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I'm riding Sunday in the Bill's Bike Toys for Tots run in West Palm Beach, usually a couple of thousand riders on about a 12 mile route. They close down the road, police escort, the whole 9 yards. Any advice for a newbie to help keep from embarrassing himself nojoke and bringing ridicule :oops: to fellow VTX owners? I'm riding with a group of Harley owners and am in good company. I'm looing forward to meeting some of the folks from this list who are also riding in it.
 

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I wouldn't worry about embarrassment or ridicule. Everyone does thing that are pretty dumb (kickstands, etc.)

What you want to do is SURVIVE the ride. Leave a lot of room between you and the guy in front of you. On these kinds of things there are always a lot of brand new riders on brand new bikes, riding next to someone who has ridden all thier life.

I go on these kinds of rides (along with Patriot Guard) because I believe in the causes, but I very seldom actually ENJOY the ride itself, because I'm watching everyone else (and it HAS saved my butt more than once).

Oh yeah, gas up BEFORE you get there.
 

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I did my first last year. The big thing is not to focus on how you will screw up. The formation will go slow You may never get into or above at least 2nd gear. Watch those around you closely. You have to be more concerned about your mistake than theirs also. You do not know the skill level surrounding you. The only problem I had was all of the loud Harleys around me I could not even tell if mine was running.
 

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Ride at the end of the group.

Those rides can be dangerous as there are many many riders with many many levels of experience riding in groups. I've seen more bikers go down than I want to because of that situation. Last group ride I went on was a few years ago. What made it my 'last' group ride? Some inexperienced clown on a bike that was too big for him not being able to maintain speed and distance. More often then I cared for his front tire came up along my right side and he was FOLLOWING me.
 

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I agree with all of the above posts. I went on my first toy run last weekend. You could see the inexperience in several of the riders. Keep plenty of distance, watch out, and be careful.
 

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Even though the cause may be good and riding escorted with hundreds of bikes may seem exciting, I never ride in events like this. Too many idiots. Too many egos. Too many show-offs. Too many inexperienced riders. Too many accidents.

I hope you enjoy yourself and have a safe ride.
 

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the accordin effect is horrid on big rides. be very careful about other riders.
 

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the accordin effect is horrid on big rides. be very careful about other riders.
Besides the accordian effect, it's also never a good idea to leave too big of a gap between you and the ones in front of you. Gap as in a space big enough for a car to slip in. I've done many charity rides and it Does happen. They usually don't stay there long, intimidation, police, etc, they usually find out real quick they screwed up.
 

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Oh yeah, gas up BEFORE you get there.
I ran across my first 1 last year. I was just out riding and saw sheriffs then saw hundreds of bikes. I thought it was a funeral for a biker. I was stopped in the opposite direction. They kept waving me to come over as they passed. After about 300-400 I made a u-turn and joined them. I ended up dipping off because I switched to my reserve. I rode in my first full 1 this year. As others said watch for others actions. If you cross an intersection that the sheriffs are not blocking, be careful cause some stupid cars will pull out.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the great input

Thanks to everyone that responded:bowdown: I'll do my best to keep up my awareness. I'll let you know how I do & post a couple of photos. Happy Holiday.
 

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I do the toy run here in Perth each year. This year we 6,500 bikes. My tips to give yourself a good amount of space and ride your own bike. Don't try to keep up with everyone else or do what those in front of you do. As others have said watch everyone around you and watch what is happening 10 bikes in front of you. But don't get to caught up in one thing otherwise you'll miss something a lot closer.

Have a great run. :thumbup:
 

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And make sure you don't make the same mistake I've seen made about 3 times already at these type of events. People tend to use the front brake at slow speeds. That front brake will bring you down like a magnet to the ground. I witnessed a guy following to close on a turn hit his front brake and sure enough, he was pulled straight to the ground.
 

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All good advice. Basically, "ride your ride". Be carefull at the fairgrounds in the morning on the gravel and at the park in the afternoon on the grass.
Make sure you bring something you can rest your kickstand on, the ground may be soft at the final location. No worries about the cagers, the road is closed to car traffic. Also doesn't hurt to ride behind someone that you are comfortable riding with instead of a complete stranger.
Look for my bike in the morning.
 

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..how long ya been riding?..don't do it..you'll crash and burn..group rides might look cool, but they're dangerous and dumb..just make a donation from the convenience of your computer, then go for a more enjoyable ride by yourself and maybe a buddie or two..
 

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Even though the cause may be good and riding escorted with hundreds of bikes may seem exciting, I never ride in events like this. Too many idiots. Too many egos. Too many show-offs. Too many inexperienced riders. Too many accidents.

I hope you enjoy yourself and have a safe ride.
:agree: :agree: :agree:

I still participate in the events, just don't go on the rides.

I go and pay the registration fees ( it's a good cause )
Enjoy meeting with all the other riders
Hang around and help the organizers get the riders out
I go ride around for a couple of hours on my own 'route'
Return before the first group does
Hang out and listen to all the 'ride stories'
Have lunch/dinner with the group
Go home

All in all a very nice day! ;)
 

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Now that we have scared the Sheet out of ya.

I found the best and safest way to get around the“Accordion Effect" is be the last bike if they let you do that.
As others have said, keep very aware, more so then normal.

You will be fine.
 

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Some people tend to "dress" their bikes up for the occasion. Watch out for stuff falling off and people tending to want to stop and pick it up. This will cause a mess. Also, you'll see several pair of those raindeer ears blowing off the girls heads left and right.
 

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..how long ya been riding?..don't do it..you'll crash and burn..group rides might look cool, but they're dangerous and dumb..just make a donation from the convenience of your computer, then go for a more enjoyable ride by yourself and maybe a buddie or two..
Doesn't sound like he's been riding long at all with the advice he's looking for. My advice is to stay at home be safe, and send a donation in. These rides are dangerous even for good riders because there are so many new riders in the parade and for all the reasons given above can cause problems for all.
 
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