It’s a beautiful September day in our little corner of Wales, so we’re off on a group ride! Motorcycling alone is great but riding out with a group of friends can take it to a whole new level. But learning to look out for every member of the group will help you enjoy it even more.
If you're new to group riding it’s easy to get pushed into riding beyond your ability or experience. To help avoid this we recommend riding with people you trust; real friends will respect your skill level and will ride accordingly.
If you're an experienced rider and a new rider joins your group, be responsible and encourage the group to look after them. We were all novices once and welcomed the support of fellow bikers in becoming more experienced in group riding, without being pushed too hard to keep up.
Speeding is a common problem for group riders. Everyone starts riding off together but one rider has a faster bike, they up the pace a little, others try to keep up and before long everyone is riding too fast for the conditions, the road, or the speed limit - risking points on their licence, or worse a collision. Never treat group riding as a competition, competing is for the track, keep it there.
Speak up if a member of the group is riding in an inappropriate manner or has a poor attitude, the group wants to have positive experiences, not regrets. Nominate a 'sweeper' to ride at the back to keep an eye out for breakdowns or stragglers and to call for help if there's an incident.
If the group gets split up just relax, stay in control and don't be forced into playing catch up. It’s a good idea to pre-arrange a couple of meeting points so that you can all get together again safely. Ride in a formation that doesn’t compromise your view or stopping distance, you’ll need time and space to react to issues during the ride out. Maintain a safe distance between bikes at all times and never blindly follow the bike in front into an overtake - ride for yourself and only overtake when you see that it’s safe to do so. Keep your observations sharp, use your own judgement and plan manoeuvres for yourself.
Plan regular rest breaks and use this as an opportunity to swap over the lead riders, to share the load. Be organised, work out your route in advance, plan your rest stops and ride to the abilities of the least experienced rider.
Staying focused on ensuring that nobody gets left behind means that your group ride out will be a pleasurable ride for all members. And remember, if you intend to leave the group before expected, let another member who is continuing know what’s happening.
For more good practice tips on group riding visit the prepare page.