Group rides. Dangerous? - Page 3 - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
Riding Proficiency Tips and suggestions for improving the rider's safety skills and riding techniques

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post #21 of 45 Old 08-18-2019, 08:14 PM
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For me, a group ride is 2 or 3 people.. and I'm very selective about who those 2 or 3 people are.. Thats it.. I don't like and will flat out avoid riding with larger groups.. I've ridden with much larger groups 10+ quite a bit in the past with my riding club and charity rides.. No more..


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post #22 of 45 Old 08-19-2019, 10:54 AM
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I came back a couple of weeks ago from a small group tour up to Sault Ste Marie and around lake Superior.

The good about touring in a group:

It's nice to have someone to talk to about what you've seen along a leg of the trip.

It's nice to have someone to have supper and breakfast with, and drink a few bevvies at night.

Having someone to help find/pick some sights to see along the way.

The bad:

One guy always rushing me to get my gear on and get going from stops. It takes me a little longer, with having to put in my earplugs, remove and replace my glasses after putting on my helmet, work my hands into my snug race gloves. He was riding a Harley and wearing less gear.

Not getting to pick the route myself. My usual mode of navigation is pretty random, and I'll head off down whatever road catches my attention as we go. Having said that, our goal was mostly to stay near the lake, so there are limited navigation choices in areas.

Not getting to pick when to hit the road in the morning, or when to stop to take breaks, myself. I tend to stop briefly fairly often. Helps get the kinks out of my back and gives the butt a break. Apparently the guys I was with had less seat discomfort issues than I did.

Good and bad:

Sharing a room most nights with these guys who are both at least 10 years older than me. Sharing a room saved money, so that's good. OTOH, one of them had a prostate problem sending him to the bathroom several times a night, and the other snored.

The riding itself was fine, despite the disparities in bike styles. The guy on the Harley could really hustle it along a twisty road. Generally we kept to the same sort of pace I would normally keep. They are both experienced and sensible riders.

So, overall, it has its good and bad. Group riding cramps my style somewhat, so generally I think I prefer doing the riding part alone.
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post #23 of 45 Old 08-19-2019, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Rides View Post
Iím laid up(non bike related)and going stir crazy waiting to heal and get on the bike,so spending an inordinate amount of time here dreaming of the road and killing time.

Iíve always been a solo kind of guy but recently have been going on some small group rides with friends of various experience and skill sets.
My feeling is that group rides are dangerous for various reasons including being distracted by trying to keep track of other riders in the group, either waiting for or going faster than you want to maintain group integrity and the seemingly age independent desire of guys to one up each other.
What do you think, group rides, yes or no?
For me, no.
Group ride has advantages , but it could be more dangerous.
there are videos on you tube on how to prepare yourself, You need an experienced lead rider and a tale rider, you need to familiarize your self with hand signs and the role of group riding , you should also remember , different riders , different bike s, different skills.
in my opinion , group up to 4 riders is safer than bigger groups.
Ride safe/Ride long.
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post #24 of 45 Old 08-19-2019, 09:39 PM
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I greatly enjoy brisk sporty rides with small groups of carefully selected pals. Strangers and large groups hell no.

Mobs are slow and no fun and stupid stuff tends to happen.

Anyway, when we ride, I almost always end up leading. (Turns out most people don't like navigating; I love it.) I wrote this article a little while back to articulate my approach:
No hand signals, no road captains, nothing much to remember and distract...

Here's how it works in action:
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Last edited by bwringer; 08-19-2019 at 09:41 PM.
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post #25 of 45 Old 08-20-2019, 12:46 AM
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I'm quite happy to do group rides and try to be involved in one with 100+ bikes every year. The trick is to always ride your own ride. if someone wants to be an idiot, let them go, they're not your problem. If they're close enough to be your problem, make space. If the ride is well organised there will be corner markers and one or more sweep riders (tail end Charlie, or TEC), often with some form of communication between them. If it's a large group, a large proportion of people clearly aren't concerned with their own or anyone else's safety, and/or it's poorly organised, feel free to go do your own thing. Just make sure you TELL someone you're leaving the ride, preferably a sweep rider or the ride leader, so they don't think you've come unstuck out on the road somewhere. Your first obligation is to your own safety, never forget that. You are under no obligation to endure other people's stupidity or selfishness, feel free to leave them to it if necessary.
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post #26 of 45 Old 08-20-2019, 02:29 AM
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I prefer riding with a small group of friends than riding alone - friends to share experiences with when you stop or camp for the night, help if something goes wrong etc.

Big group rides are a bit of a mixed bag. I have been on some where there are people out to prove they are the new Valentino Rossi, riding too fast or too close. These are dangerous, scary, no fun at all. These bad experiences have mainly been the motorcycle brand name clubs, or advertised by poster at your local bike shop. Possibly these are the easily found landing place for the young and the restless.

Most bunch rides are well behaved, sensible adults but if you get a big enough bunch statistically it is more likely to include some of these riders. Big bunches I have ridden with in recent years are two charity events. The first >1000 bikes, widely advertised, short ride), and the other 200-300 bikes, longer ride, less advertised. The problem riders in the big ride are the aggressive, arrogant and impatient. In the smaller, less advertised ride mainly just well intentioned but unskilled. In both if I am near someone I would prefer not to ride with I just slow down, let them go their own way. After all, I am there to show support to the charity, not for a sporting ride. For the rest, just treat it like any ride in heavy traffic. Once you reach the destination it is great to check out all the bikes and meet the many (majority) other riders that you would be happy to have as ride companions.
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post #27 of 45 Old 08-20-2019, 09:10 AM
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Give an organized group ride a try before you let them all be labeled as dangerous. I've now got a great group of friends that I met on a series of week-long group rides, we're planning more group rides. Of course I've also been part of group rides that were basically mobs, but those were thankfully just day rides and as mentioned here already I was happy to let the overly boystrous (sp?) ones go.

Group rides are no different than any other extension of human nature - they need a leader, coordination and a positive group mentality in order to work. Together we stand...err, ride...
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post #28 of 45 Old 08-20-2019, 09:35 AM
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I'm a select group of friends or alone kind of guy. Last group ride I did was a 80 mile one way ride to get to the start. Rode a 60ish mile group ride where the first half was at a leisurely pace, but the leader was about 15 feet from the car blocking him from going fast. Then on the second half with no traffic, it was a road race. My instinct is to keep up. The Wee did great, but I noticed I was red lining 3rd going into turns and backed off. Once I backed off the race, I started having fun again.

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post #29 of 45 Old 08-20-2019, 10:31 AM
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I've got one other friend of fifty years whom I'll ride with infrequently. I grew up riding with him on bicycle rides and later mo'sikkelz. He now lives about a hundred miles away and has gravitated more toward sailboats, which are a lot like semi tractors: one hour under it for every hour in it. but we still get out for an afternoon a couple times a year.
I have been on a couple charity rides of 150+ bikes, and those were fun; police escort thru towns and riding a KZ750 surrounded by straight pipe Harleys and the whole mile-long entourage thundering along at 46 mph. Did a poker run once- "Man, who laid out this lame route; 11 miles of Interstate??" Skipped the whole awards-&-T shirt gathering at the end. ,
"Group rides" for me are more the spontaneous, unintentional type. Like rolling up to a one lane flagger-controlled construction site with two or three other bikes already in front and a 20mph pilot car leading the charge.

You go on ahead, Ii'll ride solo and we'll meet up at the grill for some fried cheese curds and bench racing.

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"I never said half of that stuff."-Confucius
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post #30 of 45 Old 08-20-2019, 10:58 AM
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I've done this "group ride": Home | Motomarathon

I did the Colorado event one year, on the Western Slope of the Rockies. I rode out from California with two close buddies. It is a really well run multi-day event, sponsored by Butler Maps. They hold events in various parts of the country.

The principal guy is John Metzger. He is an upright, solid guy who at that time was riding a pre-'14 DL1000. The way that he avoids some of the "issues" mentioned in this thread is that the riders get the next day's route the previous night. There is NO STARTING TIME. Everyone leaves the hotel on their own or with ad hoc smaller groups. There are self executed checkpoints along the way. A specified landmark of some sort along the route at which you snap a picture of your rider badge in the foreground.

The roads they choose are best-of-class and take traffic (lack of) into consideration.
It is a full day of serious riding if you intend to hit all the checkpoints. The maps have mid-day "catch up" paths and bail points to the hotel.
I'll do another one soon.

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