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Riding question for all
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Huey
Posted 11/27/2004 5:02 PM (#5459)
Subject: Riding question for all



Veteran

Posts: 105
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Location: Arlington, Texas
Do sidecars generally lead or follow when riding in a group? Say mixed company with solos and such? New to the sport and do not have a clue.
Huey
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stevewoo
Posted 11/27/2004 7:20 PM (#5460 - in reply to #5459)
Subject: RE: Riding question for all



Elite Veteran

Posts: 744
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Location: Salem, OR
Well, if the solo bikes can't keep up - they follow! Sometimes I wait at intersections for them to catch up!

Really - I guess it depends on the group - but mostly just interspersed.
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Hack'n
Posted 11/27/2004 7:35 PM (#5461 - in reply to #5459)
Subject: RE: Riding question for all



Expert

Posts: 4833
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Location: Boise, Idaho
Usually, if it is my ride and I am with visitors from out of the area, I will lead.

When with my usual riding group we take turns being "Road Captain".

If with a mixed group of 2 & 3 wheelers, usually the faster paced solo bikes will take the lead and the hackers will fit in where the pace is comfortable.

It's all good.
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herwing
Posted 11/27/2004 7:48 PM (#5462 - in reply to #5459)
Subject: RE: Riding question for all



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Posts: 209
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Location: Fairfield, VA

Gee, I've never ridden with any other sidehackers, but I'm always riding with 2 wheelers. I like to ride in the back most of the time, that way I can watch their mistakes and they can't see mine!!! Of course, they can just leave me in the dust when it comes to tight curves, but they usually let me catch up later.

Connie
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Jimbosidecar
Posted 11/27/2004 8:18 PM (#5463 - in reply to #5459)
Subject: RE: Extra gastank for rig question



Regular

Posts: 57
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Location: Beijing, China
In Beijing, the sidecars usually lead and the solos follow. No reason except the sidecars tend to ride a little faster than the solos (maybe because the sidecars get more "respect" from the other vehicles (mostly big trucks) on the road.
Regds,
Jim
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SidecarMike
Posted 11/27/2004 9:08 PM (#5465 - in reply to #5459)
Subject: RE: Riding question for all



Expert

Posts: 1710
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Location: Menomonie, Wisconsin USA
I prefer following the pack. I tend to be heavy on the throttle and sometimes forget that others either cannot or will not keep up. I've also had problems with people thinking they can share the lane with me, not thinking that I can't always move over to accomodate them. I also spend a lot of time on the Interstate and tend to ride till my 5.5 gallon tank is on fumes, again irritating the "smell the roses" crowd. Not that I'm against stopping, I just forget to do it.
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sidecarLenny
Posted 12/9/2004 7:25 PM (#5593 - in reply to #5459)
Subject: RE: Riding question for all


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Posts: 152
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Location: Warwick NY
I prefer the back of the pack.
I like to use the whole lane esp. on the twisties(as per the yellow book).
The solo riders I ride with have faster bikes than my hack so it's
easier for my to be in the back.
Just like connie pointed out, I like to see how they are riding ahead of me so I can make the appropriate adjustments to the road.
In reference to the post from China; I guess it would not matter in China since the road conditions and speed you would be riding at would not be as fast as the roads in the US.
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claude #3563
Posted 12/10/2004 12:18 AM (#5600 - in reply to #5593)
Subject: RE: Riding question for all



Expert

Posts: 2471
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Location: Middleburg, Pa
My experience is that either/or is okay as long as it is okay withthe group you are riding with. I like to ride in the rear if possible but it is no big deal either way.
In the rear you actually tend to go faster in a group than if you were up in second or third place.This is due to the 'train effect' of most groups.
If you are leading a group it is best to stay aware of how they are keeping up. You can sort of coax them to go faster with you rown speed but running off and leaving them is not a good thing.Starting off is probably the most critical tim efor a lead rider . He should let the group dictate his speed until they are all together.
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retro-rig
Posted 12/18/2004 2:32 PM (#5697 - in reply to #5459)
Subject: RE: Riding question for all


Member

Posts: 21
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Location: New York
I prefer to ride to the rear of groups when I've got the side car out. Several reasons for this chief among them is the rig I have is based on a 1955 thumper and getting up to 50MPH with it is an exercise. Also when in group some riders forget I've got a wider bike than they've got and tend to close the gap uncomfortably. Where as I can keep the distance needed for my two drum brakes to stop me if I need to stop quickly.

Riding location should be a matter of comfort level for the rider, based upon riding abilities, vehicle set up, and group riding patterns.
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Posted 1/2/2005 6:23 AM (#5805 - in reply to #5459)
Subject: RE: Riding question for all


In our local H.O.G. chapter, the rule seems to be to put the hacks in the odd numbered positions (1, 3, 5, etc.). I guess they figure that this keeps the bike closer to the centerline. As for me, I prefer to ride at or near the rear.
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Posted 1/2/2005 6:16 PM (#5810 - in reply to #5459)
Subject: RE: Riding question for all


I tend to lead. I'm new enough at this, and I have poor depth perception, so I'm worried about running over the group when I'm behind them, so I lag back, they slow down so I can 'keep up', I lag back, they slow down... In the front, I tend to run a little on the fast side, and we all have fun.
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herwing
Posted 1/3/2005 9:48 AM (#5818 - in reply to #5810)
Subject: RE: Riding question for all



Veteran

Posts: 209
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Location: Fairfield, VA
Hi Red,

You must ride with a more concerned group of bikers than I do! The only one who slows down for me is my husband and he's not real happy to do it. New Year's Day we went on our annual polar bear ride. Well, most years there are usually 8 to 10 bikes, but this time the weather was beautiful so we had a huge bunch of bikes to show up. I tried to stay in back like I'm expected to do, but we had a couple of non-CB riders who wanted to stay in back, so I had a hard time keeping the ducks in a row when part of the group lost sight of the leader and didn't know whether to take the interstate or stay on the "old" road. On the return home, I again attempted to stay in the rear, but had 3 bikes that insisted on staying behind. Well, they did that is until we hit the curves starting up the mountain that we had to cross. All three decided that was the time to pass me. I rounded a right hand curve just in time to see the first bike almost wipe out on the next left hand curve. I've seen it happen several times on that particular curve and I'm not sure if it has anything to do with them trying to show me how fast they can take a curve or if it's something else. But it always happens just after they blow by me. It doesn't offend me to stay in back or for them to pass me. I don't figure that I have anything to prove to anybody and I'm perfectly content to stay in the back.
Oh, and I find it easier to judge how fast I can handle a curve if I can watch how the bike in front of me takes it. That makes the ride much easier for me, especially if there are lots of tight curves.

Connie
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SCT100
Posted 1/3/2005 6:21 PM (#5826 - in reply to #5818)
Subject: RE: Riding question for all


Veteran

Posts: 117
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Location: In the rust belt somewhere
I can see it's going to be an interesting summer. I love reading these posts in as much as I have been a solo biker for over 30 years and now in the later stage of life decided to get a complete outfit.

I have been diddling with the hack and bike for the better part of 6 months now. I took my sport bike (Triumph Bonneville-02) and had a Motorvation Spyder built for it. The bike and tub are in metro Detroit getting married along with some custom goodies. The cost is getting pretty outrageous, but, you only live once. Like my wife says "you can't take it with you"

Speaking of living, I am used to riding at a brisk pace, actually the Triumph lends itself to pretty spirited, peg scraping riding. I can see the married outfit will be just the opposite. Besides, I also see that I will have to re-learn or rethink my riding on a whole.

The guys I ride with aren't road racers, but they aren't slouches by any means. I can see I'll be in the back, way back. I can see doing a lunch run and they will be done eating before I get there. I can also see that I'll need a second bike for the "fun" rides. I think the second bike will be a new Norton 952 Roadster. Either that or a Triumph 955I Daytona.

When I take the outfit on a ride, I can also see where everyone will put their rainsuits and extra jackets.....in my tub.
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claude #3563
Posted 1/3/2005 6:36 PM (#5829 - in reply to #5826)
Subject: RE: Riding question for all



Expert

Posts: 2471
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Location: Middleburg, Pa
Well you may be right for a while but you may also find as you get in some experience that you will have little trouble keeping up with the pack.
As far as the rain suits go? HEY, IF THEY RUN OFF AND LEAVE YOU AND IT BEGINS TO RAIN BE SURE TO STOP AND PUT YOUR OWN SUIT ON..They may be wet when you catch em..too bad
If you have not downloaded Hal Kendall's books be sure to do so. Go to the homepage here. They are free of charge. Hal, USCA Memebr #2 and co founder, has graciously offered them in this fashion in an effort to help new, and all, sidecarists. Check em out
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SCT100
Posted 1/4/2005 4:00 AM (#5831 - in reply to #5829)
Subject: RE: Riding question for all


Veteran

Posts: 117
100
Location: In the rust belt somewhere
Claude:

I am ahead of you in that respect. I always garner as much material as possible when getting into something new. To that end, I have purchased the CD as well as borrowed a Ural riding manual from a guy at work. Lots of reading on the CD. The "Flying the Chair" and the steering reversion part has me worried. My reflexes, especially to the unknown aren't nearly as good as when I was younger. My biggest fear is wrecking the outfit. I have a lot of time and money in it. My intent is actually to ride and show the bike and tub in British bike shows. I have a feeling that the Norton or the Daytona will become my general rider.
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claude #3563
Posted 1/4/2005 6:03 AM (#5832 - in reply to #5831)
Subject: RE: Riding question for all



Expert

Posts: 2471
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Location: Middleburg, Pa
>> The "Flying the Chair" and the steering reversion part has me worried.<<

Don't even worry about this. Read the material on the CD and practice it. I am totally tired of seeing people getting too concerned about these issues when they should not be the focal point of sidcarring at all!! Read Hal's material, absorb it and practice.
Claude
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Posted 1/4/2005 10:18 AM (#5833 - in reply to #5459)
Subject: RE: Riding question for all


When riding in a group, certain rules might apply. First, is this just a casual ride where everyone is doing their own thing, or is it organized? The greater the degree of organization the greater the degree of responsibility. This applies not only for the safety of those participating in the ride, but also of ALL other road users.

First - how long is the trip? If just down the road from breakie to the park a half mile away is vastly different to an overnight interstate journey. Same principles, but degree of complexity involved is increased. So lets focus on a moderate trip, and scale up/down as needed.

Plan the trip. Make SURE you know WHERE you are going. Not everyone needs to know. All should have good maps, but at least 5 to 10 percent should be intimately knowledeable in the precise route, and a backup route just in case you do get lost! Know where the rest stops are, the eating houses, gas stations. Never overextend. One of the persons with this expert knowledge of the way should lead the way.

The SLOWEST rider in the pack should be in the number TWO position. He/she must NEVER be left behind. He/she will set the pace for the group.

Sidecars will NEVER ride TWO abreast. Solos, if in the convoy, may be in any position acceptable to the group, and may ride two abreast, conditions permitting, if they so choose. Except for an emergency, to be defined later, there will be NO OVERTAKING once the convoy is underway.

There will be no more than 10 or 12 units in a convoy. If more than this, units will be broken up into separate convoys each with its own leader. This may be modified by the convoy leader.

The most experienced driver will be placed at the rear. It will be his/her responsibility to watch over those ahead. If any is in trouble, he will try to assist, then to send a message to the leader, by radio contact, if possible, otherwise by light signals to be passed forewards by those ahead, to get the convoy stopped if the trouble is serious.

Serious trouble might be mechanical, an accident or injury. Might be repairable, or might require others to attend or fix. Radio or phone highly desirable for leader and tailrunner.

The convoy will allow for others not in the convoy to enter, pass, and not annoy others in their legal use of the road.

The convoy will obey ALL legal road signs and traffic rules.

Have fun, and do not be a horses ass.
Hal
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Hack'n
Posted 1/4/2005 2:32 PM (#5837 - in reply to #5833)
Subject: RE: Riding question for all



Expert

Posts: 4833
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Location: Boise, Idaho
Being minimalist,
My bride and I hopped on/in our Nighthawk rig on New years day and went soloing to a neighboring town, saw a friend, looked in his shop at his latest project, went to a Pub, had one "Mike's Hard Lemonade" a pool game and lunch (no we didn't watch any "group sports" games), took a slow ride around a lake and the back roads home. 30 degrees, clear and crisp, home by dark. No cell phone, no radios, no rules, no convoy to lead or follow.

We laughed and had fun. It's all good.
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Posted 2/1/2005 7:51 PM (#6148 - in reply to #5459)
Subject: RE: Riding question for all


Getting Left Behind: My Road King rig clips along between 70-75 on slab and properly banked curves. I'm having it remapped and an air upgrade to get my top end back. Yeah, there goes the gas mileage, but Hey! as long as there's cruiser bikes in the group we have to stop every 150 miles anyway.

Peg-scraping: Forget it. The trade off is the look om someone's face when you go through road construction, loose gravel, grated bridges, and grass without missing a lick.

There are also odd things that happen.
Other bikers with follow you. I went out for a side trip during Trail of Tears, just checking out the back roads around Waterloo Alabama. At one point there were 20 solos following me, and only 3 were relatives.
People who are afraid of motorcycling will ride with you.
And like Jimbosidecar pointed out, we're more visible and get more respect for getting through crowds and traffic.
Everyone wants to stop and talk to you.

I still show my bike, but I've been barred from competing in bike games. Something about trying to enter my rig in the slow ride contest. They should be more specific when they say 'your feet can't touch the ground.' I bet MY passenger would win the hotdog bite- the Cattle Dog is tall enough when she puts her paws on my shoulder and stands up in the tub.
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