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Friday, February 25, 2011

If You are Planning a Group Ride


If you are planning motorcycling for long distance in a group, the group can comprise of personal friends, office colleagues or biker friends. It's best not to jump into a group ride just for safety reasons if one is not known to others and others not known to you. Especially if the ride is a long distance ride becoz a badly planned group ride can leave a bad taste - arguments, attitudes, accidents, different riders with different riding styles etc.

A group ride should have a goal:
- it can be - ride as fast as possible to a certain place, eat lunch and ride back as fast as possible
- it can be - ride, stop, take pictures, ride, stop, take pictures.

There are different types of riding and different types of riders, so what is the reason for the ride ?????

Just to explore, to have fun, to off-road, to ride fast or just to impress the girlfriend......

If you have one rider who wants to ride fast, another who wants to ride faster to impress his girlfriend, another who is stopping and clicking pictures everywhere, another wanting to explore all the small roads is not much of a fun ride, it's a ride where everybody is having their own separate fun and not as a group....It can't even be called a group ride..

A group ride without a goal is a disaster

A group ride is about all riders looking at the ride in the same way, group of bikers having individual fun without disturbing others or their ride. This happens when all riders know the ride plan, the route plan, the pace of the ride, the fun part in the ride, things to watch out for and most importantly know each other.

A group ride should ideally have a road captain, he can be an experienced rider, or someone who has done the maximum planning for the ride and knows all the details.

Each rider should carry basic tools and spares with him.

Depending on the region of the ride and the time of the year, each rider must carry "The trip essentials" for e.g thermals, warm clothing for North etc.....

Blood Groups, emergency contact numbers of all riders and their co-riders should be known to all.

Once on the road, either the road captain or an experienced rider should lead..........and tailed by another experienced biker who has loads of patience and some mechanical knowledge.

The way of riding in a group is - to decide after how many kilometers the riders would meet, this system allows all riders to ride separately and the way they want to and meet with the rest of the group at a pre-determined spot.

Never force a rider who is tired or sleepy to ride on, a 15-20 minute rest, a hot cup of tea or cold soda sprayed on the face should make him feel better. Even after that if he's not up to it, let him rest and call it a day.

Night halts should be chosen carefully, places with enough parking space for the bikes, safety of vehicles and luggage. A place with ample rooms for all riders especially one bathroom for 2-3 people or a open space to accommodate all :o) If staying in a strange city, inquire about the exit route to the highway in advance as there might not be many locals to guide you early in the morning. Also tank up fuel before the night halt.

In India, best time to ride is early morning...........

Avoid joining group rides just for the sake of safety and security......

A ride is not about sitting on the motorcycle and riding it to different places, if we say riding is about freedom, breaking free, then riding is about the mind and not the body. A well planned group ride can give you a lifetime of memories through common jokes, incidents and moments of crisis, on the other hand a badly planned group ride or a ride with strangers will be irritating. The difference between the two is what the mind going through, cos wheels are turning in both the rides.

Venturous Bikers Team
Drive safe and always wear a helmet !