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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I came across this today while randomly browsing and was super impressed by how detailed it is and these guys ho over some things that are overlooked by many. Anyone that's normally a solo rider but looking to start taking part in larger rides definitely give it a read!

Group Riding Tips | Black Mountain Motorcycle Club
 

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+1 good link, and adding that one to the list.

I tend to stick to smaller groups in group rides. You can even break up a larger group into a few smaller groups. Let the faster riders go ahead and the more leisurely riders fall back. It doesn't matter who gets there first, just that you all get there safe. Plus we always tell the less experience riders to not worry about trying to keep up with the faster riders. Just ride within you comfort zone and don't worry, we will always keep an eye out for you. If we do get separated in traffic, we make sure the other riders know where to go if we turn off anywhere.

I also don't mind being the sweeper, especially when you feel like taking a nice relaxing ride, or you can fall back a little and play, lol.
 
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It was certainly a good read, mostly common sense stuff about riding in formation, every club will have different etiquette. (I am the road captian for a local mc here, we use some of but not all of this when riding in formation, something we do very little of) Here is an article from the late 80s or early 90s (its been reprinted a few times and is still to date the best group riding etiquette information ive come across), it has nothing to do with formations and everything to do with "spirited" rides through the twistys. I joke with myself that Keith Code taught me the ability to go fast but Nick Ienatsch has kept me alive over the decades with advice on where and when to use it.
The Pace | Motorcyclist
 
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Group riding is something I have tried a couple times and it didn't go well. I'd like to be able to do it someday but it's just too much for me to keep track of and when riding with others I tend to be constantly on edge and liable to make mistakes. Not only that but group rides always take me down new roads and I'm only comfortable when riding familiar routes.
 

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just my opinion but being uncomfortable on an unfamiliar road to me suggest you need to slow your pace.
 

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Good read. We tend to ride up on each other and hit the kill switch of our unaware pal. It is even more fun to cut under them in a turn and flip the switch.
 

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Good read. We tend to ride up on each other and hit the kill switch of our unaware pal. It is even more fun to cut under them in a turn and flip the switch.
that happens in the straights with us too, cant say ive ever done it in a corner. that could make for some pretty angry riders on anything with a decent amount of engine braking
by the way, our bikenight is probably closer to you than me, but if your interested, first Thursday of every month, harding place hooters (harding place / I-24), starts at 7, gets huge around 9.
 

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I have been riding with several of my pals since we were teenagers, and we get sporty at times. We trust each other and know our habits well.

Let me know when you plan on hitting a bike night. I know the location well, but it is not my favorite location or fun ride to get there.
 

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im a member of one of the sponsoring clubs so unless I have a change in work schedule im there for all of them. I do usually leave before its over, I live about 90 minutes from it. ours used to be at scoreboards behind oprymills, I liked that location a lot better but hooters treats us much better than scoreboards did. there is no good way in or out of Antioch at that time of day =(

depending on what part of town your in, I do try to hit AMS Madison's bikenight and Cyclegears as well. (they are both "only" an hour from me)

apologies to the OP for the bikenight threadjack
 

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Nick Ienatsch has kept me alive over the decades with advice on where and when to use it.
The Pace | Motorcyclist
I believe Nick Ienatsch has modified the elements of cornering to now include trail braking with the idea that it increases the size of the contact patch and thus giving the front tire more grip. But then again, I may have misunderstood his meaning.
 

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ive read the pace 2.0 too which I believe is what your referring too, I prefer the original in a group ride dynamic because no brake light means no accordion effect to the group. Im not saying the pace 2.0 isn't good advice, the original was based on 1980s technology so some change is inevitable, but the serenity of the perfect snake when the group rides as one is gone the minute you introduce brakelights
 
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Um, if your riding up front, don't wreck! ;) Sorry, couldn't help it. Biggest thing, ride with common sense, and if riding for the first time, ride at the back and watch other riders and learn. If with a police escort, especially if your at the center line, constantly check your mirror to allow room for the motor cop to fly by you on your left so he can control the next intersection. It's not my thing so much, but I do it for firefighter memorial rides and try to do it for other uniforms. Enjoy the experience and ride safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm definitely a sweep rider. I like being in a position that is takes some work, but even in tiny groups I do nothing but worry about the newbies on the ride when I'm in front. Guess I'm a follower, not leader lol
 

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We ride with groups. I'm okay with it if I know who to watch out for and stay away from them. It's usually easier being in the front so you avoid any problem riders, or in the back, where you can see what's going on. I have seen all kinds of things, people on Harleys who slow down so much for curves that it's almost dangerous being behind them because they are so unpredictable, people who will cut formation and pass you, lots of guys who ignore stop signs, guys who ride way too close, etc.

Sometimes I will just take my car and meet them if I don't want to deal with it. We do have fun with the people we ride with when we hang out, so the social aspect is enjoyable.
 

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taking my FZ on its first group ride in a few minutes. I can't wait. I'll try and post pics. I pray everyone makes it home safe. This ride is a memorial ride for a fallen rider. It is pretty important to me.
 

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The best advice on riding in a group came from two people, David Hough(author) and friend Ken Murray (owner of Atlanta Motorcycle Schools) in an email and in person.
Keep your group small when possible (5 or fewer riders, breaking up larger groups) and Know who you're riding with.
I have participated in some pretty organized large group rides and some downright scary small ones. So, your mileage may vary, as they say.
On longer rides with a small group of friends, figure an extra 10-15 minutes per added rider over three or four.
....

My group ride misadventure. No crashes or injuries. Just frustrations galore.

Good group rides can be spoiled by one rider that just doesn't fit. I hate to say it like that. But, it happens. Too fast, too slow, too anything.
17 years ago, I was with a great group of Transalp riders in N. Ga. The organizer of the gathering asked us to split into two groups - one that would stay strictly on pavement and a second group with the skills and desire to ride some unpaved roads to a nature area an hour or so away. One couple was two-up on an 'alp with street tires and said out loud, "We want to stay on the paved road." They were very clearly directed to that group.
I rode sweep for the mixed road group and was really frustrated to find they changed their minds/got confused/whatever and were with us. They pretty much refused to go the speed limit (55mph) by slowing to 40-45 for miles at time, allowing the main group to get so far ahead that at intersections they were stopping to see if we'd had a problem. As the road turned to smooth dirt, the husband voiced his displeasure several times until several folks finally asked him why they came with us? "We thought this was the on road only group." Which was BS. The groups were on opposite sides of the parking lot and he'd been shown which was which.
He thought he could keep up, could not and was now stuck with us and we with them.
The ride leader misunderstood everything and came to me, the sweep rider and said, "If you(meaning me)can't keep up, maybe you should go ride on your own." I explained how much fun I was not having trying to keep the slow couple in line and that if he wanted them to keep up, he could be my guest and talk to them. He did.
5 minutes later, they were going 40mph again as the group got quickly out of sight once more.
At the next scheduled stop, I politely resigned from sweep and went on my own. I was done.
Later, the group leader emailed me with an apology. He took my place and saw everything I was seeing 1st hand. It took them all day to complete a 1/2 day ride.
 

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same happened to us today. A new rider on a 250 thought it would be ok to try and ride with us today. It was a very large group. He wouldn't even do the speed limit on any road. Cars where slamming on the breaks to avoid him. We had time to stop and smoke while waiting on him to catch up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
If you're a brand new, or timid rider, do everyone a favor and stay out of the large group rides. It sounds mean (and probably is) but it's selfish and puts the other riders at risk. When I first started riding I wouldn't even entertain the idea of putting myself in the middle of a group of strangers. You should be riding solo (or with a couple experienced riders) where the ride itself becomes second nature, so you can instead focus on what's going on around you. Just my opinion of course.
 
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