Friday off work ride
The idea was simple, lead a small group of fellow riders/co-workers on a day long ride through southern Indiana, eat lunch in Kentucky overlooking the Ohio river, and be home before dark. For the most part, we were successful. Although one Gold Wing rider found out off roading was not good. I did stress to everyone, that we would not run off and leave anyone. We would stop and wait as needed at stop signs, road changes, etc. And if they did feel the need to catch up, there were plenty of straight sections to do just that. I'm leading on a 76 Hondamatic, definitely not a road scorcher, so it should not be too hard to keep up with my relaxed pace.
We gathered in Terre Haute and headed south and east a little after 8 am. A half hour later we were removing the previously mentioned Gold Wing from the freshly graded ditch along the road. No major damage to bike or rider, just a broken windshield and some bruised pride. It was a low speed turn and I suspect he didn't slow down quite enough to turn and he just went into the mud. I did inquire about his experience and got a vague answer of, "not much."
It was at this point, one of the Harley riders started whining about going so fast. I like to ride about 5 - 10 over the posted limit and go with the flow. Turns out, this guy would not go past what was posted. Later in the day this caused some long lines of backed up cars behind us.
While making our first stop to top off fuel tanks and take a small break, I went over the leaving nobody behind thing and stressed the point of not out riding your ability. All went well for a while, then disaster struck again, with the same 'Wing. Same scenario, different corner. He slipped off the road and into the grass, but this time he ended upright after sliding to the bottom. The other Gold Wing rider on the ride was along side and could not figure out what happened, other than inexperience.
Another break to re-group, another session of riding at your ability and another whine session from the Harley rider. At this point I changed the route in the interest of our off roading 'Wing rider. I didn't figure him or the bike could stand much more, so the twisty roads were skipped and we stayed on the more major roads.
After backing up traffic on a major north-south Indiana highway, we stopped for gas again. It was at this point that four bikes decided to break off and start heading home. This included three Harleys, one of which was the whiner, and the off road Gold Wing. They jumped on the interstate, headed to Evansville and back to Terre Haute via 4 lanes of straight road. They did make it without further incident.
The left myself on the 'matic, a Katana, a 700 Honda, a V-max, and the other Gold Wing. Needless to say we were able to run a tad faster the rest of the way. We made it to the restaurant without anyone wiping out and ate lunch.
Since by this time, we were running a little later than I would have liked, I chose a route with another large section of straight road, but with a good section of twisties on either end. We were back in Terre Haute by about 6:30 and had covered right at 400 miles for the day.
As ride leader, I had some personal reservations about some of the participants which unfortunately, proved to be right. We did have good weather, good and hot in the afternoon, but dry. The guys that did the entire ride had a good time, which was the whole point.