It happenned in my mirror - - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old May 5th, 2006, 8:29 am Thread Starter
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It happenned in my mirror

I was riding with a friend on a country road, I was in front he behind, I looked in my mirror he was just behind me, I looked again and he was gone, I turned the bike around and went back to see that he had crashed and was laying on the ground about ten feet from his bike. He seems OK, broken bone in upper arm and some road rash and his left ankle was quite swollen; they were going to do a CAT scan to see if there was any internal damage, when I leftthe hospital; the front end of his bike was trashed.

When he was laying on the groung he kept saying that he took the turn too fast, but from my perspective, I was leading, riding moderately. It was a nice gentle sweeper, I entered the turn at about 60mph got my line and rolled the K on, she went around the sweeper like she was on a track.

He was a pretty new rider riding less than a year; I have been riding over 40 years. I feel terrible about this, I feel that he was trying to keep up with me and didn't have the skills to do it. He says that he was riding his ride, but I still feel bad.

If I had been riding slower he might not have crashed. Should I have been taking it more easily, knowing that I had a novice rider behind me??? What does everyone else think, what responsibility does the leader have for the other riders in a situation like this??
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old May 5th, 2006, 9:21 am
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Not your fault-at all.

Sorry you were involved in this situation. However, in my opinion, you have no culpability in this.

It was his lack of experience that brought him down. Now, if you two had been racing each other, or were otherwise "hot dogging" it, and you knew of his lack of skills, then you would be a fault (partial).

As riders it is ALWAYS our own fault (responsibility) when something goes wrong. Yes, there are crazy drivers out there that seem to be aiming at us, but our relative position (exposed to the world, not surrounded by a cage) makes it OUR duty and responsibility to avoid entanglements.

IE. were we speeding (almost always yes), had we had an "adult" beverage-even one, were we aware of road conditions-decreasing radius, spring/fall road debris-, did we end up in someone’s blind spot, did we have an escape route in mind, did we run a yellow, were we driving too fast for conditions, etc, etc. Unless one can emphatically say NO to ALL those conditions, and more, then it's YOUR FAULT when an accident happens. And, even if one can say no to all those things, it's STILL our fault, because we are the ones who will always lose.

Personal responsibility I say. No excuses.

Last edited by Warp9; May 5th, 2006 at 12:36 pm.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old May 5th, 2006, 10:06 am
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My husband is a much better rider than me, and of course on occasion takes off and leaves me in the dust for a few miles. I do my best to hang with him for a while because I think it helps me to improve my rding, but I know my limits and back off when necessary. No two riders are exactly the same, and we are each responsible for ourselves. So, NO, you are not to blame at all, but I can appreciate how you must feel. He probably didn't go in too fast, but rather went into the corner all wrong = if he had followed your line, he'd be fine. Hope he heals up real soon.

Deb and Dean Sauer
Golden, CO

The cure for boredom is riding motorcycles, and there is no cure for riding motorcycles...
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old May 5th, 2006, 10:08 am
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I have to agree with the above statement. You are not responsible. There is nearly NEVER a time that a rider gets into an accident that is not at least partially his own fault. If riding with someone else, you still have your own brakes and your own throttle, use it as you need it.

We as riders have to look after ourselves. How many take it for granted that cages are stopping at a light, I check nearly every intersection before going through, may just be a quick glance, but I know I'll be the one riding in another form of a cage if I don't. I may not do this in a cage while driving. I keep track of what vehicles are around me; if riding on the interstate I try to keep an open lane beside me as a buffer, these things keep me from riding in a big white cage with flashing lights.

Your buddy's crash was unfortunate but ultimately his responsibility. We have all made judgement errors, some result in broken plastic, some result in broken bones, if we are lucky some only result in gained insight and narrowly avoided bone/plastic breaks.

Good luck to your buddy and Safe riding wishes to all!
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old May 5th, 2006, 12:08 pm
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Originally Posted by ncrider
If I had been riding slower he might not have crashed. Should I have been taking it more easily, knowing that I had a novice rider behind me???
You could have, but in the end, no one should ever feel compelled to keep pace if they don't feel they're up to the task, especially if they don't have a lot of miles under their belt.

I don't go on group rides, and I haven't ridden many twosies with another motorcyclist, but when I do, I tell them that if they're more seasoned than myself and they prefer a quicker pace, to go ahead and have at it. But, I make it clear that if I don't feel comfortable with their pace in the current conditions, I'm not going to try to play keep up. And I've been riding for quite some time.

Black 2002 K1200RS - "The Beast" (over 100k miles)
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old May 5th, 2006, 2:02 pm
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I don't see any culpability on your part, but I understand your sentiment.

Your follower was probably guilty of newbie mistakes, compounded by watching you and not the road.

I once passed someone on the Blue Ridge Parkway. He was on a much more capable bike than I, and he took the pass as an insult. I didn't realize it (becuase I didn't know this guy from Adam) but he went on the hunt for me.

What he did not know is the BRP was my DAILY commute. I know that particular section like the back of my hand and my limits very well.

He went to hot in a turn (for him) and braked improperly and lost the front end.

I heard it happen and saw him in the rearview. Went bacj to help. Luckily he was not hurt too bad. But we did have to call an ambulance.

Even though I did not know the guy, I felt somewhat responsible.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old May 5th, 2006, 2:42 pm
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Not your fault

The MSF new rider course hammers into your head that you have to ride within your own limits - I probably heard this 20 times at the course I took 5-6 years ago when I got the riding bug.

Glad the damage to your buddy wasn't life threatening. I'd say the best thing that can come out of this is for him to think about why he wiped out and when he gets back in the saddle, be proactive about improving his riding skills and judgement. A lot of riders go thru the motions when they ride - they aren't actively thinking about their riding and trying to improve their skills and awareness of things such as the type of corner their approaching, entry speed, body positioning, line, etc.

If you do ride with him again, perhaps you can be influential in making sure he understands his limits, rides within them, and exercises better judgement.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old May 5th, 2006, 3:44 pm
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before you blame yourself find out from him what happend......all it takes is a small stone in your path in a corner and trying to avoid it will put you in the ditch...i dont think he ever thout that it was you.....i wouldnt....but check with him on the facts....hope he is doing ok....
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old May 5th, 2006, 10:14 pm
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Understand,, If he would have been leading at the time he would have run the curve just as fast to show you he could ride fast....

The ONLY way for you to be responsible would be for him to be on the back of YOUR bike and you crash... then it would be your fault.....Regards Pete
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2006, 3:10 pm
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Another thing to consider when riding as a group leader is bike types. Our bikes have no trouble negotiating corners but if you are riding with your cruiser buddies they will impale pegs in the asphalt way before you that will cause serious accidents. Not that they cannot do it but the bike just will not lean any more. Best to slow way down in the turns or let one of them lead at their pace instead.

Safe Returns...
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