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do you guys and gals find it easier and/or more enjoyable, to lead than to follow when you're riding with someone-most of the time? does it matter either way for you?

i don't mind most of the time when my husband leads but i have to say, when i don't have a bike in front whether it's him or not, it's so much more fun for me, especially if twistys are involved. i like to look around when i ride, when it's safe to do so, and when i'm following i tend to focus/fixate on the bike and the line that he's taking that it detracts from my riding experience. but the weirdest part is that this doesn't happen every time we ride. now, a lot of times he's just so far ahead of me when twistys are involved that my point is moot, lol. he's got some skilz. but, when he's behind me he tends to 'smell the roses' because he's not 'killing' the road ahead of him.
and yes, being a daughter of eve, i can tend to be a control freak and realize this probably plays into part of my thinking. and let me just say, i love riding with my husband-it's one of my very, very favorite things to do on earth. :thumbup:
 

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I can do either but when riding with my wife I am usually leading. She doesn't like leading in general even though I encourage her to do so and seems to like being behind me.

..Tom
 

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The best for me is to follow.

Especially when I'm alone following my own initiative.

I will generally avoid group riders larger than four bikes.

When I'm riding with just my wife, I like her to lead and set a pace most comfortable for her. The problem is when she doesn't know where we are going.

In larger groups, which I am increasingly growing to dislike, I prefer to not lead. When I do, I'm never sure if I'm setting to fast or slow a pace, so I tend to err on the side of the lowest common denominator. I also feel a tremndous responsibility, especially in pointing out tricky intersections and potential threats.

I witnessed what can happen when a large group feels an obligation to maintain a pace set by a rider more concerned with his riding skills than leading skills.
 

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I've only ridden with a group of other riders twice, in the middle of the pack, and I didn't like the feeling at all. Too much swerving, too many differing skill levels. If I had to be in a group, I'd rather be in front, but mostly I'd prefer to ride by myself, or with one or two other riders at most.
 

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If you're not in the lead, the view never changes. :)

None of my friends ride street bikes, so on the road, I ride solo. But when we ride dirt bikes and such, I normally get nominated to lead. It is more work, and I must do ok, since they always want me to lead, but following someone that isn't used to leading isn't fun.
 

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I like the third option, get out of the way.
 

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With some groups I end up leading. With the fast guys, I'll follow...at my pace.
Generally though I think if you are always leading you may as well be by yourself. Then you don't have to worry about someone else at turns and fuel stops or pleasing someone else with the pace or itinerary.
 

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Ditto

I can do either but when riding with my wife I am usually leading. She doesn't like leading in general even though I encourage her to do so and seems to like being behind me.

..Tom
Exactly our situation. Why is that?

Just glad she likes to ride. The intercom makes it much safer and a lot more fun, especially when exploring or poking around unfamiliar areas.
 

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I would rather follow, more relaxing for me, and I dont have to worry if I am going the speed the group wants to go.
 

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Makes no difference to me as long as the riding style is similar.
Same here.

I usually ride alone but I was fortunate to befriend a good group of riders both here and in Utah with whom I really feel comfortable riding with. Leading or following? I really don't mind, as long as I'm comfortable with the riding style of the group... otherwise I simply wouldn't be riding with them.
 

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I don't mind leading as long as I know where I'm going. As far as following, that really depends on the leader. I've been on rides where the leader is very conscious of the people following, rides at a comfortable pace and makes sure everyone sees the turn-offs.

I've also been on rides where the person leading wanted to ride fast. Much of the time, ETR and I were on our own, so it was like riding by ourselves.

Personally, if I'm leading and I want to play in the curves, I will take off, as long as people know they don't need to keep up if they don't feel comfortable doing so. I will always wait at a turnoff.
 

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Depends on the situation. If I've organized a ride it usually turns out I'm the only one who knows the route so I have to lead. But leading is harder because you want to make the ride fun for the others while considering their skill levels and safety.

Following is more relaxing, but depending on the group it may be kind of boring and you have less control over what happens.

Most of my rides are solo so I don't have to deal with any of that. But I'll sometimes do group rides, either to be social or for safety when out in the boonies.
 

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Lead or Follow?

I have thought about this issue many times, especially when my kids were beginning to ride. These are some the points I have considered:

By leading, you set the pace, but by doing so you have a responsibility for others in your group. Could you lead a less-experienced rider into a curve at a speed beyond their capability? Does someone else need to make pit stops more often than you? Do they want to take pictures at an overlook that you are willing to blow by?

By leading you have an open frame to view the world and see things without the clutter of a rider in front of you. A follower has a tendency to focus on the bike in front of them, which possibly reduces riding enjoyment (unless your spacing is generous). If I am following I want to know where we are going, and I am willing to wait at the last turn for the next rider to appear.

By leading you encounter changes in road conditions first. Is there sand in a turn, livestock around the corner, oncoming traffic trying to pass in your lane? You can signal (intentionally or unintentionally) to riders behind you that something is going on up ahead.

Following can allow you to relax along the route and not worry about directions, maps, GPS, etc.

A seasoned rider can observe the rider in front of them and gain intel about riding conditions. Do you see unexpected brake lights, unexpected swerving, or other unexpected behavior? Did you just see the suspension bottom-out on the bike in front of you?

In general, if I ride with someone else or in a group then I am willing to modify my typical riding behavior for the benefit of the group. And I would expect to have opportunities to both lead and follow.
 

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Communicate intentions before the ride. Have a "Pit" meeting. Work out a couple hand signals, keep it simple; eat, gas, pull over, etc.
Everyone should know where the next stop is.
If in a group, treat everyone as if your by yourself. By this I mean don't follow the next guy in front of you right out into on coming traffic. :yikes: Make your own decisions.
RIDE YOUR OWN PACE!
 

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Lead or follow?

tmcgee, I understand that response, and I feel that way about my own personal safety. I agree with you to a large extent. Nobody looks after me any better than I do. And, in many (almost all) instances, I cannot prevent another rider from hurting themselves or exceeding their skill limits.

But that very scenario has occurred many times for me. I have led my kids on rides and come into an unexpectedly sharp turn. I flash my brake light rapidly several times, they get the message, slow down, and follow through.

But if I agree to ride with a group, I am also making a commitment to the overall enjoyment of the group. I can't hold everyone's hand, but I can make an effort to be a team player.

It's almost as if we are talking about two different issues here. We all need to be aware of our own skills and abilities and not be led into doing something stupid. But if I am willing to ride with you, I am also willing to watch out for you. Otherwise, what is the definition of a group ride?
 

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Prior to getting Sena’s, I always lead the way, as my wife is directionally challenged and becomes frustrated when unsure of where she’s going.
Over the last several years we’ve dedicated at least one week’s vacation to a motorcycle adventure of some kind. This became very stressful and greatly reduced my pleasure factor as I was always checking to see if she was Ok. Did she make the light, why is she so far behind, is something wrong, am I going too fast, can she make the turn? (Wife rides a cruiser) so very different riding style, turning radius and visibility.

After meeting Rogue Reaper earlier this year and discussing his use of the Sena headset, I was persuaded to purchase a set. This is now an essential part of our riding gear both for safety and pleasure. Although, I was reluctant to have constant communication with my wife while riding (I like to zone out and listen to the voices in my head) :argue::jawdrop::green_lol:it has become a great addition to our enjoyment and experience. Plus we’re now able to share the sights, sounds and smells of the road we were forced to save for the next fuel stop.

I now lead from behind, which allows me to guide my wife through traffic and directional maneuvers in unfamiliar places. Thus greatly reducing my risk factor of leading and keeping a constant eye on her when behind me. We’ve had many long discussions how I was unable to keep my full attention on traffic and what I was doing while making sure she was OK. I am much happier with her leading now and I don’t mind the slower pace as long as she’s enjoying herself. :thumbup:

Group rides are a mix bag depending whom I ride with. Most my group rides are with my family and we all have Senas. Sometimes I lead other times I ride sweep. The main thing is to ride safe and have fun. :yesnod:
 
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