With riding season fast approaching for those of us in the non year round riding areas and the many of new riders joining our ranks here is a couple of links to help with group riding.
Lets kep in mind that group ride organizers should lead by example, welcome any new riders into group riding, and help any new riders learn the lingo and hand signals by making the documentation available at all group rides.
Group riding can be a lot of fun if you know and trust those you're riding with. I've had some very bad experiences with group rides, usually stemming from massive group sizes, (I was a sweep for a group once that had 45 bikes in it and we were one of 4 groups on this ride, nearly 175 bikes showed up, less than 10% of whom I knew. Not fun) and new riders trying to keep up with more experienced riders. I've left a meetup group as an event organizer because of issues like this. These links are great to try and teach those who aren't familiar with group riding to make it as safe as possible.
Personally I don't like riding in groups bigger than 4 or 5 bikes usually. And I only ride with people who I trust to not try and push beyond what they can safely do. Speed has NOTHING to do with it. I have no problem taking newer riders out and riding at their pace. (I've taken a number of members on here out on riders) But once I organized a "clinic where I took 12 riders out, 10 of whom had only been riding a few months at the most, 3 of us were experienced riders there are "instructors" They were all trying to impress the few of us who came out to help and put on a "clinic" for them. It was scary. Now I don't do things like that in groups. I've taken new riders out one on one and I love doing that.
The biggest group I've ridden with was 4, but this weekend we had 9. I can tell you, I like the smaller groups better or pairing off so everyone has a wingman in case you get into trouble. For over a year I only had one riding buddy, I think I prefer it that way.
Anyway, so far this thread has great info, but I'm surprised no one has mentioned The Pace. I feel like I read a much longer article last year, but this was the first solid hit on google and I have work to do so.... this is good enough.... must stop procrastinating! The Pace - Nick Ienatsch - Motorcyclist magazine
The Pace, I understand about not gunning it on the straights, but nah, I hang off like a twat everytime.
Don't listen to me though, I've lost my license and have been relegated to low siding, flipping and sliding down the road on my pushbike on a regular basis thinking I've got the same brakes and grip as a sportsbike. I should be kissing the policeman's and policewoman's butts, I was definitely getting complacent thinking I was getting good on the sportsbike or something.
It's all about the safety though, ride safe.
If you are like me and want to get to the head of the pack on group rides and you start getting emotional when you see a rear tyre in front of you, you might want to save it all for the race track which is cheaper than paying for speeding fines etc, ride safe.
Anyone interested in group riding would love Thunder in the Valley in Johnstown, PA. Coming into it's 5th year, it's becoming a very large motorcycle rally in the north east, bringing in over 250,000 each year. I live a few miles from downtown and it's actually the reason I was so determined to get my own bike. I've had my license for 4 years but just bought my bike this spring!
I've been a back seat rider every year and it's amazing how easy it is to join a group ride. Any bar or venue you stop at will have hoards of people getting ready to go off in a large group.
Every street and highway is covered in swarms of bikers. The majority of bikers are HD's and other cruisers, but in the recent years there's been a rise in attendance from sport bikes.
They have outdoor bars (including the famous Broken Spoke Saloon found at Sturgis and Daytona), tons of live entertainment, FREE demo rides (which is how I decided to buy a FZ6R), hundreds of food and merchandise vendors, guided group rides, beautiful PA scenery and so much more!
The rally runs from June 20th-June 23rd this year. See you there!