Monday, December 7, 2009

Group rides, big & small

Aw, group rides. What a blast.
It's hard to decide if I like small group rides or large group rides better. Both have their advantages & disadvantages. But both can be equally fun. & Riding with just Papa Bear is nothing but good times. Seems every ride I go on, I think that one was the best & then I'll go on another & think that one was the best & on it goes. The next ride will always be the best.

Small group rides can be just a few friends having a great ride heading for breakfast or just an adventure. Our normal small group rides are a handful of riders that are all familiar with each others riding style. We know who should ride sweep, who should lead, who doesn't like to ride in gravel & who has been drinking or not. We trust each other. We have all ridden with each other numerous times & we all know each others hand signals. Small group rides, we have to be more careful about cagers, then riders

Most rides, big or small, usually have a brief safety meeting, go over hand signals, talk about the route we will take, any known road construction, etc.

Large rides are very powerful, as 1,000's bikes go by, all the car alarms go off. Nothing gets traffics attention better then the rolling thunder going down the road. If we are lucky, a large group ride will have a police escort, but with budget cutbacks, we see that less & less. Have to give a hats off to organizers of group rides. They really have their shit together. The logistics & planning is very impressive. A problem with large group rides is you don't know how the rider next to you is. Is the guy next to you experienced? Has he been drinking? Does he take tight turns?
If there isn't hand signals, it can be a disaster. Large group rides, we have to be more careful about riders then cagers.

Which brings up another topic.
Hand signals.
I've linked some of the most common, although there are several more used but not listed.
There is the universal hand signals that is used through out the country. & Some groups have their own unique signals. It's how we talk to each other, let those behind use know what those in front are doing. Maybe even let the cagers know what is going on. I'm a firm believer in hand signals, they do good.

Large, small or solo, just be careful out there, keep the shiny side up & just remember, it isn't the destination, but the journey.