Yeah, yeah I know what you are thinking. What is this older focker ranting about now?
About helping you NOT run off into the bushes, cat litter, ditch, .................the rhubarb. That's what this is about.
I dragged 4 of you out of the proverbial "rhubarb" last season, and 5 so far this season. Put yourself in an experienced riders shoes just for a moment...........close you eyes, take a deep breath deep and then open them.
Why the fuck would we the experienced want to ride with ANY new rider when we run the risk of watching someone wreck their bike, hurt themselves, or someone else. We have to call the police, ambulance, and possibly you partner or parents. I don't go on rides to do this. We don't post rides and invite newb riders along just so we get to be home at 11pm at night instead of the 5pm because one of us had to wait by your bike while the tow truck shows up while the other followed you in an ambulance to the hospital. Our spouses/partners get all freaked out when we tell them someone binned it on our ride today. The first question they ask is "Was it one of your buddies? Anyone you introduced me to?" When I tell them it was some new rider their response is "Oh good, hope s/he's alright?"
"Oh good?".............what's good about it? Thats' fucking sick man! But from their perspective it is just a faceless rider. Much easier to deal with that then someone they have met. It makes a bad day for everyone. Me calling your parents and telling them you are in the hospital sucks! Having them interogate me about the circumstances and implying I was somehow responsible sucks double.
You need to know that the majority of rides with experienced riders are NEVER posted on this site for that very reason. Rarely is there a crash on these rides, and that's the way they wanna keep it.
You wonder why is it that that when you go on a group ride with a bunch of experienced riders that they come across as aloof, standoffish etc. They seem nice enough when you introduce yourself but they they aren't, like super friendly and don't really make a strong effort to get to know you. Why? Because we don't want to !You scare us. You are a blank face to us. Your name even goes in one ear and out the other. We'll watch your riding style, assess your judgement first, then after a few hours of riding we quetly make a decision in our head "Yup, this one's ok" or "Too foolish, don't really want to get to know, unless they ask for help". Consider the first few hours of a ride an audition.
Harsh you say? You betchya. We don't want to be your "buddy" right from the start of the ride. We need time (saddle time) to get to know you. Riding is supposed to be about having fun and improving your abilities, not worrying about the guy/girl in the hospital you rode with today.
Do you have any idea how many experienced riders, and groups of riders drag newer riders out of the rhubarb? A lot! It's no reflection on the any of the experienced riders, but when you go down we feel like shit!
So what can we the experienced do?
All we can do is keep doing what we are doing. Invite some of these new riders out on rides. Short of grabbing you by the ears and spitting the rules of the road and cornering techniques into your face, we can't make you learn. that's your decision.
What can you do?
Don't push your limits so much.
Check your fucking ego at the door.
Don't join the fast group and try and keep up. It's usually better to follow someone that is just a little better than you.
Listen to what other people have to say. We aren't strokng our egos by sharing what we know.
Just because you can keep up to a faster rider in a corner means SHIT. If the group you are riding with is intended to lead newbs through corners then the experienced rider has turned it down a huge notch for you. They will usually only ride "a little faster" than what you are comfortable with. Riding at you limit is absolute insanity! Even amazing riders on this board don't ride at their limits.
Finally - communicate! Talk to us! Ask us anything except dumbass questions like "how fast have you gone?" or "how do you get the front wheel off the ground?" I remember early on I would sit in Squamish after a spirited ride up and ask questions from teh more experienced like:
"So when hanging off the seat in a corner. Where should my head be? Behind the windscreen or behind my mirror?
"If I have to slow down a little but while I am in the corner, what's the best/safest way?"
"What line the better line through a right hander? A left hander?"
These are smart questions...............
Most importantly tell us how that last series of corners felt. Any wobbles? Too fast? Too slow? Run wide a bit? Maybe ask a more esperienced rider to follow you for a little while and at the next stop give you some pointers on style, choice of lines, etc.
I may not know you, Hell! I may not even like you, but I never ever want to see you bin it and have to drag your ass out of the rhubarb!