I agree. I took the BRC in July and it was definitely worthwhile. I hadn't ridden for probably 30 years and found it to be a big help getting back into the saddle. I'm eying the Confident Rider Course next month. Still not ready for any group rides yet...not sure I like the idea but I guess it would depend a lot on the people.
BMW MOA 181289
CarlNH: You might look around for and MSF Group Riding course offering. It has a good video about 15 minutes, and well worth your time.
One quote from the video is this: "A group ride is not the place to learn to ride your motorcycle". I would paraphrase it a bit and say that a group ride is not the place for a re-entry rider until you are back up to speed and comfortable with operation of your bike. When you get to that point, the group should place you in the middle of the formation to buffer you a bit from the surrounding traffic, and keep an eye on your riding. The biggest suggestion I can make is "Ride your own ride". If you are in any way uncomfortable with the situation, say so and do not be afraid to bail out of the group if necessary.
Stay safe out there !
Doug, 2011 R1200RT Polar Metallic
MSF #127350, Instructor, Louisiana Dept of Public Safety
Motorcycle Safety, Awareness & Operator Training Program
NAUI Instructor #36288, Board Member, Divers Alert Network
I think group riding generally increases the chances of a collision so I don't do 'em. I've been riding for 50 years and the older I get the more cautious I become. Skill level doesn't trump the laws of physics. JMHO
Now: '12 R1200RT Midnight Blue Metallic / '11 Ural Patrol 2WD ridden to Alaska / '09 KLR 650 / '05 HD Heritage Softail / '08 Harley Sportster 1200C / '85 Yamaha VMax bought new. I wasn't ready to say goodbye: www.shaunlunt.typepad.com
Toy's-For-Tots Runs season is fast approaching. There were almost two hundred bikes at last year's run ... in the rain.
As usual, I'll be dropping off a toy at my local independent H-D mechanic's shop - he'll make sure it gets a ride. I'll show up at the staging point that morning and wish them bon voyage.
"It is what you discover, after you know it all, that counts." _ John Wooden
1973 R75/5 - original owner
The most dangerous riding you'll ever do is riding with a group. I have two plates in my left tibia to back-up my opinion. When I do rarely ride with a group I'm either the lead bike or the last bike (positions I have somewhat control over).
I have been a member of the Badger Motorcyclists of Wisconsin for 23 years and have gone on many group rides. Usually, our monthly club ride consists of 10 to maybe 20 bikes at most. In those 23 years I have only seen two issues, one member ran off the road on a curve of his own doing, one member struck the saddlebag of another bike at a stop. In our club we have four MSF instructors, myself included.
That said, we have a pretty consistent group, experience wise, and we tend to do our rides on fairly remote back roads of east central Wisconsin. I just led our club November ride last Saturday. 13 bikes, of which two were Bombardier Spyders. We had a good time, covered about 135 miles with no incidents. But riding in a group is a lot different than solo riding (which I prefer, or maybe three bikes at most). Before the ride I scope out the participants, review some points about the ride, talk about some of the route. As the ride leader I try to keep track of everyone on the ride, to some degree. I have also preridden or studied the route to know where potential issues exist. Even to the point of traffic issues at specific intersections. I treat leading a group of bikes like driving something as big as a semi tractor-trailer rig.
Some group rides, like ours, are good ways to watch other riders and learn lines, see techniques in curves, etc. But that is only possible when riders spread out and give each other ample room. A ride like shown above on the video is just crap, riders packed together WAY too tight. Its just asking for the type of crash shown in the video.
But I will not ride one of the common big rides in our area (charity rides, cruiser rides) as they are simply WAY too big of groups, with a LOT of VERY marginal riders of limited experience. Plus, those big rides just plod along with very little actual "riding" taking place. Also, many of these big rides attract the new or returning riders on bikes whay to big for them, or they are riders who have never taken any form of advanced training. I'll support/participate in the charitable event, but I won't go on the rides.
Last edited by ANDYVH; 11-14-2012 at 06:22 PM.
Get trained! The best "performance" upgrade you can get is YOU. Visit msf-usa.org for training info.
i will echo Andy's comments above. the only group rdes i am likely to go on are ones with my local MOA club (Twisted Shaft)/ which rarely exceed 10 riders, or some smaller get-togethers thru some locized on-line groups.
i never go on the big charity events- too may incopetent riders for my liking. they scare me.
i have been riding for about 35 years, no interruptions, and am also a MSF RiderCoach.
Ride Safe, Ride Lots
I sometimes ride with anywhere from 1 to 4 of my old friends, generally to go for dinner and a total ride of 100 to 150 miles. But, just like flying as a wingman, it takes lots of attention away from enjoying the scenery unless you're leading. I do a fallen warriors charity ride every year, but for me it is a chore.
Rode with a bunch of veterans on Harleys once, but wouldn't do it again - too frequent gas stops and the noise was too much.
Now I do most of my riding two up with my wife of 44 years on pillion and it is great!
I've lead a few rides with a Christian group I belong to and I decided this would be one and only year of being a road captain. I'm not the fastest rider but I can't handle riding the speed limit or below, sinful I know. In groups that I've ridden with that I'm not leading I try to meetup at the lunch destination and then off I go. I don't mind riding with 3-5 very competent riders that I know but prefer to avoid structured group rides.
Gadgetech, I know just what you mean. I used to ride with a good friend, just the two bikes, but every time he had the lead we would wind up pulling the train on the two-lane, no passing country roads because he liked to ride 5 mph UNDER the speed limit. Often i could see nothing but a truck radiator with the red oval Peterbuilt logo in my mirrors. If I had the lead, he'd fall far behind and would be pulling the train on his own until I'd pull off the road to let him catch up and the traffic pass. Also, his Road King woke up everyone for miles around. Go figure. Had to give up riding with him.
Went on a "toy run" several years ago. It seems that there is an attitude that if you ride a certain type of motorcycle and dress in the proper "uniform" there is no question that you are skilled in riding a large powerful motorcycle. I witnessed many stupid careless stunts. Intentional or not, I don't want to be anywhere near one of these rolling calamities just waiting to happen.
I don't know about the Spyders, but the tricycle style of bikes didn't seem to be very compatible being mixed with two wheel bikes. This may be hereditary or due to the riding style of those I found myself with.
And don't forget the accordion!
Last edited by amiles; 11-14-2012 at 07:18 PM.
My club, BMWNEF has group rides after our monthly meeting (usually 150>180 miles round trip with a stop at mid-point to eat). I usually ride sweep/last and we always ride in a staggered formation. That said I prefer to ride alone most of the time or with 2 or 3 friends. It is hard sometimes to find another rider that travels at a pace you both are comfortable with. 2 or 3 bikes are far more visible than 1 on most roads and offer increased safety as well as a helping hand in case of a problem. Be aware of potential problems and ready to alert fellow riders at all times. RIDE SAFE
Cave Contents: 1980 R100RT/Ural Sidecar, 2004 R1200CLC, 2006 HD FSXTI