Group rides. Dangerous? - 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 #1 of 45 Old 08-16-2019, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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Group rides. Dangerous?

I’m 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.

I’ve 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.
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post #2 of 45 Old 08-16-2019, 11:02 PM
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Personally, I think you have to be more careful on group rides.
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post #3 of 45 Old 08-16-2019, 11:20 PM
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I certainly think they have the potential to be more dangerous than riding by yourself, but a lot if that depends on who's in the riding group. I did it a couple times during my Harley days, and never really enjoyed it.
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post #4 of 45 Old 08-16-2019, 11:21 PM
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No problemo Harley is working on a solution 😁

Group Ride Cruise Control System

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post #5 of 45 Old 08-16-2019, 11:44 PM
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Riding with your buddies who own bikes is great fun. Riding with strangers not so much, but just take more care - like being in peak traffic. My alertness is high during such occasions, until you get to know them.

Don't attempt to keep up when you feel pressured to do so. That is a sure recipe for disaster.
Keep a safe distance until you get to know your fellow riders.

It's fun getting together with like minded people who share the same pursuit.
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post #6 of 45 Old 08-17-2019, 12:09 AM
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Riding with friends, albeit with different skill levels is one thing. You know each other and most likely know each others skill levels and adjust your rides accordingly. Group rides with strangers can be very dangerous. As Brockie above mentioned, people will try to keep up when they feel pressured to do so. This can go wrong really fast. I've seen far too many wrecks from group rides to the point where there was one at every group ride I joined. That's when I stopped with the group rides and just ride with a small group of guys and gals that I've met over the years.

The camaraderie that comes from hanging with other like minded people is great fun but my days of showing up at group rides with strangers is over.
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post #7 of 45 Old 08-17-2019, 12:38 AM
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Some depends on the ride leader especially when newer riders are involved.
I'm done with group rides after two with the same leader ...on the second one I told them clearly I won't lead but I'll show you the roads in PA.

Arrogant ass riding a non-stock bike that couldn't get by a gas station.
First crash the rider wouldn't listen to advice online that he was not ready to move from a 250 something to a 600cc within 3 months.
Tried to keep up with two guys who knew the roads....he was very lucky as he low sided at speed and ended with his nose 12" from the butt end of a guard rail.
Too new to know not to try and keep up ....

Same lead ...takes off with his "good friend" who is riding a very new FJR. Now an FJR on PA twisties is not ideal. Leader says "I looked in my rear view mirror and saw him pinwheeling into the bushes.'

Two rides, two crashes....quite enough of that nonsense and what really put me off,.,,wanted to know where he could buy beer.

•••

I like to ride in pairs with comms on. It's enjoyable and adds to the ride....swap stories, figure out what to eat, how is fuel ....we found a neat solution....front rider watches for road hazards...tail rider navigates and advises the lead where to turn and when.

Splits the work and we had a hoot scaring drivers on the very twisty Port Albernie road with far too many blind corners. Kid on the fast bike would get by a car or two...Dad on the mule could pass safely on the blind corners thanks to kids heads up.

I do find chatting a positive contribution instead of hand signals. But groups?? naaaaaah.
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post #8 of 45 Old 08-17-2019, 01:47 AM
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At NEVA or similar events I limit the group to no more then 5 bikes total. 3 is better. We mostly know each other and the riding styles (should be kind of matched) and go moderate speeds and normally predominately on remote roads.

For longer distance trips 2 or maybe 3 riders is ideal I think. Large groups and riding in formation, based on past experience, I will not do.
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post #9 of 45 Old 08-17-2019, 10:23 AM
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I lump group rides into 2 categories: Large & Small

When I first started riding, I took advantage of any excuse to ride. And that included a few charity rides, most of which including 50-100 bikes. I quickly realized these were not my kind of riding. 90% cruisers (some of whom actively ignored me on my Honda Nighthawk), sub-30 mph speeds on any road with a curve, always having to be concerned about the skill level of the riders around me, free-flowing beer and/or regular bar stops...none of that interests me. I stopped doing them for several years, then a buddy convinced me to try one he organized last year. Within 5 miles, 2 riders were doing wheelies in opposing traffic -- uh, not the type of riders I want to associate with, so I zigged when they zagged and did my own thing for the rest of the day.

On the other hand, my brother and I organize an annual small-group ride of 5-8 riders. Most are people we know and trust. I find those a bit more enjoyable. Even so, I typically find myself as the leader (based on riding experience and road familiarization), and spend much of the day checking my mirrors to make sure everyone's still with us.

Over a decade of riding, I've found I enjoy it most when I'm alone. I've done some riding -- both locally and on a week-long tour -- with a competent friend and, while he's a great guy, I still found the loss of freedom to stop/go when I wanted and to pick the pace I was most comfortable with detracted from the experience.
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post #10 of 45 Old 08-17-2019, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
, I still found the loss of freedom to stop/go when I wanted and to pick the pace
My son was on a fast bike and liked to ride hard and of course was in heaven in BC and PA .....so we would set a distance on the comms...maybe 20 km and he would zoom on ahead at his pace then wait for me. Only failed once and that was epic.


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