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Motorcycle Escorts for a Triathalon: Should we do it?


RichEdwards

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My BMW club has been offered a chance to provide motorcycle services (carrying race officials and photographers) for a local Triathalon in November. It's a big event that will be televised on ESPN and will have 5000 participants including professionals. They want 16 BMW's to participate (a specific request) and will pay the club a fee and provide liability coverage in the multimillion dollar range. Does anyone here have experience with this?

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I think it sounds like great fun, and I hope you do it.

 

But (being the paranoid type) I'd check with an attorney and find ways to minimize the liability in case there's an accident. Consider carefully whether it should be an official club event or not - does that just make the club legally vulnerable? I know the AMA will underwrite insurance for specific club events. You might look to them for advice, too. Is the nature of the event going to affect whether your personal MC insurance is in force? Can you get some sort of liability release signed by those who will ride along? Can you arrange some sort of pre-rides/training to make sure those who ride along understand how to be a pillion?

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Of course.

But first all of you need to ride 2 up w/each other.

Carrying an adult, w/camera equipment, who moves around quite a bit at time can be trying for the rider.

Some may not want to do this after trial runs and it's better to find out before the race. dopeslap.gif

The bikes we see in the Tour de Franco are operated by very experienced riders.

Low speed handling in a crowd can be mentally and physically taxing.

Good luck.

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Last year I did the Chicago Marathon, two weeks ago I did the Chicago Triathlon and I am signed up for this years Marathon. It is a blast, that is if they have porta-johns available. For the Triathlon you will be used during the bicycle portion of the race, which is cool, but the rest of the time may be used hanging out. Before the race, we did a triple digit test run on Lake Shore Drive, which is normally a 45mph run. Marathons are more fun, but you will have a great time just the same. The camera crew normally sit backwards, so if you have a trunk and bags, leave them on the bike.

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Funny you should ask. I was at my friendly neghborhood BMW dealer yesterday, where I happened to be trading my '00 R1100RT-P on a beautiful '02 R1150RT. My buddy down there says "Hey, if you aren't doing anything tomorrow (Sunday), we need one more rider to carry an official at the Big Kahuna triathalon." Well I thought about it a little as I was prepping the bike at home, and figured what the heck.

 

It was really fun. The official I had was a smaller woman who's husband rides, so she was great on the bike. Plus I had one of those little Nady pocket intercoms from my track driving days, and I had brought that along. It really made things easy for us to communicate.

 

A couple of the other guys had folks on their bikes who had never before ridden, or hadn't been on a bike "in 30 years". But everyone made out just fine.

 

I can see where it could get boring after doing it more than a few times, but it sure was fun this morning (especially the 4:00 am wake up!)

 

Anyway, I've attached a pic of the new bike, with its "Official Vehicle" decoration.

 

Tom

740805-Kahuna3.jpg.162541f8a0d683ddf9f0078ab193f18a.jpg

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Dances_With_Wiener_Dogs

Recently I had planned to ride support for the Seafair Marathon. Our involvement was cancelled at the last moment by the police who wouldn't allow any motorcycles on the course this year. The only thing I found strange was that we were asked to provide extra helmets for the people we were transporting.

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I just did this today, for the first time. Aside from having to hit the road at 05:00 in order to make the 06:30 check-in time, and wishing there had been more time for briefing, it was great and I'd do it again.

 

Just before we got started, I had some doubts. The official I carried hadn’t officiated a race before, but she was a triathlete and had just completed her official’s training. She also had never ridden on a motorcycle before, and admitted being frightened by the idea of it. eek.gif So, we spent some extra time in the parking lot, with me going over the basics for a pillion, and her going over what she was looking for (groups of cyclists who might be drafting, pacing, or not riding single-file except when passing) and what I should do when we saw that (pace them at a safe distance, but give her a good view and enough time to monitor the conduct and take down their numbers). Then we took a lap of the course for familiarization.

 

It was an out-and-back course, so 2 U-turns were required on each lap (we made about a dozen laps), one of which was on a 2-lane road with no shoulder. I’d hardly think twice about that with my wife aboard, but with an apprehensive newbie I was a bit concerned. I didn’t need to be – she did great and enjoyed it. It certainly didn’t hurt that she was a good sport (pun intended) and was so tiny that it would hardly have mattered if she was out of position.

 

Maybe in a race big enough to be televised they’d have a better briefing session and officials with more experience. Or maybe those officials would already have some bad habits? grin.gif Also, in a race that size, I presume they’d close the streets used for the bike course. In today’s race, they did not. So on top of scanning for clumps of bikes and heeding the official’s instructions, I had to watch out for Sunday drivers who’d probably be distracted by the cones, cops and unusual activity.

 

The fact that the race organizer will provide insurance is a big plus. This race was strictly a volunteer situation, although the organizer offered a $75 stipend. I donated mine to the charity the race supports.

 

One other thought I had after doing this was that maybe I should add swimming to my workout rotation so I could give a tri a try. wink.gif

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I just did this on Sunday for a local triathlon (a USTA qualifying event). The local police requested 3 quiet bikes. Not surprisingly, 3 BMWs showed up.

 

I rode the bike course about 4-5 times with my official. I enjoyed it, but I already knew I would. A few years ago, I spent 3 days on the motorcycle safety crew for Tour de Friends. That was a lot harder, since we were the first ones out and the last ones in. Most of the day was directing traffic in intersections.

 

I look forward to helping with the local triathlon next year.

 

Wes Hsu

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I've done Moto-escort for several local bicycle races. I enjoy it,and the bicyclists really appreciate it. I've not had to haul an official, just help with keeping the road safe by blocking side roads, and keeping oncoming traffic slowed and aware of the race. Some of the riding is incredibly slow, but watch out on the downhills because the cyclists can come on really strong and be on your butt before you know it.

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. Some of the riding is incredibly slow, but watch out on the downhills because the cyclists can come on really strong and be on your butt before you know it.

 

The race is on barrier islands and some parts of the city in Florida. The only downhill would be from a drawbidge lmao.gif

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I done this in the UK a few years ago. It was really good fun. You'll probably be doing more than escorting them, we actually had to referee them out on the road to stop them draughting (slipstreaming).

I had several good days out with the team but back then it was badly organised. The ruling that we had to be present had just been introduced and the smaller clubs resented a) paying for us and b) us telling them their mates were cheating. I dropped out after having about disqualifications of other riders ignored.

The other issue that was causing problems was money (Doesn't it always). The original deal was £10 per day to help towards our expenses. Then some motrcyclists started whining and it was agreed to cover our expenses as we were starting to work all over the country. Then the organiser of our team started sending his mates from other parts of the country when there were more local riders available. In the end they came back to a fixed fee of approx £35.

 

The event organisers would moan at how expensive it was having to have us there. I pointed out that the people we were helping to enjoy their sport thought nothing of spending £2000 on a pair of bicycle wheels and judging by the number of high end cars Mercedes, BMW etc they weren't short of a few pounds anyway. It was their sport so pass on the costs.

 

I realise this sounds negative but it really was good fun. Find out if you are required to be there in the rules as "draughtbusters" (That's the title we ended up with.) We had to go on a short course to qualify.

Tip: If you are draughtbusting, the quieter the bike the more you catch. Roll off the throttle as you get near them.

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  • 8 months later...

I've got an event this August in which I will be motorcycle escort for a foot race. Not completely sure as to what my responsibility will be - though there's plenty of time before the event to find out more.

 

Does anyone else have anything to add to this thread?

 

Any concerns with an 1100RT doing constant low speed riding? Won't be much air passing over the engine, and August in Kansas can be a killer with heat.

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My wife is doing the Idaho Ironman on the 24th of this month, so I thought I would volunteer for moto support. It will be my first time to do this so I'll let you know how it goes and how well organized they are after I get back.

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I've been working the Buffalo Springs Lake 1/2 Ironman in some capacity for a long time. We started out on the swim on a boat carrying the lifeguards, then on the bike with a marshal. I'm currently working the races with the ham radio club. I'm able to get to a downed bicyclist quicker than an ambulance and give a radio report.

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I've got an event this August in which I will be motorcycle escort for a foot race. Not completely sure as to what my responsibility will be - though there's plenty of time before the event to find out more.

 

Does anyone else have anything to add to this thread?

 

Any concerns with an 1100RT doing constant low speed riding? Won't be much air passing over the engine, and August in Kansas can be a killer with heat.

 

Here is the Ride Tale from the Triathalon. You can get the scope from the people who particiapted.

 

Good Luck. I think all who attended will do it again this year thumbsup.gif

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My BMW club has been offered a chance to provide motorcycle services (carrying race officials and photographers) for a local Triathalon in November. It's a big event that will be televised on ESPN and will have 5000 participants including professionals. They want 16 BMW's to participate (a specific request) and will pay the club a fee and provide liability coverage in the multimillion dollar range. Does anyone here have experience with this?

 

dES mOINES has it happenin' this weekend..tomorrow and Sunday...expecting 30-40,000 folks and all the glimmer that goes with it.

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I just signed-up for the Philadelphia Triathalon next Sunday. The local Triumph dealer is supplying the motorcycles and I'll be riding a new Bonneville. I asked for the Bonneville as I already own a 2002 Bonney and wanted something I was familiar with and could easily flat foot at a standstill if need be. The Bonnevile also has the most upright riding position and lower seat height for my 30" inseam.

 

I'm really looking forward to it.

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