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Group riding - staggered or side by side.

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by b12mick, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. I'm not sure if this is in the right place, if it isn't then feel free to move it.

    At the last club meeting group riding came up. Someone mentioned that they'd recently done an advanced riding course, through the ADF with Stay Upright, and they were told to ride side by side, not staggered.

    We found this somewhat strange and consider it dangerous as it leaves very little room for error.

    Has anyone else been told this?

    Our decision was to continue to ride staggered.
  2. Staggered! Most definitely! One second minimum behind the bike ahead... that puts you at least two seconds behind the bike you're likely to spear into, so that should be enough time to respond. Not having a rider beside you gives you a whole section of road width to play with if needed, eg. avoiding a pot hole.

  3. That's pretty much our take on it as well, although I like to see slightly larger gaps depending on who is on the ride.

    I just find it hard to believe that they would recommend riding side by side.
  4. The guy at the back should be in the right hand wheel track when slowing down I.E. right in front of the following drivers eyes. You don't want them to see the bike in front of you in their line of sight and think he is the last one in line. Bar from that Robs drawing looks about right to me.
  5. Side by side is bad. What would you do if there was a big pot hole on your side of the road? You would have to brake to get behind the person next to you swerve behind them, then after you have passed the pot hole, speed up and get back next to them.
    Staggered swerve and swerve back.
  6. Legally, you are allowed to ride side by side (in NSW anyhow) ... however as mentioned already, its probably not the best of ideas.
  7. When I've lead novice rides, I make the briefing VERY STRONG about the staggered formation. The only time the formation is to be broken is during cornering and I remind riders NOT TO FOLLOW the rider infront! Corner based on how you see the road, but remain aware of the rider infront's presence.

    There are enough clips and anecdotes about riders following another crashing rider right off the road!

    Good tip Blue. TEC's I've ridden with usually give the last rider, typically the weakest rider, a good 5 - 10 second buffer, so even if riding in the right tyre track puts them behind the rider, it's a safe distance.
  8. And Victoria.
  9. Don't know about the other states. But it is the law in QLD. You have to stagger.
    With a class @ 60kmp/h I will have the 2 / 1 sec
    @100kmp/h 4/2 if there is traffic and we are on a multi lane freeway. Only because I know cagers will hook into the 4 sec gap. I feel more comfortable with them @ 6/3 @ 100kmp/h
    Even @ 60 try and keep the 3 second to the bike infront. Who want's to run up a mates arse.
  10. Funny how this is legal, yet dangerous (in the case of an emergency and a ride needs to swerve, drops etc etc) but filtering between cars in traffic is illegal yet probably safer (assuming stationary cars) .. but, this is opening up a can of worms and off topic :)
  11. If you are a biker you ride staggered, if you are a bikie you ride side by side
  12. It's an absolute -for safesties sake to ride as as group in STAGGERED formation. For corners you incrwase the split and follow your own line through the corner, line astern...then regroup in staggered formation again.

    Is it just me, or is THAT just plain common sense.

    Anyone who says otherwise should be ignored as far as I'm concerned.

    Even when I have ridden with known riders in a tight bunch for a bit of sporty action, while the gaps will be tight, it is still always staggered...even then, we will often go line astern when corneringif we need or would just like some space - then you cue off the bloke in front.
    Crikey...it's not hard.
  13. when i did my licence last month they said you can ride side by side (lane sharing\ lane splitting) but you would have to be an idiot to do it, staggered is the best way.

    he said the side by side rule was introduced for parades and police.

    he said the best time and place for lane splitting is at red lights bunch up when you come to a stop and when you take off do it in your staggered formation.
  14. yeh but y do cars a favor when they wanna be C(&ts bout filterings, should do get a protest week this summer for everyone to take up as much space as possible on the road and see what drivers like better.... whoa sorry that was way off topic

    but yeh madness to ride next to each other...and kinda gay...lol
  15. The only people I've ever seen ride side by side is Ulysses. Ya know, the guys who mostly do u-turns with their feet down cause they don't think slow riding is a skill worth mastering?

    Gross generalisation, but you get the point.
  16. (Riding two-abreast legal in NSW)
    All of Australia, in fact... Both motorcycles and bicycles.

    No more than 1.5 metres gap between them, too (particularly if there are no lanes marked) - the two bikes are basically expected to occupy the same space as a single car.
  17. On group rides with my club, we only run a stagger through the towns. Out on the open road, every rider is a couple seconds to the next. Everyone takes the line they want through the corners...
  18. ^ What he said.

    Was on a classic ride the other month and with 150 plus bikes, some of which were only capable of 70kmh, it was a case of pick your line and open the taps.

    Would of been nice if the idiot on the blue V-Strom decided to use his mirrors, though. He pulled out in front of me while I was overtaking - twice!

    Cheers - boingk
  19. I really dislike riding side by side. I have done it with a couple of riders that i have ridden with many times and I know what to expect with them, but I still find it very unnerving.
  20. b12mick. Are you sure they meant side by side as an alternative to staggered?

    I ride sometimes (although not for a while) with a group that prefers not staggering. But that doesnt mean side by side. They means single file with a bigger gap than staggering.

    In my view there are some arguments for this approach over staggering and also some arguments in favour of staggering over single file. So to me there is no one correct approach and what is safest depends on all the circumstances.

    However one thing is clear, if you are packing up tight, staggering is definitely the way to go.