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ZAMM Fanatic
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2,730 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
You CAN'T "ride your own ride" when you're riding in a group, especially one containing noobs who don't know "group etiquette!"

Group etiquette is all about being considerate of the OTHER MEMBERS of the group!

You don't want to obey group ETTI-QUIT, don't like the RC and how he runs his ride, then DONT RIDE IN GROUPS! There's plenty of open road for you.

Being considerate is not hanging other riders out to dry at stoplights, forcing 'em to do 90mph or other speeds that endanger them....or get them ticketed... Since it's always the riders at the REAR of the pack who get pulled over...

Or passing on the right or doing other STUPID **** that annoys motorists the REST OF THE GROUP then have to deal with!

So come on! Let's go over a few things!

The leader or "Ride Captain" needs to ride at a speed suitable for ALL members of the group, (unless you're trying to intentionally drop one, or get the hot dog to zoom off on his/her own!)

Lane changes need to consider the tail end Charlies and not just the first gaggle of riders!

Riding with your hands off the handlebars, holding hands with your lover at 60mph and other nonsense needs to be done when there is NOT a half dozen motorbikes behind you who are gonna pile on if you hit some road debris and crash, WARREN!

Zooming past some pickup on the right, EVEN THOUGH there was a merge lane, leaving the rest of the pack behind is BAD FORM, WADE!

Ok, passing a motorist, STAYING in the left lane, with your arm raised to tell riders behind (who can't see) that it's CLEAR TO PASS is good technique.

Riding in a staggered formation is always safer, although, it's kinda fun and good practice to ride side by side, (aka "parade") formation now and then.

Noobs, riding "parade" FORCES you to learn to hold your position in your lane, even through turns, etc. It's good practice!

Leader! Not necessarily the RIDE CAPTAIN! Your job is to WATCH YOUR MIRRORS and make sure you've still got all 8 or 10 or 12 or whatever riders. To signal noobs when they leave their TURN signal on! To plan ahead for the ENTIRE group, not just to be in front! To make lane changes EVERYONE can follow! To adjust your speed DEPENDING on how tired the NOOBS are, not yourself!

Noobs, do NOT fixate on the bike in front of you! That doesn't give you enough reaction time in a 'mergency! Look all the way forward to the FRONT of the group, see what the RC is seeing and react accordingly!

C'mon, groups, let's make it EASY for the impatient motorists who DEMAND to pass the entire group by keeping the group fairly tight, not spread out over a half mile or more.

Tighten up approaching lights...

Hey Ride Captain --- review hand signals BEFORE we set out, and after the first "screw up" where it's obvious the noobs were NOT paying attention. It won't hurt anyone else to watch the review...AGAIN!

Hey, tail end charlie! I'm the sweep, not you! You have GOT to stay up with the group. I don't have a rope, I can't pull you, I don't have a bumper, I can't push you, YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO USE THE THROTTLE!

Hey Noobs I pull out and block an intersection for the rest of the group, TWIST AND GO instead of pulling into the intersection beside me and stopping! Jeez, Louise, DILLARD!

How about showing a little consideration for EVERYONE in the group...like when the lady rider(s) sez she's VERY hungry, didn't get any breakfast,, and we all AGREE on Mexican, and we SEE a Mexican restaurant....actually PULL IN AND EAT even though it's only 11:30...

Ditto for fuel. Ya got one guy on a scooter, perhaps, with a gas tank HALF the size of the big cruisers and he's signalling fuel.... What is wrong with pulling into the NEXT GAS STATION, the one RIGHT NEXT TO THE MEXICAN restaurant, Warren?

Even if ya gotta U-turn the group to get to it!

If you don't go the EXTRA MILE for the NOOBS they ain't coming back, cause they DIDNT have any fun. Lend 'em some rain gear, a jacket, whatever they need. Monitor THEIR fuel state FOR them! Check their tires, their oil FOR them at the first stop. Gets a good discussion going of ride safety!

Does everyone else trade bikes like we do? Jeez, putting a noob on my brand new bike probably hardest thing I've ever done. Why did I do it?
Didn't realize he was a noob, told me he owned an Ultra Glide.

And scooter guy, when the rest of us stop for salty snacks and sugar at 3:30 cause we're all whipped, NO REASON YOU CANT FUEL UP while the rest of us b.s. instead of signalling fuel 20 miles down the road...

go ahead, experienced riders, TELL that Noob what they're doing wrong, like "Fred Flinstoning" or "paddling" their feet as they stop, or wobbling their take-offs because they're not LOOKING FAR ENOUGH DOWN THE ROAD. They NEED feedback from more experienced riders even if it's not always pleasant.

So they don't break their leg doing stupid stuff like that! Or take the group down! Be FIRM about what they need to do/NOT DO...

But be gentle, patient, kind about it... like you were teaching your kid brother who "grew up" while you were off at college...

Hey Nooobs, when the SWEEP zooms to the front of the group with his 4-way flashers or right hand turn light flashing, that MEANS THERES A PROBLEM and the entire group needs to pull over and wait till it's resolved...

Hey SWEEP, do NOT abandon your position! Stop the grupe and have a chat with the PROBLEM RIDERS or the RIDE CAPTAIN if they're making your job hard or impossible! Tip: Let the RC be the "enforcer", the "heavy who lectures the problem children.

The most dangerous time, I assume, for groups, is around 4:30 when everyone's a bit worn out, tired, sun low in the sky, yet there are motorists hell bent for leather to get home from work starting to pop out... time to
be especially careful, ride staggered...

Hey Ride Captain....U don't have to go BALLISTIC when someone breaks group etiquette....a Mother Hen doesn't tear her chicks a new one, she lovingly guides them back into line.... even if a MINOR peck is required.

Besides, I told you already, you're a ginormous PECKERWOOD!

But believe me, you guys who have been riding 20 years, have tens of thousands of miles and don't CAUSE PROBLEMS on group rides, boy are the
RC and Sweep GRATEFUL for you guys and the GOOD EXAMPLES you set.

Group riding is like a beautiful ballet when it's done right. In other words, EVERY rider being considerate of those around them.

When it's done badly..... ambulances get called.
 

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ZAMM Fanatic
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2,730 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Saguaro National Park? by wadenelson1, on Flickr

CLICK IMAGE FOR LARGER IMAGE

Paul, Roxy, Warren (turned) and Chris's father on the big Vic

Not seen: Wade, Bonnie, Dillard, CF's wife...

Paul volunteers 1-2x per week at the Phoenix Rescue Mission. Warren cooks on Sundays. that's the kind of guys we ride with!

Dillard's got this HEAVY Tennessee accent and everyone ALWAYS agrees with everything he sez...MAINLY because they can't understand him. Me, I'm from Alabama and I only get about 70%...

I've decided this is the key to getting into upper management...speak in a tone, volume and dialect nobody can possibly understand. They can't disagree with ya if they don't have an 'effin clue what you just said!


Chilly Morning Start at Dunkin' Donuts / Alma School Rd by wadenelson1, on Flickr
CLICK IMAGE FOR LARGER IMAGE

Dillard (on the fence), Dr. Pepper, Bonnie (headband) Chris' Father & Wife, Warren (hoody), Paul, Chris (looking right)

Hey NOOBS, show up at the rally point with a full tank of gas, and tires AIRED UP, will ya?
 

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Female Rider
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9,311 Posts
In our group that rides together a lot, if we are on 4 lane roads or interstates and want to pass someone, the lead rider turns his/her left blinker on and the last rider finds a spot to pull out. He/she then lets the rest of the group get out in front of him. We pass as 1 unit and when everyone is around, the back rider pulls in first then the next and so on up to the lead rider.

When doing this, everyone pulls in and out fairly rapidly so as not to slow down other traffic. It keeps the back riders from being hung out there when the front riders pull in and slow down thus leaving no space for the back riders. It is especially helpful on busy highways to keep everyone together.
 

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ZAMM Fanatic
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2,730 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
the lead rider turns his/her left blinker on and the last rider [selects the opening into which] to [change lanes] .
NICE!

A car yesterday decided he was going to pass our ENTIRE group in one shot and... wait for it.....

got hung out to dry by an oncoming truck. a big one.

Driver pulled back in right into the middle of our pack.

Any suggestions on how to prevent/handle this?

I considered making chase to give him a one-fingered "salute" but Warren, then leading, far more gracious and forgiving than I, waved him on around.

The truck driver may have required a change of underwear....
 

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Female Rider
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9,311 Posts
It's all about safety. We let them pull in and then wave them on around when there is room. I wouldn't want to not give them room only to be run over by them or see them have a head on which might effect our group too. Relax, enjoy the ride and live to ride another day. :)
 

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Driftless Rider
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1,485 Posts
If riding in a larger group there is no way to prevent other drivers from splitting the group at times
There is no reason to expect that you (the group) have any more right to the roadway than other traffic. You must allow for people to overtake your group in small bites, same as your group may need to split up temporarily to overtake another vehicle.

If the group notices a vehicle attempting to pass, they should break into smaller cells to allow the passing driver to drop back into the flow of traffic if needed. After the vehicle has moved on, then the group can form back up.
 

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And scooter guy, when the rest of us stop for salty snacks and sugar at 3:30 cause we're all whipped, NO REASON YOU CANT FUEL UP while the rest of us b.s. instead of signalling fuel 20 miles down the road...
This is the only issue brought up I've run into on group rides.

1. Have a full tank when you arrive at the starting point. If that means topping up at the station nearest to it, do it. Even though you filled up by your house, that may have been more than a gallon ago. Everyone should be kickstands up with a full tank.

2. Signal when you know you're running low, not running on fumes.

3. If the next stop doesn't have gas, and you need gas, go get it at the top of the stop, not when everyone is about to leave.

4. Ask who needs gas. Yall can all go at once or arrange for a group pit stop.

5. If one stops for gas, we all stop for gas. You're going to burn it anway. Get while the getting's good.
 

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ZAMM Fanatic
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Discussion Starter #8
If the group notices a vehicle attempting to pass, they should break into smaller cells to allow the passing driver to drop back into the flow of traffic if needed. After the vehicle has moved on, then the group can form back up.

That' a big "If".

A lot of times drivers are QUITE impatient and they're in the passing or oncoming lane directly beside the group before ANYONE notices 'em.

Personally if I SEE a motorist coming up fast behind us, or giving "the signs" he/she wants to pass, I'll point at my mirror to signal other riders.

But if I'm in the rear sweeping for a group there's nobody to see my sign. :(

I apparently went over my quota of hand signals with the 4-fingers above the helmet deer signal suggest so I'll have to let someone else put the "mirror point" out there.

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign, do this don't do that can't you read the signnnsssss!
 

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Wadenelson you have raised good ones which all should be keep in mind for safe ride. Yeah group riding is beautiful, and all should considerate with them.
 

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I found a way around all of these issues. I don't group ride. Problem solved, lol. If you like that sort of thing, then whatever melts yer butter. Not for me.
 
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