MMP 21: Why Riding in a Group is Riskier [Podcast]


In this session of the Motorcycle Mentor Podcast, I explain why riding a motorcycle with a group of other riders is more dangerous than riding solo. Some listeners won’t agree with me here, but I’m use to that. 😉

Do you think riding in a group is safer or riskier?

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Listen to the podcast by clicking on the play button at the top of the page.

More specifically, in this session you’ll find out about:

  • My first ride with my motorcycle mentor. He left me in the dust.
  • 3 reasons I think riding in a group is riskier.
  • What freeks me out the most when I ride with a group of other riders.

Resources and links mentioned in this session:

Learn more about my Special mentoring resources.

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14 Responses to MMP 21: Why Riding in a Group is Riskier [Podcast]

  1. Quentin Lewis September 30, 2014 at 12:27 am #

    at the start of the podcast you talked about giving a seven points, but at the end you told her she gave us 3 I didn’t count which one was it:-)

    • MotorcycleMentor October 1, 2014 at 3:52 pm #

      @Quentin,
      I was hoping nobody noticed that. I didn’t catch it until very late in post production. So, I decided to go with it. Actually, I think I said “7 Reasons..” twice. Good catch. I should have known you would catch it 😉

      David

  2. Robert October 1, 2014 at 10:09 am #

    Thank you for a great podcast.

    When you asked the question in the beginning. I couldn’t raise my hand because my answer is. It depends on the group you’re riding with. I’ve ridden with a large cruiser group where the line was set from the beginning. “Ride responsibly, follow the law and you on the fast bikes, keep in line.” I’ve also went on short trips with sport bikes where I found myself going past my confort zone. That is something I avoid today.

    This summer I went on a four day trip around Iceland in a group of six. Everyone was very experienced and I never felt that I needed to worry about the guy behind me or in front of me. Extremely relaxing and enjoyable trip. If however there would have been some black sheeps in the party I would probably sing another song.

    So as I understand your view and agree with you. I also think in some cases you can benefit from riding in a group, if the riders are responsible and experienced. Specially in the highlands of Iceland 🙂

    • MotorcycleMentor October 1, 2014 at 3:50 pm #

      @Robet,
      First, I’m jealous! A four day ride through Iceland. Maybe someday for me.

      To your point, I agree that riding with like-minded riders can be one of the most enjoyable experiences had on two wheels. But we all have to take choosing who we ride with seriously, and we have to be aware of the psychological temptations to ride outside our comfort/skill zone to “stay with the pack.”

      David

  3. Charles Mendelson October 1, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

    In the section of the podcast where you talked about advantages to group riding you missed what I think is a very important point which is, if there is a collision, riding in a group provides witnesses, and more importantly, someone is right there to immediately dial 911. You hinted at it with the breakdown segment, but given that many group rides occur in sparsely populated areas on roads less traveled that can mean the difference between a quick response, or lying in a ditch for a considerable time before someone else stops and calls. Likewise, in the wake of a collision, it is important not to move unless staying still is more dangerous (eg the fuel line ruptured and might catch fire). Group members can lift a bike off of someone without moving them, secure the scene from other hazards, and contact emergency services to provide quick turnaround time to the ER. Hope this helps

    • MotorcycleMentor October 1, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

      @Charles
      Having someone there to help you is definitely an advantage. Good point.
      David

  4. rc October 2, 2014 at 1:08 pm #

    Dont get sidetracked from the original point, though. Obviously, given enough people in the ride, you’ll have the orthopedic surgeon who could screw your broken wrist back together using a tire repair kit.

    However, on a warm sunny day, you’ll also find peopel who are at their complete upper limit of ability following in the formation lines. Side by side, too close to each other, and a mistake from that new person will take you and the bike behind him out in a flash.

    We’ll find good, and bad in everything we do. Try not to inflate the “good” in an effort to mitigate the “bad”. Honestly, after a crash, you’d be able to call 911 if the could influence the outcome.

  5. Brian Moran October 8, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

    David,

    I just found your podcast and I’m enjoying the mix of topics and tips. Looking forward to becoming a more informed rider. Looking forward to hearing all the podcasts.

    Brian
    Tallahassee,FL

    • MotorcycleMentor October 9, 2014 at 2:42 am #

      @Brian

      That’s awesome. Hope you enjoy the other shows too. Let me know if you have any questions.

      David

  6. Mark October 21, 2014 at 1:56 am #

    David, I’ve listened to a number of your shows. This is great stuff. I just left a positive review on iTunes, too. I just heard the show on reasons why riding in a group is less safe. Another good show. What caught my ear, though, was your comments about one negative reviewer. Don’t let that stuff ever get to you again, man. Maybe there was something constructive in it, or will be in further negative reviews, but pull out the constructive stuff and ignore the other crap as soon as you can. You’re doiing good work here. It’s helping riders be more safe. Keep up the outstanding – not good, but outstanding – work. Let the negative reviews go unless there’s something that will make your work better. Which seems, to me, damn unlikely.

    • MotorcycleMentor October 21, 2014 at 2:07 am #

      @Mark
      Thanks for taking the time to give me feedback. Wow. That made my week. Think I’ll start working on the next podcast.

      David

  7. Luke January 28, 2015 at 6:46 pm #

    Hey David,

    Great podcast on motorcycling – I’ve been listening since finding it last fall and am trying to catch up on all of the episodes. Great sound quality too! (I produce a podcast as well so I appreciate that kind of thing…)

    Re: your points about riding in groups – I have a few things to contribute. I’m still a new rider and learned to ride at 38. I took a rider training course where we rode in small groups of 5 or 6. The teacher rode in the back and we took turns leading. It was a great way to learn especially because we all knew what to do even though we weren’t at the same level starting out. There’s a kind of ‘ballet’ that happens in terms of positioning and we were all taught what to do. The leader stays on the left of the lane and each rider staggers behind them. When we made a lane change or a right turn, the leader changes to the proper lane position and everyone else follows in sequence. It looks really cool when it’s done right and I’m really glad I learned how to do it.

    That said, I haven’t ridden with anyone else that actually knows how to do that. I tried riding a Harley in a demo-ride session from a local dealer and the ride was chaotic and unorganized. We all made it through fine but in speaking with the lead rider (and also the owner of the dealership) he told me outright, “Most guys don’t know shit about riding in a group.” I know everyone on that ride was riding an unfamiliar bike that that they didn’t own so everyone’s eyes were up more than they probably would have been anyway. But it would have been so much more fun if they knew how to ride in a group and practiced that technique.

    For myself, I’m a lone wolf and prefer to ride alone most of the time, especially if it’s a long trip. I’m on my own clock and I don’t really like convoying in a car with other cars. I commute to work on the bike and take medium circuit rides on my own. I’m lucky to live in a place that has unbelievable riding everywhere – the interior of British Columbia – with high mountain passes and ALL roads are winding and wonderful. I’m sure that I don’t even know how good I have it and know that I’m pretty lucky that way. I heard on another one of your podcasts that you weren’t so sure about riding curvy roads. You can certainly practice that here. Let me know if you ever make it this way. Cheers!

    Luke

  8. Randy Dewey June 21, 2016 at 8:53 pm #

    Hi David, thank you for such a great series of podcast. As in my group, I am the least experienced rider. It actually makes me feel more confident when having others backing up and in some cases they are available at the place to help out with certain incidents. But I tend to join only a small group. Less than 5 is my favorite number for the amount of members in a riding group.

  9. Alessandra July 17, 2016 at 3:09 pm #

    I just finished listening to this podcast and I agree. I have riden with groups but I prefer to roll solo, I feel safer. Last summer I rode cross country solo and it felt good to go at my own pace and stop whenever I wanted to.

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