I was never really a group rider who went riding with friends on long trips. For me, motorcycle riding is about freedom and having good thoughts while riding, which, specifically, I can’t do riding in a group. So, basically, you can say that “I am not much of a fan of group riding.” Anyway, put this aside, after all, we are not here to share what I feel. What we are here for is to discuss the risks involved in group motorcycle riding, which can certainly affect our motorcycle riding.
In fact, you can say that a part of us always knew that riding in a group is not always amazing. It can be great fun, though, but when you are in a group or invited to ride with different motorcyclists, the problem of a mix of different skill sets arise.
Skill sets are the biggest problem. If you are riding with novices, then you know there is always at least one novice trying to prove himself/herself and usually exceeds his/her abilities. And if you ride with skilled riders, you feel inferior or face the situation of high skills, medium skills, or very low skills, which is, in fact, quite bothersome.
So, basically, there are a lot of things revolving around group motorcycle riding. But, just because I think this way, it doesn’t mean you should too. Group riding with friends and competent riders can be great fun. Now, without wasting any more time, let’s discuss some circumstances that we face while group riding and discuss some tips to do it in a better way.
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Tips for Group Riding
Know Each Other
The very first thing you need to do is to go through the details of the organizers. Examine a few things like “How often they ride?” “How are their communication skills? “How do they manage group control? Do they have enough escorts to handle the front and the rear? These questions will help you to understand one thing, i.e., into which group are you riding?
Once you clear those things about the organizers, then go talk to fellow riders. Have a casual chat about their experience, motorcycle, and how long they have been riding in this group? Or if there is another group they know about.
Choose a Suitable Location
Now, it is time to join the ride with the rest of the motorcyclists. So, make sure you are in a suitable location, which is behind the leader and ahead of novices. We say this for 2 good reasons:
- Riding behind the leaders and racers will be a suitable location because you need to worry about racers that might want to compete with you.
- Riding ahead of novices will save you from being caught up in someone else’s crash.
What if You Caught Out?
This is one important situation you need to prepare for. Despite all precautions what if you still need to catch up?
It mostly happens when the pace is too fast for riders riding in the back. But, make sure you are patient and follow the leader who is in front of you. You don’t need to prove anything to anyone else. After all, it is a group ride, not a competition.
This is one very ordinary but dangerous situation. As I mentioned above, you will surely see some novice or aggressive rider that will try to take the lead or try to prove something while riding in a group.
Sometimes, a few riders in the back will try to get in front and use the throttle to take the lead. But that increase in speed could hit someone in front while overtaking.
These things happen quite often in group rides. So, make sure you run in your lane and always check the rear mirror to examine the situation and make sure no one is cutting you off in your lane to get in front.
Even if someone tries to do it, don’t get in his/her way and let him/her go in front. As I said, this is not a competition.