View Full Version : Group ride discussion

12-02-2008, 12:08 PM
I thought this would be a good time to discuss group rides so when spring comes along we are ready to rock and roll.* Most of the group rides I have been in are a cluster.* No planned route and nobody knows where they are going and sometimes people don't know how to ride in groups.
I want to hear some of your input on what makes a group ride fun and what makes it not so fun.* Hopefully this will make ofr some nice organized rides come 2009.

Here are some of my thoughts:
1. People in the ride need to know how to ride in a group formation.* I prefer staggered and not side by side.* There is always that guy in the group that just sort of floats in the lane and that screws up the rest of the group.* The point to staggered riding is if someone in front of you has to stop quickly you have more room to stop and if they need to swerve they don't have anyone next to them.*
2. Signals.* I've road behind Berto and he's good at this.* He was signally everything in the road, even water and oil slicks.* It's always good to signal stuff like this to your fellow riders behind you so they know to watch out.
3. Route.* Sometimes I'm all for the "No specific route" rides where you just go wherever.* But usually I only like doing that in a very small group like 2-3 riders.* When riding in larger groups I prefer to have the leader at least have a route in mind so you are not always stopping trying to figure out where to go next.

Anything you all have in mind post it up!

12-02-2008, 12:20 PM
Those are good points Bob

I had never ridden in a group and the first time at night the leader did not us blinkers or hand signals.* Berto does do that welll and DB.* When we go out together we pick where and then we talk about the route since I haven't been to a lot of places, once we have been several times I'm on my own.

In a group like ours if we all get together, meeting place we all can get directions, then where we are riding, all that have gps put different routes on them, once we get to the meeting location we discuss our routes and location.* I prefer to be staggered just for those reasons.* In a small group side by side but behind formation.

When we went to Mason, no one knew where but the good thing we worked together to find it and the route we took was a good ride.

12-02-2008, 05:23 PM
That mason ride was the most fun I've had in a while riding.

Being lost is not a bad thing all the time.

I agree with Bob, the biggest things are the staggered formation, hand signals and pointing out debris and road "obstacles"

Here is a brief list of signs.

Tapping the top of the helmet- Johnny Law is around, be cool.

Pointing to a spot- Watch out, some chit on the road near that spot that you don't want to hit.

Five fingers flashing at you- Yo, your blinker, turn it off

Fist up- we are stopping

Tap of gas tank- I needs fuel

Those are the most used.* I play around when riding and I start trusting you, meaning I may come up on you sharing a lane, but this is once I truly trust your riding ability.* Be safe and when riding in a group, keep to YOUR speed, not the speed of the idiot in front of you.* (and I am most likely the idiot)

Be safe and ask questions.* We will wait for everyone at the next stop sign or turn.

Any other signs that you know and feel are good to know, post them up.

Gas Man
12-02-2008, 08:12 PM
I find foot signals work best for road debris

12-02-2008, 08:23 PM
i usually have a map of michigan in my trunk so i'm not too lost and we stopped and used it going to mason to make sure we were headed in the right direction. i used my gps when i went to adrian earlier this year. if its a large group it should be preplanned and have a leader and a tailman ( woman ) incase someone has a problem and the group isnt split up. the real fun is to pick a destination and let everyone find their own way there. lets say we are going to rockys up in flint. tell them what street and cross road the store is at and let you guys take what ever route there you want. some may take the freeway , 75 to 475 some may take lapeer road to saginaw road and some amy mix freeway and back roads to get there. then we can all talk about how we got there and find some good roads to cruise too

12-03-2008, 10:06 AM
a leader and a tailman ( woman )

Boop?* this is going to be funny when she sees this.

12-03-2008, 10:35 AM
a leader and a tailman ( woman )

Boop?* this is going to be funny when she sees this.

I thought that too but I think he meant like tailman or tailwoman. LOL

I like riding tail because I feel more relaxed. lol

12-03-2008, 10:50 AM
;D :D I like my own tail....Thanks for including me. :-*

12-03-2008, 03:57 PM
Who's getting tail?* :o

I ride in the back when I know I have the speed bug... keeps me under control.

12-03-2008, 06:05 PM
i am a nun ;D! nun in the morning, nun in the afternoon and defanently nun at night! ;D..... tailpersons job is to get those in the middle moving to keep the accordian effect to a minimum and help those having trouble and inform the rest of the groupe that someone is having trouble

12-04-2008, 11:41 AM
This is a great discussion and Berto outlines some good, basic rules that make a group ride safer and more fun.* The only problem is we'll have to wait a few months to put them in practice.

I'm really glad to hear y'all enjoyed the ride to Mason so much.* It is one of my personal favorites as it takes you on some of the prettier, more scenic roads in the area.* The other payoff is the excellent hamburger (and of course the beverage to wash it down with) at the Mason Jar pub.*

We should do this again next year; I can show everyone some nice alternatives for the return trip.

12-04-2008, 04:28 PM
the ride to mason was fun, i really enjoyed it. we need to start out with some short group rides so everyone learns the rules before taking along ride as a group. depending on how many there are the group may need to be split in half. thats what large bike clubs do. once everyone is comfortable riding staggered in a group they combine them into one large group

12-05-2008, 01:05 PM
The rules are pretty simple, and don't get offended is anyone approaches you to remind you of one.

With that said, I am comfortable with groups up to about 10.* anything over that becomes chaotic... I was on a ride with 50+ bikes, a twisty ride, and we ended up with 3 guys down and one with a fractured back.

Do not pass unless it's very safe, meaning on a straight... I will pass you on a curve if I know you and trust you and know your line.* But only when we are tooling around, or on the track.

Basically, take your time and do not follow others speed or maneuvers, ride at your own pace and speed.

I think this group is pretty mature as far as that is concerned and those of you that I have ridden with are control riders.

It's mostly noobs that have to learn to not go over their limits... sometimes some idiots that try to act cool also.

I just want to ride... not with the snow we got in Novi today... but it would be nice to take a ride.

12-05-2008, 02:22 PM
We will need to do a short ride again as Dr. stated.* We will be having some newbie riders with us next season and as NuBreed gets more familiar with us and riding style and new tires he will not be so staggered, but since he's gotten his bug of us going a little faster than posted he should be good.

So when we do our Elizabeth lake, sumpter, belleville with the new ones they will get the feel of the road as I did, then not be so tensed when they ride with us as a group.

12-05-2008, 05:40 PM
how about some practice through hines park when the weather breaks?

Gas Man
12-05-2008, 09:38 PM
its also a good idea to have a rear safety sweeper.* A seasoned rider that isn't going "hotshot" him/herself.* Just rides cool, calm, and collected, doesn't take risks.* That way if somebody goes down and its the second to last person, that down rider isn't alone.*

Further, when you get to the next stop sign/curve/or turn.* The leader looks for the sweeper.* If the sweeper doesn't show after a acceptable time.* Somebody goes back to see what the hold up is.* Could be down rider or just broke down bike.

12-09-2008, 01:47 PM
Hines drive was nice also.* All this is good information.* It's making it worse to have to wait for the season. :P

01-14-2009, 08:49 AM
how about getting a set of two way radios ( fms or gmrs ) for the leader and sweeper? quicker than a phone call so if someone is down use the radios

01-14-2009, 11:33 AM
that would be a good idea.

01-19-2009, 10:00 PM
who here has chatterbox?

Those are the best... no $$ to get one for me, but it'd be nice if some peeps got them.

01-20-2009, 07:36 AM
who here has chatterbox?

Those are the best... no $$ to get one for me, but it'd be nice if some peeps got them.
it would have to be a bike to bike chatterbox

01-22-2009, 10:43 AM
oh yeah... my group in FL... all but 3 of us had them... so we were communicating 90% of the time. I'm just cheap and won't put up the $300 for one.