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Define what a Learner Ride is

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by dima, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. Hi,

    I've been puzzled since I joined NR with what exactly "Learner (group) Ride" is and how it is different to other, non-learner ride.

    Is learner ride supposed to help learning something? Or practise?
    Or is it just a slower pace?

    So what's the "formal" definition of it and how can we clearly distinguish a learner group ride from others?

  2. Look here.. https://netrider.net.au/wiki/group-rides-rider-skill-levels/

    IMO a learner ride is something that someone at level 2 (or above) should be able to come along to, and feel comfortable and supported.

    Generally speaking, there's a corner marking system run, there are plenty of rest stops, the more competent riders are happy to wait for the learners to catch up, there are no ego's involved, and the more experienced riders are on their best behaviour to ensure that everyone feels safe and comfortable.
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  3. Usually its posted as a learner friendly ride :)

    Other may disagree but I would say a good leaner friendly ride has these factors IMHO
    • Choice or route to have a mixture of roads that challenge but not intimidate mixed with more gentle roads.
    • More stop and re-group times than for a more experienced ride. Longer rest periods.Rest periods should be based on the slowest riders arrival at a re-group point.
    • Shorter overall distance, remember that riders may have to return a distance to get home when the ride finishes. Leave them enough stamina to get home safely.
    • Detailed briefings, by the Ride Leader sometimes at multiple times during the ride to indicate what is coming up and local dangers.
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  4. #4 dima, Jan 20, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
    Supported in what ways?

    So if competent riders flat out to the front so that they have to wait, what purpose does it serve for learners?
    (They will only feel challenged to catch up or at least to pick up the pace. And that's when they stop learning.)

    After some discussions and some thoughts I get the feeling that Learner Rides should help new riders to learn and practise. There can't be any "catching up" there. Otherwise all the learning stuff goes out of the window.
  5. Generally there will be riders who will scoot to the front to be the corner markers, passing should be respectful of newbie sensibilities. There will be riders who will keep with the group.

    Those that stay with the group should know to be conservative in line choice and braking points so as not to entice a following rider to overreach themselves.

    The ride leader should make the two points in their pre ride briefing. The major point that each ride leader should make is Ride your own ride. You are not there to ride like anybody else just improve your own riding.
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  6. #6 gundy, Jan 20, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
    In the way that they're on a ride with people who are looking out for them; not trying to intimidate them; who can take them to places that they may not have visited before, warn them about things that they need to be warned about, and make sure that they get through as safely as possible.

    The corner marking system ensures that nobody is left behind, and the TEC is there to help if, heaven forbid, anyone does have any issues.

    It's usual at the start of the learner rides to remind everyone that they are expected to ride their own ride. On the rides I've been on, it's been made clear that people should not feel pressured to keep up with the ride lead or other riders.

    In my mind, experience gained from actually getting out and riding, at my own pace, is invaluable, and doing it with a group of other people who are looking out for me makes it a lot safer than doing it on my own.

    You were told something similar in the other thread that you posted (about knowing your %).. If you want to improve, aim to extend your 80% level; don't push yourself to 99%.

    See above, with the disclaimer that an experienced rider doesn't need to be "flat-out" to the front in order to create a gap between an themselves and learners, especially where twisty bits of road are involved. Where an experienced rider on a good bike might be able to maintain the speed limit around corners, a learner will need to slow down a lot more. If the learner is feeling pressure, then they might be tempted to get more speed in the straight bits, but that would generally be a mistake.

    Bollocks. Everyone is told up-front that they need to ride their own ride. The TEC is _happy_ to hang behind, and as far as I'm aware there's never been any kind of pressure on a learner ride to push people to go faster than they are comfortable with.

    I'm sorry, but you've totally lost me - I'm not sure what you're suggesting.

    Was your question asked because you thought that you were being pressured on a learner ride, or know someone who was?
  7. They do so (or most do so) by example and by less experienced riders following the lines and speed through corners. Follow the line and braking point on a Learner Ride and you shouldn't have any issues.
    I'll add to what has been said that Learner rides in NSW are usually on roads that don't exceed 80 km/h or the pace is set to a max of 80 km/h.
  8. I agree with the above posts from Gundy and CJVFR, and would like to bring your attention to the difference btw a learner ride and a non learner ride. As you have experienced, a learner ride has rules (such as no overtaking on bends, no undertaking) and guidelines designed to help prevent scaring learners (such as careful overtaking). The presence of a TEC is to ensure no one is left behind, adding to the sense of security of the newer rider, and to assist where needed. I have benefitted several times from the care, consideration and help offered by the TEC on both Sunday and Tuesday learner rides.

    Depending on the ride level, non learner rides may not have a TEC or corner markers. Riders might be given a stop location and be expected to be able to get there. It can be a 'every man for himself' scenario where riders are expected to be able to cope with whatever comes their way as far as overtaking and road conditions are concerned.

    On the learner ride, the faster riders may indeed go ahead, but the frequency of the stops means that regrouping is often, so the ride doesn't spread too far. It is hammered in EVERY briefing to "ride your own ride" so learners are aware that they are not expected to have to out ride themselves. The TEC is happy to follow at whatever speed the slowest rider wants to ride at. In addition, other riders would be happy to look at, and advise the newer rider on their riding - only need to ask.

    I'm surprised at your question "supported in what ways". Assuming I haven't mistaken you for someone else, I remember you asking me to check your riding (which I did, and told you what I saw), then you asked streetmaster about a hundred questions, all of which he happily answered. How is this not being supported?
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  9. I think the main purpose of calling a ride a learner ride or learner friendly ride is tio signal two things.

    1. Learners are welcome and will be catered for. Someone will look out for them.

    2. Experienced riders are welcome but they could be in for a ride that moves fairly slowly (they may still be moving fairly fast within that) and they should be willing to not do anything which could intimidate the inexperienced riders, such as passing too close on corners.
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  10. you're a controversial fellow arn't you :p
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  11. Sorry, if I didn't express myself correctly.
    Under no occasion I felt unsupported. Quite the opposite - all my stupid questions were answered the best way possible. I'm absolutely gratefully for that.
    I will say thanks million times and hope one day I'll help answer such questions to other riders.
    Without people like you I would not be able to improve my riding much.

    By asking "supported in what ways" I guess I wanted to know whether learner rides are any different to non learner (and this has been explained a bit now).

    But the question comes from my perception of the fact that the learners, usually being in a group of much faster riders, still do want to catch up.
    Yes, yes. It is always reiterated "ride your own pace" but I often see newcomers still trying to catch up.

    This brings me to the thought whether learner rides should have such a difference in pace between the faster and slower riders.

    Just basically thinking aloud.
    But I had an interesting discussion today with a few well respected people on the forum today which resulted in this question.
  12. As above.
    Also, many times, when not leading a ride, I'll pick my way through the group & sit behind a newer rider & check their riding. Then move up a bit & check out another rider.
    When we get to a rest point, I'll approach those riders & give a few pointers if needed or even some words of encouragement & point out how well they've been doing.
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  13. In the end we are not the learner riders mother, nor are we a professional rider training organisation. The state believes a learner is competent to ride on the open road and has issued a permit or license to do so. We are just a bunch of friends out for a days ride. The Learner ride is just a tag to say that the ride will cater to those with less experience.

    You can discuss with another rider their technique in light of your own experience but we are not there to offer official training.
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  14. Thanks for that on behalf of all new riders :)
    Ahhh, I wish I would be on a ride where you don't lead then :)

    On the related note, how can learners (myself included, I'll be a learner for many more years) ask for help?
    Should they announce it or something?

    Or it is just assumed that every competent rider would do what you do.
  15. Sometimes it just doesn't sink in!
    I've been on 'Learner rides', just boppin along, & had 'L' platers round ME up going around a corner!!!
    Stern words were had!

    Just ask!!!

    & I'm hoping someone else will be leading next week (he said he would) I'll be on that one. :)
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  16. Sure, but keep in mind that it's impossible for the rider at the front to know what pace the other riders are riding at. Especially so on a larger ride, where there are multiple opportunities for things like traffic lights to break up the group.

    Sure, the person up front _could_ ride "slowly" enough that everyone is guaranteed to keep up at all times, but then we'd be no better than all the other Sunday drivers clogging up the good roads :) Imagine a train of 20 riders all doing a constant 30km/h around Reefton.. urgh.

    In summary, I don't think that a pace reduction could possibly be made to work any better than the lead/tec/corner marking system that is currently in place.

    Ultimately, the problem as you've described it, is overly-ambitious learners, and if they're not going to listen despite all the warnings and good intentions, then I don't think they have anyone to blame other than themselves. We need to draw the line somewhere.
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  17. There is a thread of available Mentors in each state, you can ask on there if someone will come out riding with you and give a few pointers. That thread is

    Mentors/Tutors to help newer riders

    No you can't make that assumption, some riders are better at it than others, some have the personality that can impart knowledge so that it makes sense more than others. Streety has a laconic style :) that makes pointers stick I would say. Others don't.
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  18. I see a few different sorts of learners. There's the new rider, who is happy to stay towards the rear with the TEC and take it easy. Then there's the learners who have been riding for awhile and want to go along a bit faster. They can either be quite competent, or they can be riders who try too hard. And any kind in between. This also applies to riders like myself - no longer learners but still learning. How do you tailor a ride to cater to all these levels?

    The more experienced riders can usually categorise the newer ones pretty quickly. If they see someone riding above what they think their capabilities are, they can say so.

    You also have to allow a ride to be attractive to a wide range of people, otherwise you won't get the mentoring from the experienced riders. They are always willing to give advice and help, but they want to have a ride too. Or they'll go elsewhere.

    I think we have a great variation of rides available to all level riders, and I think the guys taking the time to do the learner rides are fantastic. It's the reason I joined NR in the first place (as a new learner), and I, for one, haven't been disappointed.
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  19. I found you can run a ride that is "Learner Friendly" and keep the faster paced rider happy as well - as long as there are enough riders to break in groups (and have experienced riders willing to lead/TEC the learner group).

    We ran a ride that was advertised "Learner Friendly" last Saturday doing the Ol' Pac/Putty loop which was around 300km. The length may have put a couple of people off coming though. The ride got quite a number of participants (27 RSVP's and I believe 3 ring-ins joined at the start point) and broke into two groups... a L/P group with a max pace of 80kph (we're in NSW) and a more sporting group. Both groups were lead/TEC'ed and we regrouped 5 times throughout the day. The learner's group brief was detailed (two of us even did a run up the Ol' Pac before the ride and relayed the hazards to watch out for to this group). I corner marked the only real turn-off of the day for the sporting group and the rider brief was more terse; mainly impressing people not to be a hero and show common-sense.

    Feedback from the ride appears positive and struck a balance for the two distinct types of riders that came. On the social front, it allowed riders new to the forum to meet up with more senior members (and visa-versa).
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  20. Yes, big credit to the experienced riders who spend their day leading a learner friendly ride and sharing their experience and knowledge with the less experienced. Great community spirit and attitude.