When you are riding with a second , third rider or in a group, how much time are you looking in your mirrors checking on the riders behind you?
The situation I came across yesterday, I was riding through Galena, Il & was stopped at a traffic light (nothing new there), From the left, four riders turn & are traveling the same direction as me. The first two where Males riding one-up, Then a two-up, last was a Female one-up (I'll call Toni for the story). They happened to turn on the same semi-twisty road that leads out of town that I planed to ride. I stayed back 200 - 300 yards so not to crowd them ( I was going roughly 35-40 mph). About 3-4 miles out, I started up a hill, Toni just crested the hill where there was a slight left hand curve. As the bike went out of sight, that last thing I saw was the brake light & a small dust cloud. As there was many people mowing their yards, I didn't think much of the cloud. As I crest the hill & make the curve, I noticed that Toni was picking herself up in the ditch. I stopped & turned around to go back to check on her, AS I was turning around, the two-up bike was turning around. They must have noticed that the rider was no longer there. I get off my bike, Toni was yelling & kicking parts of her bike that broke off. She had taken out a mailbox, She had a big gash on her forehead & a slight rash on her chest. She wasn't bleeding to bad. By then the two-up bike has returned & the female from that bike came running over with water & a towel. Toni refused to call for medics. We pickup her bike & I decide there is nothing for me to do there. I might have been there for 4 - 5 minutes. I get back on my bike, turn around to continue home. About 2 miles down the road, the first two bikes are headed back.
That got me to thinking that they must hardly EVER look in their mirrors to check on their riding partners. I know that when I'm riding with anybody, I'm always looking to see where they are at. Must be the one thing that the High School drivers Ed teacher said that has always stuck with me. ALWAYS have a way out. meaning, check your mirrors often, know who & what is around you in case you have to make an evasive move.