Strom Trooper banner

21 - 40 of 45 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
534 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
609 Posts
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.
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.:smile2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,311 Posts
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:
https://www.theridingobsession.com/group-motorcycle-ride-leader/
No hand signals, no road captains, nothing much to remember and distract...

Here's how it works in action:
https://www.theridingobsession.com/northeast-kentucky-motorcycle-ride/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,365 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
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...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
396 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
968 Posts
Moto Marathon

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.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,723 Posts
4 or 5 which includes me is my cut off, and it must be someone whom I am very comfortable riding with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
I just did my first multi-day tour with a group. They invited me, but I hadn't ridden with most of them before so I was nervous. I volunteered to stay at the back of the group of seven, and indicated that since we all knew the route, I'd just catch up if they were riding faster than I felt comfortable. Turned out to not be an issue and we had a wonderful time. Nobody drank alcohol during the ride, nobody tried to be a street rossi. These were unspoken rules, so everyone was cool and calm. I never felt like I was holding the group up and nobody else seemed in any hurry. I've read enough horror stories about group rides with people you don't know to be very wary. Thankfully, this time worked out well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
I've done both small and large group rides. Large ones usually tied to some event gathering of like minded riders. I'm ok with a small group that I know and we sort out as we go. We know to follow the rules that we all agree to. Pretty informal, but if you're that guy ordering a beer during lunch, you're probably not going to get invited for another group ride. Likewise if you're that rider that has to 'work traffic' at every opportunity, you're better off on your own. Spirited has it's place and that's fine out on the empty roads if no one is over their head. Spirited is never a good idea with a large group. I'm ok with smaller group rides or large, self paced ones. Not really going to do large group rides, though I have seen some done very well.

My wife has permanent disabilities from being run into during a group ride. Rider behind her was playing with his GPS instead of paying attention to the group, which slowed quickly to take the next turn. Lead rider was looking for the turn, and caught it a little late, forcing the next two riders to brake a little more quickly to take the turn. Wife was rider #3, #4 plowed into the back of her bike at speed, (~60mph), when she was doing ~25mph. She still rides now, but will never have full range of movement in one arm and has a messed up wrist. Broke shoulder, wrist, both arms and some ribs. Life flight, long recovery and lots of PT. If it's more that 3 riders or someone we haven't ridden with in the past and know their skill set and habits, I ride behind her so she doesn't have to worry about being run into again. If it's just us, I usually lead. If we have someone new to us along, she rides trail and I lead.

What I haven't seen talked about in this thread much, though some have touched on it, is some of the basics that make a group ride of any size safer and more enjoyable.

1. Communication! All riders knowing the route, destination and some basic ride rules.

2. Lane discipline. If each rider knows where to expect the other rider to be, it's a LOT less stressful if they are consistent. If something unexpected happens, you know where you can safely move to avoid it.

3. Spacing. Communicating with the group that everyone gives each other at least 2 seconds spacing distance helps in many ways. Racer boy crowds the rider in front of him/her, he already knows it's pushing the group ride rules.

Beyond that others mentioned great stuff. Don't keep up, ride your own pace and wave someone by you if they are crowding you or you're not comfortable at the pace of the rider in front of you. That stops people from getting frustrated or pushing harder than they are comfortable with.

Group rides aren't inherently dangerous, IMHO, but boy, when you see a big group in the spring and you realize most of those riders are out for the first time of the season and don't have the skills to begin with, it's a scary sight. Some of the shop rides I used to see in Oregon in Spring were ugly. Guy on a brand new Goldwing with a kid in no gear, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
317 Posts
I won't ride in groups or charity runs etc which we have a lot of over here, seems every other week there's another charity run, good causes I suppose but these runs are not for me, too many idiots showing off mixed with people who rarely ride, dangerous combination and I don't want to be anywhere near them, I might occasionally ride with a buddy I trust and know can ride, otherwise I prefer to ride alone, total focus on the road.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,553 Posts
I've never ridden with anyone, no really no one.

Anti-social I guess!

Could be that I avoid interstates and enjoy long lonely roads. When I tell other riders about going across rural Nevada they give me the "what's wrong with you look"!

I don't know why but I love this kind of stuff... Yea I know weird huh?

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
968 Posts
I've never ridden with anyone, no really no one.

Anti-social I guess!

Could be that I avoid interstates and enjoy long lonely roads. When I tell other riders about going across rural Nevada they give me the "what's wrong with you look"!

I don't know why but I love this kind of stuff... Yea I know weird huh?

I don't find that weird. That doesn't mean that you aren't weird.
One time I waited for a full moon and slept in a Carson City motel until dark. Then headed East on Rt.50.
I love it out there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Some group rides I have found dangerous because they don't want to follow traffic control devices without someone holding traffic for the group. Sometimes newer riders also feel the need to ride beyond their abilities on group rides.

That being said I'm typically riding with my husband and daughter in a pack of three. The only time I'm not with them riding is when I'm on my way to and from work. We follow traffic laws and control devices and either pull over to wait for someone who gets caught by the light or since we have coms we just make sure they are moving again and let them catch up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Off-roading is a different story, but when it comes to road riding, I never ride with anybody else and consider motorcycling a purely solo endeavor. There's some kind of law enforcement charity ride coming up at work and people have been hounding me to participate in it, but there's no way. One of those bugging me about it just start riding (I'm guessing he's around 45-50) for the first time after buying one of those little HD Sportsters and he's told me himself he's already dumped it three times in differing situations riding with some "mentors" of his. I like the guy, but wouldn't want to be within 50 feet of him on a highway.

Most of the riders I know at work who are currently bugging me about this group ride were flabbergasted when I told them I was going to be touring solo on my Strom from Missouri to Colorado last month. I don't do marathon, continent-spanning rides, but I certainly don't consider a 2,000-mile total trip over a span of 10 days to be a "long trip."

I was regaled with all kinds of chilling scenarios of what could go wrong. What if you break down? What if there are storms? What if your bike gets stolen or vandalized? What if you wind up in a hospital somewhere? Won't it be weird being by yourself?

Perhaps not so different, I guess, from me envisioning what all could go wrong on a group ride...............

I guess the bottom line is, if these folks were that intimidated by a ride of that nature, they're probably somewhat intimidated by riding in general. The worst thing you can carry along on a motorcycle with you is apprehension. There's a difference between being cautious and being apprehensive. They're not the kind of folks I'd consider riding with.

Of course, I'm sure there are plenty of people participating in group rides who have far more experience and are better riders than me: problem is unless you know them personally you don't know what they're all about. With any group rides I've been asked to participate in, I knew at least a few of them doing the asking weren't the kind of riders I wanted to be on the road with. They all seemed far more concerned about what they were going to do whenever they stopped rather than what they were going to do on the road.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
196 Posts
Discussion Starter #39 (Edited)
I've never ridden with anyone, no really no one.

Anti-social I guess!

Could be that I avoid interstates and enjoy long lonely roads. When I tell other riders about going across rural Nevada they give me the "what's wrong with you look"!

I don't know why but I love this kind of stuff... Yea I know weird huh?

I’m with you, I love a lonely road! Some of my favorite memories are full moon winter high desert rides !
 
21 - 40 of 45 Posts
Top