One of the best parts about riding motorcycles is getting to meet up with friends and enjoy the roads together. Could be just a fun day ride to lunch or a weekend road trip. Bringing people together is what we are all about at Babes Ride out. We like to recommend a few things when riding in a group, especially if it is a group that you are maybe not so used to riding with.
The first thing to think about is if you are really the type of rider that enjoys riding in a group. It is a very different experience than riding solo and it is definitely not for everyone. If you are the type of rider that gets frustrated riding a little slower than your normal pace or waiting up for other riders, you may just want to say “meet ya there” and take your own route. Everyone will be better off with this decision. If you can set aside your normal riding style a bit and ride for the group then let’s rip!
Photo by Andrea Dosouto
Make sure there is a designated leader. The leader will set the pace of the ride and also must obviously know the route, so no one gets lost. This is such an important role because you are making decisions for the whole group such as when and if to pass a vehicle, speed, when to change lanes safely, etc. The leader should use hand signals to indicate to the group if you’re making a turn or when to slow down. If you are the lead ride it is very important for you to set aside your normal riding style and ride for the group. A strong leader is made stronger when they are supported by a good sweep rider.
Photo by Heidi Zumbrun
The sweep rides in the back of the pack and helps to make sure no one gets left behind. They can also help the leader to make sure lane changes are smooth for everyone. If you have a communication device that makes it so much easier so you can chat between leader and sweep. Make sure the sweep also knows the route in case a gap in the group forms.
Photo by Heidi Zumbrun
Before kickstands go up, it’s a good idea to have a Riders Meeting to let everyone know the details of the ride. Where you’re going, general pace, whether or not you plan on lane-splitting, etc. That way all the riders know what they’re getting into. Check-in with everyone to see what their riding ability is so you can organize the group with faster riders in the front. It is not really possible to overcommunicate here. All the info helps riders make the decision on if they want to stick with the group or not. Some important things to remind people in the riders meeting are:
- Post your turns. Posting your turn means that you stop and wait for the rider behind you to see you make the turn before you make it. If you post your turns then no one gets lost and everyone can ride at a comfortable pace without the fear of getting left behind or lost.
- Ride your own ride. There are zero reasons to ride above your head ever. As long as everyone posts their turns and the leader and sweep are established, everyone will get there. Worst case scenario you google map yourself to the location on your own. This is a much better scenario versus you riding outside of your comfort zone.
- Keep some distance between riders. Sometimes you see riding groups riding real close together down the road. Good for them, they have probably been riding together for decades. We recommend 2 bike lengths between you and the next rider and staggered formation. You want to have plenty of room to make a correction or come to a stop suddenly if need be.
- No hot doggin’, please. Call us the “fun police” but when people are busting wheelies or riding erratically in a group it throws everyone off their game. Save it for the track.
Being able to experience your favorite roads and destinations with a group will create fast friends and provide you with incredible memories that will last a lifetime. So, grab some friends and saddle up! All roads lead to Babes Ride Out!!!!