Great camera work! A good reason why not to play follow the leader and travel in large groups. Ride at your own pace and meet up at the destination. A similar pile up to this happened a couple of years back near Sydney Australia. Hundreds of bikers went on a charity ride and the highway ended up looking like a bowling alley.
Yikes oops I screamed. Reminds of a guy on old Honda CBR tailgating someone on 405 the other day. Right up on the guys left rear bumper. Now where do think he was going to go if someone stomped on the brakes. Now that I commute in a car not my bike, I do see bikers following too close to cars. 4 words for ya. "Back off" and "Look ahead"
Great post Sean! Nothing hammers a point home like pictures. .
There are no guarantees in life, but there are some strategies that work well most of the time in most situations, and the two-second rule is one of them.
An alternative to single-file group riding -- which strings out riders for miles -- and side-by-side parade riding -- which gives nobody any room to move to avoid road debris -- is staggered group riding.
Divide the lane into three sections: left, center, right. The first rider is in the left part of the lane, the next rider in the right side, then the next in the left, etc.
This alternating left/right spacing allows the lead rider to easily keep track of who's behind. It also gives each rider the width of the whole lane to move side-to-side to avoid roadkill or other debris.
To keep a safe amount of space between riders while still keeping a reasonably tight formation, have each rider watch the bike directly ahead. When the bike ahead passes a landmark, such as a utility pole, count "one-and-two-and." If you pass that utility pole before you get to the "and" of two, you need to back off. If you find yourself counting "three-and" or "four- and," you can tighten up a bit.
This keeps a two-second cushion between riders. It works at any speed. At lower speeds, the distance between riders is less. At higher speeds, the distance between riders is greater.
At 60 mph for instance, a two-second gap leaves 176 feet, or about 9 car lengths. At 10 mph, a two-second gap leaves about 18 feet.
Trying to visually determine a safe gap is nearly impossible. Using a timed interval, however, works at all speeds and automatically adjusts for speed variance.
The 2 second rule is all well and good, if the other people on the road are using it, but if you leave a two second gap around here in traffic, it's 100% garunteed that some jerk is going to cut you off and plug that gap. What's worked for me is always making sure I have an escape route, or at the very least have enough room to split a lane if I need to.'
It's not working for me either, but multi bike pile-ups are just one of the reasons I don't like group riding. The last time I went was with a guy I work with and two of his friends. One was so far back we had to keep waiting for him, the other was either so close I couldn't see him in my mirrors or wanting to share the lane with me, then dropping back, then back on my tail pipe. At least my coworker kept decent position but overall it wasn't much fun and I bailed on them after a 100 miles or so.
Nobody used the time tested method of 'layin her down' here? No REAL riders in this group obviously! All this carnage could have been easily avoided with this simple method. It just shocks me that nobody uses it anymore.
That's exactly right! It sucks if somebody cuts in, but you still need to keep the two-second gap.
A strategy that works if a car gets into the middle of the group is for the lead rider to start gradually slowing down. Eventually the car will get impatient and jump out of the group. Then the lead rider can bring the group back up to speed.
I couldn't see the pics earlier this morning, but now I can.
This appears to be the classic Flying Cluster***** Formation, in which you just throw a bunch of riders into one group of a few hundred riders with no plan or communication beforehand, other than, "follow the guy ahead of you."
An organized group ride is a lot more preferable, in which you break up the group, however large, into smaller groups, each with a leader who has a clear, readable, large-type route sheet to follow.
Each smaller group navigates on its own to the destination through traffic. You don't have hundreds of bikes moving aimlessly like a herd of cattle into everything in its path.
When you hit a traffic light with a herd of bikes, either they all run the red light and ***** off cross traffic (or get run over), or the group gets split up, and those in the back have to scramble to catch of with the front of the group when the light changes.
It's possible to send riders ahead to block intersections, but this puts those riders in harm's way. A better approach is to arrange with local law enforcement to have them there to block intersections along the route, but that's not easy to do.
A group of about 8 riders can navigate traffic a lot more easily than a group of 100. By doing some planning, providing route sheets, and breaking into groups of 8, you can move any number of riders safely to a destination.
Well I can see the pictures now, what a mess. Looks like more than a few were locking up the rear wheel (possibly preparing to broadslide out of danger) I though t those european guys were supposed to be all expert riders...guess not.
If you keep going down after the picture sequence, there's a link to some guy tattooing pigs. I thought it was kinda' cool...
That is exactly right. I rarely get all "type A" when there is little or no traffic. But put me on 101 with a bunch of others and I jepordize my own saftey zone to "prove" someone else is an idiot. It's called negative-sum-gain.
Anybody notice the only "sensible" rider in this whole mess? Frames 3 & 4 black & white jacket and red helmet jumps the guardrail and leaves his bike to get to safety. Rule number 1 in an open road accident-get the hell off it!!