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I went on a group ride of 18 sportbikers (Last weekend) from Phoenix to Prescott AZ, its about 90 miles oneway, about 10 miles of that a very twisty road. I am in a sportbike club here in Phoenix and this is my first "large" group ride with the club members....period.
Prior to the ride, the leader of the ride explained "how the road is, how to be respectful of all the riders, no stupid passing is allowed, and everyone to ride at thier own pace." I was very impressed with how everyone rode, using turn signals as well as hand signals, let those pass when needed and since I was in the back due to lack of "twisty" expericence, no one left me in the dust. :)

Once we had met our destination we had a great hearty lunch, then the same way back.

All in all it was a great experience, a very "respected" ride and fun!!! And I have to admit, I did pretty good on those "twisites!!!" :wink:
 

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The "twisties" are what it's all about. I've been riding for a long time with clubs (read..."has grey hair"). I have recently seen the sport bike clubs using hand signals and it does my heart good. Group rides and the companinship is what the bikes are about...as long as you get there saftly. Have fun on the twisty..and when you see the "old dude" on the crusier.....give him a wave.
 

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Glad to hear your first group ride was such a sucess NinjaGirl. I have a "group ride lesson learned" that didn't have such a great ending.

This was a couple of months ago, but it was only my 3rd or 4th group ride ... and my wife's 1st. The group was only 9 riders with ~half on crusiers and the others on sports bikes. I had no intention of being the leader since I only fell somewhere in the middle as far as experience goes. But, I'd been talking about a great route I'd found south of Charlotte and everyone wanted to ride it. I would have much preferred to hang out with my wife in the back, but that wasn't going to happen on this day. She did stay in the back, but I told a friend of mine not to ever let her be the last one in the pack (I always wanted someone to be behind her since I couldn't do it).

The whole route is only about 60 miles (30 out and 30 back). Well, a mile or so before we were due to start the second half, my wife low sides (falls) and she happened to be the last bike in the pack. Of course I had no idea she had fallen, but I still blame myself. Here's why ...

1. I was trying to please all of the riders instead of riding to the most inexperienced riders.

2. My speed was making it very difficult for everyone to keep up and keep a tight group.

3. I didn't stop or slow down even when I knew some were falling behind. I know this makes me look like an insensitive idiot, but remember #1 (above)?

I was on a performance cruiser (my Warrior), but I wanted the sports bikes to have fun too. Much of our ride were through twisties. Now I know better. For any group I lead in the future, I will make sure we always stay together. I assumed (key word) everyone would go at their own pace. I knew they couldn't get lost because the road was straight and I'd be waiting at the end. Unless "go at your own pace" is stated from the get-go and an experienced rider is bring up the rear, "go at your own pace" doesn't work. Many inexperienced riders don't want to feel like everyone is waiting on them. That fear causes them to push themselves futher than they are ready for - therefore, speed increases and safety decreases.

Fortunately, my wife had all of her safety equipment on (full faced helmet, armoured riding jacket, leather boots, and even thick leather chaps). She only broke her thumb and got a small strawberry on her hip between her jacket and the chaps. Also good, was the fact that her motorcycle wasn't damaged beyond riding. She actually was able to ride it home. She has ridden since them, but she wasn't able to for weeks afterwards.

For what's it's worth ... we also were being very respectful to other motorists (we actually didn't have to pass a car all day).

Naturally, I felt absolutely terrible about the whole incident, but I learned many valuable lessons that day about leading a group. However, next time I'd rather just hang out with my wife in the back. She blames me too :oops: but has found it in her heart to forgive me :D
 

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re

there is nothing like the attention that group riding brings - its really something to see people
get all riled up with the waving and thumbs up and whatnot :shock: its fun!
once you master the skills of leading a group of 20 bikes its a blast - i see alot of crazy
things with all the new riders that join us.some good some bad but we still manage to have fun.i've learned that some things can't be taught to ride leaders , they just have to
experience situations cause every ride is different - but the ability to learn is what separates
the good road road captains from the not so good,and sounds like you learned quite alot.

every group ride should have a tailgunner to prevent what happened to you,and you
obviously realize that riding to ability of the least experienced rider will make for a fun ride
no matter how slow you have to go. and i can't stress enough the importance of pre-ride
meetings to keep everyone on the same page - but you know that now :lol:

so far this year i've logged over 6k miles with large groups and not 1 incident where
anyone has been hurt (other than their pride :lol: ) - that's only a reflection of communication
between ride leaders and riders-group riding isn't for everybody but if you do it right it
sure is alot of fun - good job on keeping them all together :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Re: re

bikeaholic said:
there is nothing like the attention that group riding brings - its really something to see people
get all riled up with the waving and thumbs up and whatnot :shock: its fun!
once you master the skills of leading a group of 20 bikes its a blast - i see alot of crazy
things with all the new riders that join us.some good some bad but we still manage to have fun.i've learned that some things can't be taught to ride leaders , they just have to
experience situations cause every ride is different - but the ability to learn is what separates
the good road road captains from the not so good,and sounds like you learned quite alot.

every group ride should have a tailgunner to prevent what happened to you,and you
obviously realize that riding to ability of the least experienced rider will make for a fun ride
no matter how slow you have to go. and i can't stress enough the importance of pre-ride
meetings to keep everyone on the same page - but you know that now :lol:

so far this year i've logged over 6k miles with large groups and not 1 incident where
anyone has been hurt (other than their pride :lol: ) - that's only a reflection of communication
between ride leaders and riders-group riding isn't for everybody but if you do it right it
sure is alot of fun - good job on keeping them all together :wink:
Thanks, and I look forward to the next ride!! 8)
 

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8) we had a poker run for the boys and girls club 2 weeks ago..there was about 25 bikes there.it was only about 110 miles but we had fun...met alot of guys i didnt know from the area.they had a 50/50 pot and i bought some tickets for it..when we got to our last stop.my poker hand wasnt worth a crap but i won the 50/50 pot and gave my winnings back to the club as this was what it was all about in the first place... 8)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
bud8fan said:
8) we had a poker run for the boys and girls club 2 weeks ago..there was about 25 bikes there.it was only about 110 miles but we had fun...met alot of guys i didnt know from the area.they had a 50/50 pot and i bought some tickets for it..when we got to our last stop.my poker hand wasnt worth a crap but i won the 50/50 pot and gave my winnings back to the club as this was what it was all about in the first place... 8)
Very Cool!!! 8) :D 8)
 

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That's a great story I should start up a bike club with one rule no @$$holes. Any kansas rider can join no matter what kind of bike you have.
 

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Not wanting to keep everyone waiting, thats so true... I also went down my first time in a group (new rider) ... there were some hairy crosswinds with gusts, but I was riding beyond what I felt safe with. I was lucky, the lesson I learned didn't cause heavy damage to me or my bike.

Moon Glow (Indian name given to me by a friend, I think it has something to do with landing on my backside)
 

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I always gravitate toward the back on group rides. I've had my share of leading or mid-pack riding, no thanks. I'm quite happy to be the tail gunner anymore. I can poke along at my own pace, and the group is happy that an experienced rider is watching their backs.
-Scruffy
 

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I'm a relatively new rider too (~1500 miles) and went on a group ride a couple weeks ago. I did the classic mistake of trying to keep up with the experienced guy on the BMW (me on an 800a). I didn't wreck, but I scraped a peg for the first time in one of the turns and that was enough to freak me out and cause me to slow way down.

Lesson learned: Make sure you know the route and don't worry about them waiting on you. They probably don't really mind and would rather you didn't wreck.
 
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