My Last Patriot Guard Ride

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by ChemEng, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. ChemEng

    ChemEng Adventurer

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    [soapbox.on]

    I have been a long time supporter of the Patriot Guard Riders (PGR). I come from a family with a long military lineage, and the PGR was something that combined my love of motorcycles with my support of the military.

    There was a mission to welcome home a Marine that had been injured in Afghanistan. There was 5 bikes (including mine) that did the escort from the airport to the Marine's house. The house was at the end of a pretty large cul-de-sac with diameter close to three car lanes wide. None of the 3 bikes in front of me could perform a U-turn in that amount of space without duckwalking. One bike managed to fall over while duckwalking. Then, as the bikes were lining up, the lead bike heads right into a patch of leaves. He fell off as well. Earlier, he was very vocal about being a road capitan and of the different motorcycle classes he's taken.

    If you are counting: that's 3 bikes out of 5 that couldn't do a U-turn in a 36 foot radius. And 2 bikes that managed to go down performing what should be routine driving skills.

    So while I support the PGR and its mission, I won't be doing anymore missions because I can not accept the amount of risk evidently a large portion of their riders represent to my safety.

    [soapbox.off]
    #1
  2. Dave in Wi

    Dave in Wi Long timer

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    Wow.

    The size of residential cul-de-sacs are usually based on the turning radius of the city's fire engines. You shoudl be able to turn around a motorcycle in one.

    Just another thought, I think the original purpose of the patriot guard was to help shield military families at funerals where that whacko church was protesting. I'd ride with them in a heartbeat to do that, regardless of how bad the other riders are.
    #2
  3. No False Enthusiasm

    No False Enthusiasm a quiet adventurer

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    I can understand your frustration...

    I participate in as many funerals as I can... and always the only Wee in the group.

    NFE
    #3
  4. ChemEng

    ChemEng Adventurer

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    The irony of it was the these guys all questioned the safety of my bike at the start of the day. I just figured the were ribbing the only non-HD bike in the group. They backed down after I said that the bike does exactly what you tell it to do. In hindsight, I think those words hit the nail on the head in more than one way...
    #4
  5. Barry

    Barry Just Beastly

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    And there is your peer group problem. Sad... true.
    #5
  6. ChemEng

    ChemEng Adventurer

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    I couldn't resist.

    [​IMG]
    #6
  7. RRVT

    RRVT Wild and Crazy Guy

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    I never got my chance with them. I absolutely despise the Westboro Baptist Church and when I found out about PGR, I signed up. I looked at some pictures from their Vermont events, they are mainly retired guys on cruisers with leather vests and patches. I was wondering how a younger foreign born guy on a F800GS would fit in but I wasn't gonna let that stop me. I emailed the leader of the Vermont chaper and introduced myself, never heard back from him.
    #7
  8. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

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    That cul de sac is a lot wider three car lanes. I'd guess fifty feet.
    #8
  9. Tom Herold

    Tom Herold Ugh...

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    I'm a retired combat veteran and joined the PGR in 2006, right after I left active duty. I understand their original mission and agree with it, but I couldn't support the militant approach they moved towards in my chapter. Their riding habits gave me great concern so I always rode at the very back and gave plenty of room for my own safety. The group was very closed minded and outsiders (yes, I even rode a Harley at the time), were treated horribly and ignored while the "cult of personality" laughed and carried on. Heaven forbid a newbie try to join the conversation or laugh along with them - I'm not exagerating.

    So I contacted the SC state lead for the PGR and simply asked about proper decorum and what I should expect on rides withe the group. He was instantly caustic in his reply and very critial I'd "even bother to ask such a rediculous question". Obviously it was my fault for not fitting in and I was wrong for seeking an amicable solution.

    My reply was a very simple "I'm a combat verteran of both the Iraq and Afghan wars, I still have people over there and every ride this group goes on might be for one of "my" people. In fact, every Veteran is my brother or sister, I mourn their loss and simply want to pay my respects in the best way I can find. Your group and their attitude are in direct contrast with how I want to do that, so I'll resign and ask you to remove my name from your rosters".

    The responses her horrific in false accusations and really nasty language. As soon as I finished reading them, I folded up my PGR shirts, removed the PGR patch from my vest and threw them in the trash.

    I'll say my own prayer and pay my personal respects. Now I work for the Veterans Affairs and I'm working everyday to do what I can from the inside - everyday it's the best I can do.

    I hope others have a better experience with the PGR than I did, and thank you for honoring our Veterans. Ride safe and enjoy your freedom while we still have what's left of it!
    #9
  10. BuddingGeezer

    BuddingGeezer Been here awhile

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    I certainly support the PG's mission. All the PG members I see ride open (loud) pipe cruisers and dress like 1%s. I don't feel like a Honda ST1100, closed face helmet and textile clothing fits.
    #10
  11. concours

    concours WFO for 41 years

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    Amen Brother. That's what I have observed. :huh
    #11
  12. 100mpg

    100mpg Self Imposed Exile

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    he didn't drop it, he had to lay it down when he saw the leaves in order not to take out the other riders and the mail box. :rofl ok that made me lol when I was typing it.
    #12
  13. 100mpg

    100mpg Self Imposed Exile

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    it changed in the last few years. Seems it has turned to more about the bikes and beers then it is about the returning heroes. I rode on a mission and after everyone went to a firehouse for a BBQ. They all headed for the beer. That was my last ride.
    #13
  14. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

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    Get in touch with the larger group and file an AAR noting the concerns with [lack of] safety, skill, and operational ability. The worst they can do is round file it, but maybe you can push a button for some ongoing skill training. I know I'd be more impressed- and feel more honored- if (heaven forbid) my step-son were escorted by a group of PGR that rode and acted the part than tryouts for the Keystone Kops. Sure as hell I wouldn't want our family grief disrupted by an ambulance call for someone else.

    Hm. Wonder if I can push that button with the local chapter.
    #14
  15. motorat

    motorat TBD

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    when i had my triumph speedmaster i did a ride with them.
    i do not ride in formation, side by side, and was constantly being
    waved at to keep up. the rider in front of me had 3 flags on the back
    of his bike and they were obstructing his tail light.
    i have never been so nervous riding my bike.
    i support the vets and active duty but i'll pay my
    respects without riding.
    #15
  16. No False Enthusiasm

    No False Enthusiasm a quiet adventurer

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    I'm a vet, as well.

    On the Wee, I have no chrome, no bling and no costume. I tend to ride at the rear of the column for reasons mentioned above.

    I ride for the fallen service member... I don't consider it a social event.

    NFE
    #16
  17. trc.rhubarb

    trc.rhubarb ZoomSplat!

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    Never had an issue with the riders.
    I quit because of the politics of them thinking they were a club... wanting patches and all
    Thinking they were there for themselves vs the soldiers

    I did several rides "missions" (more bs) and was proud to be there for the fallen.
    I wish I could still do it but its no longer about the soldier and their family but about how cool they are.
    #17
  18. JDK111

    JDK111 Been here awhile

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    I'd be embarrassed to participate in a ride called a 'mission' ...... the guy in the hearse was participating in a" MISSION".
    #18
  19. trc.rhubarb

    trc.rhubarb ZoomSplat!

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    Yup
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  20. 100mpg

    100mpg Self Imposed Exile

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    I wore a patch to bring attention to the soldiers not to myself. hundreds of time I was asked what we do and when I answered the question people smiled and a few teared up.

    I didn't like the term at first but the mission was to escort the soldier home.
    #20