By June 8, 2009

Relaxing weekend, nervous rides

I’ve really enjoyed riding Cylon, my Yamaha FZ6, with Tomax and Xamot. I’ve logged a lot of group rides lately, and every time we go we are joined by other friends. It’s been tons of fun.

However, riding with a bunch of other people adds a level of complexity that you don’t get riding solo, or even in pairs. This is especially true when new people ride with each other the first few times. Spacing between bikers is a personal thing; “too close” to some people is “too far” for others. Position with the pack also has an effect. I prefer to be first or second or last. If I know where I am going and am in the front I feel capable leading everyone else. If I don’t know where I am going, being second allows me to see. Any further back and I start to get nervous, because I can’t really see the road behind the lead bikes. If I am all the way in the back then I can watch everyone and get a good idea about upcoming turns or road debris.

Tomax, Xamot, Right Turn Clyde and I rode around on Saturday. I couldn’t get comfortable mentally and rode stiffly. I didn’t lean as much as I normally do, and I felt “off.” I chalked it up to being on a new route, behind most of the pack, and a little tired. I still had a nice time, but my performance really irked me.

I set out Sunday with Xamot, The Count™ and Ironhide. I was hopeful that I’d ride better than I did on Saturday. Off we went down unfamiliar roads. The temperature was perfect. The pace Xamot set was ideal. I never felt rushed, and the route was technically easier than the one we ran Saturday.

Unfortunately, I still couldn’t shake the bugs out. I felt clumsy; I slowed down too much into the turns and tried to compensate by blasting out at the apex. My throttle control at low speeds was jerky. The only two redeeming points of the day were my stops and helping The Count™’s friend zip-tie his clutch lever together so he could make it home. Oh yeah, I was pretty proud of myself when I rode in between the narrow gap separating some speed bumps.

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Xamot and The Count™ on their BMWs.

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Ironhide riding behind me on his Triumph Speed Triple. I really appreciated him giving me plenty of room to fumble around today. He never made me feel like I was holding him up.

Despite all the bitching about my riding, I really enjoyed my weekend out on the bike. There’s a lot of shit going on right now, and riding Cylon gives me time away from all of that. Even when I am riding with my friends, the solitude of riding alone gives me a chance to think.

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2 Comments on "Relaxing weekend, nervous rides"

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  1. Gremlin says:

    I hate riding back in the pack, you never know what is coming and it makes you uncomfortable, so you slow down, but then you have the anxiety of somebody possible riding up your rear.

  2. Tomax says:

    You did fine on Saturday! Although you did seem a bit “off” once we got further out into the aforementioned unknown territory. That route is amazingly fun at about 60/65 though ;). We’ll have to run it a few more times. I can’t wait for this Sunday though!!!!