Group riding can either be a great bonding experience or a nightmare depending on the group you’re with and how you like to ride. Many people enjoy riding solo, but there are other riders who like to experience the open road with a crew. When done right, riding in a group can be awesome. To help you unlock the thrill of a group ride, here are a few tips to make sure the next ride with your old buddies or new friends is smooth sailing.
Get Ready to Roll
Before you set out for any ride, we recommend giving your bike a thorough once over – especially before a group trip; because let’s be honest, you don’t want to be the one that breaks down in front of the entire group. Use the TCLOCS method to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything. Double check that your bike is fueled up and don’t forget to pack sunscreen, rain gear, water to stay hydrated, or anything else you might need during the length of your ride.
Have a Quick Meeting
Having a meeting before you start riding ensures a smoother ride. We suggest you go over your planned route, the length of the ride, and determine any designated stopping points along the way. Make sure you are aligned on any basic hand signals so everyone is aware of them during the ride.
Select a Leader
During your initial meeting, it’s a good idea to select a leader for the group. This biker should be one of the most experienced and confident riders in the pack. They should know the route like the back of their hand and should know how to respond to other drivers and be able to guide the group safely to the end destination.
Set Some Ground Rules
There are a lot of do’s and don’ts to group riding so make sure to go over specific rules with your group. Here are a few rules we recommend the following:
Staggered Formation is Key
When riding on straight roads in a group, get your riders familiar with staggard formation. This is when the leader of the group drives on the left side of the lane and the second rider drives on the right side of the lane, two or more seconds behind the leader. The third rider would drive on the left side of the lane and so forth – don’t forget to leave enough distance between you and the other bikers. This ensures that you are not riding alongside each other, but still staying together as a unit.
No Passing in the Group
Avoid passing each other inside the group. If you need to pass by a car legally (as a group), be sure to pass one motorcycle at a time.
Don’t Fixate on the Bike in Front of You
You need to stay alert and focused while riding, making sure you can see what’s ahead of you. If you’re focused on the rider in front of you, you might forget to look well through the turns. Keep your eyes ahead while riding.
Newer Riders to the Middle
Obviously a newer rider won’t be your group leader, but they shouldn’t be alone in the back either. Make sure they are placed towards the front-middle of your lineup.
Riding with friends and family can be a great experience if you follow the rules above. What are your thoughts on group riding? Love it? Hate it? We’ve come to learn it’s all about personal preference. Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.