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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all!

I'm sort of new at this... 3,000 miles under my belt now. Just started doing freeways a couple of weeks ago (short stints of about 20 mile stretch of freeway at a time).

Group Rides... here in Calif. they go through mountain passes (some of which I'm comfortable with, others not... the windy/tristy/curvy/mile(s) high one w/ no guard rails.

At this point, I don't feel I'm quite ready for this type of ride but... should I just "jump in" and forget the procrastination, or get some more experience under my belt first?

Opinions/thoughts apreciated!
 

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chuck807 said:
Group Rides... here in Calif. they go through mountain passes (some of which I'm comfortable with, others not... the windy/tristy/curvy/mile(s) high one w/ no guard rails.

At this point, I don't feel I'm quite ready for this type of ride but... should I just "jump in" and forget the procrastination, or get some more experience under my belt first?
It is very important to stay within your comfort zone. Group rides can sometimes get out of hand, depending on the experience level and aggressiveness of the group riders. I would suggest trying that curvy terrain by yourself first, or with a friend who is willing to hang back and let you set the pace. The advantage of going with a friend is obviously that if you have a mishap someone is there to help. Use power mode for that kind of riding, particularly if you are doing curves at 35 mph or less - you will have better control and it will feel less awkward through the curves. If you get to feeling uncomfortable with the ride, turn around at the next safe opportunity, and tackle it again another day. Even mountain roads often have pull offs where you can safely turn around.
 

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Chuck,

You are the best judge of what riding you are ready to do. I suggest talking to the groups ride leader and discuss your concerns. You might find they have a ride scheduled that is within your comfort zone. You may also be able to get a map of the planned ride and check it out in advance.
 

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Also, when you do try a group ride, if they start riding beyond your comfort zone, drop out. Do not even give it a second thought.

If you have not done group riding before, discuss the rules of the ride with an experienced group rider. A good group will maintain staggered formation except under certain conditions. There are rules for lane changes. The leader signals, and waits for the tail person to move over and reserve the lane. Then the leader, and the rest of the group, make the lane change. Road hazards are signaled back to the following riders. It can be quite different from solo riding. If the group does not follow any conventions like that, you might want to find a different group to ride with. Goldwing rider groups are usually pretty well organized, and good to learn with. If it is a Harley based group, and they schedule several bar stops along the way - not a good scene. If it is a sport bike based group and they just get out there and yee haw - you aren't ready for that.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Paul & Bill!! Actually I spoke with the 1st officer who's leading the ride tomorrow (labor day). Its the SCRC and yes, they follow the same rules you've outlined. He suggested that since its the holiday, the turnout will be smaller than usual, so it would be an ideal opportunity to experience my first group ride. He said they have new riders all the time, and highly encourage bowing out in the event I'm not comfortable. I'm going to give it a shot and try to go with the flow. Will let you know what happens.
 

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I got my first bike, a Kawasaki EX500, at the end of November 2000. I started riding with a group a few month thereafter. It is one of the best things about motorcycling. Every Sunday we meet at 9:00, ride a couple hours and eat breakfast somewhere. In the Winter there might be three or four riders, in the Summer we range from eight to eighteen.

In my group we have a simple system that lets people go at their own pace: faster riders line up in front of slower riders. However the rider directly in front of you is totally responsible to make sure that you make the turn from one street onto another. You are likewise responsible for the one person behind you. This way, no one has to worry about keeping up, or getting lost.

Be very careful riding with other folks though. Please. Just because someone else made it through the curves on their old Moto Guzzi cruiser does not mean that you can. Also, give the person in front of you room to crash at any time...you never know.

Anyway, a group is great. BUT, Ride Your Own Ride!

I've learned this the hard way...and I'm still tempted.
 

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Whenever I ride with a group of friends, I'm always on point. I always ride to the least capable most conservative rider. Afterall, it is supposed to be fun and safe. Not a test of egos.

I agree that you shouldn't ride beyond your comfort zone.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Edwljoseph said:
Whenever I ride with a group of friends, I'm always on point. I always ride to the least capable most conservative rider. Afterall, it is supposed to be fun and safe. Not a test of egos.

I agree that you shouldn't ride beyond your comfort zone.
I'll definitely drop out if I feel its beyond my comfort zone. In the meantime I'm looking forward to it but haven't any clue as to what its going to turn out like. But then again, that's all part of the adventure, isn't it?
 

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chuck807 said:
Its the SCRC and yes, they follow the same rules you've outlined.
I think you'll have a great time. SCRC clubs have a good rep for taking care of the new riders. You might want to browse the riding rules before you head out. I'm sure someone will go over them before with you before the ride. It never hurts to look then over beforehand. :wink:

http://www.southerncruisers.net/ridingrules.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #10
billmeek said:
chuck807 said:
Its the SCRC and yes, they follow the same rules you've outlined.
I think you'll have a great time. SCRC clubs have a good rep for taking care of the new riders. You might want to browse the riding rules before you head out. I'm sure someone will go over them before with you before the ride. It never hurts to look then over beforehand. :wink:

http://www.southerncruisers.net/ridingrules.htm
Actually that was the very first thing I was told to look at (he sent the same link)... and will also be going over the rules tomorrow morning before the ride.

Glad to hear about their reputation!! Looking at their member list... uhm, er, most of 'em drive Harleys!
 

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chuck807 said:
Looking at their member list... uhm, er, most of 'em drive Harleys!
Most of'em here too. With a spattering of larger metric cruisers. All of'em I've met are great folks.
 

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Great video clip.

Great video clip Norm. It really drives home 2 important points, 1. Safe distance between riders, and 2. Keeping your eyes up and in front. :shock:
 

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Besides "ride your own ride" may I suggest carrying a decent (w/ local streets) map in the Burgie's Lardy A$$ed seat? :D That way, if you find you're rather not stick with the ride, and you're in unfamiliar territory, you'll have a good shot of finding your way home. A compass helps too. I've got a compass/temp gauge/whistle combo I bought from an outdoorsy store that I keep in my jacket pocket.

Have fun!
Bryna
P.S. It's always good to say, "Hey this is my first/one of my first group rides. Riders in general tend to want to make sure everyone has fun and will usually look after you. (Or you've inadvertently picked the wrong group to ride with if this doesn't happen.)
 

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Invincsum said:
Besides "ride your own ride" may I suggest carrying a decent (w/ local streets) map in the Burgie's Lardy A$$ed seat? :D That way, if you find you're rather not stick with the ride, and you're in unfamiliar territory, you'll have a good shot of finding your way home. A compass helps too. I've got a compass/temp gauge/whistle combo I bought from an outdoorsy store that I keep in my jacket pocket.

Have fun!
Bryna
[snipped]
Hi Bryna

Is this MAP thingy what they used in the olden days before GPS? :wink:
 

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Re: Great video clip.

NYBubba said:
Great video clip Norm. It really drives home 2 important points, 1. Safe distance between riders, and 2. Keeping your eyes up and in front. :shock:
Yeah exactly NY

But did you notice that the kamikaze is up to something very strange - if you view the vid again - look at his right leg/foot prior to the wipe out.

(rear brake on right)
 

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[snipped][/quote]

Hi Bryna

Is this MAP thingy what they used in the olden days before GPS? :wink:[/quote]


Yup, Norman--that's the one. Mine even has one showing where Columbus is supposed to land some day soon! :lol: Lynn is the techie in the family. She just networked our computers to a home DSL network so she's in her study on her PC and I'm in the living room on my laptop! She'll probably have GPS for her Burgie before I do. :D

Cheers,

B
 

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NormanB said:
Is this MAP thingy what they used in the olden days before GPS? :wink:
Yah! It's what olde dudes like me still use... :wink:

Only advantage to using a GPS that I can think of is that the wind won't blow it shut when trying to read it... Well... there might be a couple of other advantages.... :roll:
 

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I prefer the 'Zen method of navigation'. Pick someone who looks like they know where they're going and follow them. You rarely end up where you expect to be but often where you want to be. :)
 
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