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Thread: MOA Email Newsletter on group riding

  1. #1
    TravelsWithBarley.com
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    MOA Email Newsletter on group riding

    I was really surprised to read the piece about the rules of group riding, complete with duties of the road captain, group and sweeper. I've never actually seen Beemers in a group ride; at least around these parts we all tend to ride our own ride and meet up for food or socialization...before riding our own rides back wherever we came from.

    http://www.bmwmoa.org/news/general_i...m_group_riding

    Is this a common practice in other parts of the country? I always thought of it as a cruiser thing: slow, upright, and in formation. Not knocking it; it's just not behavior I've observed among my fellow R, F or K bike riders.

    Pete
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  2. #2
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    << Is this a common practice in other parts of the country? >>

    Pete, like you, I've never seen a group of BMWs together, unless they're at a rally. I have ridden a lot in small groups (4 or fewer) and there are usually two BMWs in the pack, but that's not what this subject is about, is it? You're right, mostly BMW folks tend to ride solo, or in pairs maybe.
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  3. #3
    Bluenoser
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    Group riding is real and it can be dangerous to your health unless everybody follows a few simple rules. Brand of bike has nothing to do with it, anybody who has done a toy run or anything similar knows what I'm talking about.

    Its important to have a discussion about this before you head out, even if there is only 2 of you.
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    IBA #44567 Ken F's Avatar
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    I've even quit going on our club rides. I hate it....just not safe.
    We have tried talking to the group, but it's still like hearding cats.
    10-12 bikes get strung out over 3/4 of a mile with traffic trying to enter from side roads....someone is going to eat it before long.

    Ken
    IBA #44567
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  5. #5
    Dum vivimus vivamus ted's Avatar
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    I've organized a bunch of group rides over the years (anyone remember the Blitz to Morganton?). After the first one I did, a small group afternoon ride to Harpers Ferry which was a bit of a mess, I resolved never to try to keep people together in a group again. Instead I've simply printed out route sheets with stops for lunch and such and let people go at their own pace. I think it is really the only safe way to do it. Riders tend to clump together in small groups of folks who ride at similar comfort levels, and everyone ends up together at the stops anyway (just some much earlier than others )
    Last edited by Ted; 10-25-2012 at 05:08 AM.
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    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted View Post
    I've organized a bunch of group rides over the years (anyone remember the Blitz to Morganton?). After the first one I did, a small group afternoon ride to Harpers Ferry which was a bit of a mess, I resolved never to try to keep people together in a group again. Instead I've simply printed out route sheets with stops for lunch and such and let people go at their own pace. I think it is really the only safe way to do it. Riders tend to clump together in small groups of folks who ride at similar comfort levels, and everyone ends up together at the stops anyway (just some much earlier than others )
    Although as an MSF instructor, I can teach Group Riding (4-Hr. classroom block), I rarely see such principles adhered to by most riders.

    I like Ted's approach to the issue.
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    Registered User cehlbeck's Avatar
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    Having rode in and even led group rides I do have a few pet peeves.
    • Speed. If you zip along up front, those in the rear go faster to keep up and sometimes make mistakes
    • Passing. When you pass a vehicle and then leave room for only yourself to get back over in front of the vehicle you just passed (usually on controlled access roads or multiple lane highways).
    • Again passing. Passing on curvy roads in a no passing zone and then disappearing, assuming everyone else will "Catch up".
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  8. #8
    It is what it is. Bud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenwald View Post
    although as an msf instructor, i can teach group riding (4-hr. Classroom block), i rarely see such principles adhered to by most riders.

    I like ted's approach to the issue.
    +1
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  9. #9
    Registered User miairhead's Avatar
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    Every Second Saturday

    West Michigan BMW has a ride usually after a breakfast from Grand Rapids. I have been on one ride with them, again with 150 dogs in our rescue I just find it very hard to ride 50 miles to meet up with group.

    The one time I did ride, there seemed to be a new LT rider: He was too green to ride in a group in my opinion. I have been on March of Dimes (lots or V-twins), and a couple other charity rides.

    If everyone is a good rider a group can be a nice time, but with a too aggressive or green members can make you wish you where on a solo ride.
    Tom
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  10. #10
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken F View Post
    We have tried talking to the group, but it's still like hearding cats.
    Amen...we have had some groups that behave well together 6-8 in size with close matched skillsets. Not a Cruiser parade but a lively well working group.

    ...others have been a mess even when split up to groups of 6 with seperate leaders. Especially when going to a large event such as a dealer's open house or a multi club meet-up. These start in a rural town and end up in a metropolis full of hazards. Folks feel the need to be all together at their own peril and will do dumb stuff or string out for miles and really cause a routing mess. I have been lead and sweep on these and it's stressful.

    Labeling one a faster group and one the B group only encourages the less skilled riders to try and prove they can hang...and sometimes it doesn't go well.

    Even when the leader is doing the speed limit and trying to ease and back down speed...it becomes an accordion of chasers in the back...the leader swears he was doing the limit...as sweep I was cussing. Some folks get up to speed and group ride well...some are really meant to do the lone rider thing.

    Since it seems you have to be a Type A to be riding bikes in the first place...trying to "coach" ANY A-Cats is a futile effort. Even at 55 years old, some folks think I am a whippersnapper and to just lead them to the event..."Don't suggest I ride differently in a group" has crossed my ears more than once.
    I had ridden with the Cruiser crowd over several years...it was the craziest/scariest thing to witness. I rode my GS in a mostly V Twin group that was escorting the Vietnam Wall travelling display a few years back...Great cause ...but Boy-O-Boy

    Lately it seems we are trying the " here's a map and the location...seeya there" style. As the club president...that seems to be the better way to allow folks to do their own thing.
    Steve Henson
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  11. #11
    IBA #44567 Ken F's Avatar
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    I have done several rides with the Combat Vets Assn. and it's a totally different experience. Very enjoyable. Everyone stays spaced well, staggered formation, and even change lanes and pass in formation.

    I guess it's just the military experience/training that comes into play.

    ken
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  12. #12
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken F View Post
    I have done several rides with the Combat Vets Assn. and it's a totally different experience. Very enjoyable. Everyone stays spaced well, staggered formation, and even change lanes and pass in formation.

    I guess it's just the military experience/training that comes into play.

    ken
    You're on to something there, Ken.

    I witnessed many groups of Combat Vets Assoc. members motoring about at The Dragon around Father's Day this year, when I was at Deal's Gap with my son tearing up HWY 129 with reckless abandon. They were well-clustered and orderly, moving with discipline.

    In 2003, I was part of 124 LEO Motor Officers from around the nation that left East Troy, WI every day for a solid week and rode all over the greater Milwaukee area for exhibitions and dignitary escorts as part of Harley-Davidson's 100th anniversary celebrations.

    Helicopter footage showed us moving as a tight, single unit, whether in heavy commuting traffic, off-ramps, parking lots, etc.

    That kind of precison comes from professsional training and plenty of experience.

    3 weeks ago, I completed a 2,000+ mile ride to Lake of the Ozarks and NW Arkansas with two buddies. Had all to do to keep this rather small 'pack' together in even moderate traffic.
    Last edited by Greenwald; 10-26-2012 at 02:01 PM.
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
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  13. #13
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    Prime Directive: Never pass up an opportunity to not ride as part of a group.
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  14. #14
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKBeemer View Post
    Prime Directive: Never pass up an opportunity to not ride as part of a group.
    Riding is something that I do alone but some times we end up doing together. What do you do in ÔÇô Not a Group Ride Group Ride ÔÇô situations?

    I would find some guidelines very helpful for these.

    Example 1: At a rally finding yourself behind or part of an informal group heading out to a restaurant.
    At the rallys I have attended I have found myself behind groups going to restarunts. When I have tried passing they have reacted in various ways. What is the best way to deal with this?

    Example 2: On solo fall color rides I have found myself unintentionally part of a 'pack' of disperate motorcyclist, with no ride captain and cages treating us like one group.

    How do the rest of you deal with these?
    Pass the mustard and UP THE REVOLUTION!

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  15. #15
    What, me worry? GILLY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mika View Post
    Example 2: On solo fall color rides I have found myself unintentionally part of a 'pack' of disperate motorcyclist, with no ride captain and cages treating us like one group.

    How do the rest of you deal with these?
    2 Options; Left turn or Right turn. Unless the rest of them turn left or right, in that case only 1 option; straight ahead. Except if you came to a T intersection, in which case "punt".

    Yeah I was reading that article in the current MOA about group riding, if I ever found myself in a situation where the rules of the group ride were being recited, I think you'd hear my bike start before he/she was done speaking.
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