Riding in large groups

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by njd, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. njd

    njd Long timer

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    What's the point? I understand riding with a bunch of your buddies, but I feel like riding in huge groups greatly increases your chances of going down, and it can't really be that much fun.

    I was riding up to NYS yesterday, and coming the other way was a huge group of maybe 30 or so riders. It was a mixed group of all kinds of bikes, I'm not sure what kind of organization it was, maybe just a riding club. Anyway, I thought to myself, how is this fun? I felt claustrophobic just passing them the other way, I can't imagine what it's like to be in the middle the group and have to constantly worry about the people in front of you and behind you. All it takes it one rider with bad technique and you could get multiple people down.
    #1
  2. Wheedle

    Wheedle I love inflatable fun!

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    I try to avoid any group of more than 4 or 5 bikes as a general rule. Its hard for me to find people who ride at a similar pace who also will do as many miles between stops and as many miles in a day of riding, so I typically ride alone or with a few people that Im really comfortable riding with. Large group rides of 10 or more always seem to become a lumbering clusterfuck of epic proportions. So,unless its a memorial ride for someone I was close to or something of the like... I generally head the other way.
    #2
  3. weggieman

    weggieman Been here awhile

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    I never ride in groups. I did a poker run last year after swearing off group riding many years ago. It confirmed my reasons for not doing it anymore.

    4 or 5 bikes tops for me and they need to be riders I know well, that won't pull any stupid moves.
    #3
  4. Signal

    Signal Cynical Idealist

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    A few fellow riders that meet somewhere- :nod

    A large parade- :nono ; sloppy, low and slow :nah ; some gigantic charity ride :loco (though I've no problem chipping in a few $$, I'll just find my own way there, thanks)
    #4
  5. Waco

    Waco Renegade Sickle Hound

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    I've done a few toy runs. I didn't get much out of the experience. Motorcycles are best enjoyed on roads with little or no traffic by yourself or in a small group. People who like group rides are people who like being in a large group of people, but not necessarily riding. There was something cool about being in the middle of a sea of motorcycles in Daytona, even though it was sucky stop-and-go traffic. But I'm sure it would be less cool if I went back and did it again.
    #5
  6. Zerk

    Zerk DILLIGAF

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    I usually only ride alone, or gf on the back. Being that I want to stop when I want too. The risk of large groups is not knowing the others skill level.

    Though I have done it a few times, and with the right group, its a great time. Its great to stop together on the side of the road and shoot the shit.
    #6
  7. Albino Reino

    Albino Reino Junky

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    I am not a fan of group rides. Like most have said, a small number of riders you know is ideal, but even then we pick a meeting point and meet there. We may leave together, we may ride together, we may arrive together, we may not.
    #7
  8. blk-betty

    blk-betty bam-a-lam

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    Not to mention running 60-70 mph in a tight pack of loud HDs each seperated by no more than 10 feet is a huge adrenalin rush.

    For those that haven't tried it, I say go for it at least once to see for yourself.

    Do I personally ride in large groups? Rarely.

    Is it dangerours? Sure it is but that's where the thrill comes in.

    I sometimes think cruiser riders get their rocks off riding in large groups with the element of surprise and danger that comes with a tight pack much the same as sport bike riders or single riders do when running balls to the wall through the twisties.
    #8
  9. Zerk

    Zerk DILLIGAF

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    The clubs that do that, are usually made up of good riders, who all know each other.

    I've never done it to quite that degree, but ya it is fun roaring down the road.
    #9
  10. blk-betty

    blk-betty bam-a-lam

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    I've only done it a few times for USMC Toys for Tots ride and the Lawriders Toy Run.

    Lawriders run is fully escorted by cops and they literally shut down all interescetions for a 50 mile ride including exit and on ramps along interstate for a 10 mile stretch of the ride. Kinda dicey not knowing the skill level of riders in front and behind. The scariest part was the first time or two a cop on a bike passes within 3 feet of your left with full siren. Unless you see him in your rearview, your oblivious then for a split second you hear a siren and before you know it he's blowing by you at 80 mph, almost makes you jump over into the rider on your right.
    #10
  11. Tuna Helper

    Tuna Helper Rawrr!

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    I did it once, charity ride, about 1000 bikes. (it seemed like)

    I don't think I'd do it again.
    #11
  12. Kamala

    Kamala Long timer

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    Not for me! I've certainly done more than a few charity rides as well as a few rides with just another 8 to 10 guys and girls. 4 bikes is about enough and 5 about too many. Unfortunately I really like the Camaraderie of a large group of like minded individuals when you stop and all the guys I ride with are about the finest bunch of people on Earth. So I take the good with the bad and just go along
    (but avoid the HD Charity rides/parade/funeral possesions like the plague.) :deal
    #12
  13. Uncle Ernie

    Uncle Ernie Long timer

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    Twice a year;
    Toy Run. Intersections are blocked off by the police, and people line the roads on both sides to watch a whole lotta bikes go by with toys on them. Some passengers throw candy at the kids. There is the occasional asshat, but for the most part it's nice to feel like I'm part of something bigger and maybe even helping a kid out. I can identify with that.

    Hillbilly's Run. Every year about this time, old farts riding old bikes get together and Hillbilly takes us on a serious ride into the mountains. I could never find these roads again, actually. Spaghetti roads that meander in and out of mountains and fields. He leads, he has helpers, and there's a chaxe vehicle. After a 100 miles or more, we have lunch and he hands out awards for oldest/youngest, longest distance trvel, nicest flatty, nicest Pan, nicest European, etc.
    It really nice to see the same folks, see new bikes, how people restore or keep stock.original, etc. Plus, being in the middle of all that popping, chuffing, and whiz-banging is just so cool it chokles me up. I don't think we get over 50mph and every one rides staggered. No showboats here- in part because no one wants to mess up their old bikes. Oh- we had 49 bikes this year (probably because of the rain?) (Yeah- no trailer queens here)

    Here's a shot at lunch a couple days ago. Nice stuff;

    [​IMG]


    I think on this ride, it's all about the bikes- not egos.
    #13
  14. JustKip

    JustKip Long timer

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    Yep
    I did it for a year or so with a club. Fast, and very tight formation. While it was a rush to move as a single unit with a group of 10-40 other bikes, it was also a PITA to have to.
    I haven't ridden with anybody at all in years. I still split lanes with oncoming traffic sometimes, but not because somebody else wants to. I have to admit though, oncoming cars always pulled to the right...Always. Talk about adrenalyn rush!!! Prolly why I still do it
    #14
  15. Laconic

    Laconic Hapless Rube

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    That looks like a hoot! :nod

    I got into the MDA Run in San Diego back in the late 80's. I don't think I've seen as many bikes since (in total). The CHP escorted the whole thing and it actually went pretty smooth. Just small groups is plenty for me now.
    #15
  16. Barry

    Barry Just Beastly

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    Large groups suck. Period. They are also generally squidfests, and dangerous. I started a 4 day ride on Friday with 2 friends. One had bike issues, and we dropped him at a Holiday Inn Express, wife picked him and bike up.

    My other buddy and I are 800+ miles into the trip on day 3, all on rural back roads... no highways at all. That is not kooky miles, but you can't do it with a bunch of people.

    I'm O-V-E-R large group rides. They are for the ego, not for the ride.

    Home tomorrow !

    Barry
    #16
  17. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    We have DS rides with as many as 20 riders and never have an issue. But I do not do the Pirate Parade type of groups. Poseurs on cruisers are far too dangerous.
    #17
  18. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    +1 :thumb
    All the "tribes" play nicely together due to the cause/holiday spirit.


    Pirate parades, and squid runs, no thanks. Noisy, dangerous ego fests all about chrome or chicken strips.
    #18
  19. Zerk

    Zerk DILLIGAF

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    Maybe you need some more people in your group. Maybe someone to wake you all up in the morning, and get you going.:D
    #19
  20. SprintST

    SprintST Been here awhile

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    No thanks. Even being near a group of loud bikes like that (especially following), whether they be HDs or any other brand is enough to make me throttle down and let some distance get between us. Personally I don't see the adrenalin rush but that's just me. You'd never catch me in the midst of a CF like that.

    But then again, WTF do I know? I feel the same way about being in the middle of a crowd at a concert or sporting event. I think I like people :flip.
    #20