Group Riding ... bump |

Group Riding ... bump


Well-known member
An old thread but an important one for new riders.
some rules I follow
Rule #1 ride your own ride - don't try to keep up with the faster riders. ride well in your limit. plan a destination/stop
Rule #2 don't target fixate on the riders in front of you. If the rider in front goes wide in a turn you might also. Scan the road ahead

Anyhow here is the thread... some links are out


Mad Mike

Well-known member
Group riding can be fun, it can also be dangerous. I've one hundreds of these over the years, while most have been uneventful, I can recall a dozen or more mishaps that have happened on group rides.

Many rides are restricted to experienced riders and those for the most part those are fun and rarely have mishaps. Most of the riding groups you find on meetup are open, meaning they welcome riders from all skill groups. When a seasoned ride captain and sweeper are leading the ride they can be fun and novice riders can benefit from observing and learning from skilled riders. In the hands of an unskilled ride captain, they can be outright deadly.

Here are a few of the things I feel are important in group riding:

1) Captain (lead rider) and sweeper (tail gunner, last rider) should be experienced at leading group rides, particularly when novice and intermediate riders are coming along. It's hard to know whether your leaders are skilled until you are well into the ride, so this can be a crap shoot if you are new to the group. There are a few telltale signs that leaders are skilled:
  • Groups rides operate in groups up to 8 riders (more that 8 is a parade, that's a different beast). If there are more than 8, the ride captain will break the riding group into smaller teams of 5-8 riders grouped by skill. The purpose of this is to create a bit of separation (500m) between groups of motorcycles so they can effectively share the road with other users.
  • They will deliver a short brief of the ride route including fuel/rest/refreshment stops, route cautions, and explain what to do if you get lost.
  • They will speak with new riders to gauge their experience and ability as best they can before the ride, then slot them in the ride order.
  • They may make adjustments to the ride order so skilled are up front, novices at the back.

2) Be honest with yourself regarding your skills. Owning an SS that can quickly catch up to the skilled group once you leave a corner doesn't mean you're ready to be upfront with the skilled riders. Developing skills takes time, you will become better rider if you slot yourself with riders of similar ability -- remember this takes time and kilometers. If the ride leaders ask you to drop back, or gives you some safety instructions -- take them to heart.

3) Some ride leaders will 'release the hounds' during some stages of the ride. When this happens the skilled group will take off on a romp, probably break a lot of laws while having a bit of fun. They will stop and wait for the others to catch up at a defined point in the ride. Never join the 'romp' unless you are 100% confident you are able to run with them. If you have any doubts or find yourself falling behind, you're not ready and should rejoin the others.

4) If you find the captain/sweeper are pushing you beyond your capability, operating unsafely, or fail to use best practices when sharing the road it's OK simply move back or even drop out of the ride (I've left many rides over the years when I think the captains are putting riders or other road users at risk).

5) Take advice from the skilled riders if they offer it, they can help you become a better rider.

6) Follow good ride etiquette:
  • Let the sweeper know you if you are leaving. If you don't, the ride will be disrupted while they search the ditches along the ride route for you and your bike.
  • Use hand & foot signalling only when necessary. You don't need to warn the group of a dead mouse on the road, you don't need to use hand signals before turns unless your blinkers/stop lights are broken.
  • If it's big ride, keep in your sub-group.
Group riding is a lot of fun and a great way to learn. It's also nice to go places with riders who know the routes and attractions along the way. Have fun on your rides this season!


Well-known member
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One thing to add to Mike's list: Don't expect everyone to disobey the law.
e.g. If a dozen people run the red light/stop sign, don't expect the person in front of you to run it too.
A big rule of group riding is don't crash into the person in front of you.

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