24 years old.... What a Waste. - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
Riding Proficiency Tips and suggestions for improving the rider's safety skills and riding techniques

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post #1 of 14 Old 08-22-2015, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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24 years old.... What a Waste.

What a Waste he was 24 years old with a whole life ahead. I can't count how many times I seen this happen in my 50 years of riding but it's always sad. My group of middle aged (55-73 years old with GSs,DLs Triumphs etc) riders that make up the Sunday ( 8-16-2015) morning ride, decided after breakfast, to go up CA SR 33 one of the best roads in California. 33 can be very tricky and dangerous especially when ridden too fast. After we arrived at local bike stop 30 miles up 33 we were doing out usual BSing when up rode a sport bike stopping and taking his gear off. 10 secs later a few more of his group trickled in then a few more. The guy that had pulled first (lets call him Fast 52 =years old) walk over to his friends and said where is that new guy who who we invited to ride with us at the gas station in Ojai? They all looked around, waited about 5 minutes and some began to go back followed by the rest. About 10 minutes later we started back started down to Ojai. After maybe 3 miles we came upon all the sport bike group standing along the road with some down a in a ravine around the dead new guy . He had crashed right after a 1/2 mile straight that had after a small knoll went into a medium tight blind right turn. New guy didn't make that right turn. I'm guessing he was riding his GSXR well over 100+mph trying to catch up with this stupid fast group. It had turned out that Fast 52 had joined the group a little late after they had left Ojai. He said when he came up on the tail of the group the new guy was riding way way over his head trying to keep up. He thought I've got to slow this guy down before he gets hurt so after passing him 52 motioned to him to slow down. The new guy's answer to that was to pass him back and continue to ride over his head. Fast 52 passed him back along with all the other members of this group. It turns out the new guy who nobody knew was indeed a new rider and was trying to make up for his lack of skills with high speed on any of the straights. Peer Pressure at 24.... Bad decision.....That was that. What a Waste and so very sad for his family and friends.
We are our decisions. Jim in Ojai CA 2012 DL1000 adv
PS I'm so glad at 24 I was riding dirt bikes or I might not have made it to 70

Last edited by Jim Kimo; 08-22-2015 at 02:15 PM.
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post #2 of 14 Old 08-22-2015, 02:49 PM
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Very sad, indeed. I am a firm believer in ride at your own pace and skill level, especially in unfamiliar areas. Life is too short... just slow down and enjoy the ride.

Get busy living, or get busy dying...

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post #3 of 14 Old 08-22-2015, 04:19 PM
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I know this is dredging up an old chestnut and I might not 100% agree with Nick Ienatch, but I have shared this with an uncountable number of riders since it was first written.

I had 16 or so years of sport bike group riding experience beginning on state of the art RD350's then onto Norton Commando and bevel head twins.... all the way up to second generation Gixxers when it first appeared in Motorcyclist. By then our group had evolved a similar code of ethics to that described in the article. The evolution was inspired by too many rides that ended in thankfully less lethal tragedies.

I can't imagine anyone experiencing a ride day like these and wanting to repeat the experience. But adrenaline diverts blood flow from the thinking organ. Repeating the same actions next ride makes the same results likely. How to share the wisdom gained from the carnage?

Pointing to Mr Ienatch' printed presentation seemed a less controversial way of arguing for sanity on the streets. Those that need exposure to the philosophy can digest it without defending their expertise. Reading is believing and blah blah.....easier to accept after rumination....seems like their own idea, ad infinitum.

Anyway, Im sure to be preaching to the choir here.

An original quote by Nostromdumbass;

Facebook: making humanity yearn for the times when people used to talk behind others backs.

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post #4 of 14 Old 08-22-2015, 05:53 PM
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I just did 33 recently because Lockwood Valley rd was closed. I got reminded how tight some of those turns are. My riding partner was having fun and ran away from me. I ride my own ride and just let him go.I always catch up at the next intersection.
Young guys do unfortunate things. Hopefully in his 24 years he made a good impression on people who will cherish his memory.
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post #5 of 14 Old 08-22-2015, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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Lets hope he had a good 24 years: I rode up 33 today and there was a small cross and some sun wilted flowers at the scene so someone loved him. Very sad. I also looked at the scene and my theory is probably close. At the end of the 1/2 mile straight it does a small climb and you can't see over it. Just as you crest it swings right quickly if you blow the turn your in soft gravel once in that it was over. There is a slight lip at the edge of the dirt run off and then about a 75ft drop off into brush. He landed maybe 100 or so feet off the road so I'm guessing he was hauling ass to catch up. All of us have probably done that sometime in our riding lifetime. The trick is to know when and how which takes a lot of seat time. Ride your own ride.
I'm a big fan of Nick Ienatch's " The Pace" The group I ride with pretty much rides that way. Some get frisky on occasion not me of course. I never like riding with strangers because you have no idea when or what they are going to do. They might look the part in their gear and not have a glue. If we do have a new rider join us I try to tactfully take him aside and say if your feeling uncomfortable don't try to stay up ride your own ride. We will wait from time to time. I also say if you should want to turn back please let someone in the group know so we don't send out a search party looking for you thinking you've crashed. If we get too spread out and I'm leading I'll slow down to 50mph and wait till most everyone shows back up. Those guys in fast 52's group, although good riders, just ride at near track day speeds with race tires which is really dumb but that's the way it is. At least when they come up on you they don't do dumb passes not yet anyway. Ride safe everyone, Jim in Ojai

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post #6 of 14 Old 08-22-2015, 07:55 PM
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Thank you all for writing. Very sad, very common. We live right next to the infamous "Dragon" and see the inexperienced facing a myth and getting all nervous on a regular basis. I regret at times not teasing someone away from a parked group and offering to lead them over this or that road around here. Fortunately I know of no bad results, but I should have done something a couple of times.

None of these roads are any more difficult than a WalMart parking lot.

But how to get that riding limits concept into folks - very difficult. Maybe impossible for some. Not just the bike limits. If you live in Florida or Illinois and go to a place with curve after curve and with up and down, you're going to get tired and develop brain fade. I've had riders look baffled when I explain that their nice comfy Valkyrie that is a joy on flat straights is trying very hard to kill them on downhill corners, and they're not listening to the bike give them hints.

I figure I'm always a new rider. I've never ridden this day. And if I think I've ridden this road, I'm wrong. I really don't know what's around the corner.

The Pace is excellent. That kind of relaxed and precise energy state management is how I have aimed to drive and tried to ride for a very long time, at whatever speed I'm going at. Think I really developed it bicycling, where the energy comes from me, or the amazing gravity push dropping out of the Alps. I am going to tag that article and pass it along. The quiet and calm rhythm, the dance of machine, rider, and road.

Be well.

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post #7 of 14 Old 08-22-2015, 08:56 PM
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Very sad. Hwy 33 is my favorite road and this is one reason I do not ride the 33 on weekends. Too many knuckle heads trying to impress others, I used to see these kind of wreaks all the time on the weekends.
Most of them were not fatal. I ride my own ride, stop when I want to and smell the roses. Life is too short to be taken for a reckless move trying to impress others. I've had people remark that they'd rather not ride with me cause I'm to slow. Well, 30 years ago when I was racing desert races, including Barstow to Vegas, The Mint 400, ect....I was allot younger and we were raised in desert riding. Now, I just cruse around like an old man, but I really do enjoy myself, more so than 30 years ago....sorry for the life story

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post #8 of 14 Old 08-23-2015, 12:48 PM
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"Too many knuckle heads trying to impress others,"
The Angeles Crest is the same way on weekends. Too many Bobo's. 3 black and whites and a number of fire trucks were headed up the hill as I got to the bottom of the hill.
Horrible ride, I followed 3 very slow cars all the way down from Newcombs. Buggers would not move over and get out of the way.
I did get 59 mpg though.
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post #9 of 14 Old 08-23-2015, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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I was a regular Crest rider in the 90s. I remember one year there was 13 fatalities between spring and fall. Crazy. Jim in OJai
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post #10 of 14 Old 08-23-2015, 05:22 PM
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I recently rode Hwy 33 with a small group of diverse bikes and riders. My friend likes to stay in the back primarily because he's getting a little long in the tooth and has to wrestle his 900 lb Indian around those curves. Me? I hang with him because I don't think any group ride should be ridden any faster than the slowest rider. He and I are the oldest but suspect we will be riding the longest. Anything else, in my opinion, is not a group ride. It's a "your on your own ride", so what's the point?
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