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Poll: How close do you follow when riding together?
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How close do you follow when riding together?

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  #1  
Old 09-09-2017, 02:26 PM
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How close do you follow?

I recently enjoyed a small group ride with two other folks I met in Clifton, VA--except for one thing, coming home I could not tell if I was in a group or by myself.

I feel the front rider should keep an eye on the rest of the group in case something happens, but the other riders seemed comfortable with about a half mile or more of space between bikes, and would disappear behind hills and traffic. I stopped and waited for at least a minute for each rider to catch up. Earlier when I was following these guys it was quite a workout so I know they can ride briskly.

I've had the same experience with some other riders in all four corners of the country, but not with those I ride with on a regular basis. So in addition to riding with folks who are fun to talk to when the engines are turned off, another measure of a good riding partner might be following distance.
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  #2  
Old 09-09-2017, 03:08 PM
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Re: How close do you follow?

I have ridden very close behind where no one is getting in between us and riding at a pace that really if something went wrong - it was really going to go wrong.

And these days I keep a good distance between myself and the next rider - enough distance that I feel I can either stop in time or maneuver around a situation.

Simple rule when riding with a group as long as the rider in front does not make any turns - the rider behind will eventually catch up. If making a turn the rider in front waits for the rider behind him to catch up.

Or if a known destination - ride at your own pace and I will meet you there.
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  #3  
Old 09-09-2017, 09:33 PM
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Re: How close do you follow?

If I'm following on the right, I follow at a distance that I can see the riders head in their mirror. That's a good gauge for me so that I have time to maneuver, brake, swerve, etc. Anything closer doesn't leave enough reaction distance, anything further, I feel like we are not riding as a pair.
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  #4  
Old 09-09-2017, 10:27 PM
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Re: How close do you follow?

1) It depends on who I'm riding with.

2) Follow?

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Old 09-09-2017, 10:33 PM
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Re: How close do you follow?

I don't like riding in large groups but when I have to my rule is give the rider in front of me at
least as much room as they give the rider in front of them. I feel that's their comfort zone.
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Old 09-10-2017, 12:00 AM
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Re: How close do you follow?

I like 1/4 mile minimum on the road, maybe even a couple of miles. Closer in traffic if it is important to stay together of course. If people are going fast, let them get their own ticket, no need to give the LEO a two fer (or six fer). Don't ask how I know. Generally I have found it is difficult to get new riders of a group to relax and spread out. We will come looking for you if you eventually if needed.
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Old 09-10-2017, 08:45 AM
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Re: How close do you follow?

Group riding sucks its nothing but a pain in the ass spend more time worrying where everyone is and whats going on and where are you going when are we going to have a rest stop Bill has to go pee bla bla bla two bikes max for me with no riders, I know i'm an ass hole
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Old 09-10-2017, 08:58 AM
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Re: How close do you follow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BAK04GT
Group riding sucks its nothing but a pain in the ass ....
True dat. Too fast, too slow, too many stops, unknown rider ability, blah, blah etc. Small groups can be lots of fun but we prefer to ride alone.

And I didn't vote because no two rides or riders are alike.
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  #9  
Old 09-10-2017, 09:03 AM
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Re: How close do you follow?

I'm never going to be a really good rider - an okay rider - well that is where I'm at. I have been way more lucky than I have been proficient when it comes to riding in groups.

At the risk of being boring - all my track time - has taught me a few things when it comes to riding fast and close to another rider.

Simply put if you are riding close to another rider and something goes wrong for the rider in front of you truly the only thing that works in your favor is the distance between you and that rider.

The best of us have big problems with target fixation when someone goes down in front of us.

Can we stop or maneuver around them?

When we ride it is so important to not be looking at the rider in front of us as much as we need to be looking if you will through them and where we want to be going.

Most of us on the street have not had a lot of experience with riders going down in front of us(I'm thankful for that) so typically when it happens it gets real tricky for sure.

Not that I'm an expert because I'm not but I do enough track days that over the season I in fact encounter a few crashes right in front of me - and let me tell you it is really hard to not watch the rider crashing - and you following them right off the track.

The good thing when that happens on the track typically the rider crashing is not hitting something so he/she keeps moving away from you - on the street they typically hit something maybe causing their bike to get thrown right back into your path.

For me I'm not a good enough rider or more importantly lucky enough rider these days to ride close to other riders - I just don't do it anymore.
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  #10  
Old 09-10-2017, 05:17 PM
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Re: How close do you follow?

First, it takes time to get to know people you ride with, their pace, riding style etc.

I'm lucky in that I've been riding with the same group for some years now - but now reduced to around 4 to 5 people owing to natural wastage etc.

Here are some of the rules we follow:

1 Always ride in staggered formation. the rider in front of you should always be able to see you in his mirrors and the same applies to the rider behind you.

2. The distance between you depends on speed - the faster you're riding the bigger the gap in front of and behind you - essentially if the rider in front of you has something happen you need to be able to stop in time.

3. If an overtake presents itself to the rider in front of you he takes it. It is impossible to get enough space for the entire group to overtake a car or whatever. The rider who has overtaken should drop his speed a bit until the rider behind has made his overtake.

4. If it's safe to do so the rider taking the overtake can stay out in the opposing lane - this can tell the rider behind that there's nothing coming if there's a bend approaching - the decision to stay out and the decision to overtake remains the responsibility of each rider

5. the bigger the group the more difficult it is to keep the group together. 4/5 is in my experience the maximum. 2 to 3 is optimum and a bigger group needs to split into sub-groups.

6. As Bruce says it's helpful if everyone knows where the destination is - on our continental trips it's now mandatory to have GPS with the location of the hotel for the night loaded.
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