RIDING IN GROUPS – The Basics
Enjoy the ride AND get home so you can enjoy another ride later on
Riding in groups can be incredibly enjoyable. Unfortunately, it can also be a recipe for disaster when
you forget the basics. Before you set out have a chat about these questions.
1. Where are we going?
All members of the group, not just the lead rider, need to know the destination and the
basic route just in case the group is separated. Eg, when we leave Penrith we are going up
the Gt Western Highway. Turn off at Hartley for Tarana and Oberon and on to Bathurst –
then back to Lithgow and down the Bells to Richmond.
2. Where do we stop?
Some riders can do 750 klms only stopping for fuel while others need to stop every 100 klms
for a smoko and fuel. You need to plan around the limitations of each rider. Eg, if you are
on a BMW GS1250 and riding with someone on a Honda Firestorm , a Harley Fatboy, a
Kawasaki Z1000 and an old Goldwing, the group will have to stop every 150 klms for the
Firestorm to get fuel. As a group, you need to plan your smoko and meal stops around the
Firestorm fuel stops.
3. How long will it take?
Some rides will be only a couple of hours and others will be a couple of days. Make sure you
all have the right gear for the varying weather and the bikes are prepared for the length of
ride. Eg, You will meet at Berowra and head to Peats Ridge, Broke and back down the Putty
Rd to Windsor. When you include the time from home to Berowra and from Windsor back
home the ride can take a full day. You will need food and water or enough money to buy
something on the way. Even if it is fine and clear at home take your wet weather gear as the
weather in the Hunter Valley can be completely different to Sydney. Basic checks such as
tyre pressure, chain tension and engine oil will be needed before you set out.
4. What happens if I break down?
Mobile phones have reduced the stress of breaking down. BUT, add a few mountains and
the mobile service can disappear, even close to the cities and major towns. The easiest way
to manage a breakdown is to make sure you keep an eye on the rider behind you. If they
disappear, slow down so they can catch up. If they don’t catch up, turn around and find
them. The rider in front of you should be doing the same thing so eventually everyone will
be heading back to look for the breakdown.
On a day ride, the most common crash for the inexperienced rider is when they try to keep up with
the lead riders. This is usually seen as a single vehicle crash on a corner caused by applying the
brakes too late. Fast riders also crash but thats usually because their line through the corner makes
them drift wide and they get on the gas too early.
Copyright – Survive The Ride Association of NSW – PO Box 5 Berowra NSW 2081
Supported by Stay Upright Pty Ltd and Motor Cycle Accessories Supermarket.