Lessons Learned: Group Rides

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

  1. oldgrizz

    oldgrizz Long timer

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    I prefer to ride by myself.
    I have ridden with 4 Harley riders and I was on my FJR.
    I did not know these folks we just met up at a fuel stop.
    I rode in the middle of the group and we naturally rode in a staggered formation.
    These folks were good, they cruised at between 10 and 15 km over the posted limit.
    We had a few cars catch up and when that happened we spread out so the cars would have no problem passing 1 bike at a time.
    When we passed vehicles the leader stayed out in the oncoming lane as long as it was safe to let the rest of us know it was safe to pass.
    Way back I the 1970's I had a riding buddy and we had ridden thousands of miles together. We could ride 6 inches apart and we knew exactly what each of us was going to do in any situation.
    Still, if we hit some twisted and he felt like dialing it up and I didn't, no problem he would be waiting somewhere down the road. The same thing happened if I wanted to dial it up and he didn't.
    One time we were in Vancouver B.C. and a buddy of his and his girlfriend wanted us to take them for a ride through a park.
    So I had the gal on behind me (lucky me) and he had the fellow on board.
    We noticed at the stoplight before the park that they had reached out and were holding hands.
    So we rode side by side around the twisty road in the park and they held hands throughout the ride.
    As we exited the park we got red , blue lights in our mirrors.
    Pulling over the city cop walked up and said, do you know it is illegal to ride side by side in B.C.
    I responded, yes sir.
    He then said he was on the Vancouver motorcycle drill team and he had just watched some precision riding.
    He said, have a great evening but don't do it again.
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  2. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades... Super Supporter

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    Probably been posted here before...

    Lesson learned: Group rides...

    Don't ride with a group! :nah
  3. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    I guess I will never learn that lesson because I keep going on group rides that are great:ricky:ricky:ricky
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  4. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades... Super Supporter

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    @klaviator good for you. I just stated what I learned.

    I hate the whip effect. That is where the front rider or two may be ranging over a 10 mph range on a curvy highway, but the whip effect (like when a skater at the back of a line will reach far higher speeds than the skater at the front) will have the riders toward the back ranging over a much higher range to keep up. When on a sport ride I was leading on my 650 I was cornering relatively briskly running up around 65 mph on the straights and maybe as low as 50 in corners, yet when we stopped the two riders in the back of the line said they were sometimes approaching 90 mph to keep up at the back. That was in a group of six decently skilled riders.

    Throw in a few lesser skilled riders and it can get worse. Put a few of the lesser skilled at the back and they may ride over their heads and wreck if they try to keep up.

    I will pass on any bigger group rides, only ride with groups of four or less riders and very wary when with an unknown skill rider in the group. At least then we can keep everyone in a tighter group with less risk. Plus it's easier to get a table at the restaurant when we stop for lunch and/or pie.
  5. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

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    Have seen all the same issues; HOWEVER... if everybody actually follows the advice to "ride their own ride" and spread out a bit more, you eventually reach a situation where everybody is able to ride at a comfortable pace and all arrive within a few minutes at most (usually seconds) without the whiplash effect causing those at the back to keep racing to close a gap. This does require all riders to know where they are going or at least where they are meeting up.
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  6. Johnnyhonda

    Johnnyhonda Been here awhile

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    The "Drop and Sweep" method let's you do that without folks knowing the route.
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  7. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

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    IAM uses that approach on group rides in the UK. I am impressed with how well those work, even considering that all riders (should) have advanced skills, by definition. I still prefer to ride with a small group who are tuned in to each other's riding and able to spread out a bit more without anyone panicking and racing to catch up every time anything happens to open a gap.
  8. TeneRay

    TeneRay Shlong Timer

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    When I was in the Army stationed at Carson (Colorado), my unit designated me as the Brigade Motorcycle Officer since A) I was an O and B) I was the only one seen riding a motorcycle when it was 10 degrees in January.

    Problem with redeployments are some kids have a pocket full of money and the first thing they do is buy an R1 or Hayabusa with zero motorcycle experience. Motorcycle fatalities were rising across the DOD. Carson offered MSR courses twice a week since that base and surrounding bases had the highest number of motorcyclists in the military.

    What I really hated about the whole motorcycle leadership position: I was volun-told to do organize and lead a quarterly motorcycle group ride. FML. I literally had to brief the rides like I was going out on mission. Other issue is I'm a lone rider, I can't stand groups. Well I only had to do two rides before I REFRAD'ed but I hated them both. BN Commander specifically told me I had to Road Captain the event. Fuck me. It was a nut roll until we got up into the mountains but keeping the group together was chaotic since it was a mix of sport bikes and cruisers. The sport bikes wanted to take off and the cruisers wanted to cruise. I said as long as we meet together at the end and ride back to the SNA's in a group, I don't care (also risking that they wouldn't fuck up and wreck). Luckily it all worked out but hell I hated that.
  9. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades... Super Supporter

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    Sure, works good, until one of the middle or back riders thinks their "pace" is higher than it actually is. Only takes one to screw up a nice day of riding. Plus if the rider in the front has a hotter pace that is tempting to those behind to up the ante or that the faster rider in the back isn't enjoying a bit of the ride.

    My brother went on a couple of rides with friends. One had a rider in it who was constantly puttering along on his K100 , his wife could hang with everyone else, if I remember right, passing hubby on her Kawasaki 550 Zephyr. Same stuff on dual sporting, he wouldn't ride down a common gravel road down hill on his 350 Yamaha, my brother had to ride it down and his friend walked down. The kind of smooth grade country road traveled easily by any car. Then there was the ride where they were cruising on sport bikes and one of his friends earned the nick name "puff of dust". I think you get how he earned that name... that was all they saw in the long sweeping turn.

    Then there was the dealership owner of the shop where I worked. He always disliked it when he'd sponsor a group ride out of the shop. We did okay, but it was always a risk. A dealership north of us seemed to always have a couple of crashed on every one of their rides. For one reason or another I never was on any of the rides they did.

    We learned what I stated. We much prefer two or three, maybe four. Only in a few instances do we go over and that's only when everyone is a decent rider and won't ride over their heads.
  10. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    And yet I constantly go on group rides and some of them with a variety of bikes and riders of different skill levels and it almost allways works out. Some people want to ride in a group that stays in "formation" and they don't come back but most riders seem to really enjoy my rides and keep coming back for more.

    I realize that group rides are not for everyone but a very large percentage of the riders out there enjoy them and do them regularly.
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  11. Dayypete

    Dayypete Been here awhile

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    Seen the same. Amazed me. I was doing 75 and they went past me quickly.
  12. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Smoove, Smoove like velvet.

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    Yeah, that is why I chuckle when people come up on "outlaws" holding up traffic. That wasn't a 1% club then, when they roll the roll hard.

    Handy in SoCal for clearing out traffic when they are burning up I-5 at 95mph and giving no fucks out the cagers.
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  13. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

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    By definition, if any of that happens, people are not "riding their own ride". Still, I don't want to get in a pissing match about it as I'm pretty sure we both have similar experiences and preferences (i.e. don't ride in a group unless it's a small group you know very well.)
    Barry likes this.
  14. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades... Super Supporter

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    Okay, works for me. I'll skip the groups and you ride them, that way we average out to each of us doing a couple... :lol3
  15. frazman

    frazman Post***ern Redneck.

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    I don’t do large group rides. Too many unknown variables. And the larger the group, the greater the dawdle factor (and time spent standing around).

    90% of my rides are solo. 9% with one or two other riders. 1% <= 5 riders.
  16. Oilhed

    Oilhed MarkF Supporter

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    That’s the way the Sunday meet-up worked in southern CT. Not a brand or club but a loose group of mostly BMW, Suzuki & Triumph riders. Many who were once MSF Rider Coaches. It went on for decades. Met at a commuter lot and a short spirited ride to a diner. Some just met at the diner. Some rode alone from the lot to the diner. Some rode their own small groups to the diner. There were always several small groups going in different directions after the diner. We didn’t even all sit together at the diner. It was a great time.
  17. Muddy Thumper

    Muddy Thumper Adventurer

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    Local Harley dealer puts on group rides. I have seen the parade of chrome pulling out of the parking lot more than once. Riders from all over the area with different skill levels. Looks like a recipe for disaster. No thank you I prefer to ride alone.
  18. Zubb

    Zubb he went that-a-way... Supporter

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    Yet somehow everyone survived and will probably come back for more.
  19. bwalsh

    bwalsh Long timer

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    A few of the RTE's I organized had over 50 inmates attend. We took up most of the restaurant! That's the one I led that group to.
    One of the smallest gatherings was 16-17 inmates. Being a cold, rainy, blustery March day may have had something to do with it.

    https://advrider.com/f/threads/meet-greet-ride-and-eat-date-tbd.660536/
  20. gone2seed

    gone2seed Been here awhile

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    Group rides? You mean like track daze?
    Monty always ran the best rider meetings!
    Sandy always kept it light.
    Glen could get a bit excited.
    NESBA was Ok. To regimented, but if you go in for that sort of thing, it will work for you.
    The street ain’t the track. If you ride over your head in either venue you will eventually get hurt.
    On the track you are less likely to die.
    Learn to ride either way.
    I recommend a good riding school for starters and then follow it up with advanced training.
    (I had been riding dirt bikes and crotch rockets for 30 years before I did my first track day, and yes, I thought I knew how to ride.)
    The ticket for a good group ride is save your ego for the track.
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