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Old 08-01-2013, 04:32 PM   #1
Micawberism OP
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Riding Ettiquette

There has been some talk about safety etc following a recent ride where a number of participants fell off due to ice one a corner. Rather than clog that thread with off topic stuff I thought I would start a seperate thread to discuss a number of the issue's raised.
Believe it or not I am a strong advocate of personal safety. Those who know me and know what my employment has been over the years will know why. I worked in a job where severity of incidents was measured in by the number of dead bodies lying around, safety was not an option. It was compulsory.
However unlike the common trend that has emerged in many companys and thinking patterns. I was made responsible for my own safety. I worked alone, outdoors in all weathers, I didnt have someone to molly coddle me along or for me to blame when it all went wrong.
I was encouraged to think!!!! I was taught "Safety is not just an action, it is an attitude".
So onto the ride,
A number of riders fell on a certain icy corner. It has now been expressed by a few that something should have been done to prevent this happening. Someone could have stood on the corner and warned riders, flouro paint warning signs could have been sprayed around etc. Yes these things could have been done, but then where does it end? How long before the corner man system has someone on every bend in the road and flouro paint glowing like nuclear fallout throughout the forest
The question I would ask is, why didnt everyone fall off?
We can either use the luck theory, (I was unlucky and fell off, they were lucky and didnt) and place our destiny in something called luck. Or we can look at what we did on that corner. What actions did I take prior to that (and every other) icy corner. As a group we all knew it was cold. It is after all a mid winter ride. There was frost on the ground and road surface. As a rider I placed that knowledge high into my risk factors for that day.
I watched for shadey areas, I took caution even in areas that didnt have warning signs, I allowed more time for braking. The problem I saw on that particular corner was it looked easy, It was a wide sweeping corner, surrounded by stunning scenery.
I got around it safely by riding across the corner (cutting the corner). Not legal but as the visibilty was good it was far safer in my thoughts to straighten the corner out and use the camber of the road to my advantage. Looking at the skid marks in the pic on the other thread I would suggest the riders who came to grief did not do this.
I am not claiming superiority in this area I am merely putting forward thoughts as to how safer riding can be achieved without having to rely on others to make me safe.
On day 2 I took a tumble on a tight corner in the challenge section, I suppose I could ask for someone to do something about that corner, (and every other corner that someone fell off on) or I could (as I did) look at why I fell off and change what I did so it wont happen again.
Thats my rant, you can get stuck in now
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Old 08-01-2013, 05:54 PM   #2
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Glad you posted something up as I have been biting my tongue with restraint, I assumed anyone on that ride should have been capable of reading the conditions and dealing with them and, if you do arse off, then accept that as part of the joy of participation. My friend on the Vee Strom did just that, we spent more time laughing at his retelling of the experience than we did commiserating on the minimal damage to his bike.

I rode everything except the challenge section (Clint wouldn't let me ) on probably the least suitable tyres without any problems. I did go sideways a few times, I did almost not stop a few times and I got slightly stuck on a 4x4 track that I followed Al onto (stupid, I know). But I didn't fall off due to slippery roads and I didn't winge about it.

We were well warned to expect ice, rain, mud & gravel surfaces, so how does coming across such surfaces become a surprise? I can see the need to warn other riders of exceptional obstacles but I don't see a bit of ice as "exceptional".

I can appreciate that to some new riders this was a challenging ride and I congratulate them on having a go and surviving it but they also need to realise the limitations are theirs and they will need to learn some new skills(exactly as the rest of us have). Possibly it comes as a bit of a shock that you can fall off a bike and injure yourself as a matter of course on adventure rides but that is the nature of the beast and the reason we enjoy the challenge of participation.
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Old 08-02-2013, 02:47 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Crisis management View Post
Glad you posted something up as I have been biting my tongue with restraint, I assumed anyone on that ride should have been capable of reading the conditions and dealing with them and, if you do arse off, then accept that as part of the joy of participation. My friend on the Vee Strom did just that, we spent more time laughing at his retelling of the experience than we did commiserating on the minimal damage to his bike.

I rode everything except the challenge section (Clint wouldn't let me ) on probably the least suitable tyres without any problems. I did go sideways a few times, I did almost not stop a few times and I got slightly stuck on a 4x4 track that I followed Al onto (stupid, I know). But I didn't fall off due to slippery roads and I didn't winge about it.

We were well warned to expect ice, rain, mud & gravel surfaces, so how does coming across such surfaces become a surprise? I can see the need to warn other riders of exceptional obstacles but I don't see a bit of ice as "exceptional".

I can appreciate that to some new riders this was a challenging ride and I congratulate them on having a go and surviving it but they also need to realise the limitations are theirs and they will need to learn some new skills(exactly as the rest of us have). Possibly it comes as a bit of a shock that you can fall off a bike and injure yourself as a matter of course on adventure rides but that is the nature of the beast and the reason we enjoy the challenge of participation.
Have you got any idea how self righteous you sound?

So its ok for an 'experienced' rider such as yourself to come across obstacles that in your opinion should be expected on a ride such as this and leave all the inexperienced riders to learn by the school of hard knocks?

I'm obviously much less experienced than you because I certainly wasn’t expecting to hit ice in the middle of a dirt road. Its interesting to note that at least two of the other riders (I don't know the third) who had offs were experienced riders.

Its great that you could laugh with your mate about the off he had. I couldn't really do that in Marty's case because he was in a lot of pain.

When we ride in a group we have an element of responsibility to the other members in that group. If you'd got off you high horse for a moment and put the needs of other potentially less experienced riders before your own and stayed and warned other riders there might have been 3 other bikes and riders that didn't end up on the deck. I certainly would have had a hell of a lot more respect for you than I currently have.
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Old 08-02-2013, 01:18 PM   #4
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I can post up some of the docs I use at work for your next trip.
There is a Risk Assessment matrix that goes from Green to Red, then you can put in some risk mitigation plans.
someone can write up a step by step plan of the even that can be 'walked thru' by a reviewer then approved by the leader.
Prior to leaving on the trip you can have a " team toolbox talk" go thru the steps, get all parties to sign off on it and then off you all go.

this replaces the methods we used in the past of " just do it"

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Old 08-02-2013, 01:24 PM   #5
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Mark,
My views fall somewhere between you and Iain. I tend to agree with him although you might be the better one to have in front of me on the trail.

I suspect that I am a bit different from most adventure riders because while I suppose I could be classed as experienced by now, the fact is that my skills are modest at best. That's what you get when you start your adolescence at around 50.
Consequently, crazy as it sounds, I go out for a ride expecting to come off if the ride is anything other than moderate in difficulty. History has taught me to expect this and continues to do so. Maybe it's simply self fulfilling - I just don't know but I do dress accordingly and so have never suffered any real damage.

The thing about your post that gets my attention is this:- surely the school of hard knocks is the finishing school for all of us. I believe that we can attend all the tuition sessions and watch all the educational videos that we like, but in the end, we only find out what our limits are by pushing them with the inevitable result from time to time. If (repeat if) I am right then the immediate corollary of this is that experienced riders will likely get more severe injuries because they will be travelling quicker when they lose it.

Lastly, I detest dust to the extent that I don't do organised rides much anymore. I guess it's a hangover from Oz but in any case it means that I usually ride by myself even on the group runs. This means that I have to look after myself and am completely used to doing so. I have never expected help from others until I have got myself deep enough in the crap to have to go and ask for it. However having said that, it's also pretty true to say that when the course is a testing one, I am probably close to the back of the field and so have little option.

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Old 08-02-2013, 02:42 PM   #6
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Why not just laugh at those that fall over, give them a kick & say harden up while you're at it?
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Old 08-02-2013, 02:53 PM   #7
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If on a group ride I came across someone who had broken down, or had fallen off & made no effort to help I would be a pretty ordinary sort of bloke. Likewise if I saw a situation that could result in an accident or injury to my fellow riders & I did nothing, I would be a really ordinary bugger.

In my experience riders have always helped each other , I have certainly witnessed Crisis sharpening his puncture repair skills while assisting others.

These events are basically a group of mates going out for a ride together, we have to look out for each other, if you want it any other way the few who organise these rides will simply not bother.

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Old 08-02-2013, 05:15 PM   #8
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If on a group ride I came across someone who had broken down, or had fallen off & made no effort to help I would be a pretty ordinary sort of bloke. Likewise if I saw a situation that could result in an accident or injury to my fellow riders & I did nothing, I would be a really ordinary bugger.

In my experience riders have always helped each other , I have certainly witnessed Crisis sharpening his puncture repair skills while assisting others.

These events are basically a group of mates going out for a ride together, we have to look out for each other, if you want it any other way the few who organise these rides will simply not bother.
Ageed on every point Paul but surely we are not discussing extraordinary situations here. If someone is in some sort of distress or likely to be in unacceptable danger, they usually get more help than they can use.
What we are discussing here is a pretty run of the mill situation for a winters ride.
At least that's how I see it although I suspect Mark would disagree.
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:56 PM   #9
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Mark,
My views fall somewhere between you and Iain. I tend to agree with him although you might be the better one to have in front of me on the trail.

I suspect that I am a bit different from most adventure riders because while I suppose I could be classed as experienced by now, the fact is that my skills are modest at best. That's what you get when you start your adolescence at around 50.
Consequently, crazy as it sounds, I go out for a ride expecting to come off if the ride is anything other than moderate in difficulty. History has taught me to expect this and continues to do so. Maybe it's simply self fulfilling - I just don't know but I do dress accordingly and so have never suffered any real damage.

The thing about your post that gets my attention is this:- surely the school of hard knocks is the finishing school for all of us. I believe that we can attend all the tuition sessions and watch all the educational videos that we like, but in the end, we only find out what our limits are by pushing them with the inevitable result from time to time. If (repeat if) I am right then the immediate corollary of this is that experienced riders will likely get more severe injuries because they will be travelling quicker when they lose it.

Lastly, I detest dust to the extent that I don't do organised rides much anymore. I guess it's a hangover from Oz but in any case it means that I usually ride by myself even on the group runs. This means that I have to look after myself and am completely used to doing so. I have never expected help from others until I have got myself deep enough in the crap to have to go and ask for it. However having said that, it's also pretty true to say that when the course is a testing one, I am probably close to the back of the field and so have little option.
Yes minor off's are - 99 times out of 100 - just a gentle warning that we've overstepped our limits and no harm is done . However in the last 12 months I've seen several instances where a minor off has resulted in many months off the bike - there is an element of russian roulette involved and I'm not sure I want to take that risk with someone else's health/wellbeing if I can easily do something about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bass View Post
What we are discussing here is a pretty run of the mill situation for a winters ride.
At least that's how I see it although I suspect Mark would disagree.
Yes ice is to be expected on a winter ride and yes the majority safely navigated the piece that caused the issues but 4 didn't . I would have thought that If I could have stood on corner that for an hour or so - even if the majority thought it was unnecessary and thought I was being an old woman - if I could have stopped some of those riders coming off then it would have been time well spent. Its not pleasant being around when someones minor off becomes that 1 in 100.

and I sorry if you thought I sounded sanctimonious in my first post - I didn't intend to (no apology for the sarcasm though)
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Old 08-03-2013, 12:43 AM   #10
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The fact that some blokes would choose to warn others that there was a patch of black ice on the road that has already clocked several riders is hardly a stab through the heart of the adventure riders mission statement...some perspective please lads!

Nobody is suggesting we should being doing a "task analysis" before every ride...that's just beating the controversial health and safety drum in order to overstate the issue....which isn't really an issue at all.

I would take the time to warn others in this situation...others wouldn't, so what. get a grip...nobody's trying to spoil ya thirst for adventure...and as for reading the terrainwe weren't doing the Dakar! This was a fairly sedate fun ride, attended by riders of varying skill levels on all sorts of bikes. Glad you real hard core Daniel Boon/Bear Grills riders got through with no spills...the rest of us were honoured to ride in your dust.
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Old 08-03-2013, 04:48 AM   #11
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The fact that some blokes would choose to warn others that there was a patch of black ice on the road that has already clocked several riders is hardly a stab through the heart of the adventure riders mission statement...some perspective please lads!

I started this thread not because of the fact that some blokes would choose to warn others. I started it because I felt some blokes felt that "I" should warn others.

Nobody is suggesting we should being doing a "task analysis" before every ride...that's just beating the controversial health and safety drum in order to overstate the issue....which isn't really an issue at all.

If I am expected to stop and warn others of a risk then how will I know what risks to look for and the severity level of the risk at which I am supposed to take preventitive measures to ensure others safety unless we carry out a full task/hazourd anaylisis prior to staring the event?

I would take the time to warn others in this situation...others wouldn't, so what. get a grip...nobody's trying to spoil ya thirst for adventure...and as for reading the terrainwe weren't doing the Dakar! This was a fairly sedate fun ride, attended by riders of varying skill levels on all sorts of bikes. Glad you real hard core Daniel Boon/Bear Grills riders got through with no spills...the rest of us were honoured to ride in your dust.
And as for reading the terrain ? Mark S made the quote he wasnt expecting ice on a gravel road? It was minus five degrees ffs!! and there had been other patches of ice prior to that corner. If reading the terrain seems silly then why should I read it for those who cant dont bother?

As a few of you know I have assisted with organising a number of rides in the Naki. This topic opens a whole can of worms for me. Do I continue to organise rides? What if someone falls off? Will "Someone should have done something" become the Adventure Rider call
On the Liquifaction Ride a number of bikes (myself included) came to grief on a rurly muddy downhill section on day 2. Strangely there were no riders stopped to warn us of that hazard. In fact one Wellington rider was heard crowing about how wonderful his bike was at being able to get right through that section. He probably wouldnt have come across many hurt riders that day.
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Old 08-03-2013, 02:16 PM   #12
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And as for reading the terrain ? Mark S made the quote he wasnt expecting ice on a gravel road? It was minus five degrees ffs!! and there had been other patches of ice prior to that corner. If reading the terrain seems silly then why should I read it for those who cant dont bother?

As a few of you know I have assisted with organising a number of rides in the Naki. This topic opens a whole can of worms for me. Do I continue to organise rides? What if someone falls off? Will "Someone should have done something" become the Adventure Rider call
On the Liquifaction Ride a number of bikes (myself included) came to grief on a rurly muddy downhill section on day 2. Strangely there were no riders stopped to warn us of that hazard. In fact one Wellington rider was heard crowing about how wonderful his bike was at being able to get right through that section. He probably wouldnt have come across many hurt riders that day.
FFS Colin why are you being such a drama queen about all this?

No one is saying anyone should do anything

No one is trying to hold anyone accountable

No one is saying ride organizers need to do anything different

I'm simply expressing disappointment that no one chose (please notice the underlined word as its the key to my whole comment) to do anything when a simple courtesy might have prevented some injury.

I hope you are not implying that I was the Wellington rider you mentioned above as I have never been to that ride (much to my disappointment).

And yes I'm happy to admit that I'm a long long way from being the perfect adv rider - I stopped thinking about ice when I left the tar seal as I've never had problems with ice on gravel. I don't know where you get -5 C from - if it had been that cold I would have been in a pub somewhere in front of a fire

Now take a chill pill and get on with organizing the Cape to Cape ride
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Old 08-03-2013, 03:01 PM   #13
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Now take a chill pill and get on with organizing the Cape to Cape ride
+ 1000 - lets all move on before one of has to file a hurt feelings report.












it wasn't -5 at 11.30 am in the morning when I met with an untimely unexpected and unwanted ejection on the slippery slimy slope of shame.

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Old 08-03-2013, 04:41 PM   #14
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Please don't stop. This is the best entertainment I've had in ages.
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Old 08-03-2013, 05:21 PM   #15
Mark_S
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Please don't stop. This is the best entertainment I've had in ages.
oh I remember you - you used to ride once didn't you?

now what was it you rode? - oh yes some old shitter black farm bike with a rangi chain oiler

fancy lunch at the Porangauhau pub some weekend soonish? if so please forward your safety plan to my solicitor and we'll see if we can work something out
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