Too Fast for Fun: Where Competition Has No Place

Dec 03, 2013 View Comments by

Too Fast for Fun: Where Competition Has No PlaceIf you participate in group motorcycle rides often enough, chances are you’ll eventually encounter the rider I’ll call “over-confident Carl.” Carl is sure that he is the best, most experienced, and handsomest rider in the group (the world?) and feels the need to prove that point with his riding style. He will either insist on leading the group outright or start somewhere farther back, get bored, and execute a dangerous series of passing maneuvers so that he can properly obliterate the posted speed limits from the front of the pack. At lunch, he will “jokingly” poke fun at other riders’ choices of bikes, gear, or riding styles. He will then regale the group with stories about his epic racing career (generally spanning the ages from 12-14) and blame his failure to go pro on some latent injury. The afternoon ride will be similar, with excessive speeds, suspect cornering skills, and, in general, lots of unnecessary risk.

Riding with Carl is one of the surest ways to ruin an otherwise promising day in the saddle. The best thing to do when you’re riding with someone like this is to let him go on ahead, ride your own ride, and hope nothing bad happens while he’s reliving his racing career on your tour. The worst thing to do is to get suckered into an ego competition that has you trying to one-up each other both with your stories and on the road. Don’t fall for it; if you do you’ve just become Carl. Refuse to stoop to his level, the road is no place for an ego and it’s no place to prove a point of any kind. Trying to keep up with someone who’s riding too aggressively for asphalt populated by minivans, dump trucks, and pedestrians is a recipe for a lot of regrets. It’s just not worth it. Competition belongs on the track, let’s all commit to keeping it there.


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About the author

There’s something relentlessly romantic about riding a motorcycle. I’m blessed to know that feeling. With a background in photography and a love for motorcycles, I’m interested in the beauty and honesty of the open road. You’ll find me riding Carolina’s roads on my Suzuki SV650.