Having been a member for a few years, I have watched the forum membership grow from under 4,000 to over 30,000 and I have had the pleasure of watching novice riders accumulate more experience and become more proficient with riding.
However, something I have found disconcerting, particularly this year, is what appears to me to be a growing acceptance of riders going down on group rides.
Now before the flaming starts, I want to make it clear that I understand shit happens, and even the most experienced rider can have a 'bad day'. But when I read posts about how it was still a 'good ride' even though a rider went down, I think to myself, WTF?
Everyone is supposed to ride their own ride, sure. And no one is responsible for anyone other than him/herself, sure. But if I see someone go down on a ride and subsequently have to deal with whatever the consequences are (stablize the rider, wait for first responders, assist with traffic control, provide statements). My personal enjoyment of the ride immediately goes to zero.
It is not my intention to sound callous, but if you join a group ride with a bunch of riders you don't know, use a little common sense and be conservative with the estimate of your riding ability. Cause if you mess up, it's a big downer for everybody involved.