Episode 37 – Planning a Group Ride

Today we are providing tips on how to plan a proper group ride.

Group rides can be a ton of fun. It is a great way to meet other local riders, share a riding experience with your friends/fans (in Justin’s case), but group rides take a lot of planning and coordination.

When looking at building a group ride:

How big of a group are you expecting?
Small group is 5 or less riders
Medium group is 10 or less riders
Large group is over 10 riders

Skill level of the riders
This is tough because you never know who will show up and you never know who’s going to be honest if asked.
Ideally keep the rookie riders up front to help keep the group together and set the pace.

Plan a route with a purpose: Scenery, Technicality, Destination
If you are planning a scenic route, it is best for it to not be super technical, and find locations to pull over for photos and that type of thing.
If you are planning a super technical route, be sure to let everyone know ahead of time so they can gauge their ability to actually handle that route.
If the route is to reach a destination, choose the most enjoyable route for the ride. If the destination is a longer distance (300+ miles) look to use interstates or state highways for the majority of the trip. Rider fatigue can start as early as 100 miles into the journey
Plan the route with stops for fuel accordingly for bikes with smaller tanks. A good rule of thumb is to plan to pull over between 75-100 miles
Check construction on the route either on the internet or with a dry run.
You should always pre-ride your route (if not a destination route) on the same day of the week and roughly the same timeframe of your ride. This will allow you to have a good feel for what traffic will look like, what the road conditions are, and if there will be any issues with the planned stops.
If your expected turn out is a medium or a large sized group, you really should have road captains.
The purpose of the road captains is to take lead of the group when a split up occurs.
Other uses are for massaging traffic when you need to control a lane to move a group over, block a lane to get the group out of a parking lot, and to be the eyes of the back of the group for the leader.
When using road captains, they should be on the pre-ride so they know the route, can help figure out where possible choke points are, etc.
Road Captains should be positioned in the back of the group. When the group gets split up at a light, one of the road captains jumps to the front of the group, and starts leading until they are able to get the group caught up, then falls back to the rear.
It is good to have at least 3 road captains (leader of the group, tail gunner, and the extra to act as a sweeper.
Comms are important!!!
Choose stops that can accommodate the size of the group
Space the stops out to be between 75-100 miles for fuel stops and to aide in rider fatigue