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Pace yourself in Group Rides


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#1 OrangevaleFJR

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 01:41 PM

A link to "The Pace"
Ride your pace

Link to the Hand Signals Thread

What are the causes of motorcycle accidents? It's good information to know so that we know better how to avoid problems. The following report also lists some information derived from the research.
The HURT Report Thread

In order to keep this thread as useful as possible, I will edit this original message with updates that are both valuable (and serious). Please send me a PM if you have something that should be included.

While the pace is very valuable in terms of how to handle rides on the public roads, it is not designed to be a complete safety briefing for group riding. Below, I am going to add some safety guidelines that will be helpful to those oranizing a group ride. Again, PM me if you want something added.

1) If possible, the lead and sweep riders should be in radio contact. In addition, having someone a little further back than lead (3rd position) with a radio can help the group by allowing the lead to call out problems well before the rest of the group arrives.

2) If the group makes a turn, and the person behind you is too far back to see this turn take place, stop and wait for them to arrive so they can follow you. If everyone follows this rule, no turns should be missed by any riders. Of course, be careful in traffic, stopping on an off ramp of a busy freeway is a bad idea. Use common sense!

3) Staggered formation is not only efficient, but it is fun too. Utilized correctly it can add a certain level of safety in some situations. Here are some rules for staggered riding:
- Still keep your 3 second intervals! Being staggered does NOT mean that you can cut the following distance in half. If a deer runs into the bike in front of you, there is no assurance that that bike will stay in his assigned lane position. Things can deteriorate quickly, keep your space.
- DO NOT ride next to each other in the same lane.
- While it is okay to stop next to a stopped bike, never assume that the rider in front of you will. Many riders don't like to stop next to each other as it limits options for escape should something arise.
- DO NOT use staggered formation through turns. Go to single file when a turn is upcoming and use your preferred turning method. Some people like stay right to keep away from vehicles that are supposed to be in the oncoming lane, but that cross over. Some people prefer the Outside-Inside-Outside method - for those that do, remember to give the center line plenty of space and certainly don't hang over it! Keeping the 3 second gap at all times during staggered riding also ensures that you have adequate gap in turns without having to brake too much.
- In staggered riding, the leader should take the left and then the bikes following should alternate sides. Left, right, left, right....just like marching in the military.

4) Keeping the group together is NOT essential. Sometimes traffic will make it impossible to keep the group together. Don't take unecessary risks to stay together as a group. If something is risky, then just wait until it is safe to make a move to get back with your friends again.

5) DO NOT RACE! If you want to race, please go to a track day. This is not a competition. Be content with a leisurely pleasure ride. If you are in a hurry, leave the group and go ride your own ride.

6) Stay aware. Many people that are in a group tend to relax their situational awareness because they feel protected by the group. Many people have found out the hard way that the rest of the group is what? TRAFFIC! Be aware of everyone in your group as they may do things as stupid as a cager! It's true! If you relax your guard, you're just asking for trouble and it will eventually come to you. It would be a bummer to rear end a fellow rider and when you ask him why he stopped in the middle of the road he responds, "Didn't you see that squirrel? Why didn't you pay attention to what I was doing?"

7) If you tailgait, be prepared for a beating. You'll deserve it. Riders get just as angry at bikes that tailgait as they do at SUV's that tailgait. Well...almost as angry.

8) Everyone should know the remedy of being tailgaited (besides beating the offender) and that is: PULL OVER!!! If someone is too close to you that means you are in their way. Making them go your speed because you think they shouldn't be going faster than you is rude. Signal with a LOT of advance warning, pull to the right and wave the rider on. It'll solve the problem, and both riders will feel good about life.

9) All riders should know the route, or at least have a set of directions with them.

10) Those that don't have a full tank of gas prior to departure time may get left behind, and will certainly be teased a bunch.

11) Applies to California only: Lane Sharing is something not all riders are comfortable with. If you expect to go through traffic then discuss lane sharing with others and set the rules before the ride.

12) Passing on the double yellow: Some riders pass on the double yellow. Perhaps we have all been guilty of that. This is something that should be agreed upon by the group. I don't want to set hard rules in regards to this, but it is something the group should discuss and reach agreement on. The law is a hard rule. Even if you are being safe, the wrong side of the double yellow will earn you a ticket quickly. Also, keep in mind that people in cages don't understand that it might be safe as the distances used for safety sake are longer than our bikes need to accelerate past a vehicle. This being the case, it's probably best for the public's impression of riders to pass only where legal and that is my official recommendation in public.

13) Legal Passing: Don't assume that the rider in front of you is ensuring there is enough space for you to pass. Blindly following a rider into a pass without determining whether there is time for you to pass safely is akin to suicide.

14) Passing again: When you complete a pass, don't quickly pull over and slow down. Make sure there is enough room for the bikes behind you to get back in the proper lane!!!

15) Target Fixation When riding in groups as opposed to solo, target fization becomes a big problem. Remember to look through the ride to your destination. Fixating on the rear fender of the rider in front of you will screw up your lines in the turn and you'll have a nasty experience. Avoid this fixation, look through the turn to your destination.

16) It is possible that a rider that is not with the group is faster than the group. Please be courteous. In California and some countries where it is legal to share lanes, it takes less than a few seconds to pull to the right, slow a tad and wave the rider past. Please only do this where it is safe (NOT IN TURNS). Where crossing the double yellow is strictly policed, but lane sharing is legal, we should take the opportunity we have and extend courtesy to our riding brethren. You may want to flash your lights, or tap your horn to let people know that something is coming their way. Make sure to give the passing rider his 3 second space as soon as practical.

Don’t wave people on to tell them its clear where they cannot see. As far as passing is concerned, it should be each rider’s decision whether or not to pass. If you get waved on, ignore it until you are comfortable in your mind to overtake.

17) If you are a new rider, go to MSF and practice and become a good rider that is in control before you show up for a group ride. Please don't endanger yourself, or other riders by showing up as a newbie. Motorcycling is a learned skill and biting off more than you can chew can easily kill you.

Accident Scene Management. There is a group of forum members taking a class for this. In the mean time I decided to find something to stick in here (as long as it is worthwhile). I found this one to be pretty good and will keep it here until we find something better.
http://www.molenda.c...cident.html#two
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#2 Barabus

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 02:46 PM

I reread this just to reaffirm a few things. Should be the Bible for new riders. OV thanks for the link and sticky.
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#3 Lee

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 07:53 AM

I completely agree with the tip "Don't hang off in the corners...Sitting sedately on the bike looks safer and reduces unwanted attention. It also provides a built-in safety margin..." when riding in a group. (If I see a group of riders hanging off in corners, I get out of the way.)

BUT...a slight hang-off is a safer way to ride solo through a tight corner, IMHO. More tread on the road than when increasing bike lean angle to make the same corner. And it's easier to adjust your line (by shifting lower body weight) than by steering input.
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#4 HaulinAshe

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 09:04 AM

QUOTE
Don't hang off in the corners or tuck in on the straights. Sitting sedately on the bike looks safer and reduces unwanted attention. It also provides a built-in safety margin.


I agree with how it looks. But I strongly disagree (as also stated by others) that this in any way adds to the safety margin. I've been practicing moving my body to the inside of the turn, as opposed to pushing the bike into the corner (as in motocross). It definitely makes a positive difference in how the bike behaves in the tight corners.

IMHO the author was trying to make a point about visibility and visual impressions, but managed to screw-up the information.

P.S. No one should EVER be watching my ass hang off the bike!
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#5 afterburn

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 03:22 AM

I don't like that 'The Pace' article that keeps popping up on all forums from time to time. Although it is generally right and good reading, people seem to take it as the bible and generate BS like "if you have to brake, you don't ride the pace or you are doing it wrong" They seem to confuse a possible result with the objective and make the result the objective. And that seems to be about 90% of riders that pride themselves for riding the pace. Those riders keep shoving the pace into other peoples faces by telling them how wrong they are doing things, while they themselves clearly didn't get the message.

Disclaimer: not saying this applies to anyone here, but is something I have noticed over the years. Particularly on ST.n.
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#6 Mr Bill

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 05:58 AM

I'm guilty!

I lean way over, more than the bike, my fat head and butt way inside.

I don't ride the pace. I think parts of it are a good idea for me like going slower on the straights, well sometimes I do that. I often use the brakes to set the bike up for the corners. And I use the throttle a lot in corners to pick the bike back up and set the suspension. Do I ride smooth? I like to, but your going to see my brake lights come on a lot.

Of course I don't ride like that on the slab or on fast sweepers like the BRP. These places I ride a pretty consistent speed that will keep me out of jail. So I guess it depends on the roads eh?

So if I knew how to write I'd rewrite The Pace into The Smooth smile.gif

#7 painman

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 06:16 AM

No one here is forcing the pace on anyone I'm sure. The only reason you see this term so often is that it works. Like it or not. If you are riding the pace, you will be smooth, not using the brakes too often and in general making for a safer and more enjoyable ride for everyone. You can still ride your ride, but IMO have found that my riding style is improved and by riding the pace I can continue to improve my abilities and style for me while not inturupting others in the group. If everyone rides the pace in a group, it is a beautiful site to behold, amen. PM. <>< biggrin.gif

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#8 quicksilver

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 06:41 AM

'Burn,
Interesting comments on The Pace. I think you are right on target with the potential flaw in the use of it.
Few people have qualifcations to critic other riders. But, it is still nice to have a framework of general expectations.
I continually promote it in all group rides. I am sure frequent co-riders tire of me, on this point.

But, I am sticking with it because it is a fastest simplest way I know to get everyone on the same page.
Could it be improved? No doubt. Is it an good tool? You bet.
I have never ridden with exactly the same group twice. So it is mainly a safety thing to me.

There is always someone in the group with no group riding experience.
In any big group, there is always someone who has never read the Pace.
There is always someone who's superior experience and skills could very easily get someone else into big trouble.

It is surprising how many riders of all levels just don't understand that screaming hot into every curve with the brake light pitched into the air, or roaring out of sight on a long straight away, is plain inconsiderate to the rest of the group.

I couldn't sleep at night if someone went down because all of us were too timid to spend a few seconds to make sure everyone knows there are some expectations from the rest of the group. Veterans forget (all of us), and rookies don't even know in the first place.

I often wring my hands about being seen as "shoving the pace into other peoples faces".
The only way I know to avoid it is by making sure it "keeps popping up...from time to time."

I don't sweat every details. It's more a concept thing to me.



QUOTE(afterburn @ Dec 15 2006, 08:22 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't like that 'The Pace' article that keeps popping up on all forums from time to time. Although it is generally right and good reading, people seem to take it as the bible and generate BS like "if you have to brake, you don't ride the pace or you are doing it wrong" They seem to confuse a possible result with the objective and make the result the objective. And that seems to be about 90% of riders that pride themselves for riding the pace. Those riders keep shoving the pace into other peoples faces by telling them how wrong they are doing things, while they themselves clearly didn't get the message.

Disclaimer: not saying this applies to anyone here, but is something I have noticed over the years. Particularly on ST.n.


#9 afterburn

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 07:17 AM

QS: It is a great concept, and I just wish people would treat it as such.

QUOTE
If you are riding the pace, you will be smooth, not using the brakes too often and in general making for a safer and more enjoyable ride for everyone.

See, this I don't agree with. I am smooth to the extreme. It is the only way to be fast on bikes with limited clearance and crappy suspension. wink.gif Seriously, I am very smooth. And I never race the straights, instead I use the straights to give slower riders a chance to safely catch up if they start lagging behind. But you will see me use my brakes just about for every turn unless they are the long sweeper types. Trust me, the types of roads I frequent (like the Alps) you don't want to come driving at a leisurely 50mph and attempt to make the turn without brakes. It will definately hurt. Lack of brakes is NOT the indication of 'The Pace'. Lack of brakes is a possible indication of it. Might seem like a minor difference, but it is a major distinction to a lot of those that are 'preaching' it a lot.

Its a concept. It's a concept of being smooth and creating a natural flow through the turns, not a concept of minimizing brake use. Brakes have NOTHING to do with 'The Pace'.
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#10 Bounce

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 10:36 AM

what about those of us who can't help but hang off? i tried tucking it in my boot but that was a little too close and was a might cramped.
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#11 OrangevaleFJR

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 11:06 PM

QUOTE(Bounce @ Dec 15 2006, 10:36 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
what about those of us who can't help but hang off? i tried tucking it in my boot but that was a little too close and was a might cramped.


Try a few knots

QUOTE(afterburn @ Dec 15 2006, 03:22 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't like that 'The Pace' article that keeps popping up on all forums from time to time. Although it is generally right and good reading, people seem to take it as the bible and generate BS like "if you have to brake, you don't ride the pace or you are doing it wrong" They seem to confuse a possible result with the objective and make the result the objective. And that seems to be about 90% of riders that pride themselves for riding the pace. Those riders keep shoving the pace into other peoples faces by telling them how wrong they are doing things, while they themselves clearly didn't get the message.

Disclaimer: not saying this applies to anyone here, but is something I have noticed over the years. Particularly on ST.n.


I could understand not liking that. I'd say the pace is a good guidline, certainly not the rider's bible
"Riding Moto-Bike is great fun, I want to hear the stories, I'll never come close to many of these wonderful accomplishments, but I love to hear the stories, I love to dream ...these extremes capture my imagination. Amazing feats." -- RenoJohn|We all live our amazing stories from our perspective and when I read a good story with a good feeling about a bike, I get it.|Watch your temper, I have cows! try me