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Curious about some of your hard "rules" for riding...

mlinkibikr

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Mar 31, 2003
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I still haven't found any unbreakable rules, I just break them a lot less than I used to. My deal is primarily all about situational awareness. That's one rule never to break. Don't daydream, don't road rage, live long, ride fast and do cool stuff. But never forget where you are, who you are with, what you are riding, and what the environmental conditions are.
Dave.
 

Jarrett

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I won't leave my street without a helmet when riding. I've fallen off a bicycle enough to know that even at those low speeds, I can't keep my head off the ground. And I like my head.

I learned the hard way to take it REALLY carefully on wet, wooden bridges. They might as well be ice.

My most important rule, don't try to keep up with @MacDaddy unless its a long, straight, well paved road :)
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
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Bryan, TX
Some of you guys are gonna need to lighten up a little...there's essentially no alcohol in near beer...helmet to move the bike from the driveway into the garage....atgatt to wash the bike can't be far away!:rofl:
I agree. I rode my Burgman two blocks to the donut store this morning sans helmet. I don't wear a helmet when I ride my bicycle and I ride it faster than I rode my scooter for a chocolate coated donut.

1: If I know you, you can probably ride my motorcycle. Danny Mosley rode my ZRX to California. Ray Holder rode my Yamaha Maxim X to Colorado. Maurice Maness rode my Superhawk to Arkansas. Many people have ridden my race bikes. My SV650 went to college with my nephew and it's still there after 3 years.

2: If you carry, you can't drink even if it's just one and the ride is over for the day.

3: We ride the speed limit when close to schools, parks and campgrounds even when they are in remote areas.
 

Jarrett

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I've known quite a few folks that have crashed on bicycles and got injured significantly.

Just this weekend a local guy I've ridden with several times crashed and got these injuries:

Three broken ribs
Broken clavicle
Punctured lung

These are fairly standard injuries for a road bicycle fall at ~20mph. I'm sure he was wearing his helmet or he would have added brain trauma to that list.

My motorcycles go a lot faster than 20 mph.
 

Tourmeister

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There was a guy that did a good write up years ago about the trauma he suffered when he went to ride his motorcycle a few laps around the inside of his parking garage to dry it after he had finished washing it. That "ONE time", he did not wear a helmet. He was going about 5mph, hit a small patch of radiator fluid that had leaked from someone else's vehicle. The front washed out instantly. In the next instant, his face hit the rear bumper of a parked car. He spent a long time in the hospital... He had to have facial reconstruction surgery and had a trache tube for something like six months :-|

I read another report from a young lady that was doing the " just down to the corner store" run on her SV650. Someone squeezed her into the curb, causing her to crash. It was the one time she did not wear her riding pants. Her knees got trashed. She was no longer able to ride even after she mostly healed. Sadly, her other favorite thing to do was gardening. Not being able to get down on her knees kind of killed that as well. I guess now, she could to raised bed gardening.

Of course, just falling down while walking, or getting out of the bathtub, can result in serious head injury. Life is risky even when you think you are playing it safe. You don't even have to leave your home... I guess ultimately, it is about playing the odds and hoping you win every time. It is so easy to think, "It's just this one time..." Odds are, you would be fine. But, there are so many of those kinds of stories like the ones above that every time I start to think, "It's just this one time...", "It's only a few miles...", "I won't be going fast...", etc... I stop and think about those stories. It is not that I NEVER go without gear, but thinking about those kinds of stories stops me from making it a habit, which I think is where the odds stop working in your favor.
 
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Yes, people get injured riding bicycles, but just like the non rider or former rider says, "I know a guy that crashed his motorcycle and ……...., so I quit riding." More people die from head injuries in car accidents than riding bicycles, yet I've never seen anyone wearing a helmet in a car on city streets. It's all about how much risk one is willing to take. I'm sure there are people living in Panama because Panama has never had a tornado or a hurricane, yet I still live in the same house that was skipped over by a Tornado 5 years ago while neighbors on either side had heavy damage. When the risk is low, you might see me without a helmet and with a donut dangling from my mouth while riding my scooter.
 

jqueen

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Denton, TX
1 - if you trailer somewhere, double check for keys before leaving.
2 - helmet if getting out of first gear
3 - don't get hung up on how fast the rest of the people with you are going. If I'm getting ahead, I just slow for a while until I see them and then get ahead again, and I wait for them at intersections. If I'm going slower than them, I wonder who they are and when I got separated from the guys I was supposed to be riding with:pirate:
 

Yeeha! Stephen

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Bedford Texas
I have a near phobia fear of lightning. I don't ride thru thunderstorms. If there is cloud-to-ground lightning ahead, I stop, hide, or turn around.
Frustrates some of my "braver" co-riders sometimes.
 
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1 - if you trailer somewhere, double check for keys before leaving.
I've developed the habit of having a "trailer keyring" which is a carabiner on which the keys go and which goes into the center console of the tow vehicle. Put bike on trailer? Put that bike's keys on the trailer keyring. Take bike off trailer? Take that bike's keys off the trailer keyring. Works well in practice- it becomes a mental step you perform every time you put a bike on the trailer. MUUUUCH better than leaving them in your jeans pocket after putting the bike on the trailer the night before, and having a nice early-morning departure where you wind up 350 miles away from the keys before you realize you've left them. (Can you tell I'm still sore about that one?)
 

Tourmeister

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Yeah... keys :doh:

That last ride at Sterling Ranch we did Jqueen... I pulled up to unload the bikes and realized we'd left ALL of the keys back at the house!! Fortunately, it was only about an hour round trip to go get them.

When I was out at Big Bend Ranch & SP a few years back, Jbay arrived with his son. They had a nice new KTM sitting on the trailer. Somewhere between Waco and BB, the key fell out of the ignition! Fortunately, Rsquared was able to hot wire the bike! :thumb:
 

Jeff S

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This is a good thread - a useful exercise to read then come up with my own rules. So, with inspiration from above, I'll go with:

  1. Gear: Helmet requires for above-first-gear ride. (the only exception I've done to this rule is some 2nd gear riding in the neighborhood to listen to the bike when diagnosing or verifying things like chain noise, valve clatter, etc). Armored jacket always - even 1st gear stuff. Bring the cellphone, ususally mounted on the bars.
  2. Weather: Don't ride below 40° F (might drop as I get more comfortable with my new heated gear).
  3. Booze: 1 beer: no problem. 2 beers: need a decent time before rolling. 3+: parked. Clock resets at dawn.
  4. Dealing with cars: don't tailgate and don't be tailgated. Avoid riding in packs of cars. Never allow Road Rage (my own or other's) to influence me.
  5. Dealing with other bikers: ignore their pace - unless actively trying to learn from them. Don't race 'em and don't struggle to keep up. DO observe them (as many are better riders) and ask questions.
  6. The Route: know where you are, where you're going, and how to get un-lost. It's fine to blindly follow someone, but not helplessly.
  7. Packing: double-check any strapped-on luggage, etc after EVERY stop.
  8. The bike. if it's been a week or more, check tires, brakes, lights, fuel level, and chain. Look over the maintenance log before multi-day rides - what's due or about to be due?
OK, those last two are aspirational - they aren't "rules" for me, but should be.

Then, in addition I guess I have guidelines which I try to follow, but do break 'em without too much heartburn:
  1. Gear: gloves, boots, armored pants. This becomes a rule above perhaps 20 miles.
  2. No groups above 6 riders. Pavement or dirt, it's just a hassle dealing with more, and stops being fun.
  3. Limit riding after dark.
  4. Carry at least basic tools.
  5. For full-day riding, bring enough food and water to skip lunch and not need to buy water.
  6. The Route: have a route in my phone, have offline maps including topo for the local area (if off pavement at all). (ie: its OK to follow others, but I must have the capability to lead if needed).
 
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At the back of the pack and out of the dust
No helmet or drinking booze is a no go. I've told the story before, but I knew a guy who had a slow speed low side without a helmet and the last time I saw him he was wearing a diaper and they were trying to teach him how to talk. I've got a couple of other rules, but I'll keep them to myself. If I see they have been breached during a ride I will graciously excuse myself.
 
Joined
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Frisco, TX
The only rule I know of that I’ve established for myself is that I won’t ride if I’ve had (or know I will be having) more than two beers (or one high ABV one).

I wear a helmet if I’m leaving the neighborhood, but that’s just out of self preservation more than adherence to a rule. Aside from that I let common sense be my guide.

I’d probably have to re-evaluate this if I ever got into riding with groups, but that doesn’t hold a lot of appeal for me.
 

Tourmeister

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if I ever got into riding with groups, but that doesn’t hold a lot of appeal for me.
I am curious how you envision group rides? In fact, I think one of the recent threads I bumped addresses the issue. Are you thinking of big group rides with long lines of bikes in staggered formation, almost like a parade or convoy, or 4-5 riders that know each other doing a ride together? I have little desire for the former, but often enjoy rides with 4-5 friends. I enjoy the solo rides as well, but it is just nice to hang with friends every now and then.
 
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Another blast from the past. My last post was in 2007. Additional rule for me, I'll ride in the rain but I will not start out in it unless I absolutely have to. And no more get offs. Twice is enough.
 
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I am curious how you envision group rides? In fact, I think one of the recent threads I bumped addresses the issue. Are you thinking of big group rides with long lines of bikes in staggered formation, almost like a parade or convoy, or 4-5 riders that know each other doing a ride together? I have little desire for the former, but often enjoy rides with 4-5 friends. I enjoy the solo rides as well, but it is just nice to hang with friends every now and then.
Neither of those scenarios holds much appeal for me. The “convoy” style ride sounds like a total beating. The smaller group could be okay with the right group on the right ride, but the stars would have to align perfectly for me to be interested. The more people are involved in something the less I get to do what I want to do, so I tend to prefer to do a lot of things alone.
 
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Ada, OK
1: Full face Helmet
2: Ear plugs
3: Jacket, glove boots, jeans at a minimum, but almost always wear armored ballistic pants.
4: Keeping a safe distance and having an "OUT". In a group, around cages and specifically at a stop.
 

Lucydad

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Sugar Land, TX
I had one Guzzi group schedule a ride about two years ago. Mid-summer lunch near Clearlake, at a very hard to find restaurant. By ten AM heat index was nearing 98, and I headed east from Sugar Land and encountered a bridge repair. Traffic was horrid, I managed a U-turn and got home about noon. Other Guzzi riders were livid I did not show up, and got very nasty, and hence I left that group and Guzzi forum. The whole experience was insane, especially the lunch organizer and the way he treated me. Hence why I am very discerning who I ride with, and why. Also saw local Houston riders group meeting in Sugar Land, and leaving gas station popping wheelies, etc: unfortunate youth poor judgement. Again, I just peeled away from that group and went another direction. I am just not interested. Riding is not about ego for me.
 
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At the back of the pack and out of the dust
I'm not saying this applies to any previous posts because I don't know the details behind those posts, but I am reminded about a few group riding rules I didn't see touched on so far.

When I plan a group ride, I expect people to let me know if they are going to skip, or decide to leave the group once the ride is in progress. Further, I expect any group organizer to be sure that all riders are accounted for during and after the ride. I went on one ride where the guy leading hit the throttle and disappeared. We had another guy run out of gas and by the time the leader realized he was alone, circled back and found us we had revived the dead bike and finished eating lunch at a nearby Mexican restaurant. I think it was Mudclod who crashed a few years ago and the rest of the group he was with just kept riding. Could be wrong about that, but the point is the same. Fuzzy memory. This rule is especially important for people riding in rural areas where passer's by may take half a day to find a crashed rider.

Of course there are some exceptions to that rule. Some of the long one and two day rides that RollingJ, myself and some others put together had a "if you break, we leave you" agreement. Of course we would have stayed around if there was an injury, but a simple flat meant you were out of the group and on your own. Heads Up!
 
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