Group Riding Ideas

Discussion in 'Group Riding Concepts' started by DavidFL, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. From

    Interesting comments from Rossi & Brian66 on my Group Riding ideas..
    Both of you are quite entitled to disagree & totally if you like, but my perspective was / is from leading tour groups & trying to keep control of your riders, riding for the first time in a foreign country & especially when the riders have never met or ridden together before.
    If you get groups of mates arriving as a group who already know each other, you could cut them quite a bit of slack (at your own peril.)
    I would also expect you could think & ride somewhat differently if you consider yourself a local, riding with mates on your "home track." But for me riding in a "foreign country"...

    1. Keep your position. Yes I agree that different riders have different braking points & lines to often cause collisions. I’m probably a more sedate rider, but seldom use my brakes going into a corner. When riding with or leading a group I prefer to roll off the throttle a little beforehand & then power into the corner, not go in under brakes, because as you say Mark “different braking points and lines this often causes collisions.” One needs to keep the egos under control & not encourage riders to push or test each other out all the time. Boring it maybe for some, but if you want to ride harder & go into corners under brakes to push yourself, then I generally consider this racing & don’t recommend it with riders who don’t know each other, don’t know the roads, or have not ridden together before. If you’re a local & know the roads & know your fellow riders, ok, have a bit of fun. But for me don’t do this with tour groups. Set a steady smooth pace that they can all adjust too & so feel comfortable with. Once in Laos with a tour group I had to intervene between 2 riders who were about to exchange blows, over their riding, both criticizing the other for overtaking dangerously – “testing each other out.” Absolutely not necessary.

    2. Splitting your group into slow & faster riders is not a bad idea, but again someone responsible has to lead both groups & maintain a sensible pace.

    3. You can’t ride faster than the slowest rider. I could have worded this better. What I feel is that if you are responsible to the group, ride too fast & get ahead of the slowest rider, somewhere further up the road you (& the group) need to stop & wait for him / them to catch up, or stop to check to see if he is ok. So that eventually you really don’t arrive at your destination until the slowest rider is in = you can’t ride faster than the slowest rider. You have to look after each other & you all want to get home with a smile on your face, not stressed out with a grim look because a rider has gone down. Someone goes down & generally the whole group has to stop =you can’t ride faster than the slowest rider. At various times different riders will ride at different speeds, but at the end of the day you should all be arriving at your hotel as a group & so you will be no faster than the slowest rider; if you’re taking care of each other (as a tour group.)

    4. Riding with “lunatics” deserves no comment.

    Note that my Group Riding Guidelines was written long before mobile phones (a dinosaur theory?) , & so communicating with the last / lost rider, should he answer the phone while riding, is a lot easier nowadays. But once you've had to ride back looking for a "slow / lost" rider & picked up the pieces you will understand a bit more, you can't ride faster than the slowest rider in a tour group. Everyone has to look after each other & make sure you all reach your destination.
  2. DavidFL wrote:

    Hmmm dunno Khun David, seems a bit naive to think you could ride about the roads safely in Thailand or any other country without using your brakes whether on a tour or by oneself :shock: :shock: !!!! The Mae Hong Son loop itself seems treacherous to be done without brakes in my eyes, but then again what do i know I've only been residing in Thailand a fifth of the time you've been here.

    An interesting insight to be heard from two people that have run tours in the Land of Smiles, great thread.
  3. I must say, that a number of times after riding behind Davidfl, we have stopped and I told him to check his brake light because it did not appear to be working. I sometimes thought he had it adjusted to where it activated at the last second, but not so. Of course he must use some brake in tighter turns, he can answer for himself, but he uses it less than most people I know. Personal preference I guess. I use mine.
  4. That Quietly Spoken English Gentleman (and Hidden Lout) johngooding is the same, hardly touches his brakes and twice as fast as me...

  5. As Darryl was kind enough to point out, I am also of the light use of brake persuasion. However to say I do not slow down for corners is not true, I would rather ease off the throttle, drop down a gear or two, of course that is braking, but engine braking, I want to be in the right gear to accelerate out of the corner. One of my most enjoyable runs down Doi Inthanon, I just found the right gear for each corner and hardly touched the brakes all the way down, felt very much like a great downhill ski run. I enjoy smooth riding and to me that means finding the right speed for the road that lets me maintain an even speed, where corners are even left and rights of similar degree of curve then it just flows, all the speed control done with throttle and gears, and smooth riding is much more likely to be easy to follow, even with no brake light coming on, than rapid acceleration and braking. Just listing what I enjoy and I am happy to accept that others enjoy more acceleration and braking and I certainly would not take it personally if people differ.
    It may also depend on what bike you ride, my large capacity engine bikes have a lot of engine braking. Some Bikes like the Yamaha R1, have slipper clutch and you must use the brakes to slow down. I guess lighter smaller capacity bikes are the same, more use of the brakes, as less engine braking.
  6. Coming from a mx background, i'm quite used to reading a slowing bike without a brake light

    Still on road in groups, even if i dont need to brake i will to show my intent to slow.
  7. On bendy roads, all bikes must slow down hopefully before, not in the corner, surely one is not supposed to be just following the bike in front on this type of road. One must be looking past the bike to the road ahead and make ones own decision about corner entry speed, line and turning point etc, if different from the guy in front, one just has to back off and leave more room to allow the different riding styles. For each member of the group to ride like robots following each other precisely is not going to work, there is no one way to tackle each road and people will all have a different approach, especially on different bikes.
    To suggest that people will only be aware of the need to slow down when they see a brake light is amazing to me. Everyone must learn to read the road and make their own judgement when and how much to brake. If alone then this must happen. In a group it should still happen, but the extra dimension of considering the rider in front and behind comes in. This does not include to me the responsibility to brake just because I want the guy behind to brake. Of course if there is a dog or an obstruction then one will brake anyway, and will often hold up a hand or make a signal to suggest slowing or obstruction such as pothole.
  8. A thought provoking thread, with some valid points being raised by all parties. There seems to be an effort to come to a consensus, but that is not going to happen for the following reason. When you start talking about different bikes, different tires, different roads, and different riders, it becomes very difficult to come up with a one size fits all riding style. I have in fact ridden with most of the riders that have posted here. They all simply ride with radically different styles. David is fast and smooth, and in fact rarely uses his brakes. It is a style suited to a large and heavy bike like the AT. Mark and Luke on motards will come into turns at what appears to me to be a mind boggling entry speed, tap the brake briefly to set up the proper corner speed, then blow through. It took about one turn for me to realize I had no business even attempting to follow them through due to radically different bikes, and skill level.
    I remember riding with David Lek one time. We were group riding, so he did not leave us in the dust although he certainly could have. I was amazed to see that his brake light virtually never went on. We were riding at a fairly normal pace for the rest of us. But for David Lek, with his skill level, on his Ducati, the corners that I was paying attention to, he was in essence sleep riding his was through. Again, different bikes and different riders.
    For street riding, when I am slowing down for something, I will in fact gently tap the front brake a few times to signal to the bike/car behind me that I am in fact slowing down. But with fast group riding it does not really make sense. It comes back to my " ride your own ride" theory. You should not be following someone mindlessly, tapping your brakes when you see his brake lights come on. Keep a reasonable following distance, and set each turn up yourself. My only exception is if I am following someone on the exact same bike, with more or less the same skill level. Then I can get lazy, and just match his corner speeds and lines, with the logic that if his bike makes it through the turn without crashing, then mine should too...... :)
  9. As Bakerboy likes to say, "YOU BRAKE YOU LOSE" :happy5:
    Ride On!
  10. Reading all these recent posts on cornering, group riding , etc,; I have one question. Is there going to be a written exam before we can participate in the next group ride?? I may need to study.
  11. I hope it's multiple choice! :lol-sign:
    :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
  12. Wow ! There goes the right wrist, and looks like some major neck pain is about to occur........
  13. Every group ride I have been on in Thailand, the farangs all ride in a staggered formation at a reasonable speed and the Thai's shoot off ahead one by one and maybe we see them later on.

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