Now when I say group riding I bet some of you are imagining a scene from a film that’s about a hundred bikers all going down the street side by side?
Well this is not always true, but whether it’s 2 motorbikes or 100+ you need to consider lot of different items.
First thing I always tell people is, NEVER ride from your comfort zone, do not attempt to keep up with someone if it makes you feel nervous, ride to your own abilities, if you’re in a group your “friends” or fellow riders will await you in the next junction in case you haven’t managed to keep up. If they do not wait for you, you have to tell yourself are these the people I really want to be riding with? Remember it isn’t all about the bike it’s all about the rider. I’ve been out with lots of groups and to tell the truth, some ride a lot faster than I do and no, I’m not going to keep up with them, Likewise I’ve ridden with people that ride slower than myself, do I bugger off and leave them (I can hear a few of my friends today saying I should) but no I do not. It is not all about how quickly you get there it is more about the journey.
So the 2nd piece of information for group riding is, try to keep your position in a group, if you’re the 3rd 4th or 25th bicycle in a group, remain in your position as bikers passing each other in a group can be harmful as we are busy looking at those in front we aren’t expecting someone to pull off a fast overtake up the inside or out, and if for some reason you need to move suddenly, you’ve arrived at the scene of the collision, and believe me I know how much it hurts to fall off a motorbike.
That being said if you do have to pass those in front do so, but remember tons of room they may not be expecting it. Now something to think about is the size of this group. I’ve ridden with two motorbikes and also ridden with a couple of hundred.
When the group gets very large you may want to consider some of the following.
No? You might choose to utilize the corner man system.
The “marker” will then await the Tail rider or rear gunner or whatever name you would like to give to the guy at the back to grab, then the marker may rejoin, usually in the front of the tail rider. Once rejoined keep your position and eventually you’ll be supporting the lead rider.
This brings us nicely to the tail rider, this can be anybody in the group, but if somebody who has a distinctive motorbike or clothing (some groups use a unique high viz for this rider) they could be useful, just make everyone aware who the tail rider is. Also the tail rider should be conscious of the route you are taking and have the amount or means to speak to the lead rider.
In very large groups you may sometimes get ride marshals, these will normally always be wearing high viz clothes and even have flashing amber lights to identify themselves, they may even be blood bikers but most certainly advanced bikers of some sort (ROPSA or IAM).
So I thought this was going to be a quick post but as it happens there is a lot to consider about group riding, and even more I have not yet covered.