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Don't tease the dragon
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I'm not local, but I'm regular enough and I pay attention, and this past weekend was typical - great people, great roads, and lots of mishaps. Why do the wrecks happen?

I want to post what I saw in the hopes that someone coming to visit the area will read it, and just maybe take the advice and realize that the "it won't happen to me" attitude just doesn't work.

There are lots of contributing factors to the wrecks, ... But there are LOTS of ones that show up repeatedly. If you can avoid the factors, you can greatly increase the chances that your visit isn't one of the ones that ends badly.

- Riders from different areas, without roads like we have in the mountains.
- Riders tired because they traveled a long way, excited, partying with their friends and enjoying the trip.
- Then they get out and ride on roads unlike what they are used to, and do it for hours, often for more time/miles than they normally ride, and trying to see how fast they are.
- lack of experience is often a factor.

This past weekend I saw a truck/trailer arrive with 5 bikes, all Florida plated - they got in late Saturday night, one rider was Medevaced off the Cherahola about noon on Saturday. No word on how he is.. single vehicle wreck, and friend who rode through there said there were lots of skid marks before he hit the mountain, no other vehicle involved.

On Saturday morning I said hello to 2 nice young guys who had apparently arrived sometime Saturday night. They were getting up and went up the hill for their first run, Illinois plates, one guy was on a ZX-14. When you cross the state line and go around the right and down the long hill into Crud corner, the large sweeping left, He left about 20 feet of rear wheel brake marks, to the left of the yellow, across the yellow as it turned, and launched into the woods... Compound leg fracture. the bike is in pieces and I bet the recovery will be long and hard.

Friday evening at the sportbike night for the rally we were attending, 4 young riders ride into the crossroads, Michigan plates, and register for the rally. 2 were young girls, I don't think they were 20. On Saturday morning as my Group ride is getting ready, they come ask where we're going, and they want to join the ride. we do the introductions, and I brief everyone to ride their own ride, we'll be waiting at key points, etc, just enjoy the ride. before we leave the parking lot there is a minor mishap, with a 600RR being dropped into a new Ducati GT1000. Minor damage. a little embarassment, and it was over. I later find out it was one of the girls. We leave on our ride.. went 2 TURNS down 28, the other girl lowsides.. Rash on her knee, and she got Roadrash on the front of her hipbone when her stylish low rise jeans and textile jacket didn't quite do the job. I later found out that they had ridden 670 miles to the rally the day before on their 600rr's and that was when they arrived and I saw them.

On another ride, 2 of the riders wanted to go a little quicker, so they told the ride leader they were going ahead and would meet the group later. 10 minutes later the group arrived at the wreck. Minor personal injury, badly wrecked bike.

Late Saturday afternoon I was making gap passes with a couple of pretty local riders and knew they could ride. After a break at the overlook, I notice a Motard rider with lots of trick bits and snazzy gear eying us and gearing up as we were, and we left headed back to the store.... I checked up from leading about 2 miles down and fall in behind my 2 riding partners, to find that Mr Motard was riding 4th. Though he was keeping up, he looked a bit over his head... I passed the group a mile or so later, and we finished our run... I later found he and his motard met the mountainside.. no bad injuries, but it was unnecessary and cost him some parts.

I honestly believe every one of these incidents was avoidable.. A little extra rest, taking a break and sitting our a ride, not deciding that you should go off on your own because your too fast to ride with the group, ... The issues that lead to you visitors getting hurt are obvious, but it keeps happening.

If you are coming to visit, plan accordingly, THINK as much as you ride, and make it the great experience it should be...
 

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After Me Lucky Charms
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5,281 Posts
Yes, 90% of the wrecks are unavoidable.

The day I arrived (Sept 2nd) there was a cruiser fatality. Why? His buddy was filming him, and he would turn around, and try to go faster and faster. He got so fast his frontend washed out, and right into the front of a car.

Another being a 2009 Subaru WRX STI passed a pickup. All we heard was loud screetches. He went in too hot and had the steering as far as he could, luckily he made it.

When I went, we did our first run and even rested half way up, and just watched people. We would ride 60-80 miles at a time, and rest. We saw a ZX-10R wiped out on the Skyway. Not his fault, he wasn't going fast. He hit an oil slick!
 

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Yes, 90% of the wrecks are unavoidable.

The day I arrived (Sept 2nd) there was a cruiser fatality. Why? His buddy was filming him, and he would turn around, and try to go faster and faster. He got so fast his frontend washed out, and right into the front of a car.
He could have avoided it by not showing off.

Another being a 2009 Subaru WRX STI passed a pickup. All we heard was loud screetches. He went in too hot and had the steering as far as he could, luckily he made it.
He could have avoided it by not passing in the first place on a road with no passing zones.

When I went, we did our first run and even rested half way up, and just watched people. We would ride 60-80 miles at a time, and rest. We saw a ZX-10R wiped out on the Skyway. Not his fault, he wasn't going fast. He hit an oil slick!
He could have avoided it by slowing down and looking further ahead, so as not to outrun his braking distance on unknown road conditions.

This mentality so many riders have that it's never their fault is hazardous to our lifespan. The large majority of motorcycle crashes are completely avoidable, and the rider is almost always at fault, at least partially. Think about it...even if a chain breaks or a tire blows, we probably had some indication that it was wearing or about to go, and kept riding anyway. Next thing you know, we're on our ass sliding down the road, cursing the failed part. Or a car pulls across in front of us, but in all honesty we were zoned out thinking about something else and not covering the brakes like we normally would.

I've wrecked a lot of times, and it's always been my fault...even when the motor unexpectedly blew on my Husqvarna supermotard. (I shouldn't have bought a Husky...my fault. ;))
 

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This End Up
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To paraphrase Killboy's response, I think a lot of people who wreck on The Dragon had it in their head that simply because they were at "The Dragon" they needed to push their limits.
 

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To paraphrase Killboy's response, I think a lot of people who wreck on The Dragon had it in their head that simply because they were at "The Dragon" they needed to push their limits.
Yep. :dblthumb

Honestly, I had more fun on the Dragon towing around slower riders in my group than I did chasing faster people or trying to beat the clock. Sure, I missed some great shots from Killboy, but I didn't leave anything there. I can make a fool of myself at home, why anyone would choose to do it hundreds of miles away is beyond me.
 

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After Me Lucky Charms
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5,281 Posts
He could have avoided it by not showing off.

He could have avoided it by not passing in the first place on a road with no passing zones.

He could have avoided it by slowing down and looking further ahead, so as not to outrun his braking distance on unknown road conditions.

This mentality so many riders have that it's never their fault is hazardous to our lifespan. The large majority of motorcycle crashes are completely avoidable, and the rider is almost always at fault, at least partially. Think about it...even if a chain breaks or a tire blows, we probably had some indication that it was wearing or about to go, and kept riding anyway. Next thing you know, we're on our ass sliding down the road, cursing the failed part. Or a car pulls across in front of us, but in all honesty we were zoned out thinking about something else and not covering the brakes like we normally would.

I've wrecked a lot of times, and it's always been my fault...even when the motor unexpectedly blew on my Husqvarna supermotard. (I shouldn't have bought a Husky...my fault. ;))
Uhh...that was a brain fart. I meant to say avoidable! If you notice my stories, all were avoidable. :bitchslap me
 

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Mediocre Strafer
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This past weekend I saw a truck/trailer arrive with 5 bikes, all Florida plated - they got in late Saturday night, one rider was Medevaced off the Cherahola about noon on Saturday.
That must be some kind of record.

On Saturday morning I said hello to 2 nice young guys who had apparently arrived sometime Saturday night.
Maybe not. :lao

KeS
 

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I see the same thing at Jennings on track days. The staff emphasizes repeatedly not to drop your bike. It is a practice day, a fun day, do not drop your bike...and someone usually does.
 
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