Group Riding

Discussion in 'IMRG Events' started by Dan_Frisbie, Aug 10, 2016.

  1. GrinchF16

    GrinchF16 Member

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    Flew fighters for 25 years. 4 airplanes, three feet apart at 500 knots... group rides are not inherently bad. But, just like I wouldn’t throw a young guy right into a 4-ship formation, I wouldn’t recommend an untrained biker riding in a large group. However, unless they ride with other bikes, they’ll never get good at riding with other bikes. What strikes me about this conversation is the lack of willingness to help people learn. Maybe that’s part of the reason the industry is slowly dying...? Maybe instead of just being the legendary lone wolf, find an inexperienced rider and take him under your wing.
     
  2. Papa Lar

    Papa Lar Bronze Member
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    What you say has some merit. But I would say instead of an unwillingness to help it may be an unwillingness to repeat a bad experience. I have seen two riders rolling in the ditch in my mirrors on two separate occasions. I believe both of them were overriding their capabilities trying to keep up with me. After that I prefer not to take on the responsibility of someone not knowing when to back off. When in a group I prefer to be at the rear where I can see what is ahead and I don't have to worry about what the guy behind me is doing. Of course we all can't ride in the rear so I have found it is just better to ride alone or with a small known group. I agree with your sentiment though. It is a good thing to mentor younger riders.
    By the way I have a tremendous respect for your abilities to fly fighters. Thank you for your service.
     
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  3. Double P

    Double P Well-Known Member

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    A good friend recently told me "Ride your own ride". As an old timer and less than experienced for a group ride, its never too late for skill building. For now, my max comfort level is 3. As someone said, dont like the ride - Drop out. Simple, good advice.

    Good thread @Dan_Frisbie - thanks
     
  4. JayFL459

    JayFL459 Silver Member
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    Gator Riders at Cedar Key .. After 100 Miles of enjoyable Safe Riding .. Done this well over 100 times with this group .. Agree get a bunch of strangers that have no clue what they are doing and may have problems , even serious ones .. Group Rides are not for all, but as stated before if can Ride together in Synch is very enjoyable ..


    gatorridersCedarKey.jpeg
     
  5. Basshole

    Basshole Well-Known Member
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    I do 2 or 3 group rides a year with my IMRG chapter and that's about it for group rides. Like most of you, I prefer to ride alone or with one or two others but mostly alone. I have no problem meeting up at some location but I prefer to ride at my own pace and my own route.
     
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  6. GrinchF16

    GrinchF16 Member

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    First of all, thanks. I appreciate it. Was a great way to make a living.

    I agree with you, I also like riding at the back. But, when I ride at the front, I just have to accept that I have a responsibility to ride in a way that’s easy to follow. We called it “wingman consideration”. Had a buddy I’d ride line abreast with all day but he’s about the only one I trust there. In my mind, I just accept that a group ride is more about the group and less about the ride. Plan the ride, brief the ride, execute the ride, and if we’re serious about mentoring younger riders, debrief the ride. Set expectations, give them the ‘training’ to meet the expectations, then hold them accountable. That’s how most of us learn, IMHO.
     
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  7. Largeandy

    Largeandy Well-Known Member

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    Wow, last month (April 25th) I reluctantly participated in an 8 bike group ride from Indio, Ca over CA 74 back way headed to Hemet, Ca and beyond etc. There was one inexperienced rider on a HD Road glide in the rear of the group which got separated due to different speeds and experience levels of the group who was followed by a rider known for being all over the place despite being counciled to not do that for obvious reasons. I was in the middle when myself and one other rider decided to pull over and wait for these two bikes who had fallen way behind (say 12 miles +/-). A car then pulled up and told us that two bikes were “down” some 15 miles behind us. I and another rider rode that terrorizing 15 or so miles to find these two riders being treated by firemen who had luckily been close by at the time, their bikes down off the side of the road and these riders waiting for ambulances to take them to the hospital. Long story short, the accident was caused by one inexperienced rider and one who was not a sound rider. One rider will be healing up all summer now and the other requires various upcoming surgeries. They are both now done with motorcycling and working on healing up.

    This accident should have never happened but it happens way to often in group riding situations. That experience was just horrible. While I enjoy certain things about group riding, this empahsizes what I do not like about it. To me anymore, 4 bikes would be the max group size, much bigger than that creates a lot of problems. I rode mostly solo last summer, and its going to be that way again this summer for me for the vast majority of my riding.
     
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  8. sidecarsam

    sidecarsam Gold Member
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    This Incident Exemplifies the Reason that Classes should be held for People involved in Group Riding. Group Riding is a Military-like experience and requires Military-like Discipline. Of the Group, no matter how large, the 2 most Experienced Riders need to be on the outside of the Group - that is One of them in Front leading and the other at the very Back keeping everybody together. The Least experienced Rider should be Right behind the Leader and the Leader should know enough Not to Out Ride the Rider just behind him.
     
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  9. Quinn_the_Eskimo

    Quinn_the_Eskimo Well-Known Member

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    Sam hit the nail on the head.

    I am a member of CVMA (MD 40-1). For those interested, a Virginia chapter has an excellent page of group riding protocols and how-to's.

    CVMA 27-2 SOPs
     
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  10. Aargow

    Aargow Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking about posting a big-group/small-group/solo thread with a poll but found this thread. Lots of good information and opinions here.
    Between short stints with HOG and IMRG, I've become very wary of riding in large groups with those I don't know. Like many of you, I've seen too many close calls caused by foolish behavior or inexperience. Thankfully none have resulted in an accident.
    I prefer riding with others just slightly more than by myself: maybe 51 to 49% in favor of social rides. As a result, I will ride with just about anyone once. If I ride with that person again it is because I think we are compatible with riding style, speed, risk tolerance, and personality...to name a few.
    One benefit of those years spent with HOG and IMRG, for me, was finding a small group that I really enjoy riding with. Like me, they were looking for smaller safer rides.
     
  11. Baldhead_J

    Baldhead_J Gold Member
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    Sam, I'm fully with you. Who the hell lets inexperienced riders fall out of line of sight? 12mi? You gotta be kidding me.

    No idea how I missed this originally. Kinda wish I'd never seen it.
     
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  12. PileOParts

    PileOParts Silver Member

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    I don't do group rides, period (riding with one or two others is not what I consider a group). The reason is that my wife, who was my passenger, and I were 14th out of 14 in an extremely well-led ride on a hilly, curvy ride, staggered formation. Rider 12, directly ahead of us, was a clearly incompetent senior woman on a mid-sized cruiser. We watched in slow-motion horror as she went off a left-hand curve on a twelve-foot embankment, hit a guy wire halfway down, and was taken off life support a week later.

    Enough.
     
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  13. Largeandy

    Largeandy Well-Known Member

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    Small group with riders I know my pref if I group ride at all. Seen too many incidents in bigger groups so stories not necessary now...
     
  14. Alpal

    Alpal Gold Member
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    Ditto,....Big time,.....I am a small group convert now and have been since being in a ride where three were killed,.....through sheer stupidity,....
    Alpal
     
  15. Dan_Frisbie

    Dan_Frisbie Well-Known Member
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    I have found that it is best to ride with no more than 5 bikes for a number of reasons. We can stay together because we all get through the red light, less chance of a car cutting in the middle, and we can all see each other. On long rides, this just makes for better time on the road and less slowing or stopping to wait for people.
    For short IMRG or IOA type rides, riding in groups of five can leave some to feel left out or part of the group really being left behind.
    If you belong to a riders or owners group, your are likely to be in a ride with a lot of bikes. Just be careful out there, folks.
    4A247322-B478-4CCB-A639-58360B8929C7.jpeg
     
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  16. Lake City Larry

    Lake City Larry Active Member

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    I’m glad you found this thread again because we all need reminders about safety! Even snap decisions about tagging along with a small group can be dangerous. When I started my son riding with me, I told him a quarter mile back was close enough! I told him that the only place group riding should be is on a race track. Like everyone else I have many incidents to tell about group riding that are negative ; yes I love the fellowship but for me the increased level of risk was learned a long time ago. Have you ever been in a funeral procession where close calls have happened due to close proximities of vehicles? I have, and I don’t take it lightly or brush it off as part of life. I may sound way over cautious to most of you but close calls are always warning signs for our safety; IGNORE THEM AND YOU WILL BE DOOMED TO REPEAT THEM.
     
  17. KHAOS

    KHAOS Member

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    I've been on good and bad group rides. Some of the best were with Harley groups. They were well organized and structured. I agree thoroughly with Dan_Frisbie, you need to have a plan and be organized.
    It is a challenge to ride in a group but I believe it makes a person a better rider if they can. I too have seen accidents - none as serious as what was described above but difficult none the less. I still chose to ride in groups but if they are not consciousness I will break off and ride another day.

    Motorcycling is meant to be fun and good fun is often with good friends!
    Ride safe whatever you do!
     
  18. Alpal

    Alpal Gold Member
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    welcome aboard Khaos!,.......looks like you're riding the Saint of the Indians,.......a big white RM,.....have fun Buddy and wear the rubber down!!
    Alpal
     
  19. Baldhead_J

    Baldhead_J Gold Member
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    It's also a great "place" to find out what your "friends" are made of. You discover real quick who's for real when things go pear shaped. Those that perform are keepers. The ones that don't are just dudes that had the money to buy a motorcycle.
     
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