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Thread: Question for Carl

  1. #1
    Edgecutter longrider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Elizabeth, CO

    Question for Carl

    Carl, if my memory is not failing me you have officiated in bicycle races on your motorcycle. If I am correct, can you explain this??

  2. #2
    Administrator Carl Leon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Seattle, WA
    My motorcycle club (Washington State Gold Wing Touring Association - GWTA) is hired by a local bicycle club to ride the route of the Seattle to Portland (STP) bicycle rally. This is a 200 mile ride that can be done in one or two days. Our job is to look for any cyclists that need help, whether broken down, riding erratically, whatever. We have very specific instructions on what we can, and cannot do. We cannot block or direct traffic for example. If we stop to help someone, we have to pull off, completely out of the traffic lane. It is important to not become a problem, or part of a problem.

    I also volunteer with Special Olympics at the bicycle venue, and there is another motorcycle club that supports those events, with escort motorcycles on the route with the special athletes. Not nearly as many bicycles, not nearly as fast, but you have the added consideration that the athletes are developmentally disabled. So you have to be every bit as aware, heads up all the way around, as with the larger rally.

    So in response to your first question: No, we don't officiate bicycle races but do help with a bicycle rally (not race).

    To your second question, there is no reason he should have been stopped there. If he isn't experienced enough to not kill his engine trying to start, he shouldn't have been there to start with. If he was just stopped for some dumb reason, it was just that, dumb. There are people we wouldn't allow to be on the street at the busy part of STP (the start, first 5 miles or so for example). Some riders just are not suited for that.

    I can't tell from that video clip, but it doesn't look like a police motorcycle. Normally, those riders are really top notch both in riding skill and in awareness. I would really be surprised if that were a police rider.

    So to pick someone for a job like that they need to be truly a cut above, and their bike needs to be in perfect condition. That accident speaks as much to whomever put that particular rider and bike on the course as it does to the individual. Screw ups all the way around. It also says to anyone involved in mixing motorcycles and anything else (parade, bicycle event, whatever) to have really good insurance.

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