My frst real group ride !! - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-23-2012, 02:17 AM Thread Starter
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My frst real group ride !!

Well just last night I wrote in Wolfie's group ride thread that I would probably forego group rides myself for the time being, as I was not sure my skills were up to the task. So this morning about 9 AM my friend Jack calls and invites me to join their group for a ride to the Nanton Air Museum. It is about a 80-90 mile ride. They are meeting at noon and leaving at 12:15 to be there before 2 PM when the museum is firing up two engines on the Lancster bomber which they are restoring.

So 10 of us are at the parking lot and the guy who I assume is the ride leader because he is verbally outlining the route we are taking, asks if I want to lead the ride. I wouldn't have any trouble finding my way as I know all the highways very well, but I inform everyone that it is my first group ride and I would rather let someone else lead this time. (I ride in second position, right behind the leader.) Everybody is fine with that and we ride 3 miles to Jack's place and pick up 4 or 5 more bikes, most with couples aboard, for a total of 14-15 motors and 18 or 19 people.

There were several Harleys including one water cooled V-rod, some Hondas (Magna 65, Shadow 1100 and 750s, a VTX1300, probably some others too), a BMW RT1200S, a Yamaha Venture, and I think a couple of big twin Suzukis. I didn't notice any other Vulcans but mine, and it was the smallest engine in the group. We only had two female riders, one a 65 yo woman on a 2008 Soft Tail 105th anniversary edition. The second was a 20 something gal on a new Suzuki S50 (50 cubic inch/800cc) the second smallest bike in the group.

We all rode up together in one big group, but split up into smaller groups, some taking an extended ride up west to the Chain Lakes before coming back south to Lundbreck. I rode back in a foursome with Mark on a Shadow 1100, his daughter Paige on the S50, and his son-in-law Dusty on the VTX1300 (married to different daughter), and me in sweep at the tail end. I got about half a mile behind on the 4 lane when we left the service station and opened her up to WOT and topped out at an indicated 150 km/hr (minus 10% speedo error = 135km/hr or ~ 84 mph) before I had to back off.

I wished I had my windshield on when travelling over 70 mph. Time to put it back on for cool morning rides to work now anyway. At 70-75 mph going up I made 160 km/100 miles on 10 liters (2.64 US gallons). That's about 38 mpg. Not bad for an old fat guy carrying an extra 5 liters of gas and 10 lbs of tools and gear.

So I lost my group riding virginity today lol. It was fun and not as scary or challenging to my riding skills as I imagined it might be. I learned some things that I would do differently if/when I lead a group. ie. I would have changed lanes earlier a few times than the leader did on the way up. I was watching for the tailgunner to secure the lane before a lane change (as I had read about in a couple of places previously), but apparently this group doesn't do that. I didn't see the leader, tailgunner or anyone else with CBs or other communication devices so that may be the reason we just followed the leader after he signalled the lane change/turn.

I will be open to future invitations to group rides.


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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-23-2012, 06:52 AM
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Yep, that was a group, my bunch seldom gets over 1/2 dozen bikes, but sometimes maybe 8-9... Glad you enjoyed the ride, I kinda like ours most of the time, although they ride pretty slow and I bring up the rear (tail gunner)
But in general I mostly ride alone, that way you can ride where you want, and at your own pace, I do though have a couple of riders that I like riding the twisties with, one is local and the other is a +/- 200 miles away in E. Tn. ...
Seems like when I do a group ride I look forward to lunch more that I do the ride, and I don't need the extra Sounds like y'all had a good group ride though, glad you enjoyed......
Have a good one...Old Dog...

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-23-2012, 12:15 PM
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Good going OlHoss, I am jealous. Group riding is fun but today I went out alone and did my usual run of 70 - 80 mile round trip to a place where every Sunday morning in nice weather there is a gathering of 1-200 bikes and half as many cars of all kinds. Very fast cars, hot rods, homebuilts, antiques and many quite impressive. It was chilly here in Long Island on the road near the ocean.

Glad that you did well and your skills didn't let you down. Riding is like that, once you do it you never forget.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-23-2012, 01:44 PM
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Good for you. As I mentioned in the other thread, I'm not a fan of big group rides..... But I've been on a few rides with small groups (4-5 bikes) that we had alot of fun on.

My favorite type really are poker runs. Here the final destination (stopping point) is known .....with a large arrival time window. So you don't have to travel with other bikes. There is no official route, but there are five or seven checkpoints you must get to before you arrive at the stopping point. At each one you are given a playing card. After you collect all the cards at each chech point this becomes your poker usually get some donated prize or sone cash. The stopping point is usually a BBQ in a park where you get to see everyone's bikes and socialize.

Thus. It's not a race, you don't have to ride in a group, ( but you can) you have the chance to win something, and there is usually food at the end.

Not too hard to organize, many are done for a charitity. They used to be really popular here, but not so much anymore. I think depending on each person to find their way by themselves was too hard for some...LOL....

Anyway, an idea for your group to do sometimes.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-23-2012, 02:14 PM
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Check this one out KM. We did this one a couple of weeks ago. Probably one of the best I've been on. Well organized, and for 15 bucks you get a shirt and all you can eat dinner at the end. They had over 600 bikes this year!



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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 06:23 PM
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...thats a GROUP alright JC !.....

...and brother Hoss...happy ya enjoyed....even when I rode with outlaw groups, all were pretty laid back and doing speed limit or less (mostly to avoid cop hassles). It all hinges on a good leader, a good tail, and nobody showboatin'. Way to go bro, and many more !!!!

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 06:36 PM
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It was sight Wolfie. But to give those guys props, it was the best organized big ride I've done.

Against my better judgement, I did our local Bikers for Babies yesterday. What a friggen mess. It was so bad last year we swore it off. But we have club members that feel strongly so we went. At least this year you could go out on your own instead of the big swarm. Last year there was no option. Plus they opened the beer lines 4 hours before releasing close to 1000 bikes for an 80 mph ride on the interstates. No thanks, never again.


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