OK… I said I don’t ride with them anymore, but this past weekend they decided to do a ride up to Lake City where the Laky City American Legion was hosting a chili cookoff. Well, that was enough for me, so I went with them. Hey… it’s chili.
Of course, this just reminded me of why I don’t really want to ride with these guys anymore. First, they ran late. The email said to meet up at the post at 10 am for the ride, as the cook off was going to start at 11 am. When did we finally get rolling? An hour later! I had to stand around waiting for these guys to get their butts in gear and ready to go… and three of them, long standing members of the Riders, didn’t even bother with riding their bikes… they instead drove their big truck instead. So add to the list of reasons why I don’t want to ride with them is that they are tardy as hell, which is surprising given the nature of ex-military personnel who are accustomed to fifteen minutes prior to fifteen minutes prior.
And then the ride. This really reminded me why I don’t go with these guys… because they are dangerous to their own. I chose to ride at the back of the pack, so that I can see what is happening in front of me and so that I don’t have idiots to my rear… and it turned out to be a good idea, because the bike in front of me, who has been riding for dozens of years, apparently never learned how to ride in formation with a group of bikes. No, instead of riding staggered the way it has been taught to every riding group I have ever been a member of, a lesson which has been put out to this very group many times before, a lesson that he HIMSELF has issued to others, decides to ride the entire way sitting directly behind the bike in front of him at the far right edge of the lane. So if the bike in front of him has to slam on the brakes, he is screwed, because he doesn’t have time to maneuver around, doesn’t have time to get on the brakes himself before hitting the bike in front of him, and frankly due to his age barely has the reaction time left to maneuver around things that come up in front of him normally. So he puts himself, his pillion rider (wife), and the rider in front of him in peril.
I chose to ride home solo instead of riding back with them.
Oh, and the chili wasn’t all that good either. I need to learn that these chili cook offs that are hosted by Harley Davidson or Veterans groups are being hosted by old people who apparently don’t know anything about making things spicy. They instead cater to the lowest common denominator, which means bland as hell. Once, just once, I need to cook for one of these contests and put up a sign reading something along the lines of “This chili is spicy. It will burn your dick off. You have been warned.”