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USMCSVRider
04-27-2009, 03:08 PM
I've ridden twice now with a couple of guys from the Greenville area, and I had a question about etiquette on my part. In January, I rode with them for the first time, and wiped out on a side road off of 178. I attributed the crash to my not paying attention, not looking far enough through the turn, being slightly unfamiliar with the territory, and target fixation. Got my bike all fixed up, and I've been riding 178 frequently to get the feel for the road, and I am getting faster. Sunday, I went riding again with the same guys, and I didn't rush myself, but ended up way behind. At the first stop, I had time to take my helmet and gloves off, think about peeing, and then get back on the bike and ride again. This also happened at the next rest stop, but I took my time and the necessary break. I think we were on East Branch road. I fell way behind on this leg, due to traffic and my own extended break. No one really said anything, but I really don't feel like I should ride with these guys again. I am well below their experience level, and don't want to noob up their riding time. Would it be right of me to decline an invitation the next time?? I feel like I ride better on my own... And I don't feel like I should ride with these guys again, until I'm a bit better in the curves...

rocketman1098S
04-27-2009, 03:21 PM
The burden of the problem lies not with you, but with the scrubs you are riding with. I am very lucky, in that the groups I ride with take into consideration the various skill levels of other riders. We moderate our pace, it is definitely not a race or trackday, and keep a spirited but restrained speed. The leader makes stops at intersections that might be confusing, and we make frequent stops just to enjoy the day, and to allow the group to reform, while we all take a break.

You don't owe these guys an explanation. Find some better people to ride with. You will enjoy the experience much more and gain more from it.

Semper Fi
Mark

Wanderer13
04-27-2009, 03:30 PM
Just be clear up front (before the ride) what your expectations are. Let the group members know that you ride at a different pace and establish meet up points along the route. If there are other riders of your skill level, split into groups. Just remember that you are responsible for your own safety! A good ride leader will take into consideration the various skill levels of the group, but that doesn't always happen. Just ride your own ride. :scooter:

rufrydrsc2
04-27-2009, 04:10 PM
:iagree:
It's their responsibility to make sure you're not pushing yourself. The guy that i ride with is fairly new to riding and still uncomfortable in corners. I take it on myself to make sure that I don't leave him. Yes, it puts me at a slower pace, but I enjoy riding with someone alot more than railing the whole thing by myself. You're more than welcome to ride with us anytime we're out, we usually post up a few days before. I live in Greenville. I'll probably be out this week also as I'm heading back from a work trip in Texas and I'm going through withdrawls. LOL. Hope all goes well.

USMCSVRider
04-27-2009, 04:15 PM
The burden of the problem lies not with you, but with the scrubs you are riding with. I am very lucky, in that the groups I ride with take into consideration the various skill levels of other riders. We moderate our pace, it is definitely not a race or trackday, and keep a spirited but restrained speed. The leader makes stops at intersections that might be confusing, and we make frequent stops just to enjoy the day, and to allow the group to reform, while we all take a break.

You don't owe these guys an explanation. Find some better people to ride with. You will enjoy the experience much more and gain more from it.

Semper Fi
Mark

Semper Fi!! Believe it or not, I run the Motorcycle Safety Program for our Unit and try not to interject that "convoy" op mentality into the rides, but it was very confusing both times I've ridden as to where the stops would be and such. I felt like I was a burden at times, especially the last time when I wrecked. I think you're both right, in the sense that I am responsible for my own safety, and that uncomfortable feeling could edge into your brain and cause you to lose focus on riding. I think I'll decline for the next ride, and for a bit. Thanks for the responses...

C.R.S.
04-27-2009, 04:24 PM
Post up if your riding maybe we can hook up.
Ride your own pace dont worry about how fast you are, if they start bragging how fast they are it usually means the opposite??
New riders are always welcome!

USMCSVRider
04-27-2009, 04:25 PM
:iagree:
It's their responsibility to make sure you're not pushing yourself. The guy that i ride with is fairly new to riding and still uncomfortable in corners. I take it on myself to make sure that I don't leave him. Yes, it puts me at a slower pace, but I enjoy riding with someone alot more than railing the whole thing by myself. You're more than welcome to ride with us anytime we're out, we usually post up a few days before. I live in Greenville. I'll probably be out this week also as I'm heading back from a work trip in Texas and I'm going through withdrawls. LOL. Hope all goes well.

In the "ride lead's" defense, he definitely let me know not to worry about keeping up. I wouldn't say I'm uncomfortable in the corners, as much as I'd say I'm uncomfortable in new terrain. I think I felt more uncomfortable with the fact that I felt like a burden since the three in front had to wait a few more minutes on the two of us in the rear.. I felt like a total noob.. The guy behind me was less experienced than me, so when I tried talking to him about improvements, he couldn't really offer anything. I like organization, and tend to be an "alpha" male when it comes to taking charge, but didn't want to step on anyone's toes.. Thanks for the invite.. I look forward to hooking up if possible.. I'll watch for your posts..

STRETCH
04-27-2009, 05:21 PM
It is most enjoyable to ride with people close to your own skill level. I suggest riding with several different groups. there are all diferent skill sets out there.
But, it's not a perfect world and the bigger the group the more deverse the skill level. If nobody is in a rush this works fine. Everybody rides at a pace they are comfortable and regroups at the intersections so that nobody gets lost. This only works if the slower riders don't push outside of there comfort level in an atempt to keep up. this requires a lot of maturity on the part of the slower rider to keep his ego in check. Usualy the faster riders will dial it back a little too but we dont want to deny them there fun either .

Viper
04-27-2009, 07:21 PM
All good advice from those who have posted their opinions. Some people will naturally ride faster than others or faster than you may be comfortable with. I have lead my share of rides and I try to keep the pace spirited enough for the faster guys and safe enough for those who are still getting comfortable. Realistically: if the fast guys want to take off and exceed the speed limit by more than you want to, just let them go. If they don't wait up for you at the end of the run then you'll know you don't want to ride with them again.

I'd recommend getting one or two more riders to join your group that are closer to your skill level so no one is left behind by themselves. It is always more fun and a good learning experience to ride with someone slightly faster than you from whom you can follow closely and learn some new techniques and skills. Slowly but surely you will ride more quickly and smoothly in the corners which is where the real fun is. Don't worry about twisting the throttle to much past the legal limit in a straight line. And above all - Ride your ride.:Coffee_Doughnuts:

MV031161
04-27-2009, 07:54 PM
The few rides I have being involved (not a fan of big rides with people I dont know) I always say to those I dont see up there in their level skills, to take it easy and enjoy the ride at their own pace. they are not to proof anything to anyone and to ride within their skill level. If we get separated, we will wait and if you dont show up, we will backtrack and look for you until we find you.

I have also ridden with a group that involved a couple and the wife was at a different level than the husband. Being close friends with them I play follow up the wife, while the husband enjoyed some of the twisties. (sound like double talk but it is not!!!!)(I dont want the German army in front of my house!!!!!!!)

What I do not accept at all and I think it is uncool and unconsidered to others is when you are riding with someone and you decide to dissapear without telling at least one person that you are leaving the ride.....I have seen rides go to shit because of people searching for a missing rider just to find out days later the rider was alive and well and decided the pace was too much for him....

Hopes this help....BTW, I'll ride with you any day!

STRETCH
04-27-2009, 11:00 PM
What I do not accept at all and I think it is uncool and unconsidered to others is when you are riding with someone and you decide to dissapear without telling at least one person that you are leaving the ride.....I have seen rides go to shit because of people searching for a missing rider just to find out days later the rider was alive and well and decided the pace was too much for him....

Hopes this help....BTW, I'll ride with you any day!

ABSOLUTELY I hate that!

On one occasion while riding with an unusualy large group the fastes rider "rode sweep" riding from the front to the back to front to the back to make sure no one fell out.
He easily doubled the milage of the rest of us and we just moved over to let him buy when he came up behind us.

law1200
04-27-2009, 11:32 PM
I understand what you are talking about. About a year ago I almost went off HWY215 up near the Park way (stopped the bike with in a foot of the edge of a drop off) and I am still trying to regain my riding skills so I am not as fast as a lot of the riders that I meet at the store. I have only rode with 3 C.R. members and all of them are much faster than me but at no time during the ride did they make me feel as if I was slowing them down nor did they ride so far ahead of me that I felt that I had too push myself beyond my limits.

Be sure to post when you are going riding I would like to ride along with you.

Law

mikek
04-27-2009, 11:33 PM
:iagree:
It's their responsibility to make sure you're not pushing yourself. >>>>>>>>.


Lots of good advice in this thread, but I have to disagree with that statement.

As a group (group leader or riding buddy) it is 'nice' to aim for a pace that meets everyones ability or comfort level, but in my 40 yr experience this hasn't happened very often.

Ultimately you, USMCSVrider are responsible for what you decide to do with your motorcycle.

IMHO, a good ride leader should always be concerned about the last guy in the group, and hold off from pulling away from a stopsign or intersection until he has accounted for the entire group. For me I will check back with last rider and give 'thumbs up', expecting a 'thumbs up' in return, otherwise we will stop and regroup.

One thing I've seen firsthand, and read(on the internet) , especially in recent years, is a group 'losing' someone, whether its the leader not keeping inventory, others in the group not concerned, sweep not keeping inventory......and the group, short a rider, continues on its merry way. This is NOT ACCEPTABLE.

If a rider decides to leave he must tell someone, if he has a flat tire it is the group's responsibility to formulate an action plan, and if he rides a motorcycle off the side of the mountain, the group will take the time out of their FUN to locate his carcass. Without a doubt, tossing away a perfectly good motorcycle happens MORE on group rides (testoserone? lack of attention?) than is should, but with some luck we survive and it makes a good campfire story down the road.


Getting long winded here, sorry. Back to the original question, if you are not comfortable riding with these guys and the pace they ride, by all means decline the invitation.
OR make them aware that you want to ride with them but need them to ease off a bit from time to time to allow you to be part of 'their' ride.

rufrydrsc2
04-28-2009, 02:53 AM
IMHO, a good ride leader should always be concerned about the last guy in the group, and hold off from pulling away from a stopsign or intersection until he has accounted for the entire group. For me I will check back with last rider and give 'thumbs up', expecting a 'thumbs up' in return, otherwise we will stop and regroup.

This is what I meant more than completely changing their pace. The leader did tell him that he should ride at his own pace, but it makes the slower rider feel like he's not part of the group if he's by himself the whole ride. Checking up on him, varying the pace, and making sure he catches up can keep a slower rider as part of a faster group.

USMCSVRider
04-28-2009, 06:30 AM
" Lots of good advice in this thread, but I have to disagree with that statement.

As a group (group leader or riding buddy) it is 'nice' to aim for a pace that meets everyones ability or comfort level, but in my 40 yr experience this hasn't happened very often."




I appreciate all the responses.. When I lived in NY, the group I rode with was reserved in speed, and stayed together.. There was times when we got stretched out in the twistier roads, but the group did not separate to the point where we would have to double back for anyone.. nor wait for anyone at rest stops.. The camaraderie that was built on those rides was awesome! The roads here are more challenging for sure, but a group ride is a group ride.. I don't expect anyone to wait on me, and I won't allow myself to be pushed too far past my limitations, but a group ride is a group ride.. When you ride so far ahead of the back of the pack that you lose any visual confirmation of their existence, how is that a group ride? How does that build camaraderie? I felt like if I had wrecked again, I would have had to wait on the guy behind me to run up and catch the lead riders, and he was at the same skill level as me and just as far back, and depend on a passing motorist to help me out if necessary.. It's not safe.. Too be honest, there was a few minutes where I did think about riding off on my own, and didn't care who went looking for me, I have a cell phone and would've answered it eventually.. As stated earlier, I run the Motorcycle Safety Program for my unit, and we do group rides.. We're about half cruisers and half sportbikes.. If we lost someone in the group, someone crashed, or if someone even complained about feeling unsafe, I would lose 7lbs. of butt.. When we stop for a rest stop, the sweep gears up when he's ready, not the lead.. The route, rest stops, and emergency rally points are briefed prior to the ride.. These points are all found in any MSF book.. Thanks again for all the responses.. Hope to ride with those of you that put the invite out there..

Viper
04-28-2009, 07:20 AM
If we lost someone in the group, someone crashed, or if someone even complained about feeling unsafe, I would lose 7lbs. of butt.

That is a lot of BUTT!:hunter: I think most of the guys on this forum will agree with what you are saying. As age continues to sneak up on me, I find myself being more reserved on the street. My days of seeing 3 digits on the street are far behind me and frankly it is just not worth it. Most of the group rides with CR usually have about 5-6 riders and everyone stays together for the most part. Occasionally you'll see some of the faster guys in the corners take off in the twisties, but they will be waiting patiently at the end of the run for everyone. Find the right group to ride with and you'll find the camaraderie you are looking for.:Coffee_Doughnuts:

C.R.S.
04-28-2009, 07:31 AM
Always look out for each other while riding:
Point to debris in the road for the folks behind you.
watch the rider in front, keep your distance.
Slow down and wait for the other riders, keep'm in sight while riding.
Ride with like minded folks like yourself, and learn the roads you frequent.

Myself, I'm in it for the learning/enjoyment of riding. I ride with many differant skill level riders, from newbies to seasoned road racers (those that'll let me and you know who you are). From so called touring mode to a spirited pace.
Always ride your own PACE and know your limits. The twisteees are not the place to find out those limits. Dont ask me how I know! ARGGGGG!

Ride Safe,

Wanderer13
04-28-2009, 08:54 AM
I think there is a difference between a "group ride" and riding as a group. To me, a group ride, is more calculated. Everyone rides the same pace, eats at the same place, etc. Riding as a group, to me, is a group of riders of varying skill levels, getting together to go ride and meet new people. Most of the bonding happens at rest stops, overlooks, lunch, etc. The faster riders typically move to the front of the pack, with the others following behind. Usually, one of the seasoned riders will ride sweep to keep an eye on everyone and make sure everyone stays on course.

Just remember that everyone is out there to have a good time, and that means something different to everyone.

One thing I do when riding in a group is to count the number of bikes. At each stop, I recount to make sure everyone is there. Additionally, I count how many bikes are behind me in the pack.

When touring, you always make sure you keep the guy behind you in sight. If everyone does that, the group will stay together and become aware of issues much sooner than meeting up at a certain location. Again, this is more for touring, but can be used for shorter rides.

navycoat
04-28-2009, 12:00 PM
This is a great thread. I'm the person that's usually at the back of the pack. I'm not a newbie (10 years now) but my skill level and desire for speed never really increases but I'm okay with that.

I've ridden with big groups and little groups and in the end, go with your gut feelings. If you didn't feel good about how you were treated, find a new crew. There are plenty of great folks to ride with especially here on CR.

I've ridden with huge groups of 30 bikes before and in the first few real twisties, it becomes very obvious who is fast, average, and slow. The pack splits into three distinct groups and I am in the slow group. Usually, a very experienced rider will ride as a sweeper because it doesn't make sense for all slow and new people to ride in the back alone. Those people are more likely to have issues from lack of experience and if they do have problems, who will be there to help?

The large groups I've ridden with always wait at each stop no matter how long. There have been times that I've pulled up and it's obvious they've been waiting a bit. The kickstands are down, people are milling about, but they're totally cool with it. They always say it's better to wait a few minutes than spend an hour pulling some bike out of a ditch or even worse, taking someone to a hospital.

If you're an MSF instructor, you should take your friends to a parking lot and show them some real skills at low speeds :)

Desmo Demon
04-28-2009, 01:45 PM
These are the four general rules I like to try to remember when riding with a group, whether I'm leading or tailing....

Rule #1 - Ride your own pace, and if you have any "pucker" moments or find yourself nailing the throttle or nailing the brakes to stay with the group, you're riding over your head.

Rule #2 - Never say "I was trying to keep up." Translated this means, "I'm asking to eat a guardrail...and SOON."

Rule #3 - If the riders you are with are flying way ahead of you and not slowing down in the straights or stopping at intersections or turn offs for you, they are asshats and you probably don't need to be riding with them.

Rule #4 - When in doubt, ride by yourself. There is no need to feel out of place on a ride. Riding is supposed to be fun, so keep it that way.....


Another rule of thumb when riding with new people and when Vicki or me are leading......If I see the new rider blowing curves in order to try to "keep up", I try to slow down or possibly talk to them. It is not uncommon for Vicki and me to trade positions during a ride to observe, and we often will talk about new people riding with us while stopped for a break to see if we need to slow down, speed up, or keep the pace. In larger group rides, Vicki and I will often separate the group into two, with one of us riding at a faster pace and the other riding at a slower pace. It all depends on the dynamics of the group. Sometimes one of us will break off with a single rider that is straggling along. It's almost like a one-on-one instruction of "follow my lines" and "I'll warn you of the tricky curves that'll catch you offguard"......Now, if CRS is riding with us, though, we just let him fend for himself! :D


It's their responsibility to make sure you're not pushing yourself.

Actually, it isn't. YOU are the only one responsible for your throttle and brake controls. THEY don't make you do anything. If they are considerate and safety conscious, they will watch out for you, but it is not their responsibility.....not in the slightest. There are actually some people out there who will TRY to sucker you into blowing a curve....and they'll snicker about it afterwards.

Viper
04-28-2009, 01:51 PM
Rule #2 - Never say "I was trying to keep up." Translated this means, "I'm asking to eat a guardrail...and SOON."

Would you like to biggie size that guardrail and make it a combo?:dance3:

USMCSVRider
04-28-2009, 03:29 PM
I've been challenging myself to start a thread that would generate some good conversation.. I enjoy riding by myself, and I also enjoy riding with others.. It's just hard to find those that are similiar in skill and thought process.. Lol.. I'm happy to see alot of the responses, and have added the word "asshats" to my descriptive terms inventory.. This has generated alot of thought for me, and I plan on talking with the ride leader, who is a friend, and declining any further invitations for the time being..

Bucky
04-29-2009, 08:27 PM
I went riding again with the same guys, and I didn't rush myself, but ended up way behind....I fell way behind on this leg.
No one really said anything, but I really don't feel like I should ride with these guys again. I am well below their experience level, and don't want to noob up their riding time.
I feel like I ride better on my own... And I don't feel like I should ride with these guys again, until I'm a bit better in the curves...

I have felt the same way when riding with a faster and more skilled group than I am.

I note, however, that when I have ridden with others who are faster/better than I am, not one of them has been rude, made comments within earshot about me to the others in the group, or shown any displeasure to me about my being along on the ride. I am usually toward the rear of the group if it is made up of sportbikers.

In fact, some of the more experienced riders have encouraged me in many ways: By leading through the curves at a pace I can maintain safely, by making encouraging suggestions, and generally being friendly both in person and on these forums.

By nature, I tend not to ask many questions or ask the more experienced riders if they would mind my tagging along. Nevertheless, I have hooked up with a number of riders who are at about the same level as I am or who ride conservatively, and I have become a bit bolder about asking.

I would not take offense if a rider tactfully told me that I may not feel comfortable riding with him or with his group.

When riding with a faster group, the chief problem I have is that I don't get as long a break as the faster riders because they get to the rest stops earlier, but I am the one who really needs the longest rest. Occasionally the leader doesn't remember to start out slowly from a stop so the followers don't have to go at an excessively fast pace to catch up.

I do enjoy riding alone (or with only one or two others) because I can go at my own pace, stop when and for however long I wish to, and do not have to watch out for many other riders whose skill levels I am not familiar with.

C.R.S.
04-29-2009, 10:34 PM
There are times, I like to ride alone, work on techniques, stop and take in the scenery.

Group Rides:
Charity Runs - with as many as 30 or so variety of riding skills, I prefer to stay at the back
Rides from the store - 3 to 6 is about as big as I like. I'll lead occasionally, if there is a more seasoned rider I'd prefer he/she lead and I will stay in the middle or I can be the sweeper.

If the PACE is beyond me, I'll slow down and ask'm at the next stop if my slower PACE will interfere with their PACE and most cases its not an issue.
Find your favorite road and ride it often, get familiar with it and work on your pace.

I'm always watching other riders to see how their skills are and learning from the responsible seasoned riders.

Enjoy the Ride