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What is your opinion about group rides?

We had unbelievable weather, near 70 degrees in PA in February, and the group we ride with announced a last minute ride. Thirty bikes signed up, many who were new to us, including two young riders who were new to riding on sport bikes.

I didn't want to go, my husband really wanted to go, so we went. I agreed on the condition that we stayed at the back. If you are at the back, there are issues associated with that itself, but at least you don't have to worry about people crashing into you and you can keep more space if necessary.

I've witnessed some "fascinating" riding on the now 40 (?) group rides I have attended.

We left early, after around 100 miles, after a restaurant stop. We were thirty miles from home, and the ride home was the best part. I got to lead and had a few bike behind me, which was much better than thirty bikes.

In the end, I like riding alone or with one other bike.
 

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I hate group rides mostly. 2-6 bikes is fine as long as everyone is known to be of very similar pace or if everyone agrees in advance it's a casual ride, like ride to dinner or something. Any more than that and I don't have any desire to go. There are a couple riders, long time friends and riding acquaintances, who I trust implicitly and don't worry about when riding together even if it's close spacing at a spirited pace. For everyone else, I'm as worried about the other bikes around me as I am for deer and cagers.
 

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Yeah, the weather was fantastic this weekend. I went out to my storage and my rear tire was flat.
No ride for me. I don't like to ride with anybody I don' know, so I rarely do group rides. If I do a charity event I always ride in the back
 

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I will only do it with people I know or have ridden with typically. Otherwise yes, it is a huge pain in the arse!
 

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I thought it was good when I first moved to a city and didn't know people. It was a good way to meet people and I could find those who were a similar level to me. Once I found those few people, I never went again.
 

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I don't like them. I used to go on a few, but too many deaths, too many close calls and too much squidly riding put me off for life. I prefer to know who I ride with. I have to say the Triumph guys here were the best though. The fast group were skilled and would bugger off and everyone would meet at a given spot on the ride. Not too many stops and the slower guys weren't that slow.
 

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One of my first group rides with The Floribama Riders was a three day trip covering 700 miles total and we had 32 riders.
Most were very skilled and we tried desperately to enforce safety rules and keep the group together.I must say it was
an impossible task. Riders, like me, being new to group riding had a hard time with concentration and riding over our heads
so as not to hold up the group. I will say that we divided up the group into three sub groups separated by just a few hundred yards
which did nothing to mitigate the danger. After the first day, there was a good bit of shuffling amongst us in an attempt to run with like-skilled
riders, but there was always a handful of folks that refused to self-assess and ultimately that led to many close calls and even a few get-offs.
We all learned a lesson and on future group rides we broke up into groups of 3, or 4 riders and agreed that we wouldn't focus on arriving at lunch,
or the end of day location as a large group. Honestly, these days, I mostly ride alone and when on "club" outings I rarely ride with more than three other riders.
I NEVER do charity rides. The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation rides here in Atlanta are a real cluster f*** and usually end with more than a few riders being seriously injured.
On our FZ East Coast Ride, and as much as it hurts me...I avoid riding with those that are more skilled than me. I don't want to hold anyone up and it's just as easy
to keep company with those great people at the end of the day. In conclusion, I have a Versys-buddy that just blisters it everywhere and when I ride with him, he backs it off
out of respect for me. Still, I find myself running quicker than I normally would and generating some real-deal heat in my tires. I never have a "moment" with him, but it is no more enjoyable than when I ride alone.
 

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Wow, sounds unanimous. Good to see I'm not alone, I prefer to ride by myself, too.

A buddy of mine I used to race motocross with just moved back into town. We went riding together last summer and I almost crashed twice trying to keep up with him. It was like we were back in the day as kids, racing each other on the trails. He has a Kaw ZX, one of the times as we were coming to a fork in the road. He suddenly took a left. I had to go straight across some gravel, almost crashed the FZ. He has tiny aftermarket turn signals on the back that are barely visible. I sure didn't see anything.
 

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This is how I feel about riding with a group.
(Full disclosure: about half of the the time I need to face my own reality)
 

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I love riding with one or two people.... after that i will normally split off. I have had fun at rallys where you meet up for breakfast/lunch, but you will probbably never find me in a group of larger than 6 riders
 

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I've never ridden in a large group; sounds like more hassle than fun.
Same here. I will say that it really depends on the group in question. If the riders are douche bags, then it's gonna suck. I've been on rides where shit happens and some of the riders just leave the ones in trouble to fend for themselves. Not cool...
 

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We lived in a large city for a while so I joined the HD Chapter and went on some of their rides. It was OK and lots of couples riding. Very social. Very slow. Then we moved to a small town and it was tricky just to find someone willing to ride... eventually it all worked out and it's all riding and much faster, no two-up rides though, not very social but we cover a lot of territory on some great moto roads. The HD stays in the garage almost all the time.
 

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Never done a large group ride only ever 1 other person so I can't speak from experience but I really enjoy riding by myself and I don't think I would like a large group just knowing my own personality of not liking large crowds in general let alone where those individuals can actually play a serious part in my well being . I think I could handle 2-3 no problem though because I have enough sense to back off if I don't like what I see
 

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I have a dedicated buddy John that I ride with all the time ..we met at a group ride back in 2003 we had at least 8 to 12 FZ1's in group rides back then and then after a few years some dropped out and some others joined but then at a time it was just him and I riding every nice Saturdays and most of the time on Sundays also...some got married and or had kids and moved away..In the group rides I did learn a lot from some of the riders and then learned what not to do..so in the end most everyone has moved on and it all just came down to John and I most every weekend and we are still going at it all this time.. I must say if he is not with me on a ride it just seems like something is missing so my day ends sooner than it would if he was out there with me... We know each others habits and I can anticipate what he is going to do B4 it happens ... Glad I ran into this guy he is dedicated to the ride as much as I am !!
 

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My riding group is 5 people...and its just us...we ride together every weekend and whenever we get a chance..its a great time, but we all know each others habits and none of us are out to impress...we ride fast, but we ride safe.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The smaller groups where you know each other is fine. When you have a kid riding for "a few months" on a too powerful sport bike, it doesn't make me feel particularly safe. I cringed watching the group ride through the turns. It was a sh&t show. It's amazing we didn't have a cascade of bikes crashing at every corner.

I won't go on evening rides, that's a line in the sand. I'll meet them and have dinner. I value my life more than that. The last charity ride, I took my vette. We went to the VA, the vets liked the car (they come out to see the bikes) and we visit inside.

Motorcycle riding itself is inherently dangerous, so you need to control those risks that you can control.
 
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