Wrong Group Ride
First my disclaimer...........
Rant? Not really.
Reality check? - - - - - Definitely!
So my neighbor/friend/riding partner has a 1200 GSA that he rides. And we've been a lot of places together on short rides, or 2-3 day camping trips to the mountains. He respects my disdain for the koolaid bikes, and he respectfully asks me to work on his bimmer every once in a while. (Former mechanic here)
He has a group he rides with that meets one day a week in the summer months. Mostly all bimmers, a couple of galls too, a G650 or two, but mostly 1200's. I've ridden a bit with them, but not for a year or so. It was a pretty mello bunch.
I decide to take up the invitation last week and ride along. We meet up and there are all 1200 GS's, a Ducati, and some rat rod Suzuki 1000 with the matching rider that's bragging about his new HID headlamp, and how it blinds people all the time.
I am the lone KLR, about 400cc's short of even being in the same throttle response as these guys. They are all around my age (50's) but the Type "A" personalities are very evident, even with a snear at my lawnmower.
We head out with a pavement ride planned for a hamburger joint some 60 miles away. The throttles open up, and with commute traffic, the group (12 guys?) gets split up pretty fast.
Now it's a road race to see how fast we can get back in a group. Passing over solid double yellows, riding bumpers, pushing cars aside, and I start to get a little nervous. "This isn't me" I keep telling myself. We get about 16 miles out and head into some curves with one of the radar speed limit signs. Posted at 30 MPH, the guy in front of me is tripping it heading into the corner making it flash 58. I slow down to 42 into the curve and notice 2 GS's coming right up my seat.
We finish the corners and start hitting some straight stuff as I see the crowd fading into the horizon. I motion the rider behind me to pass, and point to my Bluetooth, and then wave him on. I drop off at the next side road and relax. I message two of the riders that I've got a phone call and have to return home.
I stop around ten minutes later for a drink of water and to enjoy main street of a nice little town.
My phone rings. They just stopped and figured out I wasn't there.
On the way back, I trip the 30MPH radar sign with 32 MPH. I feel better. I probably won't ride with these guys again. I think I'll start my own KLR/Thumper rides for the summer months with more dirt.
So, question is, Did I do the right thing bowing out?
Or should I have squawked loudly "SLOW DOWN".
Confidence is the feeling you have before you fully understand the situation."
Jeff in Napa California