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View Poll Results: do you enjoy group rides
yes I prefer group rides 1 2.13%
no, I prefer solo 19 40.43%
I like a mix of both 27 57.45%
Voters: 47. You may not vote on this poll

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Old February 2nd, 2014   #1
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Default group rides

I noted that many people seem to enjoy riding solo but say they go to STOC and join group rides. I hate group rides and will never willingly go on one. It made me wonder about peoples real views on group rides.

I can see I made a mistake. if you like small group rides (less than 3 riders) then vote for the mix option. this still works for me as even 3 riders is a chore.

Last edited by cldiver; February 2nd, 2014 at 05:24 PM.
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Old February 2nd, 2014   #2
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Default Re: group rides

Aaah, the misery. This is a good winter time topic though.

Bike to bike comm systems help.

3 is okay, 4 is a chore, after that I'd rather not.

The lead bike MUST be someone trustworthy. There is no alternative. If you cannot trust him and his riding style, get out. This can make what should be a happy time into sheer misery. If you let it, it can seriously compromise your safety.

A group ride does not involve trying to outrun/outride the guy in front or behind you. If you cannot get around that, get out of the group.

BUT!!! With the right group and the right situation a group ride can be one of the most wonderful things you can do on a motorcycle. I highly recommend it. The joy of the ride added to the joy of the discussion that evening can be fantastic.

Do what you feel comfortable with. Safety of all concerned is the most important thing.
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Old February 2nd, 2014   #3
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Default Re: group rides

Yep, you got it. Bored with no hope of riding for a couple of months. This, hopefully, will generate some interesting discussion. I really am curious about group rides. I can't understand how anyone could enjoy riding in traffic all day on a great road. I've done rides where we meet at a specific place but ride solo to and from.. those I enjoy.
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Old February 2nd, 2014   #4
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Default Re: group rides

Don't like group rides. One or two max if you know them well and have the same riding style. Best ride I have ever done was with photo son Kevin in the Alps on Edlewiese (sp)tour. We never followed the tour guides, just did our own thing, got lost several times but were never late for dinner!
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Old February 3rd, 2014   #5
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Default Re: group rides

I do the 'Hog on the Humber' ride here every year for charity, it's around 500 Harleys but it's more a convoy than a rideout so I guess it doesn't really count.
I also enjoy riding with others in smaller groups too, perhaps you guys should try the drop off system, its good for balancing groups of mismatched riding abilitys and is fairly well used over here, I'll copy and paste the general idea below.

The Drop off/Marker system

This requires a leader, a back marker, and all the riders taking part in directing the group at some point as a number 2 (even if they don’t know the route).

Usually fixed for the duration of the run.

Generally knows the route quite well. Identifies any first timers in the group and ensures they are familiar with the marshalling system to be used.
Establishes the fuel range of those machines present and arranges fuel stops as necessary.
Ensures that at least the Back Marker has details of the route, major stopping places, etc. and makes sure that the Number 2 rider is aware of the need to mark each junction. The leader should slow down and signal to the No2 when they think they should drop off. Give them time to select a suitably safe stopping place.

Usually fixed for the duration of the run.
Knows where the run is going, including any rendezvous stops etc.
Decides upon the best action necessary in the event of any participant missing a junction, or any other unplanned incident. In the case of a rider missing a junction, that junction should remain marked for a time sufficient to allow the missing rider to return.

Everyone except the Leader & Back Marker will find themselves in this slot at some time during the run.
Don't get too close to the Leader, they may just slow down for a junction whereas you will have to stop.
The general rule of marking all deviations from straight ahead (i.e. follow the white line) route must be maintained.
The exit on all roundabouts must be marked, even if the route is straight ahead (this may be eliminated only if the route is straight ahead AND all exits can easily be seen on the approach, such as many small roundabouts in towns, etc.). This is to prevent anyone taking the straight ahead exit when, in fact, it is a concealed right turn exit that is being marked.
When marking a junction, position yourself in a safe and as highly visible position as possible. If you feel that there is not a safe place to stop at a junction (r/about , Dual carriageway etc.?) DONT STOP, go a little further on before pulling over but try to be visible.
If necessary, re-inforce the direction to be taken by use of indicators and/or hand signals.
Re-join the run in front of the Back Marker when it is safe to do so. Meanwhile the group all move forward one and a new no.2 marks the next junction.
Advise the Back Marker if you believe that anyone has missed the junction.

Ensure you can identify the Leader and Back Marker.
Travel at your own pace. Do not worry about losing sight of the rider in front, as any deviation from the straight ahead route will be marshalled.
Overtaking is encouraged, but please be courteous!
If your aware of the rider behind riding a little quicker than you don't block them let them go
If in doubt about the direction to be taken, consult the marshal and/or wait for the Back Marker.

If people are going to drop off the back of the group (behind the tail ender), they must inform the tailender what's going on.

Its not a race and you wont get left behind just because you cant see the bike in front. Take it steady, someone will be waiting at the next junction that deviates from straight ahead.
"Today’s ride will remind me forever how good it is to be a motorcyclist, how good it is to be alive and how much we need to live life, rather than watch it pass us by." Green VFR. 1970-2012
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Old February 3rd, 2014   #6
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Thumbs up Re: group rides

Our group....consists of fellows ranging in age s from a youthful fourty something to several fifty something three or four of us in early sixties to several fellows in the mid pack of the sixties....We did have a fellow wgo is now approaching seventy.... most of us have run the gamut of 70's and 80's standards to the sportier fare of the 90's to the 2k machinery....Most now are on either 1200 gs, ST we got three fellows on ST to a smattering of Ducatista and our youngest rider on either a Monster or his beloved Cagiva Grand Canyon....
Our rides are informal, most times a ride is posted to our local web site and if you are inclined to join the location and time of departure are so posted. who ever posted is the for a lack of a better term leader for this event. That's not to say its a fixed position if "Joe is faster than Ed" you get the gist....we usually have a destination in mind, routes aren't fixed but fluid and can change enroute....bear in mind we have had many years of riding together and most know where we are going...the ones that are "new' to riding with us keep pace...which can vary easily....
We try not to be as structured as some groups or "clubs" are...and like it that way....Saftey is something that might be taken lightly in some arenas but not on two wheels....since going to this Sport Tourer I am on 04 A model I have incorporated a mini trauma kit in my trunk, something I'm putting together for our dirt excursions... one of our last dirt rides one of our guys went down and sustained a soft tissue injury. I'm right next to one of the countries largest military installations and many of the guys have experience in field training and managing blood I'm retired Fire Fighter/EMT and its second nature to me....luckily we have had very few incidents in our history of rides, but its in the back of our minds.
With that in mind we all went a bit off kilter and have either acquired or are in the process of getting enduro styled machines ....we have enjoyed many on/off road rides and one sanctioned ride last year that was enjoyed by one and all... So for us group rides of four or more are the norm.
damn all this talking/typing...I'm going riding
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Old February 3rd, 2014   #7
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Default Re: group rides

I like both, yet my perspective on what a reasonable group is for me has changed quite a bit over the years. When I was heavily involved in the STOC thing, I organized a lot of events in New England - many of which carried on since we left the area 4 years ago (NNESTOC, beginning/end of season RTE's to the Madison brewery, etc.). Some of the rides I led were 12-15 bikes. Now, I'm not interested in being in a pack larger that 4-5 bikes, leading or otherwise. I prefer to tour solo or with one other like minded soul who appreciates the freedom of having little to no plan, where the only real agenda is to ride cool roads, have fun, and enjoy the relaxing element of a relatively complete absence of structure.
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Old February 3rd, 2014   #8
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Default Re: group rides

The only group rides I like is with 3 or 4 (5 absolute max) riders, all of whom I know and whose riding style I feel comfortable with. There use to be a core of 3 of us who would ride every weekend and we'd keep plenty of space between us, usually 3 to 4 seconds or more, especially in the corners. I miss the companionship of those rides but things change. Some of the guys went on to other things and dropped motorcycling. One of my good buddies who was 4 or 5 years older than me, started developing vertigo and other geezer related problems so he eventually had to quit riding.

I rode in one of those regimented cruiser type groups once (called Southern Cruisers) and NEVER again. Most of the riders were slow and wobbled all over the lane and would tail gate you. After the first stop, I insisted on changing positions and riding in the rear. I wanted those guys in front of me where I could see them. The second stop was at a bar and that was the last straw. I did not want to be around any riders who had been drinking.
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Last edited by Mick; February 3rd, 2014 at 01:10 PM.
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Old February 3rd, 2014   #9
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Default Re: group rides

I voted that I prefer solo. I also ride with my son and at times another friend, so a small group I guess, but I want noting to do with large groups and groups that contain riders I don't know. I've passed too many groups that had riders packing in to close together for safety or where it was plain a couple of riders were being idiots.
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Old February 3rd, 2014   #10
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Originally Posted by Mick View Post
The second stop was at a bar and that was the last straw. I did not want to be around any riders who had been drinking.

Yikes. Bad enough a biker on their own. But in a group? Russian roulette.

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