The Ultimate Riding Compatibility Question

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by ToothDocJay, Aug 14, 2017.

  1. ToothDocJay

    ToothDocJay Been here awhile

    Feb 18, 2015
    Cobble Hill, Vancouver island, BC ("wet coast")
    So you are about to join/form a group to go for a multi-day trip. Adding new people to a group is always an experiment that can completely change the chemistry of the group in ways you can't anticipate.

    Unfortunately there's always the change for the worse where you end up with a square peg trying to fit into a round hole and it throws off the delicate balance of an otherwise good group to ride with. Everybody has been there.

    So, after lots of rides where a new guy has been added to the group, all with varied results if there was ONE question you could ask a prospective riding partner, what would it be?

    I've tried lots of different questions;

    -how fast do you ride?
    -how long do you ride?
    -what's you ideal length of trip?
    -what weather issues?

    There's a ton of questions you can ask, but I've never found any of them to provide a good indicator of long term compatibility.

    Until this past weekend.

    I've finally found the one question that seems to work;

    Mary-Ann or Ginger?

    Everyone I've ridden with agrees with me that Mary-Ann is the best. Keep in mind that there are going to be groups that all agree that Ginger is tops, but that's OK, the question still works!

    One notable exception to the question is if you ask an actual Ginger haired rider. They are out-liers and you can accept a ginger haired ginger lover into a Mary-Ann group. They are generally just happy to get people to ride with them anyhow.

    Anyhow, that's my ONE question that seems to work. What's yours?

  2. Lizzard323

    Lizzard323 Solo rider. Lover of solitude and corn meal.

    Aug 24, 2014
    Merritt Island, Florida
    Are you happy?
    itlives likes this.
  3. thechief86

    thechief86 Been here awhile

    Sep 5, 2015
    White House, TN
    The one thing I always encounter is the one rider in the group who bit off more than he can chew.
    The guy who was so excited to get out and ride, but then didn't have the skill or balls to keep up, and then got mad at me and/or my usual riding buddies for not taking easier routes, or breaks, or going too fast.
    I don't know a good way to ask if a guy is a puss or not? Hahaha...
    On street bikes I've been that guy, but I don't like dealing with cops, fines, and accidents. In the dirt, I've almost lost friends over it.
    I guess experience has taught me to remind my companions to ride their own ride, and catch up when we stop.
    As for campfire banter, I just try to find out if the other guys drink, 420, etc.
    I can have fun either way, but I tend to offend the straight-laced crowd when I chemically augment my personality, lol.
    But yeah, I wouldn't kick Mary Ann or Ginger out of my tent ;)
    My answer to that question would depend on what I'd be doing with either....
    Lowen and Hi-De-Ho like this.
  4. bikerfish

    bikerfish flyfishandride

    Aug 18, 2010
    western pa
    used to ride in groups, with people I've known and ridden with for years. These days, I do all of my riding solo, either by myself or with my GF on the back. I have one buddy who occasionally takes a trip with me, but other than that, got tired of the drama and bullshit, now I stop where and when I want, go as fast or slow as I want, ride as many or as few miles as I want. I can stay an extra day or 2 in one place if I like it there, I can skip others if I don't.
    If others want to go to the same destination, a rally or race or something like that, we just agree to meet there, leaves everyone to do their own trip to their own satisfaction. We meet up later and swill beers by the fire and exchange stories of our rides.
    srileo, 805gregg, levain and 7 others like this.
  5. alicethomas

    alicethomas Been here awhile

    Jan 1, 2011
    Palatinate, Germany
    I doubt "Mary-Ann or Ginger?" would be a useful question outside America. Does your POTUS use it to acquire staff? ;)

    E.g. in mountaineering (where proper team work can save lives) a personal tour report explains a lot about the preferences. And then get used to one another.
  6. Turtletownman

    Turtletownman Been here awhile

    Apr 27, 2014
    What time do you start? How often do you take a gas stop and for how long? How long does it take you pack in the mornings?
    Bacca and Elad like this.
  7. road_apple

    road_apple Hit the Trail

    Mar 10, 2009
    Sometimes here, sometimes there
    I can't find a group that works. I ride Ginger or Mary-Ann although Ginger sits in the garage more and requires more maintenance. Mary-Ann can do it all, not the best or the fastest at times.

    A better group dynamic is one that starts with a plan, brings each one into it by indivual responsibility, respect for the group and contengincies for changes like breakdowns, weather, health, interest, kind of a mission statement if you will. Ride planning is a bitch. The ride goes on while some can't.

    Somehow I don't want to belong to any Club that will accept me as a member. The Beverly Hills Tennis Club.
    Bacca likes this.
  8. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

    Feb 21, 2010
    Canada's ocean playground
    For me, it's... "would I rather be alone".

    100% of the time the answer's been yes.

    I mostly take one of my kids for the friendship and fun. I don't need to be adapting to any Gingers or mary Anns. Fuck that.
    levain and N-Id-Jim like this.
  9. ToothDocJay

    ToothDocJay Been here awhile

    Feb 18, 2015
    Cobble Hill, Vancouver island, BC ("wet coast")
    I wouldn't know, I'm Canadian and that guy sure as hell isn't my POTUS. We have a former drama teacher/Snowboarding Instructor running things up here.
    boatpuller likes this.
  10. rd400racer

    rd400racer Long timer

    May 14, 2013
    Louisville, Ky
    My question has always been BEATLES or STONES?

    Correct answer is, F them both THE WHO rules!

    In all seriousness, we have this same issue with the band I've been in for 20 years. Every now and then new people want to come by to hang out and maybe play, but if it isn't unanimous that we like this new person they're gone. Typically it doesn't have anything to do with their playing ability but rather how they converse with the rest of the group. Many Seinfeld references come out of the different people we've met over the years (close talker, loud talker etc...)

    But there is one common thread that was pure fate (or was it?!?)

    Bass player VStar
    Guitarist CB919
    Guitarist Ducati Monster
    Drummer Harley somethingorother
    Drummer (Me) garage full of motorcycles

    3 of these guys I didn't know 20 years ago and it was just fate that they rode too.
    jay547 likes this.
  11. Flyingarmy

    Flyingarmy Been here awhile

    May 18, 2017
    Peachtree City, GA
    Mine is always...depends!

    And what is specifically asked is "do you wear them?"

    Sure makes longer rides much easier!!!!
  12. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Long timer

    Mar 21, 2013
    Kitty litter USA
    This... times 1000. :photog
  13. scootac

    scootac Just a Traveler

    Feb 18, 2008
    Northcentral PA
    My question?
    Looking in the mirror....'You sonsabitches ready?'

    Then away we go.

    We still argue... but I always win!!!
    Bacca likes this.
  14. jay547

    jay547 Long timer

    Feb 6, 2011
    Broken Arrow, OK
    I very much like the Beatles and Stones but the Who is my all-time favorite band. I'm also a drummer (well, ex drummer.) But I've never watched Seinfeld. I guess I'm out...:lol2
    rd400racer likes this.

    TUCKERS the famous james

    Dec 23, 2005
    Villa Maria Sanitarium, Claremont, CA. USA
    I feel it would be OK to ask "if we don't get along are you comfortable with splitting up?" We've split from individuals and also split ourselves from a group and still remain friends. This action will be questionable on a long ride far from home and especially in foreign parts.
    N-Id-Jim likes this.
  16. Gone Troppo

    Gone Troppo Somewhat bemused observer

    Jul 18, 2002
    Over the bridge of sighs..
    I never ride with people I don't know well.

  17. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

    Apr 5, 2011
    Western Sierras
    That is a great way to set the ground rules. We did that with some friends when we went to Scandinavia. Not so much go our separate ways altogether, but we split up to do different things during the day. Thank goodness we did, because they were museum/art gallery/jazz concert people, and we liked to hike around castles, ruins, etc. We did often meet at a bar or restaurant at the end of day to discuss how it went. Nobody got their feelings hurt.

    On a long ride, splitting up would probably be more permanent.
    boatpuller likes this.
  18. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

    Apr 5, 2011
    Western Sierras
    This is the biggest source of irritation for me. Some people take forever to get going in the morning, show up late, and without fuel. Or, every fuel stop is 1/2 hour of smoking cigarettes. I'd rather make fuel stops 3-5 minutes long, and take that 1/2 hour break at an ocean overlook instead.
    Bacca, motrhead, froger and 1 other person like this.
  19. * SHAG *

    * SHAG * Unstable

    Nov 28, 2001
    Bradford, Pa
    Can I brush my teeth before you wash your underwear in the sink?
  20. Motopsychoman

    Motopsychoman Not a total poseur

    Jun 2, 2013
    I ask "What kind of beer do you drink?"
    My answer: "Cold"
    Also acceptable: "Anything but Coors"

    Actually, I do ask:
    1) how fast others ride
    2) how many miles/hours between stops
    3) haw many days camping between motels
    4) do you eat spicy food
    motrhead likes this.