I enjoy riding by myself, but sometimes there’s nothing better than getting together with a group of friends and going for a ride. Usually, for me this is an informal kind of rally, but for many riders going to large organize biker rallies is important. Either way, you really need to know a few things about riding in a group.
Have a Plan Before the Ride Starts
It’s easy to just get a bunch of buddies, jump on your bikes and go, but that’s not the smartest way of doing things. In general, there’s a few things I always like to know: how many people are in the group, where we’re all riding to, if we’re taking any breaks, who is leading, and if anyone is leaving the group along the way.
Before you head out for your ride, get that information. You don’t have to have a serious meeting, just make sure someone asks those questions so everyone knows. The last thing you want is confusion out on the road.
Always Ride In a Staggered Formation
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation and any rider I’ve ever talked to says a staggered formation is best when riding in groups. This gives you plenty of room when done properly and lets you enjoy the ride. Check out the diagram above for specifics on spacing and position. Don’t get to close to any other rider. There’s nothing more annoying to me than another motorcyclist crowding me on the road.
Often, you’ll see bikers ride side by side. This isn’t really smart. You simply don’t have enough room to be safe. However, I don’t mind rolling up next to someone at a stoplight. It lets you exchange important information when needed.
Keep an Eye On Other Riders In the Group
At any given time, you should know who’s in the group and where they’re at. I’m not opposed to switching positions in the group on the fly, but you need to communicate with the other riders in your group. This means watching for hand signals and keeping an eye on your surroundings. I use my mirrors a lot when riding in a group. In most ways you’re safer riding in a group, but in order to reap those benefits, you need to be able to operate as one single unit.
Have any tips or comments for riders traveling in a group? Leave a note in the comment box below.