Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Perth, Western Australia
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.