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Interesting article. Thought I'd share it with you.

Group Rules To Live By:

1. Pass one at a time. You make the pass only when you confirm that the way is clear. Trouble happens when one rider blindly follows another. If you establish an "okay to pass" sign, make sure everyone respects how important it is to exercise safe judgment when giving a following rider that sign. You hold that rider's life in your hands.

2. When you make a pass, do it smartly. Move past the slower vehicle fairly quickly in order to give your fellow riders more time to assess their passing chances, and then stretch out a bit ahead of the vehicle to let your friends have room. Nothing's more frustrating than a leader who passes slowly and then rides just ahead of the passed vehicle.

3. Never touch or cross the centerline, except to pass. Make this the major rule right from the beginning to avoid the wildly divergent lines and speeds that can come when riders ignore the centerline. Crossing the centerline is admitting your inability to control your bike, and it puts innocent lives in danger (always imagine a motorcycle coming the other way at speed).

4. Control your straightaway speeds. Big speed is too easy for you and the cops. Keep it to a low boil on the straights and live for the turns.

5. Reset your group on the straights. The boring straight parts are a great place to regroup your friends. And here's an idea: Look at the scenery!

6. Talk about it. If you see something you don't like, say something. Communication will either fix the problem or eliminate it.

7. Don't ride with idiots. I've seen a married couple crippled by a notoriously inattentive riding buddy. He always followed too closely, and one day he hit them. He was an idiot, but now they're crippled.

8. Ride with your friends, not against them. Are you super competitive? Me too...so I go to a racetrack when I need to race. Do it, or pay big time.

9. Practice riding techniques, not racing speeds. Your skills can be honed at sane street speeds. As I've told students, when the bike is in the right place and you're making the right control inputs, speed comes easily. Trying to go fast with poor technique is a recipe for disaster.

10. Leave a margin for error. You never know when you'll need it, so have it with you all the time.

11. Don't hang off or tuck in radically on the street. You might want to shift your body slightly to the inside of the corner, but as soon as that butt comes off the seat and your inside knee comes out, I'll bet you're running speeds that are well beyond your safety margin. Again, 49 days out of 50, those racing speeds might be okay, but that one day when the unexpected happens is a real killer. Literally.

12. Get the racer boys on the racetrack. If you have overly aggressive riders in your group, insist they go to the racetrack to purge their competitiveness. Notice that the word "race" is part of the word "racetrack," but not part of the word "street."

This ain't a race: The street is for riding to breakfast with friends. Notice I wrote WITH friends, not AGAINST friends. Big, HUGE difference. The track is for racing, where there are cornerworkers, ambulances, no oncoming traffic, no gravel, no cops, no trees, no guardrails, no centerlines, no dogs, no deer. Get the picture?

Riding with friends means keeping an eye on them. If you haven't seen your buddy in the mirror for 2 miles or 2 minutes, slow down until you do. If everyone does this, the group will naturally stay together, and it will save valuable time in case someone does have a problem and needs help.

If you're riding with a group that makes every ride a race, get away from them right now because the smallest street accident is usually significantly more devastating than any racetrack crash, and riders running a race-pace on the street WILL crash. You don't want to be there when it happens.

Insanely fast street riders are simply the riders willing to risk the most. On a track, the obstacles are known and consistent; the track doesn't change and few outside forces enter the picture unexpectedly. A stopwatch gauges speed and races determine the fastest man of the day. It's a finite world that rewards skill.

The street, however, is exactly the opposite. There are no rewards for speed, no consistency in the surroundings and outside forces are too close and too frequently changing. A racetrack settles the question of who's best, but racing on the street simply answers the question: Who really doesn't care what happens?

Sorry to preach, but here's the problem. Our government wants to protect us from ourselves through helmet laws, seatbelt laws, airbag enforcement, speed limits...and those saviors might decide to regulate motorcycling. And that will definitely hurt our sport. So, you hurting you actually hurts us all, and it's my feeling that big speed on the street is the primary culprit. So I preach a bit.

- Nick Ienatsch

"So many different kinds of beer, so little time"</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://pub56.ezboard.com/ufasttico.showPublicProfile?language=EN>Fast Tico</A> at: 7/2/02 3:15:24 pm

Tico, thanks for posting that !!! we all want to ride and have fun, but when you start pushing your luck, start thinkin about the TRACK!!! your luck may run out sooner then you think!

CAUTION! rider may bail at anytime!

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