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Are we on our own now?

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Jonesey View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jonesey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Are we on our own now?
    Posted: 15 Mar 2017 at 20:30
I know this is possibly a tricky subject, but I would be interested to know what other people think regarding the issue of camaraderie on bikes.

I was on my way home tonight, and the number of bikes passing by from the opps. direction has increased from 2 per day over the winter, to about 12 per day this last week or so (30 mile commute on country A and B roads, plus some urban). Approx 50% of the riders fail to wave/nod or return mine. Also, I stopped by the roadside (in daylight) in a fairly tricky place to switch over to reserve tank (don't ask!)....a bike which happened to be about three cars behind me just rode straight past, didn't even look back to see why I'd suddenly stopped in a funny place.

I wouldn't take a guess at why people do what they do, but I seem to remember before about say 10 or 15 years ago, and even more so 20 - 30 years ago, almost nobody failed to wave or nod. Even if you were stopped in a layby for a smoke, a number of passing riders would give a questioning glance over or stop to see if you had broken down. This still holds true in France and Italy I noticed last summer, where I reckon about 1% of bikers fail to signal to each other, even on scary Alpine curves or dual carriageways!

Tempting though it may be to put forward theories about this, I thought it would be useful to canvass opinion in the community, and see what other people have noticed. I admit I am on old moaning git sometimes, but this has vexed me at various times over the years. Right from when I started riding in the 1970s (yep, you guessed it, an "old" moaning git as well!) I felt part of a community of bikers. Even people I didn't know or hardly knew were so friendly and helpful just because we had bikes, even a Fizzie or AP 50 counted, and if you had a Bantam you were sorted Wink I broke down on the motorway on my little CB200 once, and about 15 scary looking blokes on old British bikes all pulled over to see I was OK.....slightly disturbing for a young lad, as I'm sure many of you will remember there were some scary sorts on old Brits and Harleys in those days!! 

Sorry to ramble on, but I think its a shame if people stop acknowledging each other, and rolling on by when a fellow rider may be broken down. Seems like the top of a slippery slope to me, what do you think?




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Raeburn View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Raeburn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Mar 2017 at 21:04
On the t3.....wave/nod
Harley........nothing
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote red leader one Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Mar 2017 at 21:50
A sign of the times I suppose.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dave P. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Mar 2017 at 21:56
I was on old British bikes in the seventies.Don't think I've ever been scary though

I still acknowledge other riders and stop if I think someone has a problem, as people have done for me.......thankfully.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brian UK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Mar 2017 at 22:22
Regarding the riding on, bear in mind probably the majority of "bikers" these days have little or no mechanical savvy. What could they do?
 
Having said that, the last time I was stopped on the side of the road (puncture) one bike stopped.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BobV7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Mar 2017 at 23:23
Guess I must have been lucky with people. Some while ago I had a exhaust clamp come loose just outside Farnham and at least 2 bikes stopped to see if I needed help, and once a Ducati ride stopped to offer help while I checked my bike over in a layby. I would probably stop if possible if only to see if they needed the use of some tools.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kateguy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Mar 2017 at 05:29
We still do it....I like to see youngsters on bikes....makes me have a bit of hope for the future....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rollo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Mar 2017 at 07:45
Jonesey, I agree that your observed trend is correct but there is very little to be done to change the way things are. The best we can do is try and act to others as we would like them to act towards us. I still wave and stop to offer help if the position is safe. Now virtually everyone has a mobile it is unusual to find someone who is not able to summon help. Quite different to only a few years ago.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jerry atric Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Mar 2017 at 09:38
I think this subject has come up before, times have certainly changed and I reckon young people are far more indulged and hence selfish than most of our? Generation. Having said that, in 1979 my A65 broke down, luckily only a shorted wire, about 5 miles from Peterborough Show Ground on BMF Rally day, it's where we were headed. Despite the seat being off the bike and an attractive girlfriend stood by looking distraught, I reckon about 30 bikes must have passed by. Quite a few waved but none of them felt that camaraderie was more important than missing some of the rally. Thinking about it, perhaps they were just waving at my bird!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jmee54 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Mar 2017 at 09:59
I always stop to offer help, car or bike, even with a phone help can be a long time coming. I have had a Polish worker's car on my drive for several days whilst he sourced another gearbox, towed a kit car back to the chaps home, filled bike's tanks when they have run out of fuel, changed several wheels when Cornish hedges have resulted in wrecked tyres (ladies), given folk somewhere dry and warm to wait while recovery is sorted and I give a nod to every bike I pass. It is true that fewer people return likewise, probably because most of them are not bikers in the old sense and are just commuters and don't get it. I have conked out twice down here and both times a car driver has stopped and offered help, one running me to a garage and back to get fuel. I think most people in Cornwall realise that we are a bit more isolated and act accordingly. People are generally very helpful here, bikers or not.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ed.bremner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Mar 2017 at 11:46
"One and all, for duty calls. Shoulder to shoulder, we stand or fall. On land or sea, where ever we be. We Cornish are ready and One and All." 

It is my experience also.  Maybe less so in the middle of the tourist season, but yes, people tend to help when they can.

My brother is the other side of 70 and still riding when he can (and driving vintage cars when he can't).  He tours all over the Europe and there are simply two things which make a trip a corker for him.   One is breaking down, and being rescued by other bikers or classic car types and the other is stopping to help someone else that has broken down.  For him this is simply where the craic is. 

https://youtu.be/Ke6WnxujxJY

Both his brothers have accused him of joyfully setting out, with a smile of anticipation on his face, knowing that sooner or later, he was likely to break down.

Hell, it seems to work for him

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Edited by ed.bremner - 16 Mar 2017 at 12:02
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ken-Guzzibear Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Mar 2017 at 12:51
Always nod and slow/stop as has been said there are an awful lot of folk now ride bikes BUT are not bikers, there are many who have NO mechanical nounce at all or are merely posers ... Don't have an issue with it, let them get on with it ... can't say it bothers me , I have pulled in to a lay by with a couple of sportsbike power rangers when the rear one had placed his lid on the ground behind his bike they looked very surprised , had "Only stopped for a fag mate!" ...hey ho ....but then I don't like dissing other bikes either every bike on the road no matter what is one less car! ....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jim Mac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Mar 2017 at 15:07
i probably see half a dozen bikes at most on my commute - one of them is Harry the Hat from the Scottish branch - only other Guzzi i see.

we all wave or nod - cos' we all 'know' each other i guess

i must admit that i passed a stranger who had broken down the other day, i never saw him until it was too late and couldnt pull over to assist, i actually felt a bit guilty that day
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Jonesey View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jonesey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Mar 2017 at 20:07
Yep, that all makes sense to me. I just wondered if riding a make like Moto Guzzi made any difference, being quite recognisable and also a bike you ride very much by choice as an enthusiast, like Harley D.
If I do see someone stopped and I can't pull over for some reason, I don't feel quite so bad about it now that most people carry phones at least.
Re girlfriends on bikes, it's amazing how many tools you can borrow from blokes around a campsite if your other half has brought a mini skirt and skimpy top with her.........men are such predictable creatures apparently
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Friz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar 2017 at 08:54
Hmm... as a rider in my early 40s (is that young-ish? Smile)with limited spannerability, i still do all the nods and would stop, as I have a basic tool kit and punc repair under the seat. i've had people stop to offer help, too. But there is an invisible ring around London, somewhere just inside the M25, within which nodding doesn't happen and is not expected. 

I haven't noticed a decline in 10 years of UK riding. Perhaps the timescale is too short. But modern bikes break down less and people have phones, so I guess there is less reason to think someone is in trouble.
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