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Importance of choosing who you ride with

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by dima, Apr 4, 2014.

  1. Shamelessly stolen from here. Very well put. Hope that helps some of you.

    Rider Behavior and Peer Pressure
    Posted on April 1, 2014 by Ken Condon
    There is comfort in conformity.

    It may seem that peer pressure is something that we outgrow once we reach adulthood. But, even as grownups we continue to be influenced by people we associate and identify with.

    As motorcycle riders, peer pressure can affect our behavior and influence our attitude toward risk. This can be very beneficial, or it can be detrimental, depending on the attitude and values of the group you ride or identify with.

    I’ve seen otherwise really smart people do really stupid things on a bike because they do not think for themselves, and instead conform with the norms of the group. On the other hand, I’ve also seen reckless rookies become really smart and skilled riders through association with riders who value skill development and risk management.

    Positive Behavior Change
    Group mentality drives behavior, both good and bad.

    Peer pressure and positive comparisons are one of the most effective ways to change behavior. A smoker who wants to quit is more successful if he or she doesn’t hang out with other smokers. The same goes for alcoholics.

    A motorcycle rider who wants to increase the chances of surviving is smart to identify with riders who value risk management. This doesn’t mean riding without taking risks, but it does mean carefully considering the consequences of how you ride (and the protection you wear). Associating with risk-conscious riders is one on the best ways to manage risk.

    The attitude of a group does not have to be overt. It can be sensed by how they act. For instance, riding with a group that values excellent control skill will challenge the others in the group to ride better. Good judgement is another skill that thoughtful riding groups value. By associating with these riders, your knowledge and skills will improve.

    Style or Protection?
    Is your choice of protective gear driven by your level of risk acceptance or someone else’s?

    Protective gear is often dictated by style. This means that one rider will choose to wear a high-viz Aerostitch suit and full faced helmet, while another rider will choose a beanie helmet and black leather vest depending on the type of bike and riding he or she identifies with.

    Style will inevitably influence riding gear choices, but should style really be the deciding factor in protection?

    I’m reminded of a woman in a beginner motorcycle class I was teaching about ten years ago. We had just finished the segment on the importance of protective gear. This woman came up to me during the break looking upset. She preceded to tell me that what she had just learned scared her. It turns out her husband did not wear good protective gear and that she was sure she would be pressured into wearing a beanie helmet, jeans and t-shirt.

    I’m not a therapist specializing in marital problems, but I did offer her a strategy that I thought may have helped her with an obviously overbearing biker husband. I suggested that she tell him that what she learned made her realize the importance of a good helmet and that she insist on wearing a helmet that helped reduce the risk of injury. I figured he couldn’t argue with that.

    Fun at the Expense of Survival
    If you choose to ride in groups, ride with people who respect the risks.

    The type of riding gear people choose is influenced by identity. But, even more concerning is how peer pressure and group identity can lead to some really ugly outcomes. This is often caused by group behavior that values “fun” at the expense of basic safety.

    I’m the first to admit that riding fast is fun. But, I resist the pressure to ride fast on the street. Squidly sport bike riders who race and stunt on the street are highly represented in death statistics.

    When it comes to the “biker” crowd, alcohol is a deadly combination that has been around for decades. Even though statistics suggest that there is less going on, drinking and riding it are still prevalent.

    Pack mentality is tough to resist when you’re riding in a group. The most common result for sport riders is a steady increase in speed during group rides. For the cruiser riders, it seems to be an increase in raucous behavior.

    Even when you ride alone, you are influenced by peers.

    But, I ride Alone
    Riding solo is one way to “ride your own ride”. But, the fact is that group identity influences your behavior even if you strictly ride solo. For example, the type of bike you ride will likely define your choice of riding gear. Look around and you will be hard-pressed to find many cruiser riders wearing a full-faced helmet. You’ll also find it tough to spot a racerboy sportbike rider sporting a high-viz vest.

    Yes, these are stereotypes, but am I wrong? Sure, there are those people who challenge norms by combining different styles of riding gear and bikes, but they are the exception.

    It doesn’t matter if you ride alone. You are part of a larger group whether you like it or not. Your choice of riding style is an identification with the biker crowd, the touring crowd, the sportbike crowd, adventure crowd, or some other group. Accept it, but be sure you make decisions that are in line with your beliefs, not the beliefs of others.

    I challenge you to look at your personal values and make choices based on your level of risk acceptance and go against the perceived norms of your riding genre if they don’t match.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. I challenge the author to settle the fcuk down, get laid or something.

    Such blatant faggotry seriously harshes my buzz and sends the wrong message to the children.

    They need to be aware that going fast on the street, performing wheelies and having a beer at the pub on a long ride are all good things, and that wearing fluro vests, talking like you've just swallowed that Keith Code book and other such shit are not tolerated.

    Motorcycling is great fun, provided you don't get trapped talking to people like the author of this article at a petrol station.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  3. While I agree with the 'ride your own ride' sentiment. The rest is beige, PC correct, 'obey the law', all ways wear the right gear, bullshit.

    What an interfering ****ofaman. "Obviously overbearing" - really? Nice way to make friends and influence people - fcukwit.

    Really? fcuk off.

    What fcuken wankartidry is this shit.

    I'll bet he believes in the 'brotherhood of the handlebar' and that you shouldn't ride faster than your guardian angel. fcukwit.
  4. I think I get the point of the article. Basically it says, Think for yourself and don't necessarily follow the crowd and do what they do. Some influences are positive, some are negative. Pesronnaly I wear the gear I wear and ride the way I ride because that is what I aspire to and choose to. I don't believe in Fluro and will not war it, but I do believe in good gear and good protection. Still there is always the odd short trip to the shops on a stinking hot day where I will wear a Tshirt and no Jacket. But it is my decision to make and not for anyone else to tell me what to do. Likewise I won't tell anyone what to do but to think and make thier own choices.

    As for Keith Code, he is my Demi-God. I have learnt more from his book in 2 years than the prior 25 years riding. My enjoyment of riding has improved drastically, over 1000%. This has also helped my stamina, as without training (Physically) I have more than doubled the range I am able to ride in one day without the least bit of fatigue.

    Keith may not be for everyone, but I can highly recommend his teachings.
    • Like Like x 2
  5. Author is talking about resisting (or recognising) peer pressure. Dima's thread title says it better - choose your peers carefully and there will be no pressure.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. As I said @titus@titus, I agree with the "ride your own ride" sentiment. I certainly agree with the notion of not being pushed by peer pressure to go beyond your own limits.

    The rest is nothing more than the author stroking his own ego.
  7. Shit now I feel like removing my clothing and performing power wheelies through a school zone.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. I don't know about anyone else by my guardian angel rides f*cking fast, I have trouble keeping up.
    • Funny Funny x 2
  9. it took you 2 years to read twist of the wrist? have you started book 2 yet?
  10. definitely ride your own ride...have been in a small group ride once and a friend had a severe and almost fatal accident (fatigue related) had I known he was suffering fatigue I would have insisted he stop at our last rest spot for 15 - 30 mins have a lie down and shut eye..... he didn't want to cause hassle for the group now he cannot ride for at least 2 years (if not longer) and has permanent walking difficulties.
  11. Good article. Thanks for posting.
    Those who think it stinks of beige and safetycratness are more than likely to be under their own peer pressure demands ...
    it is human nature to be influenced by those around us.
  12. Not everyone is a "follower", some are leaders.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Keith explains things so well to people new to riding like me as well. All those basic things that most of you guys probably take for granted as base knowledge are explained simply and completely.
  14. I think the only 'dress code' for bikes is that which is stated by law...an approved helmet. The rest is optional & at the discretion of the rider. Who says you have to wear leathers that match the colour of your bike? Wheres the 'rule' that says you can't wear a full faced helmet on a cruiser? I don't get this influential stuff. Wear what you want. It's your safety/body so do with it what you will.

    I don't think anyone has the right to tell someone else what they should/shouldn't wear. But peer pressure is alive & well.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  15. Yes its annoying, so don't read it. No need for mouthing off.
  16. Really? I suppose as a generalisation you could be right, but there are exceptions. I for one think stinks of beige and safetycratness, yet I also agree that you should ride your own ride, don't be pressured in to riding faster/harder than your comfortable with on any given day. That part of the message is fair enough, the rest is beige crap.
  17. I guess becasue these posts need to be short and sweet, I don't always get my point across. I menat that after reading the book (It is A twist of the wrist 2, which I bought about 2 years ago),and since reading it that I have enjoyed my riding in the past two years alot more than the previous 25 or so years since I got my riders licence. Hope this clears up any misunderstanding
  18. I totally agree with you. I believe that everyone should think for themselves. However I do recommend wearing the best gear you can get your hands on for your own protection. But you don't have to take my advice to ride with me. As for being told that my leathers or helmet or boots don't look good, I don't care because I thing they do look good, I feel good in them and I feel somewhat protected. Doesn't matter what you wear as if you don't have a cage around you, then you are still exposed. Everyone gets to manager their own risk.
    • Agree Agree x 1