Most of the regional areas cover a lot of territory, and most riders only ride for a day or two on the weekends, and sometimes 1/2 day is all they can get squeezed in. That amounts to two hours out and back.....100 miles from home if you are damn lucky and don't get hooked up in some traffic.
I prefer riding by myself, or with my wife in tow on her Vulcan. The fellowship of group riding is great, if I just didn't have to ride in a group. :???:
To me, group riding (not just out riding with 3 or 4 bikes and good friends- I'm talking 10-30 bikes and many strangers) is the antithesis of "riding freedom" - you become a lemming.
If a road side attraction or side road catches your eye and you want to explore, you are SOL. If you are hot and want a drink your are SOL, if you don't need gas and don't need a drink you are SOL, if the guy in front of you is on a loud bike, with a poorly tuned air fuel mixture you are SOL.
Then there are rules, like continuing though traffic lights or 4 way stop signs, and bikes blocking traffic to the let the group through.......it feels like an accident waiting to happen.
My idea of a group ride would be to give eveyone a map, and time to arrive at various destinations that allowed for about 25% more time than needed then go your own way/speed/pace and meet up when you get there.
Is that 'beat' enough for you?