Edit: 1911srule makes a good point though.
I think you did well.
I ride too so I understand that the ear buds are to protect your hearing, I usually only wear them on the highway and not around town. It is good that you noticed the guy right away, like you just because someone is standing there does not mean they are after you. As soon as I detect someone loitering I make eye contact, holding it, telling them, ya I know what you are and you know what I am. I am not a small guy, but I am not 6'5" either.
Those of you that do not ride, it takes a minute or so to suit up, ear buds, helmet, gloves, zip the jacket etc. during this time you are usually standing by your bike. The only thing I would have done different would have been my approach as the alarm bells were sounding, because in a mainly empty parking lot, they parked next to your bike. Could they have followed you from the pool hall? That seems most likely. Where was the big guy when you entered the store? My guess is that the big guy is used to intimidating people with his size, their motives are unknown.
I guess my arm chair QB says you should have stayed in the store and called 911, They were being very brazen, thus dangerous. I am glad you were armed, indicating such to BG's ( yup, that is what going to a pocket/jacket usually means in these encounters). this is probably what diffused the situation.
You were slated to go down! No belt holster with leathers! You having a pocket big enough for a good sized pistol, a plus! You were going down, your GF was going with them.
You needed to note the tag, and call it in! Just you seeing the action, not so good. "Mary, behind me"
That is my wake up call to my Wife. No, Mary is not her name! If the SUV was stolen, using it to knock you off your bike is not so far fetched.
With no prior warning, you did good. And others have said it, never ignore that gut feeling, never!
I have known my Wife for near 35 years, we have been married for 20 years. She is aware of her surroundings, at 76 I am an old guy, but no physical problems, carry a Glock 19 all the time.
A couple of months ago, at a Publix Supermarket in Orlando, me in Jeep, reading! Wife in store, shopping. Call on Cell phone, "There are two young guys following me, no cart, or baskets" OK, head to check out, when you are done, call me, as you get to check out.
"I am in line" "When you come out, use right exit, walk quicker when you get close to the door, keep tight to the right wall, keep walking, I am under the overhang, with Jeep"
A few minutes, Wife comes out, bit of a scoot on! Behind her, two late teen? Black guys, pants below bum! The one closest to her, watching her, does not see me, standing, facing them, Florida shirt undone, Jeep over my left shoulder.
The buddy, dressed identical, sees me!! Grabs his Buddy's arm (the watcher of My Wife) both abrupt left wheel, across parking lot to Street! No car, reckon they had the Lady's Car in mind.
My Wife is of Indian decent, must have looked like an attractive 5'3" easy mark, the fit looking old guy? Eyes locked on them. Not so much.
Later on, I measured the distance, me to where I was, them to where they stopped, 7m. I saw no weapons, if I had seen any?
It would have got loud, so glad it did not turn into "Shots fired" My training is advance to contact, head shots! That really is a great big No/No here in Micky's Town.
Lived in the US for 8 years, first real almost! Became a Citizen last April. I bet I would have been a Brit in the media! If that had ended up as a shooting. RETIRED ENGLISHMAN MURDERS CHOIR BOYS!
The good news, my pulse was not wound up, decided what I might have to do to protect the love of my life, waited to see how it panned out. And all's well that ends well.
This is one thing I drill into my kids, especially my teenage daughter. Not just in parking lots, but ANYWHERE in public. In fact, as we drive around, I will sometimes point out several people walking alone and say "Who do you think the bad guy will pick out?" They always choose the one(s) wearing head phones and/or staring at the ground.
Thank you for this post. We need "mental" training like this to bring up scenarios that some of us (me) may have forgotten/never heard/never experienced. I am very happy everything turned out well.
I always see motorcyclist park their bikes near the building, on the sidewalk. If it were me, I would do this. I've never been to a walmart that didn't have a cop posted there all night
If you were riding a Ducati, more than likely they were after your bike. As you described it, it sounds like you may have put the key in the bike and that was when the bad guys thought they could strike. The big guy distracts you, while one of the others jumps on your bike and hauls butt out of there.
Here in my neck of the woods, we have a saying on how you did. "You did real gooder"!
Hind sight is always 20/20. Based on your description, I can see myself doing exactly what you did. Perhaps you and I both should trust our gut feelings more in the future? Knowing what I know NOW, I would have gone back into the store and possibly notified Wal-Mart security. They seem to do a fine job catching shop lifters but, absolutely zero on their parking lots.