I was involved in an accident some time back which is continuing to cause me more grief then I really care to think about. My intent here is to gain perspective perhaps through the eyes of fellow riders; here is the situation: I was rear ended in a rally by another bike. The accident occurred at the bottom of a hill about 1/4 mile from our starting point. The lead bike had stopped on the side of a 2 lane unmarked road about as far right as possible. I should note that the riders of this bike were close relatives and were my connection to this rally. It was important for me to stay close to these people and this bike throughout the rally. I was quite a ways behind the lead bike so when I saw them stopped on the side of the road I preceded to slow my bike down. I was confused as to what was going on, but I had not made any decision at this point about what to do. I guess I was trying to assess the situation and make a determination as to whether I should pull into a driveway nearby, pull over to the side of the road, or what I don’t know. The posted limit was 35 or 40 I forget, but it was a paved farm road so it couldn’t have been very fast. At the time of the accident I was probably doing 20, maybe slightly slower. Either next two, or slightly behind the stopped bike, I was struck from the rear by the next bike in the line. They struck me on my back rear right pipe and caused us both to lose control. I veered off to the left side, off the road and into the ditch and he veered right, but remained in the roadway however much further down the road then I. His speed was much faster than mine perhaps 40 or even 50. He had made up quite some distance in that ¼ mile from the rally start because I had left the driveway alone by at least 5 or 7 seconds The injuries were significant and the bikes were a complete total according to the insurers. Neither the operator or passenger was wearing a helmet, I on the other hand was wearing head to toe leathers and helmet. I suffered a mild sprain of my left ankle and had to be pulled out from under my bike, they suffered cracked skulls, lacerated liver, countless abrasions and who knows what else. Both were careflighted away and stayed several weeks in the hospital. It has been close to a year since this accident and I have been dealing with insurance companies since nearly day 1. I was operating a rented bike at the time from the local HD dealer. The operator who struck me was issued a citation and has subsequently seen his insurance company replace his bike as well as the one I rented. Since I suffered no personal injury and I only suffered mild damages from leathers and clothing, I decided to not press any claim against his insurance. Since the date of the accident I have paid nothing more than the cost of renting a second bike for the weekend and a replacement set of chaps. To the point of my post: The annual rally is coming up again and it seems that I am now blacklisted from the event. I am an outsider connected by an in-law relationship only, but of all the riders that usually go, only 30% or so are family anyway. The rest are all friends and distant cousins or what have you. For whatever reason, since the time of the accident I have been blamed by everyone who was at the rally for the events of this accident. It’s entirely possible that only a few vocal people in the group are making all the trouble, but since I am not from the area I can’t say for sure. The police don’t seem to think I am at fault; the insurance companies don’t seem to think I am at fault, I don’t think I am at fault and at one point in the beginning when pressed the other rider didn’t think I was at fault. His story has likely changed since that day though. Isn't it the responsibility of tailing cyclists to pay attention to the road and slow down if they see slowing or stopped vehicles ahead of them? At one point the other rider went as far as to tell everyone that he didn’t understand how it happened since he glanced and saw me slowing, but for some reason it didn’t register with him. The other motorist in all likelihood was waving to a video camera just a second or so prior to impact. Whether or not he was hot rodding or show boating at the time of the impact I will never know, but he has a reputation as the craziest driver or hot-rodder of the group. So I leave it in your hands, why am I being blacklisted when the other rider is being given the green light? What could I have done differently? It has been suggested that my actions after the accident could be the source of my troubles as I was pressing for the remaining riders to continue on with the rally. Perhaps a bit callous I admit, but I had flown halfway across the country to be at this event, spent thousands of dollars in gear, rentals, classes and licenses to be there and I wasn’t about to see it all blow up in my face especially since I didn't even know the guy, others did, but I did not. I'm sure nobody will have gotten this far, but that's ok since it's really more of a vent. I just found out that I wouldn’t be attending this year’s event so I am a little angry about that and needed to write it all out and perhaps get perspective. I suppose after I cool off I will approach this from another angle and may still find my place at the event. I am along for the journey more so then the people. Being from the South, I enjoy seeing cooler more scenic parts of the county whenever I can.