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Thread: Group rides

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  1. #1
    Registered User lmo1131's Avatar
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    Group rides

    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 Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum. 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?
    "It is what you discover, after you know it all, that counts." _ John Wooden

    Lew Morris
    1973 R75/5 - original owner

  2. #2
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lmo1131 View Post
    ..........

    As the old saying goes, two's company and three's a crowd. Four bikes is my absolute limit. What's yours?

    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.
    2010 F800GS Full Ohlins package, '04 R1100S Replika
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  3. #3
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Current discussion in Just Ridin'...I'm going to merge this over there when I can

    http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthread.php?t=64067

    Great topic and lot's of thoughts to be shared on this one.
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
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  4. #4
    Registered User
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    I don't ride with more than 2-3 others.
    '03 R1150R, '03 F650GS, '97DR200SE,'78 Honda CT-90, '77Honda CT-90

  5. #5
    Registered User rxcrider's Avatar
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    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.

  6. #6
    Registered User Jim Rogers's Avatar
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    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
    Gear Up and Ride Safe
    Jim Rogers
    2010 R12GSA aka Heidi
    Yorktown, Va

  7. #7
    na1g
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    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.

    pete

  8. #8
    Registered User Firenailer's Avatar
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    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.
    Ride Safe,
    Bob
    '12 R1200RT

  9. #9
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
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    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.

    2012 R1200GS

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

  10. #10
    Left Coast Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lmo1131 View Post
    We were going to take a series of twisty, two-lane, back roads to the Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum.... Four bikes is my absolute limit. What's yours?
    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.

  11. #11
    Bluenoser
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lmo1131 View Post
    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 Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum. 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?
    I am not a fan of big groups. If it has to be a big group then they should be broken down into 5 riders for each group and they leave at different times. These sizes really only work for shorter rides.

    Other than that I prefer to ride by myself but don't mind 2 or 3 in a group as long as I know the other riders.

    Group riding adds greatly to the things one has to watch out for on a ride. Makes the ride much more tiring.
    1971 R50/5 SWB with R75/6 drivetrain
    2013 DL650

  12. #12
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    There's one guy I ride with - we make the same decisions, and trust each other.

    Beyond him, if there's a group going, I somehow always find myself leaving earlier, or later, or taking another route. I like to hang with them at the end, but not during.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

  13. #13
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    my preference is solo or 3-4 riders

    I rarely ride in groups but when if i ride in a group, it is only with people that i know and we generally follow the rules that rxcrider detailed.... or something similar.

    there was a time or two when i went on a group ride where there was a segment of riders that were much faster/more agressive than one or two of the others. This caused a bit of an issue. Fortunately, the slower riders basically gave the "ride on" sign, and caught up with the rest of us at the end of the day.
    Somers, NY

    Just enjoying the ride.......

  14. #14
    Rally Rat
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    I've lead a few rides with a Christian group I belong to and I decided this would be one and only year of being a road captain. I'm not the fastest rider but I can't handle riding the speed limit or below, sinful I know. In groups that I've ridden with that I'm not leading I try to meetup at the lunch destination and then off I go. I don't mind riding with 3-5 very competent riders that I know but prefer to avoid structured group rides.

  15. #15
    George T'man A4Skyhawk's Avatar
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    Slow Riders

    Gadgetech, I know just what you mean. I used to ride with a good friend, just the two bikes, but every time he had the lead we would wind up pulling the train on the two-lane, no passing country roads because he liked to ride 5 mph UNDER the speed limit. Often i could see nothing but a truck radiator with the red oval Peterbuilt logo in my mirrors. If I had the lead, he'd fall far behind and would be pulling the train on his own until I'd pull off the road to let him catch up and the traffic pass. Also, his Road King woke up everyone for miles around. Go figure. Had to give up riding with him.

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