Lessons Learned: Group Rides

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by ricky racer583, Aug 9, 2021.

  1. Johnnyhonda

    Johnnyhonda Been here awhile

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    I'll be going on the 20th Annual Blue Ridge Gathering group ride next week. It's a great time every year and the host always has great routes each day. Most times the rides are about 200 miles of NC mountain back roads. He uses the "Drop and Sweep" method so it doesn't really feel like a "group" ride.
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  2. Barry

    Barry Just Beastly

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    Marine Corps had a significant moto program. As a IC contractor, I was eligible to attend and did for a few years. The reasons stated for having the program were exactly those mentioned above, marines surviving combat and dying on public roads. The events at Quantico were initially (several years) open to DoD contractors, and retired or active military.

    The events at Quantico were held at Camp Upshur using a veeeeeery large parking lot. They had “sport bike” day and “cruiser” day. Me and a guy who was an active Marine at the time trailered our supermotos to the events, and ran full leathers, back protectors, etc. I was so amazed the opportunity to ride 20 min from my house for FREE that I kept offering to donate money to the program. Sportbikes and me and the other supermoto guy would easily hit 70mph in areas.

    At some point they tightened up the requirements and as non-military/non-DoD contractor I was not able to attend any longer. End of an era. I know they actually had Cornerspin get involved, and then later, American Super Camp. Good program for the military guys, for reasons stated in this thread.

    Barry
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  3. 300man

    300man Been here awhile

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    I don't really like riding on the street so I choose the people I ride with carefully. I'm not saying I ride slow...just like to go out in the country away from traffic. Once out in farm country away from traffic I have had fun and didn't pay much attention to the speed limit. I agree small groups are best with people that you know and trust.

    I have ridden off road with larger groups (10+ riders) both on closed loops and with a designated navigator. Most of those rides were fun...sometimes peoples egos get in there way. I tend to distance myself from that kind of drama. The downside to riding off road with any group over say 6 riders is the chance of a mechanical failure of some type rises.
  4. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Six riders is not some magic number. The larger the number of people in a group, the larger the chance of mechanical failure. If you do have a mechanical failure, the larger the group the more help you have in fixing it or at least getting some help to get you and your bike out.
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  5. 300man

    300man Been here awhile

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    True. My experience is the number of mechanical failures also depends on who you ride with as well.
    Seems the same people tend to have failures no matter what bike or brand...I tend to try to distance myself from those riders if possible.
  6. echo15

    echo15 Been here awhile

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    My Buell was getting a service (Harley Dealer... Warranty work), and Harley had a truck in with new models for test rides. I had nothing else to do so I signed up for a ride. The ride leader gave the "stay in a staggered formation, don't ride too close" talk and we set off. The clown closest to me decided that we would ride side-by-side... not cool. Plus, he rode like a hog on ice. There were riders in front and riders behind, so I could not shake this dude. Thankfully it was a short ride. This was 8 years ago and I haven't done a group ride since.
  7. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Another group ride. Another fantastic day of riding!!

    [​IMG]
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  8. Sal Pairadice

    Sal Pairadice Captain Obvious Supporter

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    It works both ways - with a good group of expert riders it is a joy.
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  9. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    I was watching a group ride a few days ago. It really looked like fun!

    [​IMG]
  10. bomose

    bomose Long timer Supporter

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    Yeah, but they're well spaced out.
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  11. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Are they?

    [​IMG]
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  12. bomose

    bomose Long timer Supporter

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    Rookies.:lol3
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  13. 9Realms

    9Realms Drawn in by the complex plot

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    Three of us had 2009 KLR 650's some time ago, All bikes were purchased new and we rode them for several many years.

    There was an advantage when everyone was operating the same make/model of bike, as you could pretty well guess that one guy was not going to pass under certain conditions because of the limitations of the bike. This observation was also applied to off-pavement conditions.

    We have all gone somewhat different directions now in later years with our taste or preference in bikes. The 'killers' are all gone, but we learned alot about each other's riding styles and habits and it made us all a bit safer and more aware when riding as a group. We all seem to ride less, but some of that is due to our health conditions morphing as we enter geezerism :nod .

    klrs-july 14-2012.jpg
  14. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Another group ride, another great day. I posted a street ride on ADV and a local forum. Ten riders showed up including me. I had ridden with all but one of them before. The one I hadn't ridden with before was an inmate I had "met" on ADV years ago. We had a real mix of bikes ranging from a couple of small dual sports (TW200 & XT225) to some much more powerful bikes (Suzuki GSX1250 & 1290 Duke) and even a Harley dresser. We rode a bunch of country roads and with a few stops mixed in. We didn't all ride at the same speeds due to the different bikes and varying experience levels of the riders.

    [​IMG]

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    According to many of the "experts" on this forum this ride should have sucked.

    It didn't. We all had a great time both on the ride and the stops. I will continue to do group rides. Its not just about the ride. I have met so many great people through motorcycling and group rides.

    [​IMG]
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  15. Big John Sny

    Big John Sny Long timer

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    I do test rides/demo rides a lot. If anyone asks me to try riding something new, my answer is always yes. As I have gotten older, my biases on what type of bike to try out have mostly gone away opening up even more bikes to try.
    So I see a demo ride going on last weekend and I decide that I am in. The interesting thing I have noticed on the last few demo rides I have gone on, is that no one seems to comprehend (or respect) staggered formation riding.
    I get it, many people do not like it, but it has a place. A group of riders that do not know each other or each others riding skills, on bikes that, no one, but possibly the leaders, have any experience on, is that place. This last demo seemed to take that to an extreme. Many times someone decided to cut up through the few riders that were actually riding in formation. Many times driving up the side of me down the straights. Between this and the mirrors on the bike I was test riding seemed to only give me a good view of my shoulders, no matter how I adjusted them, made it uncomfortable moving around in my lane to avoid obstacles or set up for a corner.
    I had not really considered these as "group rides", but the point of formation riding is so that there is consistency and you know how (to some extent) the people around you are going to react even if you don't really know them. It has a place. There were a couple other bikes there I would have considered trying, but it just didn't seem worth it.
  16. Tall Man

    Tall Man Privileged.

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    On the few test rides I've participated in, which I guess all qualify as group rides, staggered formation riding occurred automatically. No hijinks ever ensued, either. These were a mix of riders on a mix of bikes. I suppose we were fortunate that no one showed their ass.

    Possibly the sheer number of Motor Company bikes that we see on our roads, who are very good about staggered riding (if nothing else) has drilled this M.O.., this expectation of behavior, into the rest of the motorcycling community.
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  17. Gone Troppo

    Gone Troppo Somewhat bemused observer

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    Never ride with people you do not know. Ever.
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  18. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Why not? I do it all the time although by the time the ride is over they are no longer people I do not know. Most of my friends are people who I did not know the first time I rode with them.
  19. Gone Troppo

    Gone Troppo Somewhat bemused observer

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    You go your hardest. Good for you.
  20. AdventureTrail

    AdventureTrail Alex

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    Gotta agree at some level. One of my favorite bike trips was when I rode 4 hours to West Virginia to meet up with a couple guys from ADVRider who I had never met. We had a blast and still talk to this day. Sometimes you just have to put yourself out there.

    On the other hand, I've had group rides that sucked and I haven't ridden with those folks again. It's a roll of the dice.
    Tall Man likes this.