General Category => General Banter => Topic started by: Greg on May 16, 2018, 07:38:15 AM

Title: Riding with others
Post by: Greg on May 16, 2018, 07:38:15 AM
One of the reasons I enjoy riding with other riders who are similar in skill levels and style of riding is that when riding in a group of a few riders we are a larger entity to be "seen". As in "start seeing motorcyclists ".
I will add other reasons to this thread later. Share some of your reasons!

Enjoy your day, and ride! :)
Title: Re: Riding with others
Post by: Greg on May 17, 2018, 07:38:08 AM
Another benefit is having other mates around when/if someone goes down. They can provide a phone call if someone is unconscious. They can provide moral support if it's just a "gentle" off, and they can provide a ride home for someone if their bike is unable to be ridden. 
Title: Re: Riding with others
Post by: naustin on May 17, 2018, 04:16:36 PM
Greg, You seem to have a daily thing going on at 7:38 (6:38 actually) AM.    You're not posting while you're on the throne, are you?   ;)

The vast majority of my riding has been solo, and still is.    The enjoyment of riding in a group - for me -  is less about any potential increase in safety, and more about the shared experience and camaraderie.   

I actually think "group" riding (by that I mean more than 2 or 3 bikes) is more dangerous than solo.   This might be simply because I tend to expand my bubble of awareness to encompass the entire group, and find myself mentally accounting for hazards that might affect other riders, even if it doesn't pose a direct threat to me.   As a result, its more fatiguing to ride in a group.   

And when I think of all the group rides I've ever been on, the number of incidents I've witnessed is actually pretty high.   The first group ride I ever participated in shortly after I bought my 1st bike (organized by the dealership) resulted in a guy I sorta knew running wide into a ditch for no reason at all, taking a helicopter ride, and spending the next several months in a body cast.  He did then lose two hundred pounds, so there was a silver lining.  But, that was basically the last "Group" ride I did for 12 years, and all my riding after that was solo, or just with my wife on the pillion until recently. 

Even now that I've started riding with this club occasionally, it seems like almost every ride I've been on, there was something that could have ended badly....  Somebody over cooked a corner stood it up across a double yellow, another guy went off into the gravel shoulder and stopped in the grass (stayed upright and rode on), there were a couple pucker moments passing cars without enough visibility, and who can forget the stand-up wheelies down HWY 61?  ::)  As much as we all say, "Ride your own Ride" -- I think a lot of that wouldn't happen if the riders were solo and actually riding their own ride.

And, don't get me wrong, I enjoy running double the yellow signs through the corners and shrinking the country miles when there is no one around.    99% of the time, and the vast majority of the riders I've met so far are really great people, and I'm looking forward to riding with this club more and improving my own skills following riders better than me.   But, I definitely don't consider the group rides somehow "safer" than riding solo.   Whether its human nature or just multiplication - I feel like the risk level goes up with every additional bike.

Title: Re: Riding with others
Post by: Greg on May 18, 2018, 05:32:56 AM
Thanks for joining the thread! I share your enjoyment of riding solo as well. I'm sorry you experienced the horror stories you describe. Would those experiences fall under the category of "riding with other riders who are similar in skill levels and style of riding" as described in my OP? Whenever we post open forum rides, these events are used as a conduit for meeting similar riders with similar styles of riding tastes. Garnering their contact info, then inviting them on off-forum "closed" rides. This is when the true shenenigans take place!

Interestingly, I've done 75% of my riding with at least one other person. My solo trips include riding around Lake Superior, riding from Missouri to Virginia and back as well as 2 solo Ozark trips but count for a small percentage of overall miles. While I do enjoy solo riding, and will do solo trips in the future as well, I prefer riding with others. Different strokes .....

One of the other things I enjoy as well about riding with others who are of similar skill levels and styles of riding is that shared experience and camaraderie you mention. I remember something I shared with my friends at our first lunch stop on my Ozarks trip from last week. I mentioned that during a certain stretch of road that morning when there were several bikes in front of me, a thought came to me as we were carving those corners. I mentioned to them that during that stretch I thought to myself, "This ....This right here is why all of those weeks of planning go into these trips. I LOVE this".

Another thing I enjoy about riding with others who are of similar skill levels and styles of riding, is that we are safer from the prying eyes of local LEA. If 6 of us are skirting the boundaries of posted speeds (in rural areas), only one of us will take a hit with a ticket. In my 20k miles of riding in the Ozarks our groups have never had a ticket. Booyaa.  :)  To me, it's more impressive to avoid tickets.

I'm not a fan of wheelies (and can't do them) but I don't mind folks doing so on a ride I organize as long as they don't crowd others when they do so. And if they can't do them on HWY 61 south of Wabasha, where can they?    8)

Zero wheelies, 10% outlaw
Title: Re: Riding with others
Post by: Mike Duluth on May 21, 2018, 06:17:07 AM
I love riding in this group of my friends. Usually when we have issues. it comes from outside our core group. I've prolly made more mistakes riding by myself than I have riding in our group, I think it's because my concentration level is less when I ride alone. If I were to stop riding with this group, I'm pretty sure I would stop riding.
Title: Re: Riding with others
Post by: slh7d on May 21, 2018, 08:07:15 AM
When I first started riding in group rides with the MSTA/HSTA (1999? 2000?) i found some of the big group rides fun and it was exciting to be around other people that enjoyed motorcycles, and I met one of my best friends Chad through the group and we did a few years of CRA.  My good friend Dave and I did a lot of riding, and we met some other really good friends (Scott/Dani).  I/We eventually decided that big groups rides were a PITA.  Long story short, it sucks when people crash, or pass you or others unsafely.  So we eventually through the years, just rode with people we knew and we all had similar riding levels and no one was out to prove anything.  Everyone was very predictable.  So much nicer!