Here are some things to remember when organizing or participating in a group motorcycle ride. They have been learned as a result of riding with a great group of riders like the ones in the picture above!
• Be Organized and Prepared – Pick a place to meet up before the ride. You’ll be able to decide where your fuel stops will be, which routes to take, and you can exchange information and cell phone numbers.
• Be on Time – If the ride is set for 9:00 am then you should be there and fueled up for the ride at least 15 minutes early. That’s 8:45 am for you Road Warriors! Also, If you tell someone your going to be there then, BE THERE! There is nothing more inconsiderate of others than not communicating or making them wait on you. (It’s a sure fire way to not be invited next time).
• Be Smart and Ride Your own Ride – Just because you’re with a group, doesn’t mean you should change the way you make safe decisions. Never ride faster than what makes you comfortable and never sacrifice your personal safety.
• Always Communicate – Make sure everyone knows if you will need to leave early or take a different route.
• Trust Experience – Seasoned riders should always be in the front and back of the group. Put novice riders near the experienced ones, so that the pace can be adjusted to where everyone is comfortable. This allows everyone to be involved but on a side note, I will say that it is much more enjoyable to ride with people who are well matched in riding styles.
• Leave Room – The typical rule is: Make sure that there’s at least a 2-second cushion in front and behind you at all times and keep your group tighter in a staggered formation. However, I take exception to this! Seasoned riders know that two seconds is not enough time to react if a deer jumps out in front of the lead rider. (Recipe for a pile up). It is more important to keep your group all within sight range of the lead rider, staggered, and at least 6 seconds apart. If you find that visibility decreases, or you are heading into a series of tight curves, drop back to a single file formation. This allows everyone the space cushion they need.
• Always Adapt and Act like a Pack – It’s all for one and one for all! In order for things to be enjoyable for everyone, I have learned even as a ride leader that I do what the pack does and they follow the lead. It fosters communication, safety, keeps schedules, promotes personal preparedness and awareness, And finally, Allows everyone to fully enjoy their personal time riding motorcycles.
• Keep each other’s back but don’t babysit– We want to encourage the development of each others riding skills, have camaraderie, and enjoy our time off. What we want to avoid is being stuck in the middle of nowhere playing banjo with the village idiot! When you prepare, you do it for your own preservation and the pack benefits. When you don’t well! That’s why we use the term “Lone Wolf”. The Pack moves on without you!
All these tips will ensure a ton of great riding fun!