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After posting my videos of a YouTube group ride (part 1&2, 3 is coming) and a wreck that happened.....The discussion arose about the dangers of group rides. but....What is the bigger risk?

Riding in a group of cages?
Riding alone in solitude with no help if a problem crops up?
Poker runs or pub crawls...where drinking and riding seems to be promoted?
Animal groups such as wildlife crossing the roadways? dam deer and squirrels :rolleyes:
Cruiser, sports bike, scooter, or dirt bike groups?
Groups at bike night with Stunter's, Newb's, and Squider's?
Etc?

I feel every time we get out on any road on 2 wheels we are at risk. I try to limit my risks when possible and weigh them out logically before I ride. But in the end it is my risk that I take and my life to gamble with. I do try to avoid peak traffic times, avoid anyone drinking and riding, prefer to have a buddy riding along (buddy system rules), and ride like everyone is out to KILL me.
Will that keep me safe?...maybe maybe not. No one knows for sure. But it has worked for 45 years plus and going. I've lived a good life and ridden many of great rides, seen the world, and had a blast doing it. I am satisfied with it all so far......

Riding is thrill seeking and risk taking even if your a Grandpa on a scooter. :D Everyone who rides takes these risks but they are that individuals risks and not for someone else to judge. So to all you Risk takers out there whether your Evil Knievel or Mr Magoo risks can be real or just perceived or....BOTH.
What risks are too much for you to gamble with on 2 wheels?
 

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Wow, quite the soliloquy there. Very well written and I agree with your POV.

I can't say as to what is most dangerous, but I can tell you what scares me the most. Young, inexperienced sport bikers out to prove something and drunk riders, through liquid courage, out to prove something.

As to group rides, they're mostly safe. The few accidents we've had on my group rides were mostly newbies doing something dumb. Like braking in the sand.
 

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Living in Northern Michigan, my biggest fear, and most difficult to control is deer. I've only had one encounter with a car in 26 years of living "up north," and it was unavoidable because, even though I was able to miss it head on, the deer rammed into my side and did a lot of damage. This on a cycle would be hard to get through without major, at best, injury.

My scariest encounter was in Canada when a moose came down a short hill to my right when I was circumnavigating Lake Superior on my Harley. I thought I was a goner when the moose, at the last second, saw me, ran along side me for 20 or 30 yards, then jumped the guardrail and vanished into the woods. Still makes me nervous.

John
 

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I don't do poker runs or any other group ride where I don't know the ability of other riders. I have ridden with the same 3 or 4 friends for years and I know how they ride and how they will react to situations. I don't ride groups larger than 6 or 7 because of the danger and because it takes forever when you stop for lunch, bathroom breaks and gas breaks. It's like herding cats.

I ride at night as little as possible since a friend's son was killed. He was riding on a backroad when a deer hit him from the side hard enough for the hoof to puncture his lung. He was killed due to a head injury because the young man was not wearing a helmet ("I'm only riding a short distance down the road and don't need one").

I have always ridden paranoid. I assume everyone is out to get me and I don't expect them to see me. When I see another vehicle, I try to always have an avoidance plan in case they do bad things.
 

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To me there is a certain amount of fatalism involved with motorcycle riding. Some show it by decorating everything they own with skulls , some do it by stunting, I usually take my chances riding alone. There are some general motorcycle clubs that I will trust and enjoy to ride in groups with but I've had it with the cruiser mass rides...every ride ends up in injuries to someone and my ears always ring afterwards even though I've worn earplugs. I have never been involved with a mass ride of younger sportbike riders so can't comment on them except that I usually wait for them to leave first when I'm out riding. I like to stay in front of vehicles for safety but doing that to a sportbike is like waving a red flag in front of a bull!
 

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I don't know about the biggest risks in your list but alcohol and riding is an awful combination. We need peak reaction speed, judgment, attention, balance and vision to maintain a safe ride.

Group rides depend entirely on the riders around you. I feel very safe with the four or so semi-regular riding buddies I have. I know their habits, skills, and behaviors. We have corrected anything the others feel has been a risk. We know how we'll stack up at lights, pass traffic, our relative pacing, what cornering lines we each tend to take and such. We have a set of hand and foot signals we all understand (in addition to half of us with comm units). Riding even with ONE other rider whose riding you don't know can be a risk. I very rarely go on such blind group rides (only with local BMW and Ducati clubs in the past, and then I rode on high alert and watched closely to pick my sub-group).

Riding alone is indeed an elevated risk but that ratchets up a lot more when I go into some places with no cellular signal (e.g. some places in and around Angeles Forest). That feels extra-hazardous at times.
 

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I can't say I disagree with anybody on this thread. Riding is an individual sport that is sometimes shared with a group ride. I enjoy my solitude on long rides. I get to choose my stops, set my own pace, and choose where to stop for the night. I also enjoy a few friends for an afternoon ride.

The fact is, there is truly no safe ride. No matter if alone or in a group, when the unexpected happens, it doesn't forecast itself... It just happens... It could be the squid riding beyond his skill, or the guy talking on his cell phone or texting, it doesn't care if you are with a hundred or solo. For every eventuality someone has probably gotten road rash or lost their life at one time or another. It is our choice how we ride and whom we ride with. The best we can do limit our exposure to the dangers, sharpen our skills by attending advanced rider courses and if in a group ride make the rules clear to those new to riding.

And Scootereno... I don't believe anybody is taking aim at you for your choice in riding companions or groups. I believe all comments concerning the accidents shown in your posts were concerns for your safety and the safety of the group. It is easy for us to analyze the aftermath and pick it apart as to determine a "root cause". I feel this Burgman group has the entire groups safety at heart... And that includes you and me. That kid could have taken you out in the process of his accident, in that sense, I suggested you ride solo, it was tossed out in jest. Ride how you will, with whom you wish, and go where you decide... But by all means, be safe. Easy words, hard to fulfill... Nonetheless, the old motto holds true. LIVE TO RIDE, RIDE TO LIVE. Pick and choose for your own safety and enjoyment. Your decision may save a trip to the hospital or worse.
 

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Timely post as the riding season is getting underway. I say Amen to all that has been written. Much wisdom in these words.

My perspective is to control what you can control. You can't control what you can't control. Everything and everyday is risky, unless you stay home under the covers. People get injured or killed all kinds of ways. Last year, a local athletic, youthful high school coach slipped in the shower .... and died. Geez.

I've crashed twice. Once involved a Hyundai. The other time a big black lab pup. They happened almost exactly one year apart. I quit riding for almost four years. And then got the bug again. Been back about a year and a half and 12K miles. I'm a better rider now. Not that I was careless or reckless before, but now I take nothing for granted. Like that Hyundai in the intersection that is stopped will stay stopped even when I get within 50 ft. Of said intersection. Ouch! The pooch? Not a doggone thing I could have done about that one.

Risk-Reward. With lots of fun along the way. I remember telling someone when I was first learning to ride ...... "Riding a motorcycle is miles and miles of adolescent fun punctuated by moments of shear adult terror!"

FWIW.......

Sirkitrider
 

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As far as wildlife goes, the most dangerous ones by far are pigs. They run wild here in Florida to such an extent that you can take them by bow any day of the year in densely populated Hillsborough County. They're low-slung, black furred, and weight about 300-400 pounds. If you hit one, you are screwed. If you hit one in a group, the others will attack you. And I've seen a loaded rock-hauler have its undercarriage completely taken out by a particularly large old boar.

As far as alcohol goes, I don't NOT drink, but my vehicle (unlike most) will fall over if I'm not actively keeping it upright. Since I might need to drive at any time, I don't generally consume any alcohol at all - unless I'm already tucked in for the night.
 

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As far as wildlife goes, the most dangerous ones by far are pigs. They run wild here in Florida to such an extent that you can take them by bow any day of the year in densely populated Hillsborough County. They're low-slung, black furred, and weight about 300-400 pounds. If you hit one, you are screwed. If you hit one in a group, the others will attack you. And I've seen a loaded rock-hauler have its undercarriage completely taken out by a particularly large old boar.

As far as alcohol goes, I don't NOT drink, but my vehicle (unlike most) will fall over if I'm not actively keeping it upright. Since I might need to drive at any time, I don't generally consume any alcohol at all - unless I'm already tucked in for the night.
I worked insurance claims for over 31 years and agree that hogs can damage a vehicle more than any other animal. They are low, heavy and solid. It damages like you are hitting a hard dirt bank or a rock. However, the most dangerous thing you will his is a horse. Besides being very heavy, they are tall and sometimes come through the windshield and can severely injury and/or kill people.
 

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Hadn't thought of hogs. Nasty. Deer are a huge problem because they can bound right into your path with no warning, sort of like Brownian motion. :) When I worked in central NY at a location with 100 people we averaged at least one deer strike (out of 100 commuters) annually.
 

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Hogs are available for hunting anytime here in Louisiana, too. There's lots of them but I've never seen one on the road -dead or alive. Deer on the other hand, just love to jump in front of moving vehicles!
Nothing else to add except the I really enjoyed 1,2 & 3 videos, Scooter!
 

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doing patriot guard rides has me in new orleans sometimes.people change lanes 2 at a time.all i can do is bob & weave!!
 

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Hogs are available for hunting anytime here in Louisiana, too. There's lots of them but I've never seen one on the road -dead or alive. Deer on the other hand, just love to jump in front of moving vehicles!
Nothing else to add except the I really enjoyed 1,2 & 3 videos, Scooter!
Come a little further west into Texas. I see about as many hogs that have been hit by cars as I do deer.
 

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I hadn't thought about hogs, and I've never seen what looked like a hog carcass on the road. It's good to know about them. My practice of always covering the front brake lever saved me from hitting two deer in mid-afternoon once in NC.

I much prefer to ride alone so I can go at my own pace and go where I choose. I may do one or two group rides a year, always with people I know.

I keep my phone in my jacket pocket, not on the bike, in case we get separated in a crash. I understand there is an app that will send your location and alert someone you designate if you are stationary for a certain period. Seems like it would be a nuisance to monitor every time you stop though.

I stay away from squid roads on weekends for sure. Don't do the Dragon and don't do Skyline Drive or any of the other routes to Alice's on weekends!

Just some things that work for me.
 

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Of all the risk's out there...I prefer the Loner trip, where a breakdown could leave you helpless...It's not a good situation, but the others are worse.
 

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agree that hogs can damage a vehicle more than any other animal.
'Strailians would disagree.
Make that round solid muscle into something that can hit 40 kph and jump 6' straight up and maybe 30' at a bound and you have a serious damage issue.
It's why even the school buses are armored.

This one hit 4 roos - you can see the bull bar buried



even the family sedan



I love riding at night but I don't in Australia.

Was riding the KLR along a dirt road at about 35 kph - saw a couple of roos to the right at about the same speed and they effortlessly accelerated and crossed in front me ( no risk - well in front - they had it gauged )

A big roo is a fearsom hunk of animal. up to 200 lb

Now mind you a moose or elk could do more damage just due to size but it's the speed of the roos that cause the issues.



They can kill people and can be vicious tho usually are okay if you keep your distance.

Sometimes they are hard to avoid.

 

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I have recently been (re)reading Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well by David L. Hough. In addition to an awful lot of solid safety information, he presents an entire chapter on 2-up & group riding techniques. I have seen the kind of mayhem that results from a disorganized group ride, but there are ways you can minimize the risks. It also helps to have an experienced, mature group to ride with. I belong to a club (Baltimore Ramblers) that is one of the oldest AMA clubs in the country. Club rides all start with a safety review; we use hand signals and ride in formation; and we don't ride with people who are impaired. Our rides are great learning experiences for me. Just my 2cents...

 

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Great discussion. I'll throw in my 2 cents. Around here the biggest risk for me (the thing that will keep me off the road) is inattentive drivers. And while you can't predict who is not paying attention there are a few things that I consider every time I go out.

  • I try to avoid riding at night.
  • I also try to avoid riding into a setting sun (I learned this long ago from my cycling days). I don't need some driver with a dirty windshield who is being blinded by the sun not seeing me at a stop sign or when traffic slows and I'm in front of him.
  • Regardless of where you're riding file that "flight plan" with someone. I commute to work every day and I let my wife know when I make it to work and when I'm leaving. I'll also let her know if I'm gonna take the "long-cut" home or stop someplace on the way home. Let someone know that you're on the bike.
  • It's been said before....but ride like you're invisible.
  • Don't tailgate and don't get tailgated.
  • Another cycling carry over...I always wear my RoadID. http://www.roadid.com. In the event of a crash this provides first responders with all my contact info, emergency contact info, access to my medical records, medications, medical records, medical insurance info, alternate emergency contacts, etc. I have about 15 people listed as emergency contacts.
late,
Coz

 
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