Riding in groups

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andys
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Riding in groups

Postby andys » Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:39 am

Never understood the appeal.
I do sometimes ride with a couple of friends, but I can't think of anything less appealing than riding in a big herd with a bunch of stranger's
What am I missing ?

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Re: Riding in groups

Postby DEEP DIVER » Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:55 am

I would rather ride on my own, or no more than 3 at a time.
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Re: Riding in groups

Postby Jon S » Sun Jun 17, 2018 3:04 pm

Groups of say four to twelve mates having a run out can be fun as long as everyone knows where you intend to go and know the route. :???:
An ex-policeman mate reckons its best to split the group into smaller groups of say two twos, three fours etc to prevent creating a rolling road block on our congested A and B roads. O:)
Personally I prefer to ride on my own and meet up somewhere, that way I can enjoy the ride and make up my own route. :grin:
To each, his own I suppose.

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Re: Riding in groups

Postby george baker » Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:27 pm

Hi
IIRC we have talked about this a couple of years ago, I'm interested to see if anyone has changed their mind, I haven't

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Re: Riding in groups

Postby Galactic Greyhound » Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:00 pm

I have experienced that riding in large groups encourages speeding as the sensible majority can often be led astray by a reckless minority.

For this reason I try and avoid riding in large groups or doggedly stick to my own pace and riding style.
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Re: Riding in groups

Postby andys » Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:26 pm

I have experienced that riding in large groups encourages speeding as the sensible majority can often be led astray by a reckless minority.

For this reason I try and avoid riding in large groups or doggedly stick to my own pace and riding style.
Many years ago a dealer I bought my bike from organised a customer ride.
About 20 or so riders turned up.
It started out OK but it didn't take long for the red mist to descend exactly as you described.
The manager told me that as a result they lost one of their best customers, who was rightly angry about the whole thing.
That was the last ride they organised.
I'm not saying they're all like that, but even if not, I'm perplexed as to why this herding mentality is so much a part of biking.

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Re: Riding in groups

Postby Galactic Greyhound » Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:38 pm

....I'm perplexed as to why this herding mentality is so much a part of biking.

It is a 'human' thing tied up with the enjoyment of competitive sport.

Nothing wrong with that but not on public roads.

You see it with football supporters massed in stadiums and singing together - there is an enjoyment in being together with one's own kind and engaging in a competitive event.

It's a global thing - the Americans have it with Baseball and American Football.

We are all the same the world over and crave the same things - maybe one day we will realise that and come to our senses before our planet gets destroyed.
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Re: Riding in groups

Postby HughMcQ » Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:18 pm

I agree large groups can be dangerous for reasons already mentioned but to be at the back of large IAM group watching the staggered formation move gracefully to the correct line for a curve then move back again to staggered formation was (for me) more mesmerising than any kind of ballet/dance I've ever seen (not that I watch much ballet mind :smile: )
Last edited by HughMcQ on Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Riding in groups

Postby Ruralman » Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:46 pm

I’ve certainly riden in large numbers of motorcyclists in the past but found that it’s easy to to get disenchanted with the pace, so I prefer smaller groups or riding alone.
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Re: Riding in groups

Postby Lolo » Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:43 pm

I don't like riding with large groups I like riding my own pace.

I like setting off with a large group and everyone doing their own thing and then meeting up at the destination (hopefully for a meal or drink ) :shock:

But ultimately there is nothing like your own space and an empty road :grin:
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Re: Riding in groups

Postby windmill john » Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:09 am

When riding abroad, my group consisted of two. Me on the front and my wife on the back; perfect.
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Re: Riding in groups

Postby andys » Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:37 pm

But ultimately there is nothing like your own space and an empty road :grin:
Well put.
Isn't that what riding a bike is all about.
I think a lot of people take up riding purely to have a social life.
Without that element, they probably wouldn't ride at all.
I've known a few people who only get their bikes out for big gatherings and mass ride outs.

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Re: Riding in groups

Postby gogs01 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:55 pm

I think a lot of people take up riding purely to have a social life.
.....
I've known a few people who only get their bikes out for big gatherings and mass ride outs.
I can understand the attraction of the social element of riding with a group, but group rides I've had have either been too slow (not often) or much too fast (much more common, and often resulting in riders exceeding their skills levels).
Agreeing a route and where to meet up would seem to be the sensible compromise .....
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Re: Riding in groups

Postby raesewell » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:03 pm

The second man drop off system if implemented properly allows everyone to ride at their own pace however large the group.

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Re: Riding in groups

Postby Lolo » Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:42 am

The second man drop off system if implemented properly allows everyone to ride at their own pace however large the group.


The second man drop off would be lonely when there is only two of you!! :lol: :lol: :lol: but now I know how to get rid of the husband! :lol: :lol: :lol:

(Not really Pirate! :smt060 :smt055 :love10:

Or if your girl!!! :wink: :wink: :roll:

Actually Ive found the second man drop off a pain in the back side! You still ride at someone else pace the majority of the time. The group ends up strung out for miles. The person at the end has to ride fastest. If someone stops 6th, 7th 8th place the rest of the group has to wait ages not knowing whats going on. Finding somewhere safe to keep stopping for 3-10 bikes can be stressful, let alone the constant stopping for people needing fuel, fag, bum rest!!!! :lol:

BUT each to their own :grin:
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Re: Riding in groups

Postby Rob Frankhamr » Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:27 am

The second man drop off system if implemented properly allows everyone to ride at their own pace however large the group.
Sorry, I don't accept that statement. In any group ride, no one can, by definition, ride faster than the leader, the drop off man either spends a lot of time frantically trying to get back to the front for the next drop off or alternatively, if you're using the variation where each rider drops off in turn, every rider needs to know the route and how many riders there are. Finally, there is no simple way of passing information forward in the group so if a rider breaks down or falls off... whatever... the front of the group just goes on into the distance

I've never been very keen on riding in groups but I used to do it in the early day of riding. We used to use a system which we referred to as 'Follow the guy behind you'. I know that is a bit of a non-sequitur but the system is very simple and much more effective than the second man drop off principle the rules are...


  1. Designate a leader... preferably not the fastest rider in the group, and preferably someone who knows where he's going or can read a map (no such thing as sat nav's when I used to do this).
  2. Each rider stays aware of the bike behind. If it disappears, stop and wait. Do not ride on (or back) till it reappears and you're sure everything is OK. If it doesn't reappear, wait till the leader and the rest of the group returns.
  3. Never overtake another bike... more particularly, the rear marker must never overtake any other bike on the run.
  4. If the leader loses touch with the second bike, he stops and waits. If after a short time, the rest of the group doesn't appear, turn round and return collecting each of the other riders until he comes to the rider who is having problems (and who will, by now be supported by all of the riders who were behind him.
  5. Any rider who completely loses touch with the bike in front should stop and wait for the group to reassemble. In any case, he should not pass a significant junction.
This covers almost every eventuality and allows information to pass forward simply by the fact that, should a bike stop for any reason, each machine in turn will stop quite quickly until the leader comes back to find out what's happened. I acknowledge that this means everyone rides at the speed of the slowest... but then again, that's what all groups do in the end. It's a group, that's what it's all about.

Rob
Last edited by Rob Frankhamr on Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Riding in groups

Postby Galactic Greyhound » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:21 pm

Hi Rob,

I have always used that method you describe and know of it as the 'Buddy' system.

Each rider in the group is responsible for his 'Buddy' behind him constantly checking mirrors to make sure he is there and stopping if not.

I find it works very well and is easy for everyone to understand.
Ced.

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Re: Riding in groups

Postby andys » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:46 pm




  1. Designate a leader... preferably not the fastest rider in the group, and preferably someone who knows where he's going or can read a map (no such thing as sat nav's when I used to do this).
  2. Each rider stays aware of the bike behind. If it disappears, stop and wait. Do not ride on (or back) till it reappears and you're sure everything is OK. If it doesn't reappear, wait till the leader and the rest of the group returns.
  3. Never overtake another bike... more particularly, the rear marker must never overtake any other bike on the run.
  4. If the leader loses touch with the second bike, he stops and waits. If after a short time, the rest of the group doesn't appear, turn round and return collecting each of the other riders until he comes to the rider who is having problems (and who will, by now be supported by all of the riders who were behind him.
  5. Any rider who completely loses touch with the bike in front should stop and wait for the group to reassemble. In any case, he should not pass a significant junction.
This covers almost every eventuality and allows information to pass forward simply by the fact that, should a bike stop for any reason, each machine in turn will stop quite quickly until the leader comes back to find out what's happened. I acknowledge that this means everyone rides at the speed of the slowest... but then again, that's what all groups do in the end. It's a group, that's what it's all about.

Rob
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Re: Riding in groups

Postby mw3230 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:01 pm

There is no doubt that most groups rides turn into a procession through the countryside, or as Lolo has pointed out, a series of frustrating stops and starts waiting for others to re-join.

A better option for groups is to rendezvous periodically at agreed coffee and lunch venues, but to ride their own rides on the way to those locations. This gives everyone who wants to chat the opportunity without them having to endure the disadvantages of being effectively tied to others whose idea of a suitable pace differs from your own
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Re: Riding in groups

Postby andys » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:31 pm

The last mass ride I went on was back in the mid 90's with the Yamaha FJ owners club.
We were just one big inconvenience to other motorists.
At one point there was nearly a punch up when a driver took exception to one of the ride organisers stopping the traffic at a roundabout to let the ride through.
I found the whole thing very embarrassing, and pretty quickly after that peeled off and went for a ride on my own in the opposite direction.

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Re: Riding in groups

Postby raesewell » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:40 pm

Sorry peeps but you have been riding with the wrong people [-X

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Re: Riding in groups

Postby Rob Frankhamr » Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:20 pm

Sorry peeps but you have been riding with the wrong people [-X


No, we haven't been riding with the wrong sort of people... or the right sort of people for that matter... that's the point really :-k

Each to his own... You pays yer money and takes yer choice... the world would be a strange old place if we all thought the same...

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Re: Riding in groups

Postby CharlieVictor » Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:58 pm

The second man drop off system if implemented properly allows everyone to ride at their own pace however large the group.
Sorry, I don't accept that statement. In any group ride, no one can, by definition, ride faster than the leader, the drop off man either spends a lot of time frantically trying to get back to the front for the next drop off or alternatively, if you're using the variation where each rider drops off in turn, every rider needs to know the route and how many riders there are. Finally, there is no simple way of passing information forward in the group so if a rider breaks down or falls off... whatever... the front of the group just goes on into the distance

I've never been very keen on riding in groups but I used to do it in the early day of riding. We used to use a system which we referred to as 'Follow the guy behind you'. I know that is a bit of a non-sequitur but the system is very simple and much more effective than the second man drop off principle the rules are...


  1. Designate a leader... preferably not the fastest rider in the group, and preferably someone who knows where he's going or can read a map (no such thing as sat nav's when I used to do this).
  2. Each rider stays aware of the bike behind. If it disappears, stop and wait. Do not ride on (or back) till it reappears and you're sure everything is OK. If it doesn't reappear, wait till the leader and the rest of the group returns.
  3. Never overtake another bike... more particularly, the rear marker must never overtake any other bike on the run.
  4. If the leader loses touch with the second bike, he stops and waits. If after a short time, the rest of the group doesn't appear, turn round and return collecting each of the other riders until he comes to the rider who is having problems (and who will, by now be supported by all of the riders who were behind him.
  5. Any rider who completely loses touch with the bike in front should stop and wait for the group to reassemble. In any case, he should not pass a significant junction.
This covers almost every eventuality and allows information to pass forward simply by the fact that, should a bike stop for any reason, each machine in turn will stop quite quickly until the leader comes back to find out what's happened. I acknowledge that this means everyone rides at the speed of the slowest... but then again, that's what all groups do in the end. It's a group, that's what it's all about.

Rob
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Re: Riding in groups

Postby bwprice100 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 3:23 pm

I have enjoyed many group ride outs and led a few myself. :)

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Re: Riding in groups

Postby Pannier Down » Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:38 pm

Several posts hit the nail, each to his own. Personally I like both riding alone, or with company. It depends on the circumstances.

A few years back a mate and I did a 3200 mile tour over a couple of weeks. By the end, it was like formation flying we were so in tune.

An evening across the North Yorkshire Moors however, is best enjoyed alone.

Big groups are least favourite, but can still be enjoyable.
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