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Long ago and far away (back in the day—OK, 1981) I used to regularly ride to Alice’s up on Skyline, south of San Francisco. Yes, that Alice’s. Now, I didn’t hang out at Alice’s, it was too crowded, instead I would go to the little immigrant store across the road and buy a sandwich/soda/chips and hang out in the parking lot which is much bigger than Alice’s. I was up there EVERY SINGLE SUNDAY for more than 3 years.

It was fun. You could hook up with all sorts of different bikes and ride with all kinds of riders. There was every thing from funky Laverdas to CBX1100s to Harley Cafés! Big KZs, Turbos (yeah, they had OEM turbos!), RD400s, CB750s, Ducati Darmahs, the ORIGINAL GSXRs—you name it, you’d see it. There was a huge, bewildering tribe of every kind of bike imaginable. It was cool.

Eventually you got to know people and their bikes. You’d recognize them and maybe they’d be leaving as you were arriving and you’d forego a stop and hustle to catch up and then follow them down Highway 84 (yes, the nice twisty one) to the ocean. OR you might recognize them and think “let him go, let him go, let him go…”
See, it is possible that you’ll find people you DON’T LIKE in your motoring community. Yeah, hard to believe but there’s a few boneheads out there AND you aren’t required to like them. There were guys that when they’d arrive—I’d leave. Or if I caught them on the road I’d pull off and wait 10 minutes before continuing. I just didn’t want to be around them.

Why? ‘Cause I didn’t want to hurt myself or them. Yeah, I didn’t want to hurt myself OR them. One of the things that happens on bikes is we can use them as an active or a passive weapon. Actively we bully each other! We can bang bars, ride too close, try to get the other guy to flinch first…basically actively try to cause another rider problems. Active bullying is easy to spot and easy to avoid. We know when we’re doing it and we know when it’s happening to us. Generally we’re bright enough to separate ourselves from danger and we’ll just leave; or in the worst case we respond in kind and someone can get hurt. This is called Road Rage when you do it in a car. It seems to be rare on bikes, probably because we’re more vulnerable.

Using a bike as a passive weapon is a different thing. Imagine someone walks up to you at the bottom of the local twistie. They make a comment about your bike which you find insulting. Rather than let it go you wait until you see them gearing up and you let them get on the bike and ride away. You gear up, climb on and take off. You’re plan is simple: overtake them and then see if they can keep up. To your mind this isn’t aggressive behavior, you’re just seeing if they got the schizzle to back up their mouth.

So you catch them. And press them. And follow too close. And to prove your point you make a sloppy aggressive pass…and they latch onto your tail…and start pushing you…and YOU have to go faster and brake later and deeper…

And suddenly nobody’s having fun anymore, passive has somehow become active! Any riders around you have dropped off and anyone you catch gets out of the way. Luckily that ratbastard behind you finally gives up and drops away and you can pull back from the edge. You get to top and stop at the turnout to wait for your buddies. That guy you taught the lesson too? He goes by, sees you with your helmet off and immediately turns left and heads for next county…chicken—can’t even face you. WAIT! He’s not scared, he’s smart, he’s trying to separate himself from YOU. You were just a dangerous wienie who was passively, then actively, trying to hurt him.

You didn’t even realize you were being an overly aggressive dick! Your friends show up (hey, beat them by 5 minutes!) and they are strangely silent. IF YOU’RE LUCKY one walks up and tells you: “Dude, you were waaaay over the line with that, that was crap and you were a danger to yourself and everyone on the road—like that minivan that almost hit the wall trying to avoid you two knotheads.”

What minivan? Yeah, OK, there was one up in the big left as you started down through the part you call 'the Chicane"…but it didn’t get close…and you were in your lane…at least your tires were…

“Was it that close?” You ask.

“Made me sh*t my pants”, says your friend. “You need to let that stuff go man, just let the guy go.”

It is good advice. You’re going to find people you don’t like on bikes. Just like on the internet. Just like the internet you need to just ignore them, let it go, don’t let other people into your head, just let it go.

SMJ is a lot like a parking lot. You may find people you like and people you don’t. A bunch you might feel ambivalent about, you don’t love, you don’t hate them. It’s all good. They have a right to the road. They don’t have a right to ride with you. If you come across them on the same piece of road—just let ‘em go. No muss, no fuss.

Grandpa Crash taught me something once: If you don’t like someone? They should never know. And if they do find out you don’t like them? They should be surprised. Don’t invest your time and energy into disliking people—it’s more fun to be polite and then avoid them.
 

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If I ever see you in a parking lot, i will definitely stop:thumbup:
 

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Awsome story, and a great post. Good food for thought :thumbup:
 

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Good post Crash!
 

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always ride your own ride....rule #1 in motorcycling.

Id never let someone press me into going faster...screw that ...run into me if your in that big of a hurry and get your shit stomped flat when we both crash...but Im not speeding into a corner to beat anyone.

but...I drive like a freakin speed deamon anyway so this hasnt really been a problem as of yet.

AND..Id never think of doing that kind of shit to a fellow rider.

excellent story...good food for thaught to those with stupidity lining the helmet they ride in.

Ohh yah...I lived in Milbrea Ca...the other side of the hill from Alices resteraunt...excellent area to ride. (when the weather is cooperating.)
nothing like the san andreas fault to make a road twist and turn.

be safe,

SDMOTARD
 

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Capt, I bet We have Met. I was a Regular at the top and always on the store side. The dirt lot at alices was a clusterfu&*. Go into the little green store and grab a burrito and a pepsi and enjoy the machines. seen some amazing bikes in the lot. Or maybe run down to "Roberts" in Woodside and get a deli sandwich. Used to ride with Gary Jahne and Dominic and Terri (on her 400 Fireblade). I miss that scene.
 

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good food for thaught to those with stupidity lining the helmet they ride in.
My MX helmet and gear is lined with stupidity. It stays in the dirt, and sometimes on the faces of landings......:lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Capt, I bet We have Met. I was a Regular at the top and always on the store side. The dirt lot at alices was a clusterfu&*. Go into the little green store and grab a burrito and a pepsi and enjoy the machines. seen some amazing bikes in the lot. Or maybe run down to "Roberts" in Woodside and get a deli sandwich. Used to ride with Gary Jahne and Dominic and Terri (on her 400 Fireblade). I miss that scene.
It was cool. Don't know what it's like now--hopefully the same. I used to get knotted up with a couple of guys from Woodside/San Carlos somewhere all the time, they had like first generation Chatterboxes. I see them and we'd get all tied up being stupid. I was running a 81 GS550E that was piped and jetted with a 391R on the front and a Phantom on the rear, I'd end up 'hunting' for GPz550s and VFR500s, I got away with some stupid stuff. Ran Old Pescasdero Road and Page Mill Road to screw with bigger bikes--some day I'll get the SM up there and enjoy the flashbacks...

A couple of years ago I took PFC Crash up the bay side of 84 and we wound up pulling the rope out from under the pick-up sit and yanking a TL1000 back up on the road...ah good times good times...
 

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i thought of this thread this weekend...

i ride everyday. its my primary mode of transport.. im not saying that makes me a great rider, but im extremely comfortable with my bike, especially on corners near my house.

so theres an interstate-like 270* exit from a local highway onto the main road by my house.. i passed a guy on a bike, just so i could hit it a little faster. not balls to the wall, but 70 there isnt hard on the duc.. pushing it wouldnt come until triple digits, its not a tight turn, and its very wide... i just like it because its long so you get a good several seconds of lean angle.

i didnt think about the bike behind me... i guess he felt he had to "keep up"... once i exit, i notice he had gunned it and was now on my tail...and of course catching me there wasnt hard to do.

next intersection up, i have to take a right onto a popular side road.. i signal, i notice he signals too. hes a bit back.. well i dont slow much to turn.. and take the 90* corner into the street like ive done a thousand times, at about 40mph entrance speed.
poor guy behind me apparently could not do that... he panicked, hit the brake in the corner and went wide and hit the curbing of the center traffic island.... thankfully there was no oncoming traffic and he didnt wreck.. but it did make me think.


sometimes, when you think someone is acting like the person mentioned above.. when you can see they're pushing to keep up with you.. sometimes you should just slow down.. either they'll slow, or they'll go by.. but atleast then they didnt wreck trying to keep up with you. if they go by, you can always have fun once they're gone.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I had one of my little brothers friends following me up a neat little road once and I'd check my mirrors and he was back there...and I started passing cars where I could. I got to the top of the hill and pulled off and waited.

And all the cars I passed went by.

And then cars I hadn't passed went by.

And I went back DOWN the hill and found him in the bushes with a broken collar bone. We managed to get him home and treated. BUT, ever since then I've vacillated about my responsiblity to the guy behind me. Some days they're on thier own--they have to ride thier own ride! Other days, I'd rather have them in front of me where I can avoid the wreckage! And other days, it's just a good time to stop for a soda.

All in all I'm getting quite picky about who I ride with! (From SMJ--Hozhead :thumbup:)

It's a tough thing because one of the hallmarks of motorcycling is our 'taking responsibility for ourselves' mindset. I guess for me? Sometimes I just want people to take their responsibility somewhere else.
 
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