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Rider Selection: Don't Be "That Guy"

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Eric Hall

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I'm getting ready to do the IDBDR later this week. One guy I've ridden with before and one I haven't. They guy I haven't ridden with before has ridden with other guys I have ridden with and he seems like a great guy so I'm not sweating it. But this got me thinking how important rider selection can be, especially for a big trip like this.

 

Think about it, you invest lots of money in new gear, farkles, etc..., not to mention time off work and away from family/loved ones. The last thing you need is someone messing up your ride.

 

I have ridden with a LOT of people in the last four years. I'd say just about every one of them is a very good person. But let's face it, what we do is REALLY demanding! Think about the fatigue, hunger, dehydration, stress, injury, etc... that you get put under during an adventure ride. That's an environment that reveals peoples' character very quickly.

 

Let's face it, there are probably a few people you can think of whom you'd never ride with again, am I wrong?

 

But wait a second... what if you are someone people don't want to ride with again?!!! "What if I'm THAT GUY!"

 

I think it's important to look in the mirror and ask yourself "how can I be a better group rider?"

  • Are you ready to go at the time agreed upon for "kickstands up?"
  • Is your bike packed with all the right tools and gear?
  • Is your bike in good working order?
  • Do you have GPS and know how to use it or do you just hope to follow someone who does?
  • Do you know how to change a tire or perform routine trailside maintenance?
  • Do you ride too fast? (guilty)
  • Do you ride too slow?
  • Do you ride recklessly?
  • Do you bring riders on trails way above their ability?
  • Do you show up for rides you know are way above your ability?
  • Do you stop to help a fellow rider lift his/her bike?
  • Do you thank someone who helped you lift your bike?
  • Do you space out?
  • Do you get hangry? (guilty)
  • Do you not post up at turns?
  • Do you pass unsafely?
  • Do you roost others?
  • Do you ride too close behind others?


What other important riding etiquette do you think is important to mention? Tell us here or drop in our Beyond Starbucks section where you can find a safe place newer riders can learn about these things and more experienced riders share their wisdom and experience.

 


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I'm usually the one waiting,

Probably too much,

Tip top,

I invented it,

know how - yes / done it - no,

No,

If the scenery is awe inspiring - yes,

No,

I have but have learned from that mistake,

I have but have learned from that mistake - Sand is my Kryptonite,

I watch and take pictures,

I yell at them for scratching it,

If the music in my helmet is really good maybe,

I bottle it - sleeping in and making me watch you get ready while I twiddle my thumbs is my pet peeve,

Don't you know how to use GPS? (No - double negative),

Absolutely not,

Absolutely not,

If they want me to for some good video otherwise no.

 

A note on the "Do you show up for rides you know are way above your ability" question. I feel that I have a decent skill set, and can handle some fairly gnarly terrain; although, an "expert" I am not. It is, however, tough to judge if one is entering into a ride on a trail that is above their ability when they have never ridden the trail before. When in that situation do your homework in advance! In relation to this specific adventure I believe we have all done our due diligence - watched the movie (not just the trailer), read ride reports, looked at pictures, and spoken to others that have done the entire trail. With that information you can make a decision base on your knowledge of your own abilities, and you willingness for it to go wrong.

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That ride/ability thing is more for the larger rides where you have an A, B and C rides and the C guy chooses the A route and then the A riders are pissed because they're waiting all day and can't finish the route.

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Pointing out hazards for the guy behind you, I feel like this is not done by most people.  Can be done with either a leg or a hand, and is greatly appreciated by those of us who break the following too close rule.

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  • Are you ready to go at the time agreed upon for "kickstands up?" (Always, and have already checked out link-up and entry point to ride if not the ride itself.)
  • Is your bike packed with all the right tools and gear? (As much as I think I need, but yes, I did need a jump once and did NOT have cables...I do now.)
  • Is your bike in good working order? (Always)
  • Do you have GPS and know how to use it or do you just hope to follow someone who does? (Pretty damn well, but I am awed at some peeps skills.) 
  • Do you know how to change a tire or perform routine trailside maintenance?  (Yes)
  • Do you ride too fast? (Guilty, sometimes)
  • Do you ride too slow? (Guilty, sometimes after a long layoff)
  • Do you ride recklessly? (NO)
  • Do you bring riders on trails way above their ability? (Guilty but lesson learned)
  • Do you show up for rides you know are way above your ability? (Guilty but how do you learn your limits? I've gotten in WAY over my head and have been very underwhelmed)
  • Do you stop to help a fellow rider lift his/her bike? (Always because I know I'll need it)
  • Do you thank someone who helped you lift your bike? (Fxxk yes)
  • Do you space out? (I have in long rides and almost it on a turn into the oblivion)
  • Do you get hangry? (Very Guilty but try to plan ahead)
  • Do you not post up at turns? (I've missed a few and got my arse chewed just as I've chewed some.  Should know because I ride bicycles too and the etiquite is the same)
  • Do you pass unsafely? (NO)
  • Do you roost others? (I'd love to but still learning how to roost!)
  • Do you ride too close behind others? (Guilty sometimes but try not to)

 

Edited by Hugh Michaels
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