault of Ride Smart but of the riders that chose NOT to attend the classroom sessions. In doing so the riders did not know the rules of passing on the inside. They have classroom sessions for a reason and if you sign up with Ride Smart knowing this the you should attend classes not only for yourself but for the others riders on the track. I don't see how the track being " crowded" had anything to do with either accident. IMOH

You are right. Crowded is also a relative term, but nonetheless, a rider breaking rules will do so if the track is empty of not. Passing other riders is a skill that should be taught to riders. Passing is an event that happens every day in every commute, and is an important skill especially for motorcyclists.
Having other riders on the track is an opportunity to exercise the knowledge you are given by instructors and do the passing in a controlled and premeditated manner. RideSmart has always stated that classroom for level 1 and level 2 is mandatory. We won't have the power to arrest anyone that skips. The truth is that we do not know anything about the rider causing the crash. He may have attended the classes, maybe not. Until we hear from him, all we do is speculate. That is not very constructive.
You are right about the cause of the accident. It was not because of other riders near by, but because of the irresponsible judgment on the part of rider who crashed into this poor soul. Every organization sees this, and every group has at one time or another observed those who act in a way they should not. I like a phrase someone here said - idiots are found not only in the asylum. They sometime walk among us.



Quote:
Originally Posted by logan5 View Post
Maybe instructors and control riders just need to be more judicial in moveing people down or up through the groups ... if a rider doesn't like it ... tough.
I can assure you all that us, the instructors do not ask the rider if he would like to drop down to lower level if we observe he does not rider adequately. The rider is flagged and told that we are dropping him down. End of story. No appeals are allowed.
Those that get dropped down and those who break rules do not get a say in what happens. They can tell us their side of the story, but we determine the outcome for the safety of the entire group.
We reserve the right to determine if they go up or down. Also, it often takes time to see those who act irresponsibly. Most of the time, it is not until session 3 or 4 that we see moronic behavior. This just happened to be an exceptional case, I guess. That, or the rider was spooked or could not maneuver for some reason. Like I said, until we speak to him, we can only guess. Looks like target fixation, but who really knows.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Factor View Post
I think that's a little harsh considering the difference between race & track day. As a noob I don't go to the track expecting to be hit.
No one goes to the track, or even a race, expecting to be hit. It happens as you start having a bunch of eager, testosterone loaded young males, trying to impress the empty stands with their alleged skill set.
As unfortunate as it seems, track riding has inherent risks. You should understand, that sometimes things happen, and if they do happen to you, the result may not be positive. Before having an inherently risky hobby, everyone is urged to understand the risks involved, understand that they may get hurt, before they lay out money to go and perform the activities.
I played soccer in Europe when I was young. I had my feet broken a few times. I love the sport. One time, a player missed the ball, while trying to take it away, and ended up hitting my foot, crushing two metatarsals in the process. I understood the risks way before I started playing. When it happened, I was not in a position to go and blame the other player because I knew it just happens sometimes. I can't foresee it, and most of the time, event the other player would not see it until a split second before the impact (which is too late).

You are right, there is a difference between track and race day, but it is not enough that we know it, and that most people know it. Some will not distinguish the two until they do something stupid. We can and we do try to teach as much as we can, but we expect people to exercise caution too. We cannot act as a police state and clamp down on everything. There is a good balance to be had here, but we need all of your help in achieving it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by ileono918 View Post
Why not Sport Bike Track Time does it. If you want to ride another level you have to send them your CMRA license or other org racer license, if not, you MUST ride novice.

I think that rule should be enforced, new to the org, go to novice group. At least for a couple of sesions followed by an instructor. Prove them you are safe to other riders, that is the key, being safer at the track.

For what I've read (I wasn't there) both accidents (Jason's and Graeme's) happened because the track was packed, again that is just my interpretation.

I have not seen the actual crash. I cannot tell how many riders were next to the riders when they touched. I feel confident in saying that the crash did not occur due to packing or crowding. If I put 10 riders of similar level on a track, they are bound to be passing each other at some point. Even though the rest of the track is empty, that particular turn will be 'crowded' to them because there may be more than 2 or 3 riders in the same turn.
This seems to be something that was either wrong with the other rider, his bike, or his brain just did not tell him to slow down and he ended up plowing into another person. To be sure you do not crash due to 'packing', you yould have to ride alone on the track, or would have to make sure that none of the riders take ANY turns close together at any place on the track. Is that possible? I say no, and any experienced track organization will surely see it as such too.




...TBC...
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Old 03-13-2009, 06:24 PM   #102
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PART 4:


Quote:
Originally Posted by bubby View Post
I agree. People have to be responsible. All the trackday org's have rules and it is the rider's responsibilities to know the rules and abide by them for his own and everyones else's safety.

It all starts with riders. Each rider's responsibility mitigates risk to all others. Best way to stay out of trouble is not use your GOOD judgment. PERIOD.



Quote:
Originally Posted by dbuck View Post
perhaps, do a better job of making people attend riders meetings. I know they can be a bear after attending umpteen million of them, but it is important. Maybe take a stroll through the pits 15 minutes into the meeting...those not attending get a checkmark next to there name and are issued a one session time out
Yes Dbuck, we have been talking with Dave over the last few meetings about just the same thing. We are getting things implemented to do so. Riders' meetings have always been mandatory at our school, and I am sure same goes for all other organizations as well. It is the most important meeting where they may say things that will affect the entire day. We do not excuse anyone from attending. As you pointed out, it is hard to make sure everyone is there. It is even more hard to ensure that everyone who is there actually is paying attention. We are all adults. Being so, there are certain skills like listening, and following the rules, that we expect each attendee is capable of performing. There is no way to identify those who will not want to listen or those who will plan to break the rules later on. I am sure people do not sit down before the track day and say - hey, I am gonna pass those suckers in level 2 today on the inside on the first session, maybe even in the round robin. That would be just dumb. I am sure people start riding and during the course thereof, they get swept away in the rush of the moment and forget their responsibilities. We cannot guard against that, so all we can do is observe.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Solracer View Post
+1 I think the "mandatory" rider meetings should actually be "mandatory"
As above, they are in our school (mandatory, not just on paper). I am sure other organizations on here will say the same. I am sure we will not be able to fine people for not attending. May be a good idea, but not feasible at all.



Quote:
Originally Posted by pdrich View Post
It was my first trip down to check out the action. I have not done any track days. I saw what went down and watched the Helo-Evack out of the the track. Not sure if I want to try a first time here. Looked like to much fun tho, untill the Helicoper ride out. Just my 2-cents.
PDRICH in NW Houston

I am sure you may have your reservations, but keep in mind, you can go for a ride on a street, and you may get sideswiped by a car, or a buddy of yours may be passing you and oncoming traffic may force him into you.
You can go to another school and get in an accident with therm. Heck, you can get into an accident on your own driveway.
This was an accident (unintentional - we hope), and although you do seem reserved now, know that accidents are relatively rare at any motorcycle track school event. You cannot foresee what will happen. Mitigate your risks as best you can. That is all you can do. Most people that do go down at a track day, end up being a bit shaken up, and end up having some rashed leathers from the encounter (maybe some bike fixing along with that). Injuries requiring medical attention are rare, and most of them can be prevented by using responsible reasoning and riding practices.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetkillr View Post
whenever i wanted to move up to intermediate with TTD i just had an instructor follow me a few laps to make sure i knew the line and was fast enough. i would request the same if i was riding with ridesmart. i think if Ride Smart kept track of who rode with them maybe this might not have been a problem. if someone wants to start off fresh with a new organization they should be under the watchful eye of an instuctor atleast for the beginning portion of the day.
Texas Track Days is not the only organization that evaluates riders before moving them. All organizations do. RideSmart is no different.
The evaluation process starts during round robin, believe it or not. We can tell if someone is a huge misfit in a group. However, those occasions are rare since for the most part riders are comfortable with round robin pace in level 2. Since the rider did not 'stick out' in round robin, and did cause a crash in the following session, it was just by pure coincidence. For all we know, he may have been a capable level 2 rider, but just spaced out during the turn, or maybe did something that caused him to ride into the other guy.
The fact is WE DO NOT KNOW. We will never know unless we speak to him. Pointing fingers without knowing all the facts and details just exacerbates the situation negatively.
Many riders do not have a good insight into how track schools operate. All a typical attendee sees is their end of the registration process, and their end of the track riding process. There are many behind the scenes things going on for everyones protection and safety.
I can attest that RideSmart does not just simply tell someone to move up. You have to demonstrate to the instructor that you are able to move up a level. That goes for level 1, 2. Levels 3 and 4 are advanced and ride in the same session. So I can assure you this practice was in place at the time of the crash. If you read one of my above replies, I address the 'keeping track of who rides with you' remark you made.
I hope you understand that anything those instructors did that day, would not have been good enough because a rider chose for some reason to pass on the inside of a turn, while rules prohibited such actions. The only way to know how you ride is to see you ride. This happened very early on (right after round robin). I hope you can understand where I am coming from, since I do not see how you can say this would have happened if RideSmart knew who is riding for each group.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Wormgear View Post
Somebody tell me why this wouldn't have happened in level 1 or even 4? A guy riding over his head and not attending the classroom, charges so irresponsibly into a turn that he basically t bones someone in the second session. That individual should have been black flagged and taken off the track for at least one session then watched carefully and sent home if he couldn't control himself. I imagine this (or something like it) would have happened had he not taken someone out so early in the day (nobody saw it coming). Anyway back to my question, In what level would this douche-bag bag not have crashed into someone?

You prove my points above. No one could have seen this coming. He could have been a novice, intermediate, or even a race group participant. It is not which group he was in, but what was going through his mind at the time. That part we are trying to figure out now. Thanks.



Quote:
Originally Posted by po-po 5.0 View Post
Thats harder to do for Ride Smart than it is for any other organziation. Getting people to come to the riders meeting is like herding cats, and Ride Smart has the most cats to herd.

You are right, our school enjoys great following and it is hard getting everyone to be where they need to be at any time during the day. We feel like police sometimes. We often try to track down those who do not attend classes. Sometimes we get lucky, sometimes not. Gotta understand, this is a business too. Imaging if you went to Disneyland and was waiting for a ride in line. By accident you step over the line they have painted that you should not cross unless a control person tells you to do so. So you cross the line by accident and they rush a person to yank you out of a line and push you out the gates for violation. We have many people's views to think of. We must try to find the best acceptable solution, where everyone is happy, not just us. I am not defending anything here, just stating that when you run a business, you have different rules to play by. I can also tell you that the herding process is about to get a makeover. Some may not like it, but it is coming.




...TBC...
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Old 03-13-2009, 06:25 PM   #103
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PART 5:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Grinchy View Post
Adopt the UK system.
Rider briefing is mandatory,
at the end of the briefing you collect a wristband (different colour for each event),
as you line up to go out onto the track a steward/marshall checks you have a wristband.
No wristband = no ride, simple
these checks occur throughout the day.

We have already identified a suitable solution, but we do thank you for the suggestion. It has been discussed and parts were being put in place for implementation. It is unfortunate that the crash happened before this was put fully into place, but you have to understand, even if we had this in place for 2 years, it would not stop someone from acting irresponsibly while on the track. This in no way would prevent someone from breaking the passing rules and causing such things to happen.
Responsibility starts with each rider by following rules of events, and acting like you care.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Grinchy View Post
Just as a topic of discussion,
by far and away the most successful trackday org in the UK operates a strict passing policy amongst other things on general public trackdays.
If a rider passes another close enough to sit them up or make them change line they will be blackflagged and warned once.
Marshals and instructors watch for it.
Do it a second time and you're out of there,
no more track time, no refund, goodbye.
This is not applied on ACU "race" practice days or if there is a "race" group for race licence holders!!
Lap Timers are prohibited too FYI

I get what you are saying, and would like to restate, that RideSmart watches for dangerous riding. We have in the past acted on people who behaved dangerously. We have strict rules is one thing. Figuring out how to make all others not break the rules is quite another. As a fact of life, no matter how many rules you put up, there will be someone who will break it.

If you have ever crossed a street not on a street light with designated pedestrian crossing, you broke the law. I know I am simplifying, but I hope that I am getting across the point that rules are only as good as those who obey them. Rules will not prohibit anyone from actually breaking them. Thought to self, maybe we can implant a 'mood chip' into every rider, and control them remotely during the event. That way, if we see someone come close to breaking the rules, we will just 'decelerate' them so they do not do this again. I know it is a joke but hope you understand what I am trying to get at.





There is some great input on this thread. We really appreciate all of your views. They are hugely important to our school.
I would urge other track organizations to look through this thread and take any lessons as well, since this can, and does happen at other organization events too.

We, as riders, are involved in a more risky hobby. We will bring that hobby to a place where we can improve our riding skills and knowledge. The unfortunate part is that some will bring their hobby to the same place, and have no regard for other people by acting in an irresponsible and unethical manner. If you are a rider that has never been to any track events, we urge you to make sure you understand that an accident may happen, and we want to let you know that you are expected to bring maturity and proper information processing tools (good brain) to each event. You will be expected to use them rationally and responsibly. If you find that you may not be able to contain yourself and that you may just go wild with all the adrenaline, we will urge you to stay away from track riding, since many other riders' safety is at stake.




Take care everyone. We always strive to make our track experience to be better for all customers. If you have any input at all, please direct it to us via PMs, or email to ridesmart@mac.com. Calls are welcome as well.

P.S. I think I deserve some kind of 'longest thread' award from MotoHouston...can I win a free track day for this?



+++++++++ THE END ++++++++++
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Old 03-13-2009, 06:29 PM   #104
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Agree, that would be a great idea, but only if everyone was made to attend. Stating that the noobs are more prone to crashes is not accurate.
They are actually more scared and intimidated, that they use their judgment much better. It is usually those who are familiar with the environment, that try their fastest, causing crashing. Most crashing occurs in intermediate followed by advanced.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Candie View Post
I think that would be a great idea. The riders meeting is for all levels with basic info. That is mainly for riders that are frequent trackday riders that may be new to the org or particular track. What I was referring to is the classroom portion of the day that happens after every on track session that are generally held in the novice and intermediate groups or levereel 1 & 2 depending on which org you are riding with. These two groups have diffnt passing rules and the staff members have much more detailed information for those riders. So everyone needs to be at the general riders meetings but more importantly the novice and intermediate riders need to attend every classroom portion of the day. So a roll call would be an excellent way to see who is attending class.
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Old 03-13-2009, 06:32 PM   #105
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when in riders meeting people speak of most common places to crash it is not to scare, it is to make it apparent to all, that there are places on the track where it is easier to get into trouble. Having a bit of reality acts as a retardant for those hot heads (not all the time though as we see).

Crashing is a part of riding at the track. People like to push their limits, and sometimes push too hard. We hope they do not, but we cannot be their conscience. We need help from all of participants to make this a safe event every time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by S.D.W. View Post
Once you leave the first rider's meeting you may feel the same way. They talk about dont do this and don't do that. People usually crash here and people usually crash here. In their defense, they see the same things happen time and time again so they have to point out the mistakes that rider's continually make.

I told one of the instructors that after leaving the first meeting, It didn't make me very confident going out on the track. I said there should be a positive note on the end of the sessions. That way rider's leave with a sense of confidence.
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Old 03-13-2009, 07:39 PM   #106
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Well said Ciaka! I totally understand your point of view!
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Old 03-13-2009, 08:56 PM   #107
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Looks like there is resolution to this in some way.

At least we see that he has the fortitude to come forward and admit a mistake. We were not asking for blood. Too bad this did not occur during the track day. he rode the entire day with the knowledge he hurt someone, and even for a week afterward did not confess.
Now we can attempt to piece things together.

Initially, this looks just like the scenario we instructors warn against in levels 1 and 2. This is the scenario where a passer initiates a pass late in a straight, without enough distance to safely finish the pass, scrub speed and make the turn with adequate spacing and safety level.

We warn about this time in and out. It is not a joke when we say not to pass like this. Unfortunately this will become a great example for those who think they want to sneak one more before the session is over, or whatever.
The rider admitted not being new to the track. In the end, it was a very bad judgment call on his part, an another rider ended up paying for those decisions.
I think his bad judgment, combined with possibility of a bad line on the part of the other rider (at least there are notions of such lines in the post of the person who caused the crash - which looks that at least he thought the other person was wide), both came together at that turn to create a crash with these results.

Word of advice to any rider for any track day: Pay attention to everything said by instructors. They have seen a lot of things and can tell you what you can do to avoid such scenarios. Listening to them an obeying what they say can and often will save you the pain and the agony of crashes and other incidents.
And for 's sake, we have round robin sessions for a reason. The reason is not to warm your bikes and rider zig zagging to warm up the tires. The reason for round robins is so that you all can put your bike on the line you are supposed to ride. Your attention to this is imperative. Confusion about where to be on the track creates confusion when you actually ride in other sessions.
We have had track events where we made a level repeat round robin because none seemed to follow any instructions and appeared to ride for the sake of warming up.
Still would hope to have a chat with him to hear more details. Thank you for the step you took to do the right thing and take responsibility.
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:34 PM   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ciaka View Post


We are very interested in finding out who did this. I do too consider it a very low thing not to at least get off the track and say, hey it was me that crashed into him and I sincerely apologize.
For not doing this, you - who have caused this crash - are not an honest and responsible as a human being. I hope your conscience bears down on you. You should at least stand up and take the responsibility for this. He is hurt, has to replace a bunch of equipment, and you just ride off knowing that you have injured someone, possibly severely, and do not even check to see what happened. That is plain low on your side, whoever you are.
We expect you will at least call us to let us know that you have done this and to let us know your side of the story. Yes, accidents do happen, but if one causes it, they act like a normal compassionate human should do, take responsibility. I call on you to do your part as a person, admit to what you did.
It is possible that the rider isn't part of this community. Anyhow, if the rider IS part of the forum, I sincerely hope the person steps up and acts like a man and admits fault.

Wait a tick, I just read your last post, looks like the guy fessed up???
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:52 PM   #109
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...yes, and it appears that he has a username (same) on both of the Houston based forums. As many, frequents both, and it is good to see that his conscience got the better of him to take the step and admit a part in the crash.


Thanks to all, I hope we all take something away from this, not just riders, but all organizations too. It will be a shame to go through this and not learn anything.
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:11 PM   #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ciaka View Post
...yes, and it appears that he has a username (same) on both of the Houston based forums. As many, frequents both, and it is good to see that his conscience got the better of him to take the step and admit a part in the crash.


Thanks to all, I hope we all take something away from this, not just riders, but all organizations too. It will be a shame to go through this and not learn anything.


I hope that many rider's have learned from this. I know I have. All us track noobs can do is learn.
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