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Seriously skilled motorcycle drivers in the Tour

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Seriously skilled motorcycle drivers in the Tour

Old 07-05-21, 07:21 AM
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TiHabanero
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Seriously skilled motorcycle drivers in the Tour

Watched stage 9 being ridden in the rain and took notice of a camera bike with the camera man standing up, big ol' TV camera on his shoulder going around a curve in the rain and realized just how skilled the drivers are. Does anyone know where they get these guys from?
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Old 07-05-21, 07:38 AM
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I've often wondered the same thing. It's not just the motorcycle rider, it's the people running the cameras perched precariously on the back too. In the rain, the sleet, slick roads, rough cobbles, dusty dirt roads, mountains, twisty city streets. These folks are at the top of their game also.
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Old 07-05-21, 07:59 AM
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I don't know the hiring process but as someone who's been to the track many times I can tell you that your average motorcycle rider wouldn't make it up or down one mountain at those speeds without crashing. Very high skill level. I know a lot of those guys are former professional bike racers.

I think most of them are riding three wheelers now, though.

Yamaha Niken becomes official Grand Tour support bike


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Old 07-05-21, 09:47 AM
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I would guess most of them are locals who grew up riding bicycles/scooters/motorbikes in the mountains. You see a lot of teenagers hooning around on scooters in those places, zipping in and out of the traffic like they have a deathwish!
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Old 07-08-21, 06:12 PM
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I don't know if any of them are available online, but Maynard Hershon wrote some great articles about his Tours on the back of a press moto. Maynard was also a motorcyclist and Bay Area motojournalist back when, and would wax Hershonian about the skills / cojones / insanity of his pilots.

Those cats are studs, full stop.

--Shannon
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Old 07-09-21, 07:10 AM
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Good point on the professional racers being tapped for Tour duty. Never would have thunk that, but if anyone can pilot a bike with exceptional skill it is someone that makes a living racing one. I've been riding motorcycles since 1978 and in no way would I consider myself skilled enough for Tour duty!
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Old 07-10-21, 01:36 AM
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I wouldn't be surprised if some of the motorcycle pilots had backgrounds in enduro and observed trials competitions. Many bicycle races have some pretty sketchy terrain and dirt motorcycle racers have seen it all before. Experience at relatively "slow" speed (for a motorcycle) handling would be a plus.
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Old 07-10-21, 02:26 AM
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Everyone should read about the history of motorcycle pacemakers. "Derny". In the early 20th century a lot of them died.

Charles Péguy, fatal accident in 1907 at Spandau track in Berlin.

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Old 07-10-21, 02:58 AM
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They could very well be off duty M/C Cops. Motorcycle Officers go through some very intensive rider education and training and they are especially good at slow speed maneuvering with heavy bikes loaded with equipment. The company I work for allows the local LEO's to use a huge part of our parking lot for training a few days each month and they set up some incredibly difficult exercises for practice. I've been an avid motorcyclist for decades and sometimes play around on their training courses after they've left for the day. Making your way through those cones without a miss It's MUCH more difficult than it looks lol.,
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