The fundamentals of group riding

We all want to enjoy riding with our mates on the road and be quicker than them on the track. We show you how to do both

Posted: 29 November 2010
by Tim Dickson

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Riding bikes with your mates is a right laugh. In fact, a shared biking experience - whether it's blasting an Alpine pass or simply having a Sunday run to a nice boozer - is much better than a solo one.

Plus there's nothing better than riding around the outside of your mate on a track day, and re-living the pass at the bar for the rest of the evening.

But it seems there is a serious problem when groups of bikers ride together - people crash, and for lots of different reasons. There are right (and therefore wrong) ways to enjoy a mob hoon - turn the page instantly if you have any doubts (or even if you don't...) and prepare for mass enlightenment.

A summer run with friends is what biking's all about. But how can you keep it smooth, swift and safe?

For many, biking is a social thing, and a big part of that is riding somewhere with a group of mates. For others, group riding holds less of an appeal, but situations arise when lone bikers end up riding with others.

If everyone is riding at the same pace, in the same frame of mind, going the same way to the same place and they all want to get there at the same time, then it shouldn't be a problem, but if anyone is out of kilter with the rest then problems can arise.

Gary Baldwin, an accident investigator with the Thames Valley Police, says group riding has become an identifiable cause of bike accidents. "In 2003 it became a real issue," he says. "You'd get 20 blokes riding together at a pace only one was happy with. It's a recipe for disaster."

But it isn't all doom and gloom. If you're up for a group ride there are few things you can do to make it run smoothly and, with Gary's help, we're going to tell you how.

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If the Police have their way group riding will be a thing of the past, there was a story a while ago where someone in a group crashed and died.


Posted: 29/11/2010 at 16:59

If the Police have their way group riding will be a thing of the past, there was a story a while ago where someone in a group crashed and died.



Posted: 29/11/2010 at 16:59

Stupid bloody system, i didn't once touch submit and yet it submitted half my post twice !!! ... i'll continue, a few days later the other riders in the group were victims of an early morning Police raid and arrested with a view to doing them all for dangerous riding !!!

Watch this case with interest as it could affect all of our ride out's in future.

Posted: 29/11/2010 at 17:02

I used to run a bikers club in Prague in the Czech Republic for all expats living here and although it was a lot of fun it was also a lot of stress for me as the organiser for the following reasons,
1. Mixed group of riders with different styles of bikes and riding ability so you are constantly looking in your mirror. Ranging from cruisers, enduro, sports, tourers, custom. Riders with 6 months to 10 years experience
2 Larger groups of more than 5 bikers tend to get streached out which makes progress through towns difficult at junctions.
3. Night riding is impossible to keep everyone together.
4. You can guarantee that someone will bitch about something and spoil the day
5. There will always the nutter that does not want to keep with the group and race off ahead.
6. Most of the riders only own bikes as a status symbol and are only occasional riders who never improve their skills.

The best times - when we arrived at our destination had lunch and a drink and general banter.

In the end I got so frustrated that I have decided to give it up and just ride with a few mates who have the same ability and outlook on life and really enjoy my trips again.

Posted: 15/01/2013 at 13:46

Enjoy riding with a few mates but some of the best rides I have had have been when I have been out on my own! No pressure to try to keep up [not that I do!] and ride beyond my ability. This seems to be a major cause of problems when in a group.

Posted: 16/01/2013 at 20:10

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