Interesting topic for discussion I think.
I personally gave up riding in "groups" back in the 1970s. Too many variables, to many agendas.
Disregarding my own judgement I participated a ride last spring. It started out innocently enough; ten bikes from our local classic bike club (guys I've known for years). We were going to take a series of twisty, two-lane, back roads to the [url=http://www.motosolvang.com/][B]Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum[/B][/url]. Somewhere along the line several other clubs were invited (by someone) to rendezvous with us at two intermediate stops. By the time we were ready to pull out of the gas station there were over fifty motorcycles in the group. I have to imagine how the final sixty mile ride went because I pulled out and headed home.
As the old saying goes, two's company and three's a crowd. Four bikes is my absolute limit. What's yours?
As the old saying goes, two's company and three's a crowd. Four bikes is my absolute limit. What's yours?[/QUOTE]
More than 3 or 4 riders split up and just meet at lunch/dinner. I have ridden with 5-7, but all equally skilled, an equally amenable, but still more than I prefer. 10 riders, forget it.
No matter how many, MINIMUM 3-5 seconds separation, many times much more, no rules, your faster go for it, want to stop and take a lea....picture no problem, someone will be waiting at the next turn off.
Current discussion in [B]Just Ridin'[/B]...I'm going to merge this over there when I can
Great topic and lot's of thoughts to be shared on this one.
I don't ride with more than 2-3 others.
Depends on the group and how things are organized.
In a group of similar skill / pace that is riding in close quarters on the road, six is more than enough. Trying to keep a bigger group together is a pain, especially in traffic.
I prefer to ride in a fashion where you spread out, ride your own pace and the rider ahead of you waits for you at each turn. When you catch up and indicate that you are ok, he takes off and you wait for the rider behind you unless you are riding sweep. If you catch the rider ahead of you, make the pass and the same rules still apply. This works really well off road and in areas with little traffic. The fast riders end up at the front and the slower riders end up at the back. If someone has trouble, the guy behind him catches up. and the rider in front sits at the next turn. If it isn't serious, the disabled rider can send someone who has caught him ahead to let the rest of the group know what's going on. If it is serious, the group in front will start the accordion in reverse when riders aren't catching up at the turns, eventually backtracking to the issue. We have run in a group as large as 30 like this without an issue and without the hassle of trying to keep everyone corralled. You are simply responsible for yourself and making sure the rider behind you knows where you are going. The whole group comes together at gas stops and breaks.
I have been on several rides group rides with 10+ riders. On my big GSA, I always ride sweeper. Some tools, first aid kit, tire patch kit and pump, tow strap, and gas have all been used by others at one time or another. LOL Especially the gas. LOL
One is best ("He travels fastest who travels alone." Also refer to "The
Tortoise and the Hare".)
Two I can do (with almost anybody, but I prefer a guy I know. No knee-down types.)
Three is my normal max. (More than that and I'll gladly ride sweep, and get there when I get there.)
I despise the in-formation riding typical of HOG events.
I agree. I really prefer riding solo, or with 1 or 2 other guys max. I don't enjoy the larger group rides and don't participate in them anymore. My local Club rides once or twice a month, but I just don't find it fun.
I just tell them I'll meet them at lunch. :eat
I've been on some group-drives with a sports car club and I'll take motorbike group-rides over that ANYTIME! The car guys don't wait at the turns, the group moves too fast for anybody who's driving solo to both drive and look at the route-sheet, nobody watches out for stragglers, and if there's a lunch stop the leader gets up and leaves when he's done, never mind that some people just got their cars parked.
[QUOTE] ... and if there's a lunch stop the leader gets up and leaves when he's done, never mind that some people just got their cars parked.[/QUOTE]
Nice crew. He probably drags his knuckles of the ground when he walks and chews his food with his mouth open while speaking...[img]http://boards.core77.com/images/smilies/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img]
At our house, no one left the table, until [I]everyone[/I] had finished dinner and dad had had his coffee.
Normally four of us old retired f*rts meet once a week for breakfast where we decide where we are going to ride that day. Sometimes we choose a destination and sometimes we just pick a direction. We have nice twisty mountain roads within about 5 minutes of the restaurant regardless of which way we go. We occasionally have another unretired person ride with us. We all ride the same and we leave a good space between us. I normally lead and I check to make sure everyone is still in the group when we come to a rare straight stretch of road.
5 bikes is the maximum for a good ride but 3 is better.
It really depends on the skill and discipline of the group.
NorCal has monthly breakfast rides (70-90 miles) and monthly tours to our meetings (campgrounds somewhere in the state 2-300 miles one way). We usually have 12-20 riders, sometimes more from a group of at least 60-80 "regulars" and always some noobs. Almost always on beautiful twisty canyon/mountain roads. We try NEVER to hit the slabs. We generally are traveling faster than any traffic, so we are never an impediment to anyone. It's a RIDE, not a parade.
The group stays pretty tight, with regrouping if need be at road changes. Very rarely do we have to wait more than a couple minutes. Gas/Bio/Rest breaks are planned throughout.
It's a lot of fun to ride with a group of competent riders who know how to ride well in a group. If your group riding experiences have not gone well, it is probably been because SOMEONE in the group lacks the group riding skill or discipline. :brow
That being said, it is something that is personal preference. It is definitely something that requires extra concentration and attention than riding solo. If the group is not up for that, they are better off riding solo. Some people like structure, some don't. Either is good.
I have been on rides with as many as five on mountain roads and it was OK .
Everyone just kept their own pace and eventually the slower riders catch up. We don't even try to stay in a tight formation or any formation. I usually ride by myself or one or two others
At some point you need a parade permit.
screwing up traffic is not fun for everyone
[QUOTE=Lmo1131;830800]We were going to take a series of twisty, two-lane, back roads to the [url=http://www.motosolvang.com/][B]Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum[/B][/url].... Four bikes is my absolute limit. What's yours?[/QUOTE]
That museum is well worth the visit. I would have done what you did. Except for the odd 6 rider group, four riders is my limit.
At some point you need a parade permit.
screwing up traffic is not fun for everyone[/QUOTE]
See edited post above.
We RIDE, we don't affect any traffic. They sometimes affect us like the car that refuses to use the "SLOWER TRAFFIC USE TURNOUTS" for miles on mountain roads. But we eventually get around them, one or two at a time. Usually after the first few go around them, they come out of their stupor and use the turnouts. After all, it is the law to pull over on mountain roads if you are holding up more than 5 vehicles!
Courtesy works both ways, car to bike and bike to car. No one should impede others.
I think some of you have a Harley style group ride in mind. I wouldn't want to ride like that either!