A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 06, 2013
“Ride your own ride” (motorcycle adage)

"Ride your own ride” is a popular motorcycle adage about riding in groups. Some group members are more experienced and can go faster than others, but one should always “ride your own ride” within one’s own limits.

“Ride your own ride” has been cited in print since at least 1965, when it was used in a book on horsemanship. “Ride your own ride” was described as “one of my favorite endurance sayings” in an equestrian chat group on the Internet in 1995. “Ride your own ride” was called “the cardinal rule of the group ride” in a motorcycle chat group in 1996.


Google Books
Manual on Horsemanship for Youth Groups:
A compilation of the nine Young horseman’s handbooks with an added chapter on riding

By Harry Disston
Charlottesville, VA: Jarman Press
1965
Pg. 109:
Don’t be overly influenced by or concerned—perhaps better not be concerned at all—with what others do. You will catch up to and pass some; some will catch up to and pass you. Never mind. Ride your own ride. On the other hand, if the conditions of the contest permit (for example, if riders start at half minute intervals and those wishing to ride together may start successively), it is pleasant to have a companion on the ride.

Google Groups: rec.equestrian
Linda Cowles @ PCB x5624
1/26/95
(...)
One of my favorite endurance sayings is “Ride your own ride”; pick the best pace for you and your horse, keep an eye on how your horse is doing, don’t get caught up with folks traveling at a pace you don’t want to travel at. If you ride sane, you’ll probably pass them when their horses run out of steam!

Google Groups: ne.motorcycles
Josh J Fielek
8/5/96
(...)
If this was teh case (I don’t know, I wasn’t there), James fucked up because _he_ forgot the cardinal rule of the group ride—RIDE YOUR OWN RIDE! If Justin was going to fast for James, then James was in error in not easing off. The responsibility for teh _decision_ to chase Justin still falls on whoever might try to follow him.

Google Books
April 2001, American Motorcyclist, “Group Therapy,” pg. 30, col. 3:
Perhaps the most important bit of all: Ride your own ride. Don’t let the group suck you into a dangerous situation. If the group is going faster than you’re comfortable riding, simply slow down.

Google Groups: ba.motorcycles
A reminder to “ride your own ride”
Denise Howard
9/10/01
(...)
It’s mind-numbing to go from exhiliration, to panic, to horror, to disbelief, to grief...all within the span of sixty seconds. Enjoy, but remember: You MUST ride your own ride. Take care of your loved ones. Don’t leave things unfinished. Have fun, and get there safe. Getting there first isn’t important at all. Getting there is. Sportbiking is fun, but it’s NOT worth dying for.

Google Books
The Savvy Guide to Motorcycles
By Shirley Duglin Kennedy
Indianapolis, IN: Indy-Tech Pub.
2005
Pg. 207:
“Ride your own ride” is another one of those hoary motorcycle maxims that you’ll hear over and over again. For good reason. You should never allow yourself to be pressured or goaded into riding faster than your comfort level, on roads that you find too challenging (hills, curves, traffic), under conditions (rain, high winds, late nights) that make you feel unsafe.

7 June 2005, The Progress (Clearfield, Curwensville, Phillipsburg, Moshannon Valley, PA), “Safety Tips,” pg. 14, col. 3:
Ride your own ride. Don’t try to keep up with friends who may be more experienced.

Road Captain USA
Ride Your Own Ride?!
Posted on February 5th, 2011 by Diana Green
A phrase that motorcyclists hear quite often in reference to group riding: “Ride Your Own Ride”. What does it mean? How do you do it when you are riding in a group?

Obviously the group dynamic prohibits a rider from completely riding his own ride.

Google Books
The First Ride:
A Motorcycling Adventure

By A. H. Rosenberg
Published by author
2012
Pg. ?:
I had given in to the self-imposed pressure to stay on schedule. I had forgotten to remind myself that I was under no obligation to ride above my ability. I had forgotten the most important rule of group riding—always ride your own ride.

PSS Rider
February 28, 2012
Ride Your Own Ride
Posted by Matthew Lindberg
I was recently asked what “ride your own ride” means.  It’s a phrase I’ve heard thrown around many times and even said it quite a few times myself.  I believe this saying holds a lot of meaning for a lot of different riders.

The most common place I’ve heard this saying is on group rides.  This brings up the issue of peer pressure.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityTransportation • Sunday, January 06, 2013 • Permalink