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Wednesday, 03 September 2014 06:00

In my response to article on Group Rides

columnist David PocockWow, my first letter from a reader, this was in response to my article on Group rides.  Please read this letter and below, you will find my answer.

in BDB newsletter...




I've been ridin for 47 yrs. and I have a problem with the disrespectful nature of todays "newbie" riders both in groups and solo riders, makes me wonder what they are taught in todays riding classes!..

Here's my complaint.. when I come upon a group 4-10-20 matters not how many I don't want to ride with them I want to pass them.. they will not move in any way shape or form to allow me that, a group of 20 can be 3 freight trucks long, how am I expected to get around them? Wait till there is a passing lane? Not! could be forever till that happens, pass them individually? Dealing with a bunch of newbies this scares me to no end, most of them don't even know I'm there! I just want them behind me so I can be on my merry way at maybe 5-10-or 15 km faster than those doing 75 in a 80 zone because they were taught that slower is safer???? BS .. that causes congestion which leads to road rage and not just with me but with all road users.. I have come up behind solo riders in the left track of the lane and they will not take the right track and thereby letting me move on with out having to wait for a passing opportunity, they will just sit there and I don't care what the situation is.... let me by, share the road/lane... When I have a rider come up behind me and I sense they wish to pass I slide to the right, let them by and retake my position of left track. In my "Old School" book that's respect and sharing and you'll get a acknowledgment for that as opposed to the "bird"! I've been behind solos or pairs or small groups 3-5, I push the bike in the left track to let it know I'd like to get by, no move, then when they see me they hit the brakes as they are taught to touch the brakes to make me back off, these A.Holes I will try to run of the road, scare the crap out of them so they will sell their bike and go back to the Lazyboy where most of them came from, why can't they just slip to the right, give me the track to pass and in 3-5 seconds or less I'm out of their lazy ass life and on my merry way.. In todays world I see 2 bikes on the highway with 20 or 30 cars behind them as they are doing the speed limit or 5 km under, never in my life will I ever ride and hold up traffic as much as I see MC riders doing today. In the days gone by MC s never hold up traffic, we move through and beyond looking for open road and yellow lines to chase not license plates or backs of MoHos or freight trucks to look at for hours on end.

If this is how they are being taught today then most of the accidents involving MC s are the result of poor teaching, hence those instructors have that blood on their hands. When chatting with newbie riders never have I encountered one that knows the meaning of "path of least resistance" nor looking to the "horizon or vanishing point" hence they are all handicapped not having this information.. Very Sad on instructors part..

I'd be interested to hear what you have to say to my concerns/observations!

Thank you in advance for your consideration.  


Well, Hardly has a point, or two. 

Firstly though. 

Depending on where you are riding there are rules as to how man folk can travel as a solid group.  Aside from courtesy there are limits to group size from as few as four, to as many as ten may ride as a group, and in “most” jurisdictions none may ride side-by-side but must travel in a staggered formation.  It is always prudent to check the rules for where you are riding, as they may be different than the rules where you are from and or where you learned to ride.  In many jurisdictions it is illegal to “hold up more than six vehicles behind your vehicle or detain any one for more than a given distance of travel usually less than two kilometre or one mile ” and, in most jurisdictions, an approaching emergency vehicle, from either direction, requires that you pull over and stop!  There is also the rule of travelling the average speed of the prevailing traffic.

Now, on to answer Hardly’s comments;

Let’s deal with the issue of getting past a group or as a group letting “other” riders pass.  These are observations that would apply to single travel lane roads.  Communication is the key, the before ride talk should include such scenarios.  The Tale-end rider should be minding the back trail for such things like other riders, or cars or especially emergency vehicles.  On seeing these start the process of moving riders in to trailing line and over to the right side of the travel lane.  All riders in a group have the responsibility of being aware, this is common courtesy, the habits and courtesy you use while riding should not be any less than the ones you would use while driving any other vehicle, in fact many of the habits we practice while on a bike stand us in good stead else where.

Many groups will travel at lower than the posted speed, especially if they are a “new group”, not necessarily new riders, but new to each other as they get used to the habits of the other riders.  This is a case where the tail end rider must be extra aware and all riders should be paying attention.  

All of this applies to the solo rider as well. 

On to the observation of many new riders not being taught to look to the horizon, or through a corner.  The few riding schools I’ve had the pleasure to ride with have all expressed this concept, long and often, I think it is often lost in the clutter of the newness of riding for many.  Yet, when they get behind the wheel of a car they do it without thought.  Again, part of the issue is that many are not used to having the “Environment” so close as just outside the immediate volume of their helmet visor/ goggles, verses outside the relatively large volume of the car/truck windshield. 

All of the above is the theory in practice it is never a sure bet.  Courtesy is never out of fashion on both sides of this. 

As always, Ride safe.  We would rather talk to you, than about you.


Last modified on Thursday, 04 September 2014 02:22
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