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To Lead or Not to Lead?

Old 01-09-20, 06:57 PM
  #51  
UKFan4Sure
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When you are on a lonely two lane road and get clipped by Bubba's pickup truck mirror, you'll wish you had a partner, that's for sure.
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Old 01-10-20, 12:36 AM
  #52  
Happy Feet
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Originally Posted by UKFan4Sure View Post
When you are on a lonely two lane road and get clipped by Bubba's pickup truck mirror, you'll wish you had a partner, that's for sure.
Why? Wouldn't the next motorist just stop and help.
Been on a lot of lonely two lane roads, never met a guy called bubba, never felt the need for a security blanket buddy.
My experience has been that having a riding partner leads to people paying way less attention to the road surroundings and riding side by side (creating a bigger target) because they are engrossed in conversation. If anything, more dangerous than riding alone.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 01-10-20 at 12:40 AM.
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Old 01-10-20, 03:35 AM
  #53  
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What if there is a medical condition? How many drivers would simply drive by before someone stopped? The next person, you say? That's wishful thinking, but yeah, most probably would. My experience is they buzz by at 60MPH thinking, "Wonder what the hell is wrong with that guy, Martha?" (you've probably never met Martha, Bubba's sister, either). Suppose a driver who isn't paying attention clips you and throws you into a ravine off the edge of the road, or even worse, does it on purpose? Heaven forbid, we might even slip up and go off the road all by ourselves. Sure we all carry our cell phone these days, but if you're unconscious or hurt, your dilemma might not be discovered by a loved one back home for hours. A bigger target (as you say) is more visible to oncoming traffic than a lone rider (and two tail lights blinking are better than one), but we ride single file anyhow. We can still converse, and if we happen to be side by side, there is a careful eye out for drivers approaching, where we fall back in line. There are two of us doing that, exclaiming "Car back!", followed by "Passing!". I'm one to believe a trusted partner is always better than riding alone. Call me Linus if you must, but I actually like my so-called security blanket(s). Plus, sharing the experience with others makes the ride that much better, in my opinion.
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Old 01-10-20, 04:39 AM
  #54  
indyfabz
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I’ve had plenty of people stop and ask me if I’m ok when stopped by the side of the road taking a break or whatever. One time, in complete darkness, I was bent over the front of the bike checking a front pannier to make sure I had not left something back at the campground. “Bubba” stopped his pickup to ask if I was ok. Guess it looked I was puking.
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Old 01-10-20, 07:39 AM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by UKFan4Sure View Post
What if there is a medical condition? How many drivers would simply drive by before someone stopped? The next person, you say? That's wishful thinking, but yeah, most probably would. My experience is they buzz by at 60MPH thinking, "Wonder what the hell is wrong with that guy, Martha?" (you've probably never met Martha, Bubba's sister, either). Suppose a driver who isn't paying attention clips you and throws you into a ravine off the edge of the road, or even worse, does it on purpose? Heaven forbid, we might even slip up and go off the road all by ourselves. Sure we all carry our cell phone these days, but if you're unconscious or hurt, your dilemma might not be discovered by a loved one back home for hours. A bigger target (as you say) is more visible to oncoming traffic than a lone rider (and two tail lights blinking are better than one), but we ride single file anyhow. We can still converse, and if we happen to be side by side, there is a careful eye out for drivers approaching, where we fall back in line. There are two of us doing that, exclaiming "Car back!", followed by "Passing!". I'm one to believe a trusted partner is always better than riding alone. Call me Linus if you must, but I actually like my so-called security blanket(s). Plus, sharing the experience with others makes the ride that much better, in my opinion.
Good that you find riding with another reassuring.

My past experience suggests it hasn't been as much of a concern for me on several accounts:
- My experience with mechanical breakdowns has been good with motorists assisting. In some cases, that took a while but those I didn't necessarily make it obvious I was in distress, e.g. walking my bike along the highway, holding out my thumb but otherwise back to traffic took 1.5 hours and a few trucks passing but then I wasn't in distress when my crank arm snapped - in contrast one time my hub failed, I had barely started walking 100m when a truck coming the other way came past, turned around and said that doesn't seem right.
- On tours, particularly longer trips I won't always be cycling right with my travel partners. Differences in cycling speed, climbing/descent, morning/night preferences mean it is common we may depart different times and leapfrog or meet up at designated points
- While I've certainly cycled past ravines or steep hillsides, it is actually not the most common topographic feature in my cycle touring
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Old 01-10-20, 07:51 AM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
My experience has been that having a riding partner leads to people paying way less attention to the road surroundings and riding side by side (creating a bigger target) because they are engrossed in conversation. If anything, more dangerous than riding alone.
Funny you should say that. I remember two crashes involving participants during my x-country tour. One guy, who was towing a trailer, went around another rider and cut back in too quickly. His trailer took out the other rider's front wheel and she fell. Later in the trip, I stopped to pick up a light that had fallen off another rider's bike. A rider behind me was staring at the scenery. Saw me at the last second but could not avoid clipping my right rear pannier and going down. In yet another instance, we were riding through a relatively major metro area with more traffic than usual. One rider had to squeeze over quickly. Her right front pannier became "locked up" with my left rear bag for a few seconds. Fortunately, neither of us went down. We jokingly called it "making out."
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Old 01-10-20, 07:58 AM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by mev View Post
- On tours, particularly longer trips I won't always be cycling right with my travel partners. Differences in cycling speed, climbing/descent, morning/night preferences mean it is common we may depart different times and leapfrog or meet up at designated points
Several people on my group tour across the country often rode alone some or even most of the time for the very reasons you mention. Also because some wanted time alone on occasions. One day, heading into a rest day, I needed a break from the group due to some goofy stuff that had happened the night before. I hit the road super early and did a near solo century to that night's destination.
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Old 01-10-20, 11:01 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by UKFan4Sure View Post
Plus, sharing the experience with others makes the ride that much better, in my opinion.
Agree.

For myself as related to solo touring,
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
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Old 01-10-20, 12:30 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by robow View Post
Agree.

For myself as related to solo touring,
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
I thought this was Shakespeare, not Dickens.
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Old 01-10-20, 02:27 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I’ve had plenty of people stop and ask me if I’m ok when stopped by the side of the road taking a break or whatever. One time, in complete darkness, I was bent over the front of the bike checking a front pannier to make sure I had not left something back at the campground. “Bubba” stopped his pickup to ask if I was ok. Guess it looked I was puking.
I just had someone stop to “check on me”, about 10-15 minutes ago. But it was a non-descript car, driven by about a 70 year old guy. I was sitting on a bench, looking at my phone, and clearly not in distress, but I was also foolishly passing through the golf courses, around Sun City. 🙄 😉
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