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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #1
Given that I went on a ride today, and led the pack.. improperly apparently.. I thought it may be a good idea that we get some good 'guide lines' for group rides when you guys go out on them.

I haven't been on a lot of rides, and didn't realize a few mistakes that I made today.

I was in the wrong lane position for the person leading, and switched lane positions like I would if I was riding alone (which apparently I shouldn't have)..

Anyhow..
 

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Jackie Chan's stuntdouble
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I've been on a good number of group rides. It seems that people follow different rules on lane position, presumably depending on what they were taught. I think it is more important to follow the same rules as the ride leader is using, than what you may have been taught.
 

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I alway thought the rule for the leader was the left hand side of the lane and everyone else alternates, or the rule for a follower is whoever is in front of you , take the other side of the lane and don't switch.
 

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ignorance + apathy
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I have ridden with bugs and atomlowe couple times and it seems both of them have a lot of group ride experience and know how to lead and take good care of the whole group.
May be we should ask them to suggest some "group ride" standards.

BIB
 
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the leader usually does stay in the left hand part of the lane and the rest alternate, but at no time should any of the other group members be close enough to each other that if the leader (or anyone else) has to change lane positions, nobody would be cut off. or worse, a collision. although you should be mainly on the left whenever possible.

knowing some hand signals is good too. every group has different ones though.
 
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here is my .02 cents - I hope people take this casually as I am not an expert.. :cool :cool

Person who is leading has to be in lane position # 1 when stopped. I think this is a law (no one is allowed to pass on the left) - therefore if you are lead, you cannot be on the right hand side of another bike when you come to a stop because you have to travel first and pass the rider which is stopped beside you on the left.

(opinion)

Why it is a good reason to travel lead in lane position #1? - It affirms the dominant lane position at the start of the group...making the lead aware of oncoming situations (can't see past cars/trucks if in lane position #3).

Action Motorcycle school booklet excerpt -

A staggered formation is considered the safest way a group of motorcyclists can travel together. When incorporating this formation, limit the size of the group to five riders. If the group is any larger, there is the risk of being seperated by traffic lights or by other vehicles. Here is how we travel in a group:

1. Adopt a "zigzag" formation
2. Rider #1 takes the left portion of the lane
3. Rider #2 takes the right portion of the lane
4. Rider #3 takes the left portion of the lane, about 2 seconds behind rider #1
5. Rider #4 takes the right portion of the lane, about 2 seconds behind rider #2
6. Rider #5 takes the left portion of the lane, about 2 seconds behind rider #3

- End excerpt, page (42)

Turning Left as a group -

Stay in Staggered formation. Lead stays in Lane position #1. Lead turns first, Rider #2 next, Rider #3 next, etc..

Turning right as as group -

Crossover Technique

From standard staggered formation Rider #1 in lane position #1 crosses over to lane position #3. Rider #2 then crosses over to lane position #1 from lane postion #3. This is done in advance of the turn - when completing the turn, Rider #1 crosses over to lane position #1 again. Rider #2 crosses back to lane position #3. Everyone else remains in same lane position/ends up in same lane position before and after the turn.

These are my thoughts on group riding..I hope they help :cool
 
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When I took the action course a while back I was taught EXACTLY what Xyban quoted by Dat, and Mo.. thats the way i ride when in a group and it seems fairly safe and well organized.. (Not to mention looks pretty trick when doing the crossovers for right turns.. like sync. swimmers or something:p )
 

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ignorance + apathy
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dknite said:
When I took the action course a while back I was taught EXACTLY what Xyban quoted by Dat, and Mo.. thats the way i ride when in a group and it seems fairly safe and well organized.. (Not to mention looks pretty trick when doing the crossovers for right turns.. like sync. swimmers or something:p )
totally agree ... that crossover is so cool!

My only question is during "stop sign" ...
when we went for group ride @ Action, the whole group went through stop sign as "one unit" instead of one at a time.

Do we allow to do the same ourselves? Is it only for riding sclhool with licensed leader?

BIB
 
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I agree with everything you guys have said but as far as cornering goes I personally like to have the space and the casuallness of the group to accept doing them in single file. What I mean is everyone being spaced out in the staggered formation with enough room that when the group approaches a corner you as a rider can ride the so called "racing line" and erveryone goes through the corner single file. This is the only situation I would not ride staggered. That is how I ride with the boyz around here and we have never had any incidents. As long as everyone is up to speed BEFORE you leave, you shouldn't have any problems.
Later
:rider
 
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BikeInBlack,.

Yeah i think the stop thing was only for a school so you don't get all separated.. i think it would be frowned on by the police if we where doing that on our rides :D
 
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cornering honestly should be done single file. makes it much easier to get around someone on the remote chance they go over. same with formation riding in twisties. always go thru corners single file and form up after. avoid lane position changes at all cost, because it throws the pack into a never ending move. and above all else, don't ride up the inside of the pack to get closer to the front. if you have to move up, do it outside of the formation.
 

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Resident Banana
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I'd have to agree with Xyban as well. I also like the idea of single file cornering. I'm in the process of researching info on the net in regards to "typical" group riding formations and hand signals. I should be posting something up in the next few days for comments from all of you.

Thanks for the help and the willingness to help out:) . Keep the comments coming everyone.

atom
 
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one thing I'd like to add, and it's mostly a courtesy thing. when you hit a set of turns and after a couple you notice that you may be holding up the guy behind you, pull to the right lane position and wave him by. more experienced groups already know who the faster guys are and let them go first, but when it's a group of people who haven't really ridden much together, this is a nice thing to do.

I was in a small group ride last summer and there was a guy there on a 929. obviously he was faster than me in a straight line so he would pass me there. I have little interest in driving fast in a straight line, so I let him by. by the time we were a few turns into the twisties, I was right on him. he wouldn't let me pass, even though I showed him my front wheel a few times in between corners to let him know. he started pushing himself a little harder to keep a faster pace (which wasn't what I wanted him to do) and ended up with his feet over his head in a ditch right in front of me.

always remember in a group ride to only compete with yourself, not others. I've seen a couple accidents like that now. I don't want to see any more on the public roads. be safe and aware of the whole group.
 

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builder of bikes
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Doug and I oddly always travel with me in the front in the right lane. It's force of habit since we livein PoCo. I travel down the freeway in the right lane with highbeams on so no one will sneak into the HOV lane and take me out. My thoughts are that they see you better that way. So it's out of habit we travel that way and maybe we should break it.

As far as cornering goes, guy in front speeds up a touch, guy behind taps the brakes to allow some more room and it's ANY SAFE LINE through the corner. After that assume position you had before the corner.

I also wonder if my preference for the right lane is the lefty in me coming out. Either way it does make sense for Doug and I to switch sides on regular non-HOV roads...
 
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other things guys do is in a left curve the guy in the left lane position leads into it, and in a right curve the right lane position leads into it. no matter who is leading. helps you to not break out of your formation, and both get to dive into a hot corner first without having to worry about the other guy.
 

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On the crossover technique from Action: I remember Mo was explaining to us that the reason they do this is to protect the lead guy from the rider behind him (or her) going to wide and hitting him.

As for going through stop signs and whatnot as a group - if we ride as a group we should stick together as a group. It's not like we're blocking traffic for minutes...


-D
 
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Wayne said:
Lots of great ideas. I've ridden in groups a fair bit.

I agree with Xyban and Bender.
The dominant / lead position is position #1 (is "lane postion #3" an typo?)

No - Lane position #3 is NOT a typo.

Unlike an automobile there are 3 general postions a motorbike can ride while travelling down a road.

The far left of the lane. Generally referred to as Lane position #1
(The preferred postion for riding single imo)

The center of the lane. Generally referred to as Lane position #2
(something to avoid if possible - grease, oil, debris pile up here)

The far right of the lane. Generally referred to as Lane position #3
(I ride the least here unless in a group, but I move here if I see a big truck coming - the wind blast is killer if you are up close)
 

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Devil's Advocate
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Some good thoughts here so far. I'm pretty new to group riding also and due to my absent minded nature :)P) if I see a truck I might swing right out of reflex etc.. if somebody's on my wheel, we're both gonna be eating concrete.

One thing thats been on my mind too is the 'all through as a pack' at a stopsign or not? I think with 2-6 riders its easy to do.. but with 20, its going to require sombody on each side breaking traffic momentarily. What this means is that the front 2 riders are out of comission and cycled to the rear of the pack (later to catch back up and retake the lead if possible).

The catch here is riders 3 and 4... they better be confident AND know the route/plans or else chaos WILL ensue. Trust me on this hehe. Not usually a problem unless we're weaving through richmond or something but can quickly throw us off course.. we should make sure everybody who knows the area/route is up front maybe just to give us more flexibility for breaking traffic and such.

Also on highway rides before we spread out like butter on the stretch by squeezing 1 or two bikes at a time past a block of traffic who then continue at pace while the others linger etc etc.. we should discuss it. Outpacing the pack is one thing that we shouldn't overdo on 'organized' rides.. but also we should only be passing when the pack can pass with us (if the intention is a group ride). Its pretty easy to get split up at lights, intersections.. there's no need to split the group 'just because' (especially using left turn lanes and such as quick 1 bike passing lanes and doing other things we might do solo or with 2 bikes).

Just my 2 cents

:rider
 
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If there are 20 bikes on a group ride they should be split into 4 smaller groups that travel together. 20 bikes cannot travel safely through lights and intersections all at once.

When you are riding as a group - think of it as driving a bus.. you are a big heavy object that cannot go fast/pass/change lanes easily.
 
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