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Group Ride Behaviour

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by Mouth, Aug 13, 2005.

  1. Been thinking this for a while, and it's time we brought it out and all had a yak about it. Most of the posted rides I go on I seem to be leading, so miss most/all of what happens in the "pack". Occassionally, some of the things/behavior I hear about that occurred makes me cringe :( I also often hear at coffee and other events, about how people won't post rides, or go on rides with others, because of some ride behavior in general, or by specific people.

    Today I went on a ride, and observed some behavior that made me cringe. I want to post about it, not to attack the people that did it, but so that we can all think about what occurred and be mindful when out on group rides to make it as enjoyable as possible - that's why we all go on rides right? :) So, onto my observations from this ride...

    1. It's a learners ride ... within 30m of pulling out, the ride is taken across 2 lanes of very busy traffic into a right turning lane (most weaved through stationery cars to get to the turning lane), and a tight u-turn at the lights. Not the best of routes for a learner ride!

    2. Straight stretch of (single lane each way) country road with lots of visibility .. a learner pulls out to overtake a car, another bike decides to also pull out and instead of following the learner he overtakes both the learner and the car at the same time, startling the poor learner. Atrocious behavior at the best of time! What's wrong with just following behind and waiting until they've pulled back into their lane before overtaking them?

    3. Similiar type of country road, a rider is doing a fast pace to catch the group. Coming up behind another rider at probably around 40-60km/h faster speed, the rider flys past the slower rider in the same lane. Made the slower rider jump. Disgusting! What's wrong with pulling out into the other lane and overtaking properly?

    4. Pace of ride ... too fast (out in the open country) for what was posted as a learner ride. Stick to the speed limits or slightly over, not 30+ km/h over. If your not a leaner ride and/or can't stick to the speed limits, why go on the ride unless your prepared to do so? Go on your own ride or post/lead a different ride.

    5. Tyre warming (fast paced swinging from one side of the lane to the other) on a wet road. Really good example that!

    6. Undertaking on the left. Never, ever! Not on, fullstop! Especially on a learner ride of all places! Don't care if it's a straight stretch of road.. No reason is ever good enough to do it!

    Now most of this is just common sense and common courtesy. So why do some riders feel the need to do it? Maybe it's because some just don't realise that this sort of stuff isn't 'acceptable' behavior on group rides?

    Anyways, I hope we all have a think about our behaviour on groups rides and wonder if stuff you do, or have done, is really 'acceptable'. I'd like/hope to see that for future rides, especially learner rides, they are an environment where stuff liek this just doesn't occur.

    I'd also like/hope to see an environment where if someone does something silly on a ride, we all feel open enough to tell them about it and talk about it ourselves .. and that person accepts it and takes it as a lesson learnt.

  2. :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

    I heard there were a few issues on today's ride, but that's ridiculous.

    What part of 'Learner ride' is not clear? It also means that you are there to learn and get practice, not to be a hero.

    I've experienced first hand the selfish road behaviour that can occur on group rides, because people feel the need to go faster than other members of the group, regardless of how safe it is. I've seen overtaking manouvers on public roads that that you wouldn't even try on a track.

    It's about time people took into consideration the other members of their group. My wife is still a learner and doesn't have a great deal of riding confidence at the moment. I don't think being pressured into doing 30kph over the limit would be what she needs. A few ground rules (which should be obvious :? ) are needed.
  3. Just to be sure/clarify ... I don't think anyone felt 'pressured' into riding at that speed, especially when the tail rider was ~10minutes behind at the lunch stop. Always ride at your own pace, regardless of what others are riding at. That said, I know it's easier said than done when your a learner and very easy to feel the need to keep up.

    I would be interested if riders in general, learners or otherwise, often feel the need or pressure to keep a faster pace on a group ride than they otherwise would? Feel free to PM me if you prefer to.
  4. I'm the original nervous nellie in this group & I've never allowed myself to be pulled or pushed on group rides! I've always said I'd be the first netrider to lose their brief for not maintaining headway. Yes I now have my licence after 13mths on L's but corners still scare me so I'm happy to ride tail end charlie on rides that way any slow riders can hang back with me! The only point you have to prove is that you had a safe & fun day!

    If you want to set record times do it on a track or go on rides that aren't posted as learner rides! Having said that the learners do need your experience to help them improve, so that they can watch your lines thru the corners & how you deal with the unexpected! Don't deprive them of your experience & make them reinvent the wheel but don't let them ride away thinking your a tosser!

    I wasn't on this ride today as I was working but I can honestly say the netriders I have ridden with have never shown this kind of behaviour!
    Get with the program people so that everyone enjoys every ride!
  5. Jason,
    My first group ride (not netrider) after getting back into bikes was to Reefton, along with a Daytona 1200, 600 Bandit, CBR900, and a GSXR750. .... wrang my old 93 ZZR250's ring off to keep up and show these guys I still had IT.. whe we got to the Spur they told me to slow down and take my time and they would wait for me at the other end, they had been stopping and waiting for me all day and I was beginning to feel guilty about it.

    So I decided to prove I was as good as them. By mid afternoon I was down a bike, a helmet, and a pair of underpants, yup .. over cooked it coming into a tight left hander, slammed the rear brake on and highsided it. Wasn't their fault, it was all mine, ruined everybodies day as we then had to arrange a scrap metal merchant to collect the bike and a lift home for me.

    I put the pressure on myself because I didn't want to look like the newbie I was.

    Lessons learnt:

    $3300 is a lot of money for two weeks ownership of a bike.

    Falling off bloody hurts.

    Listen to wiser heads than mine, (even if they are half my age)
  6. +1 to everything Mouth said
  7. Jason good observations and I agree, I was a bit suprised with some things and was there for a safe ride not a quick ride in those conditions, also think a rest period for a learner ride is a must, and that we didn't have at all on that ride.

    I think the distance without a stop makes people more anxious to get to the end, therfore the pace quickens up.
  8. Yeah BikeMart in Ringwood wasn't probably the best place to meet up, but I don't know Ringwood that well, and I was trying to figure out a better place to meet up and asked people for suggestions but failed to. I will remember that Mobil station though :)

    The pace set was actually under the limit but as xxsteve said, I probably didn't stop often enough. Next time I remember :) I've never gone that way before so I was worried I'd get everybody lost and just kept going until I found myself somewhere familiar. Oh and most of them were keeping up, just the one with the bike playing up wasn't.

    However I did set the rules before the ride, telling people to take their own pace and leave enough gaps between themselves and the person in front. I was also specific on other riders doing stupid stuff and what the consequences. And unfortunately I had to enforce that.
  9. 1. experienced rider to the front, he or she sets the pace, no more than 15k over the learner's or provisional limit
    2. experienced rider to the rear, to mother-hen the slower riders.
    3. the rest of the experienced riders mixed up in the middle of the pack, noting overall behaviour for later de-briefing, assists to the learners and less experienced, and, as here a "boot up the bum" to those who don't or won't stick to the spirit of the ride.
    Jason and Marty, couldn't agree more, and as may have been noted, I have stated with the Tamworth Overnighter that it will NOT be a race, and speed limits will be observed to enhance everyone's enjoyment!
    Lastly, I do hope the guilty parties from Jason's original post recognise themselves and do something to modify their behaviour on group rides in the future; if not, as has already been suggested, stay home, guys, you ruin things for others!

  10. Few more points to the above, Tailend charlie also should have a few other group riders numbers for if something goes wrong they can call through instead of sitting 40km behind everyone else trying to track down a pigeon.
    There is no way an inexperienced rider should be allowed to be Tailender but then a person after 13 months on a bike who is still scared of corners should also stay away from group rides!
  11. Well, having never been on a Netrider ride, I can only comment on the "general" rules that MOST motorcyclists adhere to out of common courtesy. I have certainly seen the type of behaviour in Mouth's original post, however for the most part, the learners or less experienced in a group will usually have a tail end charlie, and are coaxed and encouraged and supported to learn from those more experienced. If a group ride had a newbie, my ex husband (the eternal boy racer, and ALWAYS up front) would always play mother hen, and sit back at a MUCH slower pace to make sure that the newbie stayed in control without any unwanted pressure. Mind you the learners were usually female.. that explains a lot.. :) The rules that have been proposed here are all just common sense and common courtesy, and as a VERY new learner, I will only be going on rides that are posted for learners/beginners, or for those that after 13 months are still scared of corners!

    At the end of the day, we are ALL motorcyclists, irrespective of experience, and have enough crap to put up with on the road already. Lets not add any further issues from fellow motorcyclists.

  12. Ignore that crap BG......

    She should NOT stay away from group rides at all, if anything she should go on more, many many more. She should forget about playing TEC and get in the middle of the pack. You can learn an amazing amount by just following the person in front. I know I did.
    I was then in a position to assist others by telling them what I thought they were doing wrong and how they could get better results if they did XX.

    BG, you need to raise that confidence of yours if after 13 months you are still scared of corners. You would be better off flying planes if thats the case, still get the buzz of take off speed without corners :p
    Get out amongst it all and learn learn, learn.........
  13. Some excellent points raised here, as you'd expect from such an experienced bunch. It's a given that the speed of the ride is determined by the safe top speed of the slowest rider.

    Hornet and I go riding and do so at highway speed because we are both experienced. If it's a ride like we did yesterday to Newcastle and back, involving a lot of freeway work, we don't take my son-in-law, even though he'd be great company because he's just got his "P's" and is restricted to 80k's.

    But we do lots of rides with him as well and we usually position him in between our two bikes and we choose routes that will enable hm to learn a lot, enjoy the ride and stick to his 80.

    As marty says, if you're not prepared to stick to the limit of the learners, don't go on the ride. They don't need cowboys hooning around and showing them all the WRONG things to do.
  14. Many will not like the following comment, but all should treat every ride as a learning experience, and the day you stop learning you should get off the bike, or you are possibly dead.
    Might sound simplistic, but if there are enough experienced riders on a learner ride, buddy them up with a learner for a bit of one on one observation. A group discussion before setting off to at least find out how long and how often a learner has ridden will help to understand group dynamics.
    Both Jason and Marty have made excellent points, and I agree that if you cannot ride equivalent to the scale of the ride, you're on the wrong ride and shouldn't be there.

  15. To further what Vic said for BG
    It may be good for you to do an advanced riders course or a cornering and braking course which will enhance your skills and confidence.
    I know LiL is working on something for netriders but haven't heard much about it for a while.
  16. There is a few already available:

    Defensive Riding
    1. http://www.ridetek.com.au/defensiveridertraining.htm

    Knee Down Course
    2. http://www.riderbros.com.au/kneedown.htm
  17. I believe jason has some very valid points.
    but i believe 2 points have been missed.

    1. there is comments that a newer person shouldnt feel compelled to do 130kph on a ride.
    well i believe if you orginise a ride , you take responsability for the people ion your group.
    maybe not legally , but in the sense of knowing the route , emergancy avenues , the road , alternative routes if conditions or circumstances warrant them and the route is appropriate for the type of rider on it.
    in saying that , the ride leader should not be doing 130 anyway, if the others deciede to break the group and go for it , once they pass the leader then thats there choice .
    but the leader should allways abide by the law and worry about the group .
    posting that its going to be a fast paced ride and dont come if you cant keep up doesnt negate you of the responsability that you should have.

    2. now i can see a couple of potshots if you want to call in regards to inexperianced riders attending rides.
    if its a easy ride , learner ride , social ride etc it shouldnt matter.
    It is the riders responsability to have some level of basic riding ability BEFORE attending group rides.
    "L" plates are given , not so you leave your bike in the garage and just attend rides , they are give and the word learner means to learn in my view.
    its not the responsability of netriders to teach people how to ride.
    you have to have a basic level of skill before getting out on a posted ride , as if you dont you are not only a danger to yourself but others around you.
    This level can be attained by 1:1 riding with people , small group rides with a few close friends or even Posting on the site asking for some help
    but the onus is on the rider to ensure they can at least be confident to sit on the speed limit and ride with a basic level.
  18. There are people who are shyte on the bike after months of riding. There are others who take to it like duck to water and are good rider. Some of the shyte riders I know have an overpuffed opinion of their riding abilities, and there are good riders who are modest of their skills. Would you tell the overpuffed rider that turns up to your rides to get stuffed cause the ride is beyond them? Or would you just get a more experienced rider to keep an eye on them?

    Also if the ride leader sticks to the speed limit but other experienced riders decide to slow down then go for blast to "catch up", do you blame the ride leader or those individuals? Can any of the more experienced riders honestly say that they have never done this on any group rides?