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#1
Old 03-18-2013, 02:41 AM
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Thought the Hells Angels were gonna kick the shit outta me today...

Driving with my wife from LA to the SF Bay Area on I-5 this afternoon, in the central valley near Harris Ranch, I was passing a group of about 15-20 motorcyclists riding their Harleys in tight formation. There were 2 lanes in our northbound direction. About halfway past this group, I came upon a slower car in my lane in front of me. The motorcycle group next to me was spread out at this point - turns out the tight formation was at the back of the pack - and there was plenty of room for me to safely move over in the middle of the group.

You probably can guess what's coming.

There was some light traffic, it was not an empty road, and the flow was going about 80mph.

I signal, and change lanes. Safely.

Well, the group clearly didn't like it and the riders at the back moved up and surrounded me, passing me on the left and right. They were mere inches from the sides of my car, on both sides. None of them reached over to touch or punch my car, but they easily could have - while we're all doing 80mph. One rider planted himself directly in front of me and slowed down to about 60, while the other riders worked past me.

For a moment I wondered if they were going to try and force me to slow down and try to move me to the side of the road.

The riders wore Hells Angels on their jackets. No visible club name, although I saw some with MC (for motorcycle club) on the backs of jackets, but no club names. Big, burly guys, almost all riding solo (maybe 3 were 2-up). Was I a little nervous? Sure.

I've been riding continuously since 1985 and have a few riding miles (about 200K) under my belt. I also am a certified MSF RiderCoach (or, safety instructor). I know what bikes can and can't do. These riders clearly tried to intimidate me, but I wasn't going to be intimidated, mostly because of my riding experience. My wife, in the front passenger seat, wasn't intimidated either. She often rides with me, 2-up.

It was a little dicey, but I kept calm but was also ready to act depending on what they did. If the riders tried to force me to the side of the road, I'd thought it out and decided I was not going to pull over or stop. I was going to hold my ground and maintain speed. If the rider in front of me continued to slow down, I was going to move left or right and force those bikes beside me away. If that meant I initiated contact, so be it, but I was not going to stop. While still moving, I still held some advantages. If we all stopped, then they held many more (if not all) of the advantages.

Fortunately they were just pissed off, call it road rage - they got their panties all kotted up. They formed up in front of me, regrouped, and kept riding on. They continued at 80mph in one lane, but whenever there was space to pass them the tail rider moved over and blocked that only other lane.

Other cars started collecting behind me, because that group was not allowing anyone to pass (posted limit is 70mph, but traffic often goes faster).

I just stayed behind the group, didn't force the issue even though I wanted to pass. I was not being aggressive, and at one point the tail rider dug into his jacket pocket and flung something back at me. I saw what he was doing and had already started moving over. Whatever he threw never hit me, but may have hit one of the cars bunched up behind us. (I've heard stories of riders keeping lead fishing weights in their pockets to throw...)

We were flowing at 80, so it was moving fast enough and I just stayed at the end of the group, watching carefully. We kept this way for 10-15 minutes, and then I reached my exit and left.

Done. Incident over. But, I'm glad they didn't force the issue by doing anything more stupid.
#2
Old 03-18-2013, 02:21 PM
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That sounds pretty scary. What you wrote about not stopping makes sense, but I don't know what I would have done. Glad everything turned out all right.
#3
Old 03-18-2013, 02:35 PM
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Using a cell phone to call the police is a pretty reasonable choice under those sorts of circumstances.
#4
Old 03-18-2013, 02:38 PM
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Seriously dude - you don't have a cell phone to call police?!

I know you are not supposed to call while driving, but I think this would have been a very valid exception to the rule.

Trust me, I would have been giving the 911 operator every single licence plate number I could see...
#5
Old 03-18-2013, 02:41 PM
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His wife was in the car. Even if it's illegal in his state to call while driving (and calling 911 is normally an exception) she could make the call.
#6
Old 03-18-2013, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by echo7tango View Post
The riders wore Hells Angels on their jackets. No visible club name, although I saw some with MC (for motorcycle club) on the backs of jackets, but no club names.
It's a side issue, since the MC means they were one of the organized clubs and thus no one to screw with, but I can't parse your description. If you've been riding long, even as a 99-percenter, you should know kutte protocols. Are you saying they had top rockers and MC patches, but no lower (charter) rockers?
#7
Old 03-18-2013, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by appleciders View Post
Using a cell phone to call the police is a pretty reasonable choice under those sorts of circumstances.
To report what? That the cyclists passed too close to the OP's vehicle? Even if they did so illegally the cop would have had to see if to do anything. That they were blocking traffic (at 10 mph over the posted limit)? I don't think I'd call on that. It sounds like they wanted to be intimidating without doing anything outright illegal or, at the very least, maintaining plausible deniabililty. Even if the OP had his windshield cracked by a hard object tossed by the tail rider, it would be nigh impossible to prove it. "Why, officer, I was just scratching my belly through my jacket. A rock must have come off the road at the same time. What a coincidence!"
#8
Old 03-18-2013, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Doctor Jackson View Post
To report what? That the cyclists passed too close to the OP's vehicle? Even if they did so illegally the cop would have had to see if to do anything. That they were blocking traffic (at 10 mph over the posted limit)? I don't think I'd call on that. It sounds like they wanted to be intimidating without doing anything outright illegal or, at the very least, maintaining plausible deniabililty. Even if the OP had his windshield cracked by a hard object tossed by the tail rider, it would be nigh impossible to prove it. "Why, officer, I was just scratching my belly through my jacket. A rock must have come off the road at the same time. What a coincidence!"
Well, having a cop on the scene to dial back the level of 'barely legal but intimidating' and/or discourage anything from escalating would be a good thing, too.
I suspect, for instance, that had a state trooper come up behind the one guy blocking the other lane and given him a quick flash of headlights, the guy would have moved over and let everyone by.
#9
Old 03-18-2013, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by echo7tango View Post
For a moment I wondered if they were going to try and force me to slow down and try to move me to the side of the road.
You do realize that men [and women] on bikes are *soft targets* and all you need to do is drive over them, making little crunchy squishy sounds, right?

Not politically correct, but the first crunch squish, and the rest of the crunchy squishys tend to go away really fast to avoid the same fate?

Same with what is taught in anti kidnapping school, some group surround you you stomp on the brakes and take out the motor and front end of the person behind you to create elbow room.

Though I admit last time I had some guy with his arm inside my window trying to unlock the door [73 mustang, bad area of Rochester NY at 3 am late 70s] I just started through the red light, and the cop sitting to my left in the intersection didn't do a thing, the guy with his arm in the window removed his arm and fell off the side of the car. If need be he would have gotten dragged to the next police station I found.
#10
Old 03-18-2013, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by echo7tango View Post
I've been riding continuously since 1985 and have a few riding miles (about 200K) under my belt. I also am a certified MSF RiderCoach (or, safety instructor). I know what bikes can and can't do. These riders clearly tried to intimidate me, but I wasn't going to be intimidated, mostly because of my riding experience. My wife, in the front passenger seat, wasn't intimidated either. She often rides with me, 2-up.
My grandmother has been driving for 70 years. Doesn't make her any better. I wouldn't get in a car with her.

Would you tell you MSF students to do what you did? Doesn't sound "safe" to me.
#11
Old 03-18-2013, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by appleciders View Post
His wife was in the car. Even if it's illegal in his state to call while driving (and calling 911 is normally an exception) she could make the call.
I know this sounds silly, but neither of us thought of calling the cops. Once they got passed me they pretty much left me alone, except for not letting me or any other car pass them, and except for the one guy throwing that object. Seriously - didn't think of that. I guess now, that sounds kinda dumb but that's he honest truth.

But, what's one cop going to do against that gang?

And, I was focusing on what to do if they tried something. But yeah, I could've told my wife to call. She never mentioned that.
#12
Old 03-18-2013, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by NitroPress View Post
It's a side issue, since the MC means they were one of the organized clubs and thus no one to screw with, but I can't parse your description. If you've been riding long, even as a 99-percenter, you should know kutte protocols. Are you saying they had top rockers and MC patches, but no lower (charter) rockers?
I don't know about kutte. Had to look it up just now. I did watch a 20-20 kind of show on it once.

I didn't see any lower rockers, one or two MC patches, and one or two jackets saying Hells Angels at the top.
#13
Old 03-18-2013, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Doctor Jackson View Post
To report what? That the cyclists passed too close to the OP's vehicle? Even if they did so illegally the cop would have had to see if to do anything. That they were blocking traffic (at 10 mph over the posted limit)? I don't think I'd call on that. It sounds like they wanted to be intimidating without doing anything outright illegal or, at the very least, maintaining plausible deniabililty. Even if the OP had his windshield cracked by a hard object tossed by the tail rider, it would be nigh impossible to prove it. "Why, officer, I was just scratching my belly through my jacket. A rock must have come off the road at the same time. What a coincidence!"
Besides not thinking of calling the cops, I didn't even think of taking pictures or video, or having my wife do that.

True, there really wan't anything to report to the cops.
#14
Old 03-18-2013, 10:37 PM
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I understand from online chats that riders in CA do it a little differently than here in MN. Splitting lanes and all that crazy stuff. But I used to ride with a club here and we considered it rude(and possibly dangerous) for an automobile to pull into the rider formation.

Obviously there are times, when the traffic is only two lanes, for the safety of the auto driver he may have to do that as he is passing. But that wasn't so in this case so I'm surprised that you, as a fellow rider, made that choice. Or is road courtesy different there?

It goes without saying, as well, that a group should keep their formation as tight as they are safely comfortable. And to let a driver in distress in if he needs to do so.

I can understand them feeling ticked although how they handled it was standard tough king baby stuff. And I'm glad you didn't experience anything worse.

Last edited by Tethered Kite; 03-18-2013 at 10:39 PM.
#15
Old 03-18-2013, 10:57 PM
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Maybe I'm the jerk here, but I'm surprised, as an MSF teacher and a rider yourself that you merged into the middle of a group of bikers that were riding together. Hells Angels or a bunch of 70 year olds on Goldwings. Even if it was totally safe to do so, they were riding as a group, why not leave them be? Unless there was several hundred feet in this spot you moved into, it seems your best bet was just to let them pass you, get behind them, pass the car in front of you and then attempt to pass them again, if that's what you really wanted to do.
#16
Old 03-18-2013, 11:17 PM
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What Joey P said.
#17
Old 03-18-2013, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Tethered Kite View Post
I understand from online chats that riders in CA do it a little differently than here in MN. Splitting lanes and all that crazy stuff. But I used to ride with a club here and we considered it rude(and possibly dangerous) for an automobile to pull into the rider formation.

Obviously there are times, when the traffic is only two lanes, for the safety of the auto driver he may have to do that as he is passing. But that wasn't so in this case so I'm surprised that you, as a fellow rider, made that choice. Or is road courtesy different there?

It goes without saying, as well, that a group should keep their formation as tight as they are safely comfortable. And to let a driver in distress in if he needs to do so.

I can understand them feeling ticked although how they handled it was standard tough king baby stuff. And I'm glad you didn't experience anything worse.
Yes we split lanes here. There is no explicit law allowing it, and there's also no explicit law forbidding it - although riders can get ticketed for doing it, and the ticket can be for the Basic Speed Law, or failure to maintain your vehicle centered in your lane, or wreckless driving. Those are the main ones. I lane split often, have done so for my almost 30 yrs of riding, and never got a ticket for it.

As for moving into their formation, I generally do not but in this instance the 15-20 bikes were spread out, we were coming upon a slow-moving vehicle in my lane, and there was definitely a large and safe enough gap in the riding formation.
#18
Old 03-18-2013, 11:22 PM
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Originally Posted by The Surb View Post
My grandmother has been driving for 70 years. Doesn't make her any better. I wouldn't get in a car with her.

Would you tell you MSF students to do what you did? Doesn't sound "safe" to me.
Of course I would not tell them to do this. I have a lot of riding experience, and in the MSF classes I'm generally training new riders. There are many things I do that isn't touched on in class. Further, and most important, is that the MSF has a set curriculum and RiderCoaches are to stick to that. An MSF class here in California should not differ dramatically from the same MSF class in another state although, of course, each RiderCoach brings his or her own experience to the classroom and range.

Safe and effective - that's the guiding principle with MSF training.
#19
Old 03-18-2013, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
Maybe I'm the jerk here, but I'm surprised, as an MSF teacher and a rider yourself that you merged into the middle of a group of bikers that were riding together. Hells Angels or a bunch of 70 year olds on Goldwings. Even if it was totally safe to do so, they were riding as a group, why not leave them be? Unless there was several hundred feet in this spot you moved into, it seems your best bet was just to let them pass you, get behind them, pass the car in front of you and then attempt to pass them again, if that's what you really wanted to do.
You may not be being a jerk. You didn't see the situation, didn't see how long they were stretched out, and also didn't see how large the break was in their group.

Why not leave them be? Driving on I-5 in the central valley has an interesting "dance" to it. I call it "the I-5 dance," anyway. Two lanes in each direction for hundreds of miles, heavy truck traffic so the right lane is often bumpy and torn up while the left lane is smooth, and cars often stay in the smooth left lane. To pass slower traffic, people mostly pass on the right. When passing a slower truck in the right lane, there's a line of cars in the left lane waiting to pass. Crazy-fast idiot drivers will zoom up in the right lane, passing the waiting left-lane line, come close to the truck and then cut into the left lane. Once past the truck they immediately jump back to the right lane and pass the slower cars - those "slower cars" often doing 80 when the limit is 70. That's "the I-5 dance." To pass slower traffic, you often pass on the right. Much more often than on other roads. This is quite unique to I-5, and I've driven and ridden long 2-lane interstates (10, 40, 70 and 80 across the US).

Why not leave them be? Well now, in hindsight and knowing what happened, yes definitely, I'd leave them be.
#20
Old 03-18-2013, 11:52 PM
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Originally Posted by echo7tango View Post
You may not be being a jerk. You didn't see the situation, didn't see how long they were stretched out, and also didn't see how large the break was in their group.

Why not leave them be? Driving on I-5 in the central valley has an interesting "dance" to it. I call it "the I-5 dance," anyway. Two lanes in each direction for hundreds of miles, heavy truck traffic so the right lane is often bumpy and torn up while the left lane is smooth, and cars often stay in the smooth left lane. To pass slower traffic, people mostly pass on the right. When passing a slower truck in the right lane, there's a line of cars in the left lane waiting to pass. Crazy-fast idiot drivers will zoom up in the right lane, passing the waiting left-lane line, come close to the truck and then cut into the left lane. Once past the truck they immediately jump back to the right lane and pass the slower cars - those "slower cars" often doing 80 when the limit is 70. That's "the I-5 dance." To pass slower traffic, you often pass on the right. Much more often than on other roads. This is quite unique to I-5, and I've driven and ridden long 2-lane interstates (10, 40, 70 and 80 across the US).

Why not leave them be? Well now, in hindsight and knowing what happened, yes definitely, I'd leave them be.
It seems like, at least in retrospect, you were the "crazy-fast idiot" and the bikers were the truck. You just didn't want to have to slow down and get back behind the bikes to pass the car in front of you.
#21
Old 03-19-2013, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
It seems like, at least in retrospect, you were the "crazy-fast idiot" and the bikers were the truck. You just didn't want to have to slow down and get back behind the bikes to pass the car in front of you.
Possibly.

You're right in that I did not want to fall back and get behind the long formation. In retrospect, doing that would have ended up with much less drama and antagonism from the riders. But the crazy-fast idiot drivers I was trying to describe cut over and squeeze into barely enough space between cars waiting to pass the truck - at 70 or 80 that is very dangerous. That wasn't the case here.

There was plenty of space in the formation for my car. It's just that the riders took umbrage and quickly accelerated and got next to me when I was in "their" lane, closing off (or attempting to, anyway) a space that was generous enough for me to be there.

Yes, I fully admit that I could've handled this situation better, and I will the next time.
#22
Old 03-19-2013, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by aruvqan View Post
You do realize that men [and women] on bikes are *soft targets* and all you need to do is drive over them, making little crunchy squishy sounds, right?

Not politically correct, but the first crunch squish, and the rest of the crunchy squishys tend to go away really fast to avoid the same fate?

Same with what is taught in anti kidnapping school, some group surround you you stomp on the brakes and take out the motor and front end of the person behind you to create elbow room.
Well, I doubt if I crunched one of them that the rest of the Hells Angels would simply go away.

But yes, if needed I was ready to ask Scotty and Sulu for more power and evasive action.
#23
Old 03-19-2013, 01:45 AM
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You don't know any better than to stay far away from Hell's Angels? Every damn one of them carries at least one gun and a knife.
#24
Old 03-19-2013, 02:59 AM
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Originally Posted by DMark View Post
Seriously dude - you don't have a cell phone to call police?!
What, and miss an opportunity to be an Internet tough guy?
#25
Old 03-19-2013, 03:00 AM
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Originally Posted by echo7tango View Post
Well, I doubt if I crunched one of them that the rest of the Hells Angels would simply go away.

But yes, if needed I was ready to ask Scotty and Sulu for more power and evasive action.
You crunch the ones in front or to the side that are trying to stop you.

That being said, I wouldn't have pulled into the group without signaling to ask permission. I really don't like trying to pass aggressively so I tend to drive pretty mellow so I probably wouldn't end up in the position of having to pull back in abruptly. Call me lazy, but I find it easier to lust leave for an appointment early so I don't have to hurry. I hate being agitated because I am running late for something. If I do find myself running late, I call and explain I will be late and reschedule or we just deal with me being late.
#26
Old 03-19-2013, 03:35 AM
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Originally Posted by aruvqan View Post
You do realize that men [and women] on bikes are *soft targets* and all you need to do is drive over them, making little crunchy squishy sounds, right?

Not politically correct, but the first crunch squish, and the rest of the crunchy squishys tend to go away really fast to avoid the same fate?

Same with what is taught in anti kidnapping school, some group surround you you stomp on the brakes and take out the motor and front end of the person behind you to create elbow room.
So, bunch of cyclists make you feel uneasy, you figure it's OK to murder or maim one or two of them to make the rest back off? It's times like this I'm grateful for a nice broad ocean (plus IIRC the width of a continent) between me and the likes of you.

Plus, yeah, the very guys you most need this to work against - the truly violent thugs who're likely to be armed and really dangerous - are the least likely to be scared off by this, and the most likely to make you hurt really, really badly for the next few hours or days, although probably not after that.
#27
Old 03-19-2013, 05:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Malacandra View Post
So, bunch of cyclists make you feel uneasy, you figure it's OK to murder or maim one or two of them to make the rest back off? It's times like this I'm grateful for a nice broad ocean (plus IIRC the width of a continent) between me and the likes of you.

Plus, yeah, the very guys you most need this to work against - the truly violent thugs who're likely to be armed and really dangerous - are the least likely to be scared off by this, and the most likely to make you hurt really, really badly for the next few hours or days, although probably not after that.
If I am surrounded by a bunch of goldwings with weekend warriors on them, not so much. A bunch of un bathed gnarly looking bikers with leathers and colors riding harleys, I am going to be a bit twitchy if I am all alone with no other cars in sight and they are surrounding me and slowing down and trying to stop me.

<--- handicapped female. Though I will admit to traveling frequently with a weapon and a cell phone.
#28
Old 03-19-2013, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by appleciders View Post
Using a cell phone to call the police is a pretty reasonable choice under those sorts of circumstances.
And say what exactly? "I was trying to overtake a group of motorcyclists who were already going 10mph above the speed limit, and they got a bit pissed off"?
#29
Old 03-19-2013, 09:42 AM
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Out of curiosity; given the same general situation would you have broken into a funeral procession?
#30
Old 03-19-2013, 10:08 AM
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If the funeral procession is in the right lane of the freeway, you are not, and your exit is approaching and the only way to exit is to break in, and the next exit is five miles away; do you break in to take your exit?
#31
Old 03-19-2013, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by The Second Stone View Post
You don't know any better than to stay far away from Hell's Angels? Every damn one of them carries at least one gun and a knife.
Actually no. They do usually have a knife which follows local legal guidelines. Maybe a chain which you can't prove is a weapon. The real weapons are usually in a vehicle following close by. The vehicle is mechanically sound, the driver is clean and they drive the speed limit. They have been dealing with police for a long time.
#32
Old 03-19-2013, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Loach View Post
They have been dealing with police for a long time.
They also rarely bother 'civilians' if they aren't given provocation. It sounds like the OP did the right thing - let them do their little show of force and move on without escalating things. Same thing you do in pretty much any situation you've annoyed someone, unless you're the one who wants to escalate it.
#33
Old 03-19-2013, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by NitroPress View Post
They also rarely bother 'civilians' if they aren't given provocation. It sounds like the OP did the right thing - let them do their little show of force and move on without escalating things. Same thing you do in pretty much any situation you've annoyed someone, unless you're the one who wants to escalate it.
Yeah, that's basically what I did.

Last edited by Bullitt; 03-19-2013 at 10:20 AM.
#34
Old 03-19-2013, 10:40 AM
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Maybe you should put your cred's on a bumper sticker. This way the next time you pull into the middle of a group of riders they can see how well trained you are. They will read your bumper sticker, nod sagely in your direction, and let you pass. It will be obvious to them that you are not just some random moron in their formation.

Instead of being pissed, they will realize the awesomeness that you are bestowing upon them and will buy you a beer or maybe some biker's coffee at the next exit.

It will save you a lot of trouble and probably help your wife's nerves too. Maybe you won't end up on the wrong end of a padlock next time.
#35
Old 03-19-2013, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by The Surb View Post
Maybe you should put your cred's on a bumper sticker. This way the next time you pull into the middle of a group of riders they can see how well trained you are.
Naw, he should paint a Hells Angels logo on his trunk. They love that kind of recognition.*

* Not. Not not not. Even the most worthy associates are only allowed to wear "81" insignia. (H=8, A=1). There's a story about Sonny Barger's first book - some publisher flack printed up a bunch of bandannas with HA logos on them, to be given away at book signings and the like. Barger leaned over real close to the flack and rumbled, "We beat people up for that."
#36
Old 03-19-2013, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Loach View Post
The real weapons are usually in a vehicle following close by. The vehicle is mechanically sound, the driver is clean and they drive the speed limit.
Depends on the reason for the run/ride and where. A group of Angels crossing CA or out for a charity ride probably has no need for anything above the usual knife or oil spout and probably isn't going to bother with a sweeper sleeper. Crossing PA and another large rival clubs territory ------ there their mileage could vary. But even there it isn't a sure bet. Look at the big dust-ups in Vegas - lots of knives and hammers and very few guns. Besides, you have enough 1%ers out there with clean records and perfectly legal CCWs that should a sudden dust-up happen there are brothers there to handle it. And they will.


Now back to the OP:
I've ridden too many miles and too many years. I've known folks from most of the clubs out there one time or another - both "1%" and "Riding Clubs". Bust a HOG chapter out for the weekend and you have almost the same potential of dirty looks and maybe a broken headlight and if you bust a pack of Angels or Outlaws. Bust a pack of Blue Knights and I can almost promise you that you are going to see at least one gun butt. As bikers, we're all liable to turn mean when we feel threatened -- and since we do indeed make crunchy noises passing under some idiots cage we take moves like the OP made as threatening until some evidence comes along to show us otherwise. In short, the bikes responded appropriately and about as I would expect. At least IMHO.
#37
Old 03-19-2013, 11:07 AM
born to be shunned
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Southwestern PA
Posts: 11,565
Quote:
Originally Posted by NitroPress View Post
* Not. Not not not. Even the most worthy associates are only allowed to wear "81" insignia. (H=8, A=1). There's a story about Sonny Barger's first book - some publisher flack printed up a bunch of bandannas with HA logos on them, to be given away at book signings and the like. Barger leaned over real close to the flack and rumbled, "We beat people up for that."
Or sue - check the CA court records if you don't believe me. There is such a thing as "support gear" but all that is tightly controlled for the financial betterment of the club.
#38
Old 03-19-2013, 11:19 AM
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Location: Evanstonia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Second Stone View Post
You don't know any better than to stay far away from Hell's Angels? Every damn one of them carries at least one gun and a knife.
And angel dust. Don't forget their angel dust.
#39
Old 03-19-2013, 12:23 PM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Right here
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kopek View Post
Or sue - check the CA court records if you don't believe me. There is such a thing as "support gear" but all that is tightly controlled for the financial betterment of the club.
I have a Tucson 81 Support hoodie signed by Sonny Barger ( I would have loved to talk to him but he doesn't do much talking anymore). I decided to stop wearing it after someone recognized the insignia. I didn't realize how known the 81 was. I'm in SOS territory; I like my bones just the way they are.
#40
Old 03-19-2013, 10:35 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 2,867
Quote:
Originally Posted by kopek View Post
I've ridden too many miles and too many years. I've known folks from most of the clubs out there one time or another - both "1%" and "Riding Clubs". Bust a HOG chapter out for the weekend and you have almost the same potential of dirty looks and maybe a broken headlight and if you bust a pack of Angels or Outlaws. Bust a pack of Blue Knights and I can almost promise you that you are going to see at least one gun butt.
Yeah, me too. I tried to figure out how many miles once, and conservatively came up with something like 400,000 miles. Not too bad.

So I've seen it all too. And known people from all kinds of clubs. Was president for a couple of years of a decent sized (150+ members) club. Shared garage space with a couple of HAs in NYC, got to know them and spent time with them over the years.

So, my experience is you'll have waaay more trouble with a HOG chapter than a HA chapter. Weekend warriors, at least the ones who dress up like outlaw bikers, seem to have something to prove, and, when in a group, discover that they're pretty courageous dudes, way more than they are during the week.

Blue Knights, well, mostly OK, but they are cops. And they won't let you forget it.

The outlaw clubs generally won't bother you unless you bother them. They simply don't care about you or what you think of them.
#41
Old 03-19-2013, 10:56 PM
Guest
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,619
Quote:
Actually no. They do usually have a knife which follows local legal guidelines. Maybe a chain which you can't prove is a weapon. The real weapons are usually in a vehicle following close by. The vehicle is mechanically sound, the driver is clean and they drive the speed limit. They have been dealing with police for a long time.
This.

And most times the ladies carry the weapons.
#42
Old 03-20-2013, 01:34 AM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: SF Giants Nation 10-12-14
Posts: 21,510
There are at least two kinds of riders, those that join and ride in clubs / groups, and those that don't. I almost never have, since I use my bike to commute to / from work or to travel and tour alone. I've never belonged to a club, and I have only gone on a few group rides. The group rides I've gone on did not have a tight formation, except for some Patriot Guard rides I've done. I couldn't tell you about different clubs out there, and I hardly see them.

If there was a support vehicle with that group, I never saw it. I doubt one was there, although it's possible I suppose.
#43
Old 03-20-2013, 03:43 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 14,510
I'm glad everything worked out but...


80mph and you still felt the need to pass?
#44
Old 03-20-2013, 03:48 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: SF Giants Nation 10-12-14
Posts: 21,510
I was cruising at around 85-90. So, yes.
#45
Old 03-20-2013, 05:51 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Midwest US
Posts: 408
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malacandra View Post
So, bunch of cyclists make you feel uneasy, you figure it's OK to murder or maim one or two of them to make the rest back off? It's times like this I'm grateful for a nice broad ocean (plus IIRC the width of a continent) between me and the likes of you.
There is nothing wrong with anticipating trouble and making choosing a plan in advance. If the riders had tried to force the OP off the road he would have been entirely in the right to refuse to allow it. If this meant that a motorcyclist ended up off his bike as a result of trying to force a car of fhte road, that wouldn't have bene the OP's fault.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malacandra View Post
Plus, yeah, the very guys you most need this to work against - the truly violent thugs who're likely to be armed and really dangerous - are the least likely to be scared off by this, and the most likely to make you hurt really, really badly for the next few hours or days, although probably not after that.
You clearly don't ride. When a bike and a car meet the result is generally a car and an injured/dead motorcyclist, especially when the rider is one of the self-declared 1%ers who are much too hardcore to take basic precautions like wearing full face helmets.

I'd also be willing to bet that you don't shoot. The only weapon a driver need fear in the hands of a rider is a firearm, but accurately shooting from the back of a bike is not as trivial as it is made to look in Sons of Anarchy or any of the equally unrealistic programms glorifying "outlaw motorcyclists," especially given that most people's shooting hand is also the one used to control the throttle.

So yes, in the grave extreme that the gang members had tried to force the OP off the road they might not have been scared, but they wouldn't have had much in the way of effective response.
#46
Old 03-20-2013, 06:27 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Flavortown
Posts: 34,324
Quote:
Originally Posted by echo7tango View Post
I was cruising at around 85-90. So, yes.
I'm feeling less sympathetic. You and the bikers deserve each other.
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If you ever drop your keys into a river of molten lava, let 'em go, because man, they're gone. ~~Jack Handey
#47
Old 03-20-2013, 07:00 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Midwest US
Posts: 408
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fear Itself View Post
I'm feeling less sympathetic. You and the bikers deserve each other.
Not every part of the country is populated solely by blue hairs and the Amish. If traffic routinely moves at those speeds and the roads are of relatively recent design (i.e., not an old wagon trail that was paved over) there's really not much of a safety issue.
#48
Old 03-20-2013, 07:35 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 14,510
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLRogers View Post
Not every part of the country is populated solely by blue hairs and the Amish. If traffic routinely moves at those speeds and the roads are of relatively recent design (i.e., not an old wagon trail that was paved over) there's really not much of a safety issue.

Dude, you couldn't be more wrong with regards to safety issues.
#49
Old 03-20-2013, 07:41 AM
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Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Flavortown
Posts: 34,324
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLRogers View Post
Not every part of the country is populated solely by blue hairs and the Amish.
I can't speak for the Amish, but as a bona fide Baby Boomer looking forward to retirement in a few years, you youngsters need to slow down. How are you going to generate my Social Security if you are laid up with blunt force trauma?
#50
Old 03-20-2013, 07:42 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Midwest US
Posts: 408
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shakes View Post
Dude, you couldn't be more wrong with regards to safety issues.
I'm not familiar with the I-5, but interstate highways are generally overdesigned. Speed differentials are what kill, not speed itself, so as long as everyone is on the same page there is little issue.

Issues such as terrain, stupid road design, and/or drivers inexplicably moving at 20 mph under the limit in the left lane can all combine to create an unsafe circumstance, but travelling at 85-90 is not necessarily cheating death.
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