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is it okay to be a ride pirate if...?(44 posts)

is it okay to be a ride pirate if...?VeloBoulder
May 3, 2002 4:05 AM
The lottery for Ragbrai just came out a few days ago. This was going to be the first time I have done Ragbrai. I was turned down as an entrant of the ride. A few days ago, ride pirating was discussed and was looked down upon by many people on this board. In this case, when you have gone through all the proper channels, and you get turned down, is it okay to ride pirate under this scenario?
May 3, 2002 4:38 AM
The organizers put together the insurance, cop coverage, permission to come through a route, support and the works because of the given size of the ride.

It's like the 100th running of the Boston marathon. I missed a qualifying time by five minutes, so I entered the lottery. Didn't get in. My brother did. He ran a race that had what, 25000 entrants but about 40000 people on the road. He said it really sucked.

Don't clog up the road. Try again.
May 3, 2002 4:45 AM
I've ridden ragbrai twice as a "pirate", and I'll be riding for the first time this summer as a paid rider. I rode last year completely self-supported, carrying my own stuff. Yes, I used their kybos, and ate the food, and used the showers. Do I feel guilty? Nope. I had a great time.

re: is it okay to be a ride pirate if...?RadicalRonPruitt
May 3, 2002 4:48 AM
I think if you are self supported it is okay. From what I understand, you pay for everything anyway. It isn't like RAGBRAI has rest stops set up for riders. They have vendors along the route, and I bet they don't complain about the extra people spending money on that ride. Ride it and have fun. I wish I were going with you.
If don't mind people crashing your party...eschelon
May 3, 2002 5:48 AM
maybe like a wedding reception that could be yours (as an example), eating your food, drinking your boos, then by all means do it. There's nothing worse than a hypocrite.
Comparing RAGBRAI to a Wedding Reception? Woodstock actually.RadicalRonPruitt
May 3, 2002 5:56 AM
Some of you people are really desperate to shoot down my opinions. RAGBRAI is more like Woodstock. In Woodstock more people came than were sold tickets too. In the spirit of Woodstock, they let them in free. Now with RAGBRAI, if you don't get accepted, you have to find other means to have your gear moved every day. Secondly, the organizers don't provide snacks for the riders. You pay for almost everything you eat. I am sure the people in these little podunk towns in Iowa love everyone that comes through because they bring green pieces of paper with them, registered or not. Therefore, you are still benefitting the economy and other elements of RAGBRAI. Go have fun, like I said, I wish I were going with you.
I stand corrected...eschelon
May 3, 2002 6:00 AM
I did not realize this event was of that laxed nature. Then if what you are saying is indeed true, than I don't see a problem with "pirating" this event.

Perhaps out of legal reasons, the organizers had to come up with a "safe" number of entrants to protect themselves from the added cost and trouble of "accepting" more entrants than acceptable by the legal eagles and municipalities.

I suspect the organizers being intelligent enough to realize that there would be a fair number of "ride pirates" participating in the event.
6000 - 8000+RadicalRonPruitt
May 3, 2002 6:04 AM
From what I have heard 6000 - 8000+ additional riders ride that weren't accepted into the lottery. I think it is accepted like the Boston Marathon.
I agree...floatch
May 3, 2002 6:18 AM
Like I said, I rode ragbrai pirate twice now. Completely self-supported both times. It was a blast, and yes, very much like Woodstock.
NO wayjtolleson
May 3, 2002 6:24 AM
The whole reason that events like RAGBRAI (and here, Ride the Rockies) are lotteries, with a cap on the total number of riders, is to control the burden on roads, drivers, police, hotels, campgrounds, and minimarts.

Did you think that the rider limit was pulled out of someone a$$? And for everyone who pirates Ride the Rockies this year (which I'm doing), they are trying to get what I paid $250 for, and they are clogging the roads, hotels, campgrounds, and minimarts that ride organizers have tried to protect.

When I entered the RtR lottery and wasn't drawn, I didn't go. Simple.

Rationalize all you want, but I don't think this is even a close call.
NO wayRadicalRonPruitt
May 3, 2002 6:36 AM
So they have no right to spend their money in hotels and mini marts then? I wonder if the hotels and mini marts share your views. I doubt it. I bet they don't care who stays there or spends money there as long as they are seeing green. RAGBRAI is about camping anyway, so the hotels usually aren't a question. Do you get mad at the tourist too who are at the same mini marts making you stand in line behind them because Ride The Rockies is going through there the same day.

By the way, how is a 150 man on a 16 pound bike a burden to the road. I think a big tractor trailer is a burden to the road, not a bike. In terms of drivers, they are warned that these rides are going through on these days and they reroute traffic for this purpose. Doesn't matter if 5000 or 15,000 riders. The drivers are asked to use different routes. The police have to stand out 10-12 hours directing traffic no matter how many riders are coming through that day.
Pirate horror storyonespeed
May 3, 2002 6:37 AM
I rode the MS100 here in NYC one year and some of my friends were in the organization group. They told me about the year before how a woman had crashed and hurt herself really bad. Got knocked out and couldnt say anything.

The "horror" part of this was that she wasnt a registered rider and thus they would have voided thier insurance policy if they helped her. They had to call 911 and wait for the paramedics with them to get the call from a dispatcher in order to get around the insurance complications. I wouldnt want to be in this situation.

Remember, an accident is unexpected.
Pirate horror storyRadicalRonPruitt
May 3, 2002 6:40 AM
The ride did the right thing. I think this is something you have to be strict about if you are a ride organizer. I don't expect the royal treatment from the ride organizers if I don't pay to ride. For this lady, this would have been no different had she just been out for a normal day ride. It sounds like the situation was handled correctly.
hardly a good examplemr_spin
May 3, 2002 7:33 AM
Sounds like misplaced priorities to me. If you come upon a rider that is hurt bad, you call 911. You don't even ask if they are registered, because it doesn't matter. I'm curious what would they do differently if their insurance did cover the woman.

If they had come upon a driver that had wrapped their car around a pole, would they have done anything different? If a child living along the route rolled their tricycle down their driveway and crashed, would that be covered by the ride insurance? Would the fact that the child was not a registered rider void said policy?

This is where this "ride pirate" stuff goes way, way overboard and turns into scare tactics. Unless you are riding on closed roads that are guaranteed to contain only registered riders, it is ludicrous to think that only "registered" riders will be out there. There will be people out riding oblivious of your event. There will be people out running and walking. There will be dogs and cats. It's also ludicrous to believe that your insurance has to cover anyone who gets hurt on a bike along your route.
Good pointRadicalRonPruitt
May 3, 2002 7:45 AM
You make a good point. I still hope the pirate has the class enough not to blame the accident on the ride organizers. That would cross a fine line with me.
It is a horror story becauseonespeed
May 3, 2002 7:56 AM
it happened and it shouldnt have.

Isnt that what I was trying to get across?

"This is where this "ride pirate" stuff goes way, way overboard and turns into scare tactics. Unless you are riding on closed roads that are guaranteed to contain only registered riders, it is ludicrous to think that only "registered" riders will be out there."

For your reasons stated by you above, this is exactly why I would want to be registered. To not have people second guess what to do with me if I was injured.
It is a horror story becauseRadicalRonPruitt
May 3, 2002 8:14 AM
If you ride with friends, this scenario should be taken out of the equation.
how would that help?mr_spin
May 3, 2002 8:23 AM
You say she "Got knocked out and couldnt say anything."

If the first question the people running the event ask you is "are you registered," won't it be hard to get an answer if you can't say anything?

If the care you receive differs because of your registered status, then the people running this event are truly scary and should be run out of the business. I find it ironic that this situation occurred during the MS ride, which is devoted to providing better medical care.

Volunteers and officers of the club shouldn't be making medical decisions at all, but especially not based on their supposed lack of insurance coverage. If a rider has been knocked out, you call 911 before you call your lawyer, not after.
Good Samaritan LawsRadicalRonPruitt
May 3, 2002 8:30 AM
My guess is that Good Samaritan laws would come into play and protect the person helping. Second of all, if the rider didn't register, then what would the difference between the ride organizers helping the rider and some average joe. A lot of times when I have wrecked someone has gotten out of their car and asked if I was okay and needed help.
All MS riders wear identifying vests over their jerseysonespeed
May 3, 2002 8:30 AM
They knew right away that she wasnt registered.

I was merely relaying an incident that I think was a good example of what has happened to a pirate. I didnt make the decisions regarding this woman and I am not trying to defend them.

Ron, I was trying to respond to Mr. Spin. Sorry about the mix up.
last wordmr_spin
May 3, 2002 8:36 AM
I'm not picking on you. I just think it is an amazing story. As far as numbers go, often my number is hidden by a jacket that I put on at some point. Maybe this person wasn't wearing a jacket, but you can't always tell just by looking at someone.

In this case, it shouldn't matter. Registered or not, their first thought should have been how can we help this person who obviously needs help? The easy and automatic answer is: call 911.
What if your registered and not wearing the vest?RadicalRonPruitt
May 3, 2002 8:39 AM
Being the rebel that I am:) If I did register, I wouldn't want to wear a vest, then what? What if my vest was in my saddle bag, and I got it out only for sag stops. I then go down and I am knocked out. Then it seems to me, an issue arises. What about women, who, GOD BLESS THEM, likes to ride in their bra tops? They probably don't want to ride in a vest either. I know a lot of women who ride, that wouldn't want to wear a vest over their bra tops.
I'm kind of amazed that somone would pirate a charity eventKristin
May 3, 2002 8:52 AM
Sad what happened to her. But also, sad that people show up at charties and pirate...this I don't agree with.
I'm kind of amazed that somone would pirate a charity eventRadicalRonPruitt
May 3, 2002 8:56 AM
Yes, I don't even think I could stoop that low to pirate the MS150. I have ridden three of those, and I collected the full sum each time I am proud to say.
You don't by any chance live in the Scarsdale area do you? (nm)Kristin
May 3, 2002 9:00 AM
You don't by any chance live in the Scarsdale area do you? (nm)RadicalRonPruitt
May 3, 2002 10:32 AM
not reallymr_spin
May 3, 2002 9:04 AM
We call her a pirate, but it could have been someone just out riding. I've done rides where my route shared the MS route for a ways. We had no idea it was going to be there, but there it was, and we had no intention of changing our route. Roads aren't first come, first served.

Would anything change if she, perhaps a local resident riding down to the local store or coffee shop and not participating in the MS ride, were run off the road by an MS participant?

I don't think so. This is the type of situation liability insurance is designed to cover.
Hate to say itMel Erickson
May 3, 2002 6:52 AM
but I gotta agree with RadicalRon on this one. These are public roads. Everyone has a right to use them. If you're not using things that Ragbrai or any other ride pays for with your entry fee then there is nothing wrong with riding along. Rides put limits for a couple of reasons but the biggest one is insurance. If you're not registered you can't successfully sue them for your injuries and the insurance company doesn't have to defend the ride against your suit. Ragbrai doesn't provide food so you're not taking advantage of them for that. They provide transport for you stuff and a sag. If you transport your own stuff and support yourself you aren't taking advantage of them for that either. The vendors, hotels, etc. definitely welcome and appreciate your greenbacks as much as registered riders. The only thing I can think of that you might be taking advantage of is camping and showers. I don't think you pay for camping but the ride did arrange for sites. Do you pay for showers? If so, no problem. If not, does the ride? If they do then don't use their shower, that simple.
Good point about the public roads thing...eschelon
May 3, 2002 7:09 AM
with the naysayers on the ride pirating thing goes, there have been many times when I was either mtbing on the trails or riding in a park road stretch where there was obviously some organized ride thing going on and I said to hell with it and continued my riding irregardless of what organized even happen to coincide with my ride...I mean what was I going to do? Turn around and go ride somewhere else because the very same public road I was riding on happened to be used by someone else?

Granted, this example is a stretch compared to ride pirating a big event like the RAG but still, these are public roads that everyone should be able to ride on regardless of what the circumstances are...unless the government has some top secret convoy transporting some plutonium or the Presidential motorcade riding on the same road.

I think for the most part, the argument that if you didn't pay to ride the RAG you shouldn't ride it is weak because it implies most of the ride pirates are freeloaders...I think all of these people would pay still if they were allowed to ride the RAG...I mean come on, the road bikers are responsible and civic minded's not like we're a bunch of Xtreme Mountain Dew drinkin' free-loadin' mountain bikers. :)
May 3, 2002 7:03 AM
If you wish to go to RAGBRAI, and you are willing to haul all your gear (or find other means to do so.) Don't blame the organizers if you get hurt, bike get stolen, or other bad things happen. If you are going to pirate, then be responsible enough not to point fingers at the organizers. If you are going to pirate, be like RadicalRon, and at least do it with class.
Well said nmonespeed
May 3, 2002 7:06 AM
Pirating is like riding a pace line without doing your pull...PdxMark
May 3, 2002 9:03 AM
There's no law that says you can't suck someone else's wheel for the entire day ... you can ride those roads just like they are. You can even pretent/believe that you just so happen to want to do the exact same ride on the exact same day as that pace line.

The point is you aren't contributing to the group effort. If even a measureable fraction of the others acted like you, the pace line, or the organized ride, would collapse. Arguing that you aren't a burden on the organizers, or the riders in front of you, is YOUR view of the imposition you create -- sitting back there getting pulled along for the ride.

Who knows, maybe you can find a soupline along the way to get a free meal.
May 3, 2002 10:31 AM
Soupline...That is a really good idea. Why didn't I think of that one.
If everbody pirated, we wouldn't be having this discussion...Me Dot Org
May 3, 2002 9:20 AM
...because they're wouldn't be any rides.

Using a full registration as a rationalization doesn't cut it. If a ride has a maximum cutoff point, it is probably because the organizers can't handle more than that, or their insurance won't let them. Why create problems for them?
If everbody pirated, we wouldn't be having this discussion...RadicalRonPruitt
May 3, 2002 10:33 AM
What problems does it really cause them though to ride on the same roads? I don't get it. If you aren't interacting with the ride organizers via rest stops and sag wagons, and you are self sufficient, then who cares?
If everbody pirated, we wouldn't be having this discussion...NJRoad
May 3, 2002 11:11 AM
You say who cares? But I say what's the point. If your going to be self supporting why wait until that weekend to do the RAGBRAI or MS route? The quantity of police and volunteer support were calculated based on a pre-determined figure, on Sunday BikeNY is expecting 30,000 riders, if 45,000 showed up do you really think they could get everyone through the course in the same time frame?

Even if you don't stop at the rest areas, your taking advantage of a volunteers time and effort to set up the police barricades, if you want to do that route do it tomorrow or next weekend.
If everbody pirated, we wouldn't be having this discussion...RadicalRonPruitt
May 3, 2002 11:24 AM
Are you sure the RAGBRAI personel are volunteers? I am sure the Tribune Company makes a lot of money from RAGBRAI and the personel are paid and taken care of throughout the week. The sales of the Des Moines Register also goes way up the week of RAGBRAI. We aren't talking a charity ride here. This is done for profit, and Iowa tourism benefits greatly from this. Riders from all 50 states and around the world come to ride RAGBRAI. I would venture to guess it is the largest single tourism event in Iowa, and surely it is the top grossing revenue event among tourist activities in the state. I am sure the members of the police forces that direct traffic for this event are on the clock.

As for comparing this with Bike NY, RAGBRAI covers some large distances which is plenty enough room to allow an additional 6000 to 8000 people on the roads. It isn't like all 16,000 people are bunched up together throughout all 500 miles. I know the Chicago LATE ride is a mess, with 25,000 people riding a 25 mile course. It takes 5-6 hours to ride 25 miles, and you are lucky to actually be pedaling. That is irresponsible on the LATE ride organization. I don't know if BikeNY is the same type of ride as the LATE ride, but if it is, I wouldn't want to pirate that. The LATE ride's fees have gotten rediculous. It cost over $1 a mile to ride that ride. I have better things to do than to ride my bike with 25,000 other Chicagoans at midnight, if you even call it riding.
reminds me of bikeDCDuane Gran
May 3, 2002 7:01 PM
Your description of LATE reminds me of bikeDC. I enjoyed it two years ago, but last year they enforced a 15mph speed limit. Yawn. I'm sure it is good for someone, just not for me.

As for the pirate issue, I think it is pretty easy to get legalistic and make a solid claim that pirating the ride is okay. I'll accept that if someone happens to be riding the route on the same day, but it is pretty crass to inentionally participate in the route and not give back one cent to the organizers. Nobody can or will stop a pirate, but I make a personal choice to support the organizers.
Enforcing a 15 MPH Speed LimitRadicalRonPruitt
May 4, 2002 4:05 AM
Why and how did they pull that off?
If everbody pirated, we wouldn't be having this discussion...NJRoad
May 7, 2002 5:03 AM
So if they are doing it for a profit then it is theft of services. Taken to an extreme, if I was to borrow your bike without asking you and return it before you noticed it missing with no damage then I didn't steal your bike right?
May 3, 2002 3:27 PM
Ragbrai is charging $25 per Sag if you are not registered this year.
May 3, 2002 4:24 PM
That's fair, but does that open up insurance issues. Maybe that might even keep people from registering next year knowing that if they sag 3 or less times they are saving money.
BTW Velo That Should Answer Your QuestionRadicalRonPruitt
May 3, 2002 4:25 PM
re: is it okay to be a ride pirate if...?ScienceGuy
May 3, 2002 5:45 PM
Get on the waiting list. I read that there will be enough returned registrations to take care of you. If that fails and you're feeling guilty, buy a couple of one-day only passes and buy all the rice crispy bars from little kids that you see!