Motorcycle Group Ride Tips
There are many do’s and don’ts involved in any motorcycle ride. They are a little bit different if you are planning on riding solo compared with riding in a group. That is why we’ve compiled this short list of motorcycle group ride trips to make sure you have a successful ride.
Ready Your Body Before the Motorcycle Group Ride
When you’re riding with a group, you want to be on top of your game. This is because riding closely with others requires that you ride skillfully regardless of your experience.
The way that you can prepare your body is by treating it kindly. Get a good night’s sleep. Drink a good amount of water (not too much right before the trip!). Don’t drink alcohol the night before a group ride. Stretch before the ride. Use lubricating eye drops if needed. You want your body to perform as good as humanly possible.
Readying your body before the ride ensures that your ride is enjoyed in comfort. It also means you will be more of a joy to ride with. You don’t want to be the one rider in the group who is constantly moaning or signaling for bathroom breaks. If you aren’t alert, you may have trouble staying in formation. It’s all-around better if you are in your best shape before starting your motorcycle group ride.
Meet Before the Motorcycle Group Ride
Many times, motorcycle group rides begin with a string of texts indicating a time and place to start. This is a necessary convenience delivered by technology, but you should meet in-person before a motorcycle group ride.
This might be too much of an inconvenience, especially during the pandemic. However, there are many advantages to meeting in person. Face-to-face communication reduces the chance of miscommunication. If there are any new riders to the group, they will feel more comfortable riding with people they have actually met.
Remember You Are Still Riding Solo
You are riding in a group, but you’re not riding as a group. Remember that no matter where you are going, you are alone in your decision-making process. Don’t rely on the person riding in front of you to make the right decision. Make sure you are scanning ahead, riding at a safe speed, and riding for your enjoyment. Trying to keep up on a dangerous ride or not scanning ahead for hazards is dangerous. You may be riding in a formation, but remember that your safety is only in your hands.
Any time you get a group of people riding together, there is always someone who needs more bathroom breaks. There may be someone who likes to slow down and enjoy the scenery. Maybe one rider likes to leave the group periodically and catch up later. Don’t let the unique attributes of each rider affect your mood. Sometimes, a group isn’t a good fit. However, no group will be a good fit if you aren’t flexible.
Pay Attention to Rider Ability
It may sound paradoxical to say to remember to ride solo but also pay attention to the other riders, but you must do both. This means slowing down for new riders who may not be able to maintain formation as well. It also means watching out for riders who are relatively erratic with their movements. Riders who have been group riding for a long time know the nuances of their peers. It makes riding safer and more fun.
Ride with People You Trust
It is essential that you trust the people with whom you ride. You are basically counting on their riding to improve your chances of a safe ride. You don’t want to be left behind should anything go wrong. A good group of riders will never let that happen. Make sure that the riders hold each other accountable, and you have the strength of a group. This leads to more responsible decision-making and less chance for accidents.
Many group rides include mics in helmets, but there can be glitches, which is why it is important to agree on hand signals ahead of time. These signals can be used to indicate that you want to stop at the next available restroom, you want to change formation, or there’s danger ahead. Having agreed-upon signals means you can still communicate with your group even when some don’t have sound equipment or you experience equipment failures. They increase the enjoyability of rides because you can reach out to other riders in a safe manner. Also, hand signals improve safety because they are a foolproof way to communicate should anything else fail.
Lastly, each motorcycle group ride should be filled with riders who are courteous. They respect each other and everyone else on the road. Motorcycle clubs and other groups who ride together have had a long-standing reputation for being violent or disruptive. In reality, most groups are filled with wonderful people simply enjoying their time together. Still, there must be a reason the negative reputation developed. Riding politely can help to erase this stigma.
Riding “polite” doesn’t mean you have to wave to every pedestrian or yield traffic when you have the right of way. It means obeying the law, not revving your engine to create loud exhaust noise near pedestrians, and not blocking traffic. Especially in a group ride, people may have a tendency to ignore outsiders and become one of the crowd. This mentality leads to decision-making without accountability, so members of a group motorcycle group ride should strive to be as polite as they would be were they riding single.
A Motorcycle Group Ride Is Safe and Fun with a Good Mindset
All of the tips above have one thing in common, and that is a good mindset. If you ride smart, you’ll make it home almost every time without incident. This is important when you consider that if you don’t have a good mindset, you are putting yourself and the other riders at-risk. These risks include personal injury, liability, and property damage. They also include negative emotional outcomes that outright ruin the ride. There’s a lot to lose if you don’t keep a good mindset when you are on a motorcycle group ride.
One thing about a good mindset on a motorcycle group ride is that it is contagious. It sets an example for other group members to follow. If you are riding without concern for the safety or comfort of others, this can be contagious too. An entire motorcycle group can be tainted by your poor mindset. It’s a simple choice with big consequences.
If you do get in an accident, whether it is your fault or not, talk to a personal injury lawyer about your case. Florida is a comparative negligence state. This means that even if the accident was your fault in-part, you are only liable for the portion of the fault that you carry. If the courts determine you are 30 percent at-fault, then you are only responsible for 30 percent of damages.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a group motorcycle accident, contact the Law Offices of Kirshner, Groff, and Diaz for a no-obligation consultation. You will have the opportunity to speak to an experienced attorney right away.