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It's All Fun Until ...

Remember Mom's warning when you and your siblings were just having fun throwing things at each other? Perhaps you heard it when you and your friends were just roughhousing in the backyard. Maybe the windows were starting to rattle and the lamps were beginning to wobble and sway. "It's all fun until someone gets hurt or something gets broken!"

"The opportunity to get carried away always seems to present itself whenever a group of people get together to have some fun."

The opportunity to get carried away always seems to present itself whenever a group of people get together to have some fun. And the age of the group doesn't seem to matter. Young and old seem to be temped to out do each other when they're together having a good time.

Ken Condon dubbed this "ego-intoxication" in one of his articles in Motorcycle Consumer News. He said it commonly appears when riders head out in a group. It's almost a feeling of invincibility that feeds on itself.

I saw it on the freeway when a group of ten sport bikes passed Linda and I on our "heavy" Harleys. The leader had to show those old folks what riding was about by standing his machine on its rear tire at 65. I've seen in more organized rides where the group seems to feel they are above the law and can ignore traffic signs because they are a group.

I've heard people talk about how uncomfortable they were during their last group ride. They were riding outside their comfort zone because they had to keep up. They did what the group did even though they felt they were riding beyond their abilities.

Fortunately, nothing bad happened in the cases mentioned. Certainly the opportunity was ripe for a problem to put a damper on the group's fun.

The risks of riding are increased significantly when riding in a group. The fun can also be much greater when sharing the experience with others. But much of that fun can be taken away when you are riding over your head, even without an unfortunate incident.

To truly enjoy group riding, you need to ride within your own limits. And you need to ride your own bike, not the one in front or alongside of you. Don't let the excitement of the group carry you outside your comfort zone. After all, your goal is to have fun while sharing your riding experience with your friends.

You wouldn't ride if you were intoxicated with a liter of liquor or a barrel of beer. Don't let ego intoxication be your co-rider either.

Ride Smart! Ride Safe!