After this past weekend's encounter with deer, I decided that a personal analysis of the crash would help not only my riding skills but others as well. After all, if we don’t learn from our mistakes we are bound to repeat them.
Teresa and I were riding in the tailender position on the return trip from Akron. This is the first time I’d ridden in this position, and if you’ve ever been there, you know you can see everyone and everything. It’s a great place to evaluate skill levels and riding habits.
In retrospect, I could tell the rider of the lead Burgman was getting tired. Tale tell signs like forgotten turn signals and a varying pace are a tip off for fatigue and this rider exhibited both.
I learned later that the lead group of 4 riders also had a deer cross the road in front of them and if there was not such a great distance between them and the first Burgman, we all would have seen it and our senses would have been heightened.
The second Burgman was following too closely and though his proximity may have been either a watchful eye or perhaps an encouragement to focus, in the end, it only served to eliminate his escape route when the lead Burgman went down.
Fatigue, I think, was definitely a contributing factor to the crash, but with deer, who knows? Nothing about the crash might have been prevented.
Another possible factor was a failure to review ride rules and guidelines before the ride started. This group rides together so often, we often forget about reviewing rules for those who don’t normally ride in groups.
I wonder if an intervention on my part might have helped, but then I am reminded about the adage, "If 'ifs' and 'buts' were candy and nuts, we'd have Christmas year long."
I'll post an excerpt from what the state provides about group riding in a later post. A review won't hurt anyone that rides with others.
Crash Victim Update
Here’s an update to the rider recovery progress: Ron is home with a banged up face and some stitches in his chin. Donna is still in the hospital with some injuries to her spleen and some broken ribs.
If you are so inclined, keep them both in your thoughts and prayers.