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We all do it. Riding in pairs.

Two things happened in Alaska yesterday. The first was the annual blessing of the bikes. It's an event attended by hundreds to bless the bikes and strive for a safe riding season.

The second was a horrific crash that left three riders dead. The bikes were traveling in two pairs in a pretty tight group. A car waiting to turn left, was rear ended and pushed in to the path of the motorcycles. All four struck the car head on. Three of the four died at the scene.

While riding in a tight formation can be fun, it limits avoidance options and can lead to Chaim reactions. This is an awful accident, and not many details have yet emerged. Please ride safe.

3 motorcyclists killed in Glenn Highway crash south of Palmer | State News | ADN.com
 

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Very bad news to hear. That is why I never ride in any organized rides for charity or something like that. Different riders at different skill levels in close formation and nowhere to escape when something happens. Since this event was mainly cruisers I wonder if any helmets were being worn by any of the victims? My thoughts and prayers go out the the families.
 

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When I ride in groups I never ride side by side, always offset by at least a bike length or two, if not more. Reason being if a rider has to swerve to avoid something on the road they need to have room to do it... thou in this instance that may not have prevented the outcome. The two second separation rule can make a huge difference, when followed...
 

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I don't do group rides either. It was my first instinct that came to mind when I tried one. Riders I barely know right on my ass in a tight formation? No thanks I like my space.

I have a small group of riding buddies and we ride our own ride and give each other plenty of space to enjoy the ride. No parades for me.
 

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Wow, that sounds like my accident, except for the whole group thing.

I guess I really am lucky not to be dead after hitting the car like I did
 

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Each year in October near my home, a motorcycle group ride takes place escorted by a formation of six Maryland State Troopers. One year I participated in the ride near the end of the group of perhaps 300 or so riders. Fortunately, the ride was without major incident for me, but I passed a few breakdowns on the side of the highway and noticed other riders uncomfortably close to me on a few occasions.

The following year, I wasn't able to participate, but happened to approach the procession from the opposite direction near the end of their ride immediately after the riders made a right turn on to the road towards me. The six Maryland State Troopers, riding in two rows of three, maintained what looked to be perfect formation, sort of like the Navy's Blue Angels but on motorcycles instead of jet fighters.

Watching the Troopers riding by was neat to observe (I later saw them again on the highway at speed, returning from the ceremony, in the same tight two by three formation, then by themselves), but a swarming gaggle of clearly less talented and/or disciplined riders, many of them unsuccessfully attempting the same formation, followed the Troopers. Fortunately, the road we were all on has wide shoulders on both sides. Many members of the 'gaggle' made their right turns, crossing well over the double yellow line into my lane on a collision course. I recall maneuvering all the way to the right of the road shoulder and kept moving, noticing in my mirrors car and truck drivers behind me pulling far off to the right as I had done.

Too close for comfort. This encounter, plus an unrelated but similar incident causing injury to a friend, ended my interest in large group rides.
 

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These friggin distracted drivers texting or whatever is out of hand. Seeing them weaving all over the road and skidding to stops is becoming a daily thing for me. I am going to have to quit carrying my gun on my rides because I am afraid I am going to loose my shit and pull it on someone.
 

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I'm not a fan of group rides either....I like to ride with people that I know their skill level and know how predictable they are. Even on rides that I do with people I trust, I don't ride real close to the other people and don't want them riding real close to me. I know what I'm capable of, them....not so much.
 

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These friggin distracted drivers texting or whatever is out of hand. Seeing them weaving all over the road and skidding to stops is becoming a daily thing for me. I am going to have to quit carrying my gun on my rides because I am afraid I am going to loose my shit and pull it on someone.
The abundance of it scares the living shit out of me. Every light, it's the busy mom in the mini van sending a message or the business guy in the BMW taking a conference call with no headset and checking email at the same time or the texting teen driver who's parents bought them a brand new fast car and thinks they have better road skills than an F1 driver after 3 months of driving.

I've started tapping on people's windows and telling them to hang it up because they're going to kill a motorcyclist (politely of course). I ask them if what they're doing on their phone is worth potentially killing another human being for. Most give me the finger and I probably shouldn't do it but 1 out of 50 does and if they avoid hitting me or someone else,well that's a win in my dillusional world.



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I recall a conversation with the late Mike Traynor of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation at a Ride For Kids function regarding group riding safety and to say that we disagreed on the prudence of such an activity would be an understatement. I never participated again, but continue to make a modest donation to their mission. Charity rides are a disaster waiting to happen. The club I ride with realized the potential of a catastrophic incident years ago and now when we gather, we split up into groups of two, three, four, or even a half dozen riders of similar skills. This always helps to keep track of eachother in the event of a medical or mechanical problem. In times past, we had folks wanting to run with the "express" group that had no business hanging with those quicker riders and it was uncomfortable persuading those slower folks that it was not wise to do so. Just two weekends ago we had our annual Spring Rally in North Carolina with a couple dozen riders in four or five "pods". Even the slower riders running a slightly elevated pace in their small group, had no incidents. It is so easy to get sucked into a dicey situation when trying to keep up with more skilled riders. Thankfully, I have found a group of riders that take sport-touring seriously where group safety is paramount.

My group still speaks of the time we came upon a very large group of HD riders on the Cherohala Skyway running, no shit, 14 mph in the corners. I counted 117 bikes in that ridiculous scrum as we passed them 20 at a time. Of course what the HD riders were doing, in addition to being an impediment to the normal flow of traffic, was against the law. In many jurisdictions they could have been charged with parading without a permit.
 

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I've started tapping on people's windows and telling them to hang it up because they're going to kill a motorcyclist (politely of course)
I absolutely understand where you're coming from, but that's such a great way to get your ass kicked, get shot, or have some lunatic run you off the road when the light turns green.

With all of that said, I may join you. :D
 

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I can't believe there aren't more accidents in the large poker runs. Large group of bikers riding bar to bar to bar to bar to bar, seems like such a great idea on paper. I know the owners of our local Harley franchise and they have an annual poker run in memorial to two employees that were killed by a drunk driver. I asked them one time if they could see the irony in that. They changed the subject.

The cell phone thing is reaching a point where they are going to have to start treating it like DUI's with license suspension, huge fines, and mandatory jail time for repeat offenders.
 

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I absolutely understand where you're coming from, but that's such a great way to get your ass kicked, get shot, or have some lunatic run you off the road when the light turns green.

With all of that said, I may join you. :D
Oh I know, I don't do this all the time but sometimes I feel like I have to, (i know it's dumb and accept the risk - 2 people were shot in surrounding towns by me over the past 3 years over road rage) . I've just never seen something so widespread and so bad. Noone can drive well when texting and those that think they can are the most dangerous.

Anyway sorry to derail the thread.

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Shh the Nsa is watching

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