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View Full Version : R.I.P.- Bruce Rossmeyer Killed in Bike Accident



blkfalc4
07-31-2009, 07:12 PM
Bruce Rossmeyer,owner of largest HD dealer network dies in M/C accident in Wyoming. Rest in peace....

Breaking News (http://www.news-journalonline.com/NewsJournalOnline/breakingnews/bruce073009.htm)

arthureld
07-31-2009, 07:15 PM
RIP Bruce.

Wild1Poet2
07-31-2009, 07:16 PM
RIP

that's a shock. The guy had built a successful business and had many years of enjoying the result ahead.

blkfalc4
07-31-2009, 07:21 PM
Wonder what it's going to do to Daytona Bike Week and Biketoberfest. B.R. was intimately involved.
This Sun area HOG chapters are suppose to meet at B.R.'s Boston Harley for a memorial ride for fallen members to salem, wonder how this news will effect that.

Kagan
07-31-2009, 07:58 PM
RIP. Plowing into a left-turning vehicle is actually pretty easy. I nearly hit someone the exact same way. Thank God they checked their rear-view as I was passing and waited to make the turn. Talk about pucker factor.

Very sad.

arthureld
07-31-2009, 08:01 PM
In Mexico, people turn on their left turn signal to tell you it's ok to pass. :unsure:

07-31-2009, 09:16 PM
Wonder what it's going to do to Daytona Bike Week and Biketoberfest. B.R. was intimately involved.
This Sun area HOG chapters are suppose to meet at B.R.'s Boston Harley for a memorial ride for fallen members to salem, wonder how this news will effect that.

RIP Bruce.

Bruce owned several H-D dealerships, as well as several auto dealerships.

His death will have an impact on a lot of people.

This accident certainly seems bizarre -- broad daylight, "straight, dry and flat" road. He must have felt pressured to catch up with the first four bikes. The truck couldn't see him back there if Bruce was following right behind the trailer: "if you can't see my mirrors, I can't see you!"

...and the left turn signal was on. Ugh.

Moral of the story: ride your own ride! Don't try to keep up with the guy in front of you if you aren't comfortable.

arthureld
07-31-2009, 09:25 PM
Moral of the story: ride your own ride! Don't try to keep up with the guy in front of you if you aren't comfortable.

Last weekend I was riding with a few people and the light changed after the first couple people went thru.
I stopped and they had to pull over and wait for me and the guy behind me.
A while later it happened again and I stopped the guy behind me went thru.
I don't go thru red lights on my motorcycle no matter what. I've been mangled enough times.

07-31-2009, 09:51 PM
They say Bruce Rossmeyer was killed on US28 between Lander, Wyoming and Farson, Wyoming -- near where it crosses US287.

A few weeks ago I posted a picture (http://www.harleychatgroup.com/index.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=42040) I took during a ride through that same stretch of highway a few years ago. Creepy.

http://www.harleychatgroup.com/index.php?name=Forums&file=download&id=30876

coolhawg6622
07-31-2009, 09:57 PM
:blink2: :blink2:

Peddlen??? :blink2: Guys nutz!!!

Wild1Poet2
07-31-2009, 10:17 PM
I think riding in a group can put you insitu's you might not be in.

So for example, I'm on a two laner in a group of say 6 and we're moving ok and its a long day and I'm maybe spacin out a little. The lead guy decides to pass a couple cars. Everyone follows. I'm back caught a little by surprise when I see the group go and I go too. I see oncoming cars and realize I either got to go WOT or fall back. And you have to decide quick or its going to get dicey fast.

07-31-2009, 11:23 PM
...its a long day and I'm maybe spacin out a little.

Fatigue can be a killer too.

If you have ever ridden for hundreds of miles out west on a wide-open stretch of sun-baked, lonesome road, you soon learn the combination of heat, wind noise, straight roads, and boredom can numb your senses. You find yourself doing well over 80 mph without realizing it.

Say what you will about not wearing helmets, baking your skull in the sun just adds to the problem. You become dehydrated, and your judgement suffers.

dannytheman
07-31-2009, 11:26 PM
Wild pic.. Sorry to read about any motorcycle losses, seems like a higher than average year this year already, or am I getting to sensitive to hearing it.

arthureld
07-31-2009, 11:38 PM
You find yourself doing well over 80 mph without realizing it.

lol, out west, you have to be going over 100 to get a ticket. Traffic normally flows at 90.

Drebbin
08-01-2009, 04:22 AM
Oh well. I'm betting there is more to this and I'll lay odds that there will be some highway antics stories of years past that will surface.

Wide
08-01-2009, 04:49 AM
seems like a higher than average year this year already, or am I getting to sensitive to hearing it.

Older you get the more we read the Irish Funny Pages ;)

08-01-2009, 05:10 AM
You find yourself doing well over 80 mph without realizing it.

lol, out west, you have to be going over 100 to get a ticket. Traffic normally flows at 90.

So true.

Mungo
08-01-2009, 05:52 AM
Very sad. He built up such a huge empire. I guess it goes to show it can happen to anyone of us at anytime. He was such a strong voice for the Daytona Bike Weeks. I wonder what may happen there.

I feel for the family and I feel for the guy leading the ride. My brother crashed in 2007 on a ride that I was leading and I have to admit, I feel a lot of guilt from it. I can't imagine what this guy is going through. He'sitting there thinking... "If I hadn't have tried to pass..."

I'm impressed though that Bruce still rode and rode good distances too.

08-01-2009, 06:17 AM
Here is a link to a nice obituary in the Miami Herald of Bruce Rossmeyer (http://www.miamiherald.com/news/obituaries/story/1165119.html).

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/obituaries/story/1165119.html

arthureld
08-01-2009, 07:39 AM
Bruce Rossmeyer
http://toppayingideas.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/bruce-rossmeyer-killed.jpg

SportyClaws
08-01-2009, 08:26 AM
RIP Bruce



Thoughts and prayers to your family and friends.

Rice-out
08-01-2009, 10:51 AM
RIP BR

Might be a good argument for loud pipes save lives. I wonder if he was riding one of his normal rentals or something of his own.

Still, what a shame, another rider down and out .

08-01-2009, 09:14 PM
RIP BR

Might be a good argument for loud pipes save lives

Huh?

Bruce was passing on the left while the truck and trailer he was passing were signaling a left turn.

At some point you have to take responsibility for your own actions.

It's likely there was a brief instant when Bruce realized his mistake -- but it was too late to do anything about.

It's also likely the trailer obscured the truck driver's view of Bruce's bike, and the only pipes the driver heard were those of the bikes ahead of him.

Wild1Poet2
08-02-2009, 12:00 AM
FLH In general I agree with your overall view of responsibility but I think he was saying that there musta been a reason the truck allowed several in the group to pass but then turned into Rossmeyer. Did he think the whole group had executed the pass?

And how do we know the signal was on? Was it on when Rossmeyer started the pass? Was it on when the lead rider started? All we know is the lights were in working order. At least per the report. None of these things were clear.

But I like to believe that if the driver had seen or heard Rossmeyer he would not have then intentionally turned his rig into him. Just another perspective.

08-02-2009, 05:22 AM
The police accident report puts the accident 17.8 miles east of Farson, Wyoming at the intersection of US Highway 28 and Squaw Road, aka Bureau of Land Management Road 4106, a primitive dirt road.

Google "Street View" can put you at road level at the exact spot of the accident. With a little imagination you can see what most likely occured.

Try to visualize the moment: It's 10:59 AM. The sun if almost directly overhead. US 28 is dry, straight and clear. You are the fifth bike traveling eastbound in a six bike pack. You are concentrating on the bike in front of you -- leaving the Road Captain to safely shepherd the pack.

You are riding at a high rate of speed. There is no shoulder. There have been few other vehicles for miles. Your mind expands into the vastness of the land.

The pack is quickly approaching the rear of an eastbound trailer that appears to be slowing. The left turn signal begins blinking on the trailer.

The Road Captain sees the only place the trailer can logically turn is a dirt road that is still some distance ahead.

The Road Captain concludes it's okay to run pass the rig before it comes to its turn, and guns the throttle. You watch the next three bikes quickly follow. The trailer is moving more slowly now. You hesitate, and then accelerate to the left of the trailer.

As you accelerate pass the trailer, the tow vehicle suddenly swings left into your path. You careen into its drivers door, just as the sixth bike dives to the right -- narrowly missing the trailer.

Ultimately, you ride your own ride. However, when someone assumes the role of lead bike -- or Road Captain, they share the responsibility for the safety of the other riders.

Bruce's fatal error in judgment might have included trusting someone else.

arthureld
08-02-2009, 09:28 AM
I wonder why he didn't see the trailers left turn signal

08-02-2009, 09:49 AM
I wonder why he didn't see the trailers left turn signal

The Wyoming Highway Patrol report (http://www.news-journalonline.com/downloads/Rossmeyer_report.pdf) asked the same question.


NARRATIVE
The roadway at the time of the crash was dry with clear weather conditions. Both vehicles were eastbound on WYO 28. Rossmeyer was traveling with a group of five other motorcycles. Rossmeyer was behind the VanValkenburg vehicle which was pulling a 2 axle camper style trailer. VanValkenburg braked and used his vehicles left turn signal to indicate he was going to make a turn from WYO 28 onto a small dirt road. VanValkenburg was in the process of making ihis left turn when Rossmeyer attempted to pass the VanValkenburg combination on the left. Rossmeyer collided into the drivers side door of the VanValkenburg pickup. The collision occurred near the westbound shoulder. After impact, Rossmeyer was ejected from the motorcycle and came to rest partially under the trailer near the passenger side tires. Troopers investigating this crash have determined that the turn signals and the brake lights were in working condition on the VanValkenburg combination. It is unknown why Rossmeyer did not see the turn signal/brake lights. None of the other motorcycles in Rossmeyer’s group were involved in the crash.

For the police report to include a mention of the VanValkenburg vehicle braking and the use of the turn signals, I'm betting someone in Bruce's group had to have said something to the police to corroborate this or it wouldn't have made it into the report, or at least their would have been a statement from someone that contradicts the use of turn signals/brake lights.

FROM THE "TRUTH IS STRANGER THAN FICTION DEPARTMENT": When the fatal accident occurred, Bruce Rossmeyer was riding with fellow members of the "Hamsters Motorcycle Club (http://www.fineliving.com/fine/transport/article/0,,FINE_1406_2343957,00.htm)" -- an exclusive club of mostly wealthy riders -- on their way to Thermopolis, Wyoming to meet up with other members before staging their grand entrance parade down the main drag in Sturgis.

Last year, another Hamsters Motorcycle Club member -- Clifton “Click” Baldwin, owner of Carolina Harley-Davidson/Buell in Gastonia, NC -- died while riding with the Hamsters to Sturgis (http://www.cyrilhuzeblog.com/2008/07/30/click-baldwin-dies-in-motorcycle-accident/). Both were Harley dealer owners. Both were on their way to the Sturgis Rally. Both were members of the Hamsters Motorcycle Club. Both accidents involved passing a vehicle turning left on a two lane rural highway.


Baldwin was driving a 2009 Harley-Davidson motorcycle when he tried to pass a 1999 Honda Civic that was turning left from U.S. 12 into a Travelers' Rest campground, said Trooper Patrick McCarthy of the Montana Highway Patrol.

Baldwin crossed a double-yellow line indicating a no-passing zone on the two-lane highway, McCarthy said. The motorcycle struck the car from the rear while it turned.

The impact threw Baldwin off the bike, and he struck the pavement before hitting the post of a reduced speed ahead sign, McCarthy said.

The Honda driver, 74-year-old Joann Davidson of Missoula, and her 5-year-old granddaughter, who was in the car, sustained minor injuries and were driven to the hospital.

Baldwin's speed was estimated at 45 mph, McCarthy said.

"An independent witness said her turn signal was on, and it was in a no-passing zone," the trooper said.

The MHP trooper said Baldwin was not wearing a helmet.

Baldwin and 14 fellow members of the Hamster’s Motorcycle Club were heading to the 68th annual Sturgis Rally in South Dakota.

Rice-out
08-03-2009, 04:54 AM
FLH, I agree and I think he has assumed responsibility for his actions. My point on the loud pipes was that the driver may have noticed he was there if he could have heard him. We have alot of places around here that are shutting you down if you have anything but EPA legal.

Also the driver may have used his turn signal but could be like the drivers we have around here. One flash and they are already in your lane. I don't think you can assume anything from the police report. We will have to wait and see how it plays out.

Drebbin
08-03-2009, 05:04 AM
I wonder why he didn't see the trailers left turn signal

My bet? Arrogance. It would follow in line with his reputation in business circles. A pal worked for him for a year -- and other dealers I know I have dealt - or - tried to deal with him. Lots of arrogance.

Wild1Poet2
08-03-2009, 05:28 AM
another town here in RI clamps down on noise

http://www.projo.com/ri/eastgreenwich/content/EAST_GREENWICH_BIKES_08-01-09_RCF7GVL_v13.26d1a89.html

I don't know how three bikes can pass this truck trailer rig and then he turns into the 4th. Does he not look? Does he not care? If he's signaling left why not pass on the right? It doesn't really matter cuz its too late.

08-03-2009, 07:54 AM
I don't know how three bikes can pass this truck trailer rig and then he turns into the 4th. Does he not look? Does he not care? If he's signaling left why not pass on the right? It doesn't really matter cuz its too late.

Amen to "it's too late".

When you are pulling a large travel trailer, there is a rather large view-obstructed area behind you -- one that can easily hide something as narrow as a motorcycle. If the bikes came up on the trailer quickly and four bikes passed, it's not likely the pickup driver knew anyone was still back there.

As for the LOUD PIPES angle, these days I wouldn't trust that anyone can see me, much less hear me -- especially around here,

arthureld
08-03-2009, 08:04 AM
I wouldn't have chanced it.
Kinda reminds me of cop vid I saw of a guy on a sport bike running red lights.
or Russian roulette. Nobody lasts very long playing against those odds.

08-05-2009, 10:29 PM
This story just gets weirder and weirder -- two chain reaction motorcycle accidents occur in the Rossmeyer funeral procession:

ORMOND BEACH, Aug 04, 2009 -- More than a thousand people attended services this morning to remember the life of Bruce Rossmeyer, the Harley-Davidson dealership mogul who died last week in a motorcycle accident.

Before the funeral, two chain-reaction accidents occurred involving several motorcycle officers escorting members of the Rossmeyer family to the church. Six motorcycles went down. The accidents occured on North Halifax Drive in Ormond Beach, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. A group of 30 police motorcycles were traveling north, two per lane, on Halifax.

The front group slowed; the back group could not "for some unknown reason," FHP said.

The first crash involved two Port Orange motorcycles and a bike from Daytona Fire and Rescue. The second involved two Daytona Beach motorcycles and one from Ormond Beach. Both Daytona officers were treated at released at Halifax Medican Center.

Wild1Poet2
08-05-2009, 10:32 PM
wow that is a big funeral

08-05-2009, 10:38 PM
wow that is a big funeral

Bruce "leased" motorcycles to the city for $125 a year.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/media/photo/2009-08/48458286.jpg

So they can afford to crash a few of them into each other.

I still think it's eerie to have these cops crashing into one another in the funeral procession. It's like Bruce is still with us, or these guys are the "Keystone Cops".

thorsblood
08-05-2009, 11:05 PM
Personally, I never heard of the guy. There are alot of good points brought out in this thread though.
"Ride your own ride" is the most important in my opinion. Group rides generally involve a wide variety of skill sets anymore, and often the ones rearward are the amateurs. Too often they are inclined to "follow" what those ahead are doing.
Riding in a group requires dead on attention to whats happening ahead in the distance as well as the bike right in front of you, especially if in close ranks at high speeds. A brake light can need an instantaneous response.
Surely this guy was no amateur, but I know the thought process Drebbin alluded to. Arrogance. Fuck this asshole and his big fat fucking trailer, I'll twist this throttle and blow by his fuckin ass so fast his eyes will spin. Been there.
Its good to listen to guys like Arthureld who learned the hard way, and adopt their wisdom without the pain.

arthureld
08-05-2009, 11:10 PM
It's always smarter to learn from someone elses mistakes.

08-07-2009, 02:01 AM
And the carnage continues:

Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler was taken to the hospital Wednesday night after falling from the stage during a concert in South Dakota.
The rocker fell off the stage in Sturgis, South Dakota while his band was playing the song "Love in an Elevator," the Rapid City Journal reports.

The 61-year-old fell while dancing around in an attempt to entertain the crowd after the sound system stopped working during the song.

Concert-goer Lance Yellow Robe tells the Rapid City Journal that Tyler was on the stage's catwalk when he fell, and security rushed to help him. The crowd cheered for the singer when he got back up.

Tyler was taken backstage to be evaluated by medical personnel. Later, Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry informed the audience that Tyler was being taken to an area hospital.

Tyler was a friend of Rossmeyer.