Recently a friend of mine asked me to join him and some of his friends on a motorcycle trip down to the Blue Ridge Parkway. It would be a 4 day trip and would include his brother and nephew (I know both really well) and a few other guys. Now that I'm retired, I have the time available to do stuff like that whereas before, I never had the extra time available to make a trip like that. Anyway, the group was going to total 10 guys but at the last minute 2 cancelled out leaving 8 to go on the ride. Brad, the nephew was the organizer of the trip. He selected the route, made the hotel reservations etc., and all was well done and well thought out. Now where things started to go south for me is I'm pretty much a loner when it comes to riding unless it off road or participating in a race. My experience riding in a group on the road is minimal. This group, for the most part, always ride in a group and they like to ride in a staggered formation. I was expected to fall in line and take a position in the formation, which I did. Within 5 miles I could tell that this is not for me. My position was in the right hand side of the lane and about the 6th rider back from the leader. Prior to this experience I didn't realize that this is how they always rode. I continued with the group but was not liking it nor having any fun. The riders were all grouped together too closely for my comfort, they always rode within the speed limit regardless what the traffic around them was doing. If the speed limit was 60 we went along somewhere between 55 & 60 miles per hour even though traffic was moving around us at 70 mph. I felt we were a "rolling speed bump" on the road. After the first day I told one of the guys that I was going to ride in the rear where I could control the distance from other riders and ride in the most optimal portion of the lane. They had no problem with that so that helped out my comfort but I still had to contend with the slow speeds. So, we make it down near the Blue Ridge Parkway onto some really great twisty roads and the group continued to ride in their formation at a painfully slow pace. "How slow did they go" you ask? The first really good tight twisty road was up an mountain, really tight with elevation changes and just overall great switchbacks. Because it was going up a mountain, the uphill lane had both a slow lane and a fast lane so people driving cars or pulling camping trailers wouldn't hold up traffic and faster traffic could easily pass them and traffic wouldn't be held up. The leader of our group took us up the fast lane but at such a slow pace cars and trucks were stacking up behind us and eventually they started moving into the "slow lane" and passing our group!! I was so embarrassed and wondered what was wrong assuming that there surely was an issue causing such slow going. The issue seemed to be a combination of all the other bikes except mine being cruisers (mine is an R1200GS) and the overall skill level of the riders being apparently pretty low. The leaders cruiser, a Honda Shadow has aftermarket floorboards that hit the ground with just the slightest lean angle and none of the others were much better. Because of this, we literally crawled through the twisties. I started dropping back a hundred yards or so then would charge through the twisties usually one or two before almost running over the rider in front of me. I only did that a few times before I quit doing that as to not make the rider feel like I was pushing him and trying to make him ride faster than he felt comfortable. Now if these were just guys that I hooked up with, I would have left the group and just gone on my own but 3 or 4 of them are good friends and it wasn't worth loosing friends to crank it through the twisties. The lesson I learned was: Ride by yourself unless you really know who you are riding with, are near the same skill level and have similar riding tastes. Ask a lot of questions about how the group rides and what they are looking for in the ride. If I were to do it all again, I'd want to meet the guys at the motel to hang out with, eat together etc., but go on my own rides at my own pace and meet up that evening once the riding was done. What lessons have you learned when dealing with a group?