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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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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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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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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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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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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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, 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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I have been in group rides up to about 30 people .. mostly off duty NYPD. I didnt find it inherently dangerous. For me it was the opposite. We reached cruising speed and just kind of chilled.

Having said that .. I didnt enjoy them. I like going out with a few guys and ripping in up but I think I have the bladder the size of a shot glass and I want to be able to signal a stop when I have to go!!! :)

Large group rides were to mission driven for me. When I go out, if there is a left turn that needs exploring I want to be able to be flexible. I have found more cool stuff getting lost or just following the GPS wherever it might go and large group rides dont allow for that.

I didnt find them dangerous .. Just boring .. so no large groups for me.

When I had my Triumph T100 I would sometimes meet with 2 or 3 other triumph riders and that was fun and that is about the outside group size I will engage in.
 

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Google "Drop and Sweep"
Scroll down to Uncle Phil.
He gives a very good explanation of what I believe is a pretty darn good group-ride system.
 

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There is a group I ride with nearly every Wednesday evening (during DST). We meet at a country store at 4PM and are usually home at 10PM. We have a dinner somewhere and typically put on 150-200 miles. Good guys, good riders, adults. The group often splits up into two groups based on pace but we know which restaurant so we meet there. These rides have been going on for about 20 years, I've been doing them about 10. It has become a regular part of our schedules and in turn we don't put off riding for little reasons.

As for longer rides, I tend to do a couple of 10 day rides a year. Often enough I go with 2 or 3 other people I know. We decide each morning which town we will be sleeping in. Some days we split up. It has become a lot easier and less confining with the smart phone era.

Then there are the specialty group rides. I have missed the last few years but the Moto Mele is a invitational 3 day ride for old bikes. Some are shinny, some rely on twisted wires. It is great fun and dueling with late 60's technology is a hoot.
 

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Google "Drop and Sweep"
Scroll down to Uncle Phil.
He gives a very good explanation of what I believe is a pretty darn good group-ride system.
I learned this very system while joining club adventure trailrides many years ago. It was used as an inclusive way of scouting a forest or property for an upcoming enduro or hare scramble. I used it myself for disorganised trailrides and road adventure rides. It works.
Direct link: Uncle Phil - Group Ride?
 

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I have found more cool stuff getting lost or just following the GPS wherever it might go
I use the Scenic app for navigation on rides, and one of my favorite things to do is pick a Point A and Point B, then allow Scenic to choose he 'Curvy' route. It's helped me discover great roads literally within 10 minutes of home that I either never knew existed, or had ridden by hundreds of times without ever exploring.
 

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Group rides? Maybe 3 or 4 buddies but large group rides, hell no.
 

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I do the same with Tom-Tom app....love it ..discover places and still get to my destination...

Only failed once and that was epic.

You can't say something like that and then not tell the story!
wondered if that would get a rise ;)

The very short version is we both missed a turn up near lilooet BC and he ended up going the wrong way out into BC native reserve wilderness chasing down a gas station that was closed. Bears, deer, gravel switchbacks ( on an FZ8 with street tires ).

Meanwhile I went on to our destination getting more and more worried and ended up calling the Mounties to have an eye out as kid is a type one diabetic....so I was a bit concerned tho I knew he had all his supplies with him.

Come 10 pm his call finally shows up on my phone....what a wave of relief. He was 60 km south having finally backtracked to the missed turn in the near dark with loads of critters about. He stayed overnight there and I got to ride BC99 back down to meet him in the morning ( one of the finest motorcycle routes evah ). He had quite the adventure to relate.

So we made a few new rules...this was in 2015.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/w8nAPy3PetxdYyt38

In June this year I rode the area solo and saw how easy the confusion happened....the turn is not obvious and even when I was there taking a photo there was a pair on a tourer poring over their GPS and a couple of vehicles with maps out.
I could also see the switchbacks going up the mountain on the other side of the river where he had headed.
All was well that ended well and we had a good trip ( that all happened the first day after we flew the bikes to Vancouver airport )

Take away...have an agreed meet point at end of day and make sure it's remembered ( Kenz forgot our destination for the night as well tho that really did not matter ).
 

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Thank my kid for that - just had to stop at Sturgess for souvenirs.
 
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