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Thread: Group riding from Richmond VA to Nashville TN

  1. #1
    RVA Bike Mad Shabba's Avatar
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    Group riding from Richmond VA to Nashville TN

    In mid-April, a group of us on bikes ranging from an Aprilia Shiver to a Yamaha FZ-R6 to my R1100RT will be riding from Richmond Virginia down through central Virginia, into North Carolina, over to Tennessee and through Deals Gap, through Georgia and Alabama and into western Tennessee to Nashville. The only interstate will be in areas for which there is no way around. As it stands, this constitutes about 2 hours total of our planned 6 day ride. Three of us are seasoned riders, myself with 26 years of road experience and nearly 300,000 miles ridden. At least 3 of the group are new with little to zero long distance experience. We've been riding as a group for quite sometimes and have done many days of several hundred miles. Any suggestions as to group dynamic or advice on how to best supervise this group of relative greenhorns?

  2. #2
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    My recommendation is to not try to ride as a large group. From your post it appears that there are at least six of you. Instead of riding as a group you can establish march objectives and then ride in pairs or individuals. The group can reassemble as often as you like. At one extreme would be that everyone meets at a predetermined motel or cafe at the end of the day. At the other extreme the group may reassemble at every fuel stop. If someone has a problem they can text or leave voicemails so the others know. I dislike group rides so I am always looking for a way to avoid them. A group is only as good as the least experienced and capable rider, fuel stops take an inordinate amount of time and if one person needs to stop to pee it can cause turmoil.
    Kevin Huddy
    Tm Pterodactyl MT Outpost

  3. #3
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    Let the least experienced rider set the "stop/rest" schedule. Of course, the gas schedule should be set by the smallest gas tank/shortest gas range, and everyone should fill at the same time. Stops typically take 10 minutes/bike (yep, that's not a typo!), so trips always take longer the larger the group.

    If you're not concerned about everyone following the route, you may want to split the group up, re-grouping at gas stations, rest stops, wherever, letting the faster, more experienced riders ride their own pace, and the less experienced riders won't feel like they're holding the others back. It may be prudent to have one experienced rider bring up the tail, if there is any question about the abilities.

    Less obvious -- but equally important -- make sure everyone has everyone's cell #, including a number for each rider's "home person".

    Main thing -- Have fun and don't overthink this!
    J Goertz
    BMW MOAL
    2015 BMW R1200RT
    2012 Triumph Bonneville SE

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Shabba View Post
    In mid-April, a group of us on bikes ranging from an Aprilia Shiver to a Yamaha FZ-R6 to my R1100RT will be riding from Richmond Virginia down through central Virginia, into North Carolina, over to Tennessee and through Deals Gap, through Georgia and Alabama and into western Tennessee to Nashville. The only interstate will be in areas for which there is no way around. As it stands, this constitutes about 2 hours total of our planned 6 day ride. Three of us are seasoned riders, myself with 26 years of road experience and nearly 300,000 miles ridden. At least 3 of the group are new with little to zero long distance experience. We've been riding as a group for quite sometimes and have done many days of several hundred miles. Any suggestions as to group dynamic or advice on how to best supervise this group of relative greenhorns?
    I'll say you won't be a "group" by the end. I do not like riding in a group, not even for a short ride. It's like herding cats when there is more than two bikes, and even then it can be a pain, but good luck .
    Gail Thorne
    2017 F700GS

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by akbeemer View Post
    fuel stops take an inordinate amount of time and if one person needs to stop to pee it can cause turmoil.
    A pet peeve of mine is when the group stops for fuel , and as you said takes an inordinate amount of time, and while there drinks a Coke, etc. and then 30 minutes later has to stop ...to pee.
    Gail Thorne
    2017 F700GS

  6. #6
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shortythorne View Post
    I'll say you won't be a "group" by the end. I do not like riding in a group, not even for a short ride. It's like herding cats when there is more than two bikes, and even then it can be a pain, but good luck .
    Sometimes it takes a few miles for the two of us to be in sync...I'll take the hit for that typically

    Quote Originally Posted by shortythorne View Post
    A pet peeve of mine is when the group stops for fuel , and as you said takes an inordinate amount of time, and while there drinks a Coke, etc. and then 30 minutes later has to stop ...to pee.
    Everybody fuels up and then goes for a pit stop...except the one who comes out with a donut and coffee, smokes a cig, then as we are gearing up tells us they need fuel Good times.

    We have a small group that has adapted to each others patterns through the years that we can make
    good time with and not irritate the rhythm or each other.Sadly, one lost her cancer battle and is missed in the formation.Small groups is better if necessary.
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
    It's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away-D.Dillon/G. Strait

  7. #7
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    As far as input, putting the least experienced rider second in line keeps them from playing chase as their perception of group dynamics is learned. The common mistake to me is putting them towards the back.
    Out on open highways, a larger group is manageable, however, any urban scenarios is best to have smaller pods as accordion effect and signals will break up even the best bands march.
    Don't overthink it, but do have pre flight discussions and post ride discussions between breaks...encouragement being the driver, not scolding.
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
    It's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away-D.Dillon/G. Strait

  8. #8
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    Group

    If there are 6 of you only the first one has to stop at the stop signs right?

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