Incident at the track: is this normal ? - 600RR.net
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post #1 of 121 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 02:16 AM Thread Starter
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Incident at the track: is this normal ?

I am new to doing track days... I had been twice before and I was on my 3rd track day.

I understand why you NEVER go onto the track to help another rider... it has been explained to me and I've seen some videos that illustrate the point.

Anyways, I was at the track on my birthday, and because it was my birthday my parents decided to surprise me and come for lunch and to take some pictures.

I am 29 and I was there with my wife. My parents are in their sixties.

I was on the track when they came, so I didn't see them arrive and I didn't see them taking pics.

On the last lap of the beginner session a rider went down. My dad didn't know any better, and after all the riders were off the track (he waited for everybody to exit) he ran over and helped the guy pick his bike up.

I didn't know any of this was happening until right after I had gotten to my pit area and been pleasantly surprised to see my Mom. About a minute after I got there, the co-owner of the track day organisation escorted my Dad over and kicked him off of the the track, saying that he was "sorry" (but not sounding very sorry) and that my Dad, and consequently my Mom, had to leave the property.

Anyways, like I said, I understand why the rule is there and I would understand if a track organization kicked a rider out for breaking it... BUT: my parents are not reckless children, they are in their 60's and my dad had no idea that he was breaking a rule. He waited until it was "safe" for him to go onto the track. He was just trying to help.

I doubt if I'll ever get them to come to the track again. It's a 4 hour round trip, and even though they said it was alright I could tell they were pretty sad about it.

I guess I'm just pretty frustrated about it. I don't know what point was made by kicking him off, since he didn't know about the rule to begin with and as far as I can tell all the other riders at the track were completely oblivious to him getting kicked out... it's not like everybody thought, "Hey, where'd that old man go? Oh he got kicked out for breaking the rule? I guess I better follow the rules!"
Nobody missed him but my wife and I, we weren't about to break the rule and he sure as hell wasn't going to (again) once he was made aware of it.

Is this just standard operating procedure for track people, or is this extreme?

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post #2 of 121 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 02:34 AM
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Never heard of such a situation like yours, but it is a bit harsh that they kicked out your parents for trying to be helpful and also trying to surprise you at the track. What trackday organization was this? i suggest you talk to them and let them know that it could've been handled differently.

Sucks but I hope your parents are ok after that little incident.

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post #3 of 121 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 02:46 AM Thread Starter
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I spoke to one of the control riders and the other co-owner and they were decidedly un-sympathetic!

I will never do another day with their organization, at any price.

I mean, my parents are not exactly "fragile" but it pretty much killed their desire to visit the track and any image they had of it as a nice place to BBQ and spend the day.

I'm not sure what internet etiquette is, as far as publicly posting the organisation name, but I'll PM it to you for now.

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post #4 of 121 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 08:30 AM
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Yes, I have heard of this happening. It is specifically mentioned in most all riders meetings that your guests are not to enter the track under any circumstance. It is ultimately for their safety.

Permitting exceptions opens the door legally, which is unacceptable from a business standpoint. While the situation was unfortunate, the track acted according to its procedures, and I agree with the track in this situation.



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post #5 of 121 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powermoose1 View Post
Yes, I have heard of this happening. It is specifically mentioned in most all riders meetings that your guests are not to enter the track under any circumstance. It is ultimately for their safety.

Permitting exceptions opens the door legally, which is unacceptable from a business standpoint. While the situation was unfortunate, the track acted according to its procedures, and I agree with the track in this situation.
I would have to agree with powermoose.
I don't think management was out of line to ask your parents to leave. It does suck a lot though since your parents intentions were good and they were left with a bad experience their first time out.
Hopefully you can convince them to come out again?

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post #6 of 121 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 10:01 AM
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they should have just kicked pops out since mom didn't jump on the track.
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post #7 of 121 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 10:08 AM
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If they would have just told them to get off the track and not kick them out, your parents could have possibly warned someone else that would think of doing the same thing. I think it's extreme to kick them out, and the track obviously doesn't do a good job posting it's rules for visitors to see.

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post #8 of 121 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 11:48 AM
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Dangerous situation. No one should be on the track besides riders or the organizers. There is no insurance if you father were to become injured. He was running into a situation that could have been a lot worse than expected (slow gas leak leading to fire on the bike, tripping and falling, straining himself picking up the bike, etc.). If he were to become injured then things would become bad quickly (as I am sure he did not sign a trackday release form, etc.). Coming from the organization point of view, they did exactly the right thing.

Coming from a kid/parent point of view, it sucks horribly.

I am sorry that happened but it was necessary.

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post #9 of 121 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucky Waldorf View Post
My dad didn't know any better, and after all the riders were off the track (he waited for everybody to exit) he ran over and helped the guy pick his bike up.
Even then I think the control riders were still on the track. His well being and that of the track day workers are at risk when someone is walking on a hot track.

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BUT: my parents are not reckless children, they are in their 60's and my dad had no idea that he was breaking a rule. He waited until it was "safe" for him to go onto the track. He was just trying to help.
BUT: there is no time where it is safe to go on a track when it is hot. That is to say, unless they schedule a time when the track will be shut down (Lunch, end of day....) or there is an emergency and the track is temporarily closed, the track is considered in use. Even though we can think of situations in which the line gets very thin between what is appropriate and what is not, a general rule in this case is to ensure the safety of everyone.

Working many track days this year I have come to realize the difficulty and responsibility the organizations have to ensure a safe day. I am sure they were not being harsh on your father for some personal reason, it could be that they reacted because of concern.
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post #10 of 121 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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Maybe you are right, but as I mentioned, I was on track when they came AND I wasn't expecting them... there was nothing posted and the track staff didn't tell them anything when they paid 10 dollars to get in, so how were they supposed to know?

Also, it wasn't the track that kicked them out, it was the organizer/promoter of the track day... maybe that makes no difference.

Quote:
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Yes, I have heard of this happening. It is specifically mentioned in most all riders meetings that your guests are not to enter the track under any circumstance. It is ultimately for their safety.

Permitting exceptions opens the door legally, which is unacceptable from a business standpoint. While the situation was unfortunate, the track acted according to its procedures, and I agree with the track in this situation.

"a halfway decent rider and wise-ass who is way too narcissistic for his or her own good"

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Don't shout "I'M STUPID!" electronically, for all the Internet to hear, then get angry when we call you stupid.
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post #11 of 121 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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Well, they did just kick my dad out, but since my parents came together and live 2 hours away it didn't make much difference.

Thanks Serge!

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they should have just kicked pops out since mom didn't jump on the track.

"a halfway decent rider and wise-ass who is way too narcissistic for his or her own good"

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post #12 of 121 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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I guess my question is just, if it was really necessary then how did it help/what did it solve?

As I said, I understand why it's a dangerous sit. but nobody told him and as far as I'm concerned that is the tracks fault... they charged them ten bucks to enter and didn't warn either verbally or in writing, so how could my parents know?

My opinion is that kicking them out after the fact helped no one, and so was in fact unnecessary.

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Dangerous situation. No one should be on the track besides riders or the organizers. There is no insurance if you father were to become injured. He was running into a situation that could have been a lot worse than expected (slow gas leak leading to fire on the bike, tripping and falling, straining himself picking up the bike, etc.). If he were to become injured then things would become bad quickly (as I am sure he did not sign a trackday release form, etc.). Coming from the organization point of view, they did exactly the right thing.

Coming from a kid/parent point of view, it sucks horribly.

I am sorry that happened but it was necessary.

-SF

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post #13 of 121 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
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I posted my reply in red to make it easier to follow.

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Originally Posted by Nixinus View Post
Even then I think the control riders were still on the track. His well being and that of the track day workers are at risk when someone is walking on a hot track.
I didn't see it but he said there was nobody at all on track.


BUT: there is no time where it is safe to go on a track when it is hot. That is to say, unless they schedule a time when the track will be shut down (Lunch, end of day....) or there is an emergency and the track is temporarily closed, the track is considered in use. Even though we can think of situations in which the line gets very thin between what is appropriate and what is not, a general rule in this case is to ensure the safety of everyone.
I have no question about the correctness of the rule. I realize why it exists and I don't think it should ever change to allow riders on track. That is what the staff is there for. I just think that since my Pops wasn't told and it wasn't posted it was pretty unfair to kick him out.
Working many track days this year I have come to realize the difficulty and responsibility the organizations have to ensure a safe day. I am sure they were not being harsh on your father for some personal reason, it could be that they reacted because of concern.

"a halfway decent rider and wise-ass who is way too narcissistic for his or her own good"

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post #14 of 121 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 03:49 PM
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I see you point and I agree that it sucks to get punished for something you did with good intentions. I guess the cliche ignorance of the rule is no excuse applies.
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post #15 of 121 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 04:07 PM
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They had to pay $10 to watch? WTF. Trackdays should be free for any visitors, at least thats what its like where I go. Who charges it? The track or the organizers? If its the organizers then thats low, real low.

I think kicking them out was a little overboard. A good hard verbal scolding would have been sufficient. I couldn't see anyone doing it again after being told not to.
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post #16 of 121 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 04:11 PM
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it's the track itself, not the trackday org that charges the gate/parking fee
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post #17 of 121 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 04:34 PM
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I believe it is standard to kick someone out for going on the track even if it was with good intentions. I have seen it happen before where people were trying to help. At the trackdays I do you are responsible for your guests so they could have ended your day too. It does suck that it happened.
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post #18 of 121 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 04:40 PM
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it's the track itself, not the trackday org that charges the gate/parking fee
I see. I still find it a little offensive seeing as we pay a hefty price for the trackday itself. A couple guests should be included. I mean jeez, the trackday org. is already paying to rent the track so they're making money anyways.
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post #19 of 121 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 04:43 PM
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it's the track itself, not the trackday org that charges the gate/parking fee
With NESBA neither you or your guests will have to pay a gate fee. If the track requires it then NESBA pays it for you.
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post #20 of 121 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 04:47 PM
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At a football/baseball/basketball/soccer game are you allowed to go onto the field, even if there's a pause in the action?
Nope...


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post #21 of 121 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 04:54 PM
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With NESBA neither you or your guests will have to pay a gate fee. If the track requires it then NESBA pays it for you.
NESBA is the one with the membership fee right???? how expensive do their events normally run?
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post #22 of 121 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 05:02 PM
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NESBA is the one with the membership fee right???? how expensive do their events normally run?
It depends on the track. Anywhere from $105 - $210
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post #23 of 121 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 05:03 PM
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Its basically free. They charge $75 a year, but then usually give you a $75 coupon redeemable for trackdays.
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post #24 of 121 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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At a football/baseball/basketball/soccer game are you allowed to go onto the field, even if there's a pause in the action?
Nope...
It has never been a question of whether or not the rule is valid. It is a vital necessity.

I am not defending anybody for going onto the track. but given the specifics of this situation (did you read the whole post?) is seems like a warning would have been sufficient to ensure it NEVER happened again.

Kicking out a couple of "seniors" on their son's b-day seems unwarranted.

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It depends on the track. Anywhere from $105 - $210
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Its basically free. They charge $75 a year, but then usually give you a $75 coupon redeemable for trackdays.
interesting. we need something like that here on the west coast. i usually spend at least 100 a month in gate fees alone...FML
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post #26 of 121 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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I believe it is standard to kick someone out for going on the track even if it was with good intentions. I have seen it happen before where people were trying to help. At the trackdays I do you are responsible for your guests so they could have ended your day too. It does suck that it happened.
How could they kick me out? I didn't even know they were coming. I can understand being responsible for your "guests" but this was a surprise on my b-day, they decided to come for lunch.

By the way, I am not challenging anybody's authority it is just a question of basic human decency.

Of course they had the right to do what they did, but I felt like instead of using their position of power to exercise judgement towards creating a better experience for all users they treated my Pop like crap... unwarranted.

As I said, I am not very savvy when it comes to the rules and politics of the track, this was only my 3rd time, but in my opinion it is a question of treating other people with some semblance of courtesy. Even when that person has made a mistake or done something wrong.

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post #27 of 121 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 05:23 PM
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Like I said, it sucks that it happened and I understand what you are saying. The rules are there because it could potentially be a life or death situation with someone getting hit. Earlier this year a trained cornerworker was killed at Barber when he went on a hot track and was struck by a rider who was also killed.
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post #28 of 121 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 05:26 PM
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interesting. we need something like that here on the west coast. i usually spend at least 100 a month in gate fees alone...FML
Ya, its kinda weird how they're 99% east coast except for the one track in Seattle they do. I'm not complaining though, its the only track close to me.
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post #29 of 121 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 05:30 PM
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The part of the equation you're not considering is that this is safety issue. The circumstances we deal with at the track very literally deal with life and death and a zero tolerance policy is more common than not.

I'm not saying that I'd do the same thing. At MMP there are multiple fences and walls before you can walk onto the track and we'd likely catch your parents long before they made it anywhere near the track.

In this situation it seems there may have been some negligence in allowing your parents to get near a hot track in the first place. In this economy, if anything were to happen to your parents, a single lawsuit would probably be the end of most tracks and/or track day providers. Hopefully your parents opened some eyes to holes in their event that need to be patched.


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post #30 of 121 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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Javy, I agree with the rule but not the "zero tolerance" aspect of it like warrenjrose mentioned may have been in place.

As I've gotten older, spending time with my Dad means more and more to me so I am obviously biased, what can I say? I like the guy.

I personally believe that there are few, but occasional exceptions to "the rules" and that if this had been one of them nobody would've known the difference. It would not have compromised the safety of the track as the incident had already occurred.

warrenj also mentioned that perhaps there was some negligence, in that the situation was possible in the first place. Maybe that is the case, and maybe the organization will change it's operating basis to rectify the situation. That would be ideal, as it would A: better prevent unqualified personal on track, making it safer for all, and B: save future riders/friends/family from such an (in my opinion unfair) upsetting event.

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