HOW TO RIDE IN A GROUP | Page 2 | GTAMotorcycle.com

HOW TO RIDE IN A GROUP

dankyyz

Banned
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I took a course early last year, and have a bout 8 years under my belt from my teens and early 20's. Then, as now, the "taught" way to rid in groups is to have the less experienced at the front, and have the seasoned riders sweep the pack. Mostly to avoid newbies having to out brake the seasoned guys/gals up front.

Suggesting that having seasoned riders up front to "keep the newbies safe" does not work out (however well intentioned it is). The new riders will not gain the experience, or have the supervision, they might have with strong backup.

Just one opinion, but the popular opinion of those teaching people to ride. So keep in mind that this is what the new riders are being taught.


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lil red bird

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this works well in though but many sport bike riders like myself want to open it up a it in the twisties and having newbies at the front of the pack is annoying . In my opinion you have the ride leader followed by the most experienced rider(s) then newbies the a very experienced sweep rider at the back. This year i have been leading as i know the route I would rather run sweep so i can help out the new riders with issues that i see(shrugs) i have yet to find a leader that i like on this years rides that or a good sweep rider.
 

dankyyz

Banned
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Yea. I guess it is critical to remember that the process for group riding is not designed to take peoples "likes" into consideration over the safest and best all-around approach for everyone involved. In the end, someone with advanced skills will likely enjoy a ride with more if it is with others of their level of riding skills/experience.

Trying to make a system that ensures EVERYONE has a maximum experience is difficult, and the more people you add the tougher it becomes. I, personally, enjoy beign with beginner riders as you get a front row seat to seeing people approaching the zenith of comfort on a complex task.
 

Baggsy

Well-known member
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this works well in though but many sport bike riders like myself want to open it up a it in the twisties and having newbies at the front of the pack is annoying . In my opinion you have the ride leader followed by the most experienced rider(s) then newbies the a very experienced sweep rider at the back. This year i have been leading as i know the route I would rather run sweep so i can help out the new riders with issues that i see(shrugs) i have yet to find a leader that i like on this years rides that or a good sweep rider.
Group rides are inherently slower. Aren't they?

If you want to open it up you need a group of 2-3 bikes otherwise the rubber-band effect gets you. i.e. if the last person accelerates at the same rate as the first person they will get left in the dust. You don't want your newbies doing 120 in an 80 zone of twisties trying to keep up!
Also you want them to have to pass as few cars as possible to join back to the group.

Newbies riding behind the second best rider in the group, Followed by the more experience riders, with the best rider at the rear is the best IMHO.

I was on a "mystery tour" group ride a couple of weeks ago near Rice Lake and the leader managed to lose all but two of us. Fortunately no one ended up in a ditch trying to keep up. I'll be avoiding or dropping out of that type of group ride in the future.
 

lil red bird

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What i tend to do is lead at at sane pace call it 10 to 20 over posted limit until we get to a road i pull over and say there is a stop sign at the other end wait there have fun and ride at your comfort level and then ride sweep. Rice lake area is not the area to be doing a tour like you described i have not had anyone mention any issues to me on a ride or later when i am leading. If they did have issues i wish they had let me know so i could make the ride better.
 

Blackenese

Active member
been chatting with lots of people...only been in a couple small group rides...


heard from a coworker about an accident where a VERY Experienced rider (a long time MTO instructor) was leading. Not sure if he was really pushing it, but from what i heard, he was an aggressive rider in general. He was followed by 1 novice rider (rider 2), with 2 experienced riders in the back.

As the lead guy was carving out the twisties, rider 2 was trying really hard to keep up. Going into a corner, rider 2 came in too hot and overbraked, lowsiding his bike.

Rider 3 (experienced) saw this coming and did his best to swerve out of the way. He went down. So did Rider 4.

Rider 3 is now in the hospital. He broke a bunch of bones, wrists, tendons...it was bad.

correct me if i'm wrong, but if the noob was riding point, he would be going at his own pace instead of trying to *keep up* to the aggressive MTO rider.

If the lead rider is more interested in doing max speeds in curves...maybe he shouldn't be riding with a group?? maybe he/she should be riding by themselves??

don't know if that story helps...what do you all think?
 

lil red bird

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This is the reason when i lead a group when we get to a road that i know i send everyone on ahead an tell them to ride at your own pace and to wait at the stop sign at the end of the road.
 

BusaBob

Well-known member
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I completely agree with Blackenese. This story clearly illustrates why it is important that the leader of a group ride MUST keep in mind the skill levels of the people following him or her, especially if there are less skilled riders known to be in the pack. That is, they must set a pace that is suitable for the group as a whole. If the leader wishes to "push-it" towards the limit of his or her own skill level, they should either ride alone or with a few riders of comparable skill level.

I know it is everyone's responsibility to "ride their own ride", but to be a responsible rider and group leader, one must keep in mind that there will always be a human tendency to conform with a group, especially in less experienced riders.


been chatting with lots of people...only been in a couple small group rides...


heard from a coworker about an accident where a VERY Experienced rider (a long time MTO instructor) was leading. Not sure if he was really pushing it, but from what i heard, he was an aggressive rider in general. He was followed by 1 novice rider (rider 2), with 2 experienced riders in the back.

As the lead guy was carving out the twisties, rider 2 was trying really hard to keep up. Going into a corner, rider 2 came in too hot and overbraked, lowsiding his bike.

Rider 3 (experienced) saw this coming and did his best to swerve out of the way. He went down. So did Rider 4.

Rider 3 is now in the hospital. He broke a bunch of bones, wrists, tendons...it was bad.

correct me if i'm wrong, but if the noob was riding point, he would be going at his own pace instead of trying to *keep up* to the aggressive MTO rider.

If the lead rider is more interested in doing max speeds in curves...maybe he shouldn't be riding with a group?? maybe he/she should be riding by themselves??

don't know if that story helps...what do you all think?
 

jibbijib

Well-known member
In the handbook it says that it's best to have less experienced riders at the front. There's a good reason for it being suggested... Obviously they aren't going to put false information in a technical handbook that gives you guidelines on using a vehicle. Common sense also plays a part in this configuration.

I'd rather have a more experienced rider behind me than in front of me. I don't feel as pressured when they are behind me. I've ridden in front of one, I could take my time and go at my own pace. I've ridden behind, and we were chargin at over 100km/h. Not exactly comfortable.
 

DaveP

Well-known member
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In the handbook it says that it's best to have less experienced riders at the front. There's a good reason for it being suggested... Obviously they aren't going to put false information in a technical handbook that gives you guidelines on using a vehicle. Common sense also plays a part in this configuration.

I'd rather have a more experienced rider behind me than in front of me. I don't feel as pressured when they are behind me. I've ridden in front of one, I could take my time and go at my own pace. I've ridden behind, and we were chargin at over 100km/h. Not exactly comfortable.
It may not be as much pressure, but you'd learn allot more following a very experienced set of riders. My favorite configuration is an experienced leader, then experienced riders, followed by the inexperienced riders and finally a very experienced sweep. (In the best case a motto instructor) A good sweep will often give inexperienced riders some tips to keep them safe and better their confidence.
 
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WolfieG

Guest
To follow up on the "How to proceed at an intersection". The ministry states only that you must come to a full and complete stop behind the designated stop line. It does not indicate how far back that can be. Even if you are the 5th bike in line (staggered, or otherwise), as long as you've stopped and the way is clear, you can proceed through the intersection without stopping a 2nd time at the stop line.

However, keep in mind that you still need to respect other vehicles. At a 4 way stop each person takes their turn... so just b/c your buddies have stopped and proceeded doesn't mean you can if there is a vehicle stopped and waiting at the intersection. You still need to take turns in that case.

More on that. A lot of cars will realise that you're on a group ride and will wait for the whole pack to proceed through the intersection. Make DAMN SURE you have eye contact and some form of acknowledgement (usually they'll wave you through) from that waiting car before you head into the intersection under the assumption they'll let the whole pack through.
 

jibbijib

Well-known member
It may not be as much pressure, but you'd learn allot more following a very experienced set of riders. My favorite configuration is an experienced leader, then experienced riders, followed by the inexperienced riders and finally a very experienced sweep. (In the best case a motto instructor) A good sweep will often give inexperienced riders some tips to keep them safe and better their confidence.
As I've come along, I've ridden with a few groups now, and I must say that being in the middle is best for beginners. You don't really feel too much pressure. You somewhat want to keep up with the leaders, but you have the security of the people behind you who don't mind takin it easy. Plus it gives you more courage to keep up with those ahead of you in turns and stuff, and you learn better riding that way. Get to watch what they do, and emulate it, then base your own riding on what you learn.

I love riding in groups, just feels much more fun. The comraderie is definately there.
 

johnsa1

Member
a must read..thanks!
 

smooth1

Member
Re: Less experienced riders out front

If your bike has ABS, you can brake harder without worrying about slipping; vs, a non-ABS bike with an inexperienced rider, where he/she will not push the brakes to their limit to avoid slipping. Therefore, in most cases, I think the ABS rider (new or experienced) will brake faster than one w/o ABS.

Don't new sport bikes have ABS? I could've sworn reading about the later SV650 models having ABS (mine's a 2002, so no abs)
 
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leedufour

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Re: Less experienced riders out front

If your bike has ABS, you can brake harder without worrying about slipping; vs, a non-ABS bike with an inexperienced rider, where he/she will not push the brakes to their limit to avoid slipping. Therefore, in most cases, I think the ABS rider (new or experienced) will brake faster than one w/o ABS.

Don't new sport bikes have ABS? I could've sworn reading about the later SV650 models having ABS (mine's a 2002, so no abs)
The zx 10 has it I think!
 
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topsy1970

Guest
If you want to go extra fast during twisties, stunt etc, do so on your own time or with pre-arranged riders with simular experience levels. When riding as part of a new group with unfamiliar riders, leaders must cater to the lowest denominator. Not doing so is just asking for trouble. That, in my opinion seperates true ride leaders from yahoo leaders such as the MTO rider discussed. Mind you, rider #2 in that scenario trying to keep up, knowingly going beyong his/her experience level and putting other riders at risk is just as bad. Ride your own ride, and next time, just say no thanks to said group.
I know I am new to riding. Total noob, and some of you think I should just keep my mouth shut. I'm just speaking up for noobs like me. Noobs, don't feel pressured by more experinced riders in these situations. It is essential that you ride your own ride! !!! You will look even dumber if you take down experienced riders bike by not doing so.
Stay safe!
 

GG~750

Member
Hey there,

I am some what of a new rider and am quite fearfull of group riding. I have yet to attempt it and am greatful for the helpful pointers.
Thanks
 
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04GS500F

Guest
ima newbie here but ive done some research
it seems that its best to have most experience rider in the lead and tail.
then you would have your intermediates followed by newbies with experts followin to make sure everyone is ok
like a baby sitter :D
 

KewlKitty

Member
Um...think that's a bit of a generalization there. There are newbies out there who want to learn safe riding techniques and who are not irresponsible at all. They may make mistakes but that's how you learn. You know what happens when you ASSUME, don't you? Try not to be so judgmental toward us noobs.
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My personal take on this is have respect of everyone you are riding with. Big group or small. It is the responsibility of the leaders of the ride to ask who are the least experienced and explain to them your particular groups riding experience, hand signals, foot signals, etc. Reviewing these at the start of every ride is not a bad thing to do. It in fact reminds those of us that hey yeah, it's not just about me in this ride today.

We were all Newbies at one point in time...remember that day? I do, and I am so thankful for the ones who were experienced to trust me enough to take me under their wing and show me the right way to ride in a group!

I have had a recent experience of having someone in our group who just went and did their own thing. It was unnerving and made me back wayyyy off. BUT, I have to say the leader did not explain the etiquette to this person and had they the ride would have been a little bit less stressful.
 

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