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Discussion Starter #1
I haven't been on many group rides and the few I have I always just go with the flow and try to look out for everyone around me, but I had a conversation with a guy yesterday that raised some questions.

If the lead rider is going slower that you would like is it ok to pass them and take off on your own to the nominated destination via your own route without telling anyone before hand?
Is this better than being the guy riding "sweep" or "tail end charlie" deciding to bugger off on their own or worse? Is it the same as just peeling off from the group without notice because you want to travel a different route?

Are these things considered "ok", or "dick moves" and likely to make a guy unwelcome on future rides?
 

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I'd say the latter, the person organising the ride needs to know where everyone is IMHO
 

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Group rides are very different than solo rides and require some compromises on the part of all riders. Many riders will be riding slower than they normally do because of the inherent nature of group rides. When you ride with a group, it's generally expected that you stay together, watch out for each other, and enjoy the group experience together. The key is communication. It's always a good idea to have a pre-ride discussion about the route, safety, and any issues like this. Let everyone know up front your intentions and talk about it. My opinion is that it's bad form to move ahead of the group or to break off without prior communication with the group or the ride leader.
 

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Having been on many group rides with many different styles of riders the best ones were where we had a choice. Knowing where we were going to meet as a group, many rides had 2 groups. We will call them fast and slow. Some would want to look and some would want to ride. I remember one such ride in the hill country of Texas. The fast group actually got to the designated place after the slow group. Mainly because the fast group rode one road both directions and passed the slow group going in the opposite direction. Many of us had ridden together several times before so we knew what to expect. Again, this was all predetermined before we started so there was no confusion. Most rides should have predetermined stops and if you feel you aren't enjoying the ride that would be a good time to make a change. Maybe others feel the same. Remember, there may be occasions where the opposite is true. In that instance Ride Your Own Ride!!! Do not try and keep up if you feel uncomfortable. That is one instance to peel off and let them go.
 

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All that follows is IMHO

It depends a bit on how big the group is and how well you know each other.

When our "Tight 5" or "Six Pack" rides it's pretty informal, we just keep a loose eye on each other because we know everyone's riding ability levels.
But when we are in a larger group with some riders we don't know well we do the following....

The slowest rider leads, if his pace annoys us we take turns to have one stay with him and the rest pull over for a couple of minutes for a yarn then begin riding again until we catch up.
We try not to put pressure on riders to ride beyond their capabilities.

Tail end Charlie should NEVER peel off from the group without advising the leader, he has an important role ensuring no one gets into grief without having some support following, if he has to leave for any reason the leader appoints another tail end Charlie.
 

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There are definite obligations to the group when you join a group ride.
That being said, if you want to peel off, that,s fine, but you must clearly advise the leader at next stop OR the sweep, AND gain acknowledgement that they clearly understand your intentions. Many a mile and much time has been spent in locating "lost" riders by the entire group. For all they know you speared off an embankment somewhere unseen, and no one wants to leave a mate behind.




:thumbup:
 

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If I'm riding with say 6 or 8 mates, then it's pretty informal, and generally if there's a good bit of road then it's ok to take off, and meet up at the next intersection to regroup. If its up the highway, generally we stick together.
If its a large organised ride then generally it's a cruisier day and we follow the etiquette of a trip leader and a tail end Charlie, and marking corners so no one needs to stop the group.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I've posed the question on a few forums and the answers have been pretty consistent with regard to informing the group if you want to take off and not overtaking the lead or dropping behind TEC on an organised cruise type ride, as well as things being open slather when it's just some mates and the route is well known.

The more I've talked to people and absorbed people's opinions on various forums the more the guy I referred to in my first post is looking like a selfish dick trying to cause trouble for the club by poisoning the opinions of new members. Clearly he doesn't know how to ride as part of a group and resents being asked to change his behaviour.
 

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If the lead rider is going slower that you would like is it ok to pass them and take off on your own to the nominated destination via your own route without telling anyone before hand?
yeah that ok. better than following slow leader. slow as per riding under the posted speed limit. usually our group leader rides 5mph over posted limit.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
yeah that ok. better than following slow leader. slow as per riding under the posted speed limit. usually our group leader rides 5mph over posted limit.
Consensus say no, that's a dick move. You take off like that without telling anyone, you're a dick. End of discussion.
 

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Consensus say no, that's a dick move. You take off like that without telling anyone, you're a dick. End of discussion.
Agreed, although I have ridden with a couple of guys who'd always take off at +20 or +30 on a clear stretch of road. I could keep up, but didn't especially want to ride that fast. These guys would always stop every two hours for coffee, etc. and hang out for 30+ minutes. Not my style.

So we talked about it and I told them I might decide to lag behind and would either see them at the next rest stop or not, no hard feelings. It was their ride and I was tagging along.
 

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I wouldn't like either. As a group leader I make sure that no one gets lost or left behind, or if someone goes down I want another rider to assist quickly.

I wouldn't mind the faster rider leading or anyone leaving the group to go their own way....I would just want to know about it. I mainly want everyone in the group to keep an eye on each other for safety.

I've been leading group rides for many years and I usually end up leading. I do allow others to lead and sometimes I ask others to lead. However, I usually end up leading because I built the route and know where we are going. Many of regulars on my group rides now have Sena's which makes comms much easier.

I wouldn't like if you did either on one of my group rides, but that would not result in you not getting invited to my next ride. I would simply ask you to let me know next time....I'm pretty laid back and usually very easy to get along with.
 

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I have been riding in groups since the 1960s I'm 75, one of most important
things is NOT follow too close. I have traveled all over Mexico, Texas, Arkansas,
& New Mexico. We found that if we accounted for every one before turning
off any road we were on, we didn't loose anyone. The biggest problem is getting
everyone to fuel up at same time. Other wise use common since.
In the Hill Country, of Texas on the Twisted Sisters, FM 335, 336 337. they
are posting signs with # of deaths, on FM337 last year the # was 10. not
for year , like 10 years, still BAD.
 

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I have ridden many group rides with the club I belong too. Before being invited into the group you are asked to ride behind the group for a ride or two just to see if there is a fit. If after doing so you are then invited to ride within the group. You can chose not to ride within the group, to follow and meet at rest stops and the destination if that's what makes you more comfortable. There is always a route sheet for all riders, groups are limited to bet 4 and seven riders with a lead and sweep rider using CB comunication. There are MSF videos on youtube re group riding and how to ride safe.
 

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I have ridden many group rides with the club I belong too. Before being invited into the group you are asked to ride behind the group for a ride or two just to see if there is a fit. If after doing so you are then invited to ride within the group. You can chose not to ride within the group, to follow and meet at rest stops and the destination if that's what makes you more comfortable. There is always a route sheet for all riders, groups are limited to bet 4 and seven riders with a lead and sweep rider using CB comunication. There are MSF videos on youtube re group riding and how to ride safe.
Good point. I have a couple of routes that I use when riding with people I've never ridden with before ( and a couple beginner routes ).

If I'm planning a long day ride ( where we have to keep the pace up ) or a fast ride then I only invite riders that I know and am comfortable riding with.

However, most of my day rides are long ( 350 - 450 miles ) and that tends to weed out a lot of people.

Finding others with similar riding styles and preferences isn't easy. Some like to stop every 100 miles to take a break or stop a lot for pics. It seems that once I get on the bike I have a mission to complete and I just want to ride.

After I plan a route and I go back and plan food and fuel stops. For the fuel stops I plan using the shortest range bike in the group.

I think I might be getting a little off topic from the OP....
 

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Hey! my idea of a group ride is 3 or 4 people. Lay out the rules beforehand, staggered ride, side by side, where are we going? How fast? how slow? Above all... Ride your own ride! My comfort level is/may be way outside of your zone. The leader is always looking for the last rider in the group and making traffic judgements accordingly, pay attention, enjoy and have fun! Group ride should avoid high traffic areas in my opinion!
 
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