Group Riding -- pros and cons

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by SportyHawg, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. SportyHawg

    SportyHawg Active Member

    Hey All --

    A one-year HOG membership came with my last motorcycle purchase. As you all know, they do a lot of group rides for fundraising and just for fun.

    I have a lot of miles in the saddle riding solo. I have never ridden in a group or in a parade of bikes. I would like to do some of these things, but don't really know much about it.

    I was wondering if we could discuss the pros and cons of group riding. Or positive experiences vs things to be aware of...
  2. Bud White

    Bud White Well-Known Member Retired Moderators

    ill give you some cons as i was group riding today .. first ya go the throttle jockeys every start is wide open .. then ya got the guys who weave side to side... then the got the guys who leave the turn signals on constantly... then ya got the guys with straight pipes who want to stay right in front of you ..

    there a lot more but i dont want to beat up on um to much ..

    it is nice to ride with people so no matter what ya know someone when ya get there .
  3. threesteps

    threesteps Junior Member

    I'd give it a shot. I have done several rides with smaller groups from our HOG chapter and enjoyed the rides.

    I'm not big on larger groups 20 to 20,000. Found there is often too many unknowns....inexperience, poor judgement, etc. mixed together. Seems like the larger groups I spent more time lookin' out for my fellow riders than enjoying the ride. I'm sure other sfeel differently, that's just my veiw.
  4. Sharky1948

    Sharky1948 Junior Member

    Our HOG Chapter is very good about safety and orderliness during Chapter sponsored group rides. We don't look kindly on unsafe riding practices. Riders that are unsafe or need some coaching are taken aside talked to privately and without recrimination. We follow MSF guidelines for group riding. Our rides are anywhere from short 20 mile hops for lunch to overnighters. I really enjoy the fellowship on those rides. The social aspect of riding is one reason I ride.

    On the other hand, I love riding by myself or with my wife on the back. Sometimes I'm just in the mood to go where I want to go. And, at the pace, be it slow or fast, that I want to go.

    So, in the end, there are pros and cons for each. If you go with a group, be sure that they are good riders and well-organized. If you go by yourself, remember that you need to be more self-sufficient regarding repairs, medical attention, etc.

  5. UglyJohn

    UglyJohn Active Member

    HOG members can ask to see the National HOG Handbook which will have instructions as to what is expected in group rides. Has everything from hand signals to riding tips. Why and why they don't do certain things during a ride. All good stuff to know. With that being said, I usually ride with my wife most of the time. Unless, I'm riding with my brothers, which is tight and fast. But, that's another story. :D
    Ugly John

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

    I agree with UJ...when riding in a group, try to keep them small typically 5 or 6, staggered formation and experienced riders in front and back. Make sure the route and stops are planned typically in 120 mile intervals to gas up and make adjustments. Have everyone briefed as to what the route will be or at the very least plan to have a rendevous in case you get separated significantly.
  7. rhino

    rhino Banned

    i prefer my small group of freinds usually 2 to 15 bikes. dont care much for the poker runs with hundreds of bikes to many people to watch for and like bud said theres always alot of guys that think it is a 100 mile drag race. i do a few a year. riding with my freinds is better though i know how they ride and they know me.
  8. Clint

    Clint Active Member

    I like to ride alone (well, my wife is always behind me).

    My trips are as much for exploring the unknown side roads and hole in the wall road side attractions.

    I may have to run with some friends at some point just for the commarodary. No way I can take the lead.
  9. cowjammer

    cowjammer Active Member

    I was to go on one next weekend but I opted out.I dont think riding along with alot of people{more than 3or4} would be much fun...Always got someone trying to police the group! I.M.O. but I'm sure there are some? fun ones..
  10. Skratch

    Skratch Active Member

    I go either way. I like riding with my HOG group as I've never been on a bad ride with them and they're a pretty fun group. Altho I'm quite a bit younger than many in the group. About 20 of us are taking a 3300 mile ride down Rt. 66 and up thru the Front Range of Colorado in June that I'm very much looking forward to.

    But I'm all about riding by myself (with wife on back) or with 2-3 other bikes. I like the by-myself because I can go where I want and stop where I want. Kinda a "stop and smell the roses" type trip.

    Group riding can be a really good time. There are some cons to it, but not enough that would dissuade me from riding.