Updated: Dec 16, 2019
Group riding is a good club activity. It has become common for riders to buy a bike and then join a club shortly thereafter. Throwing inexperience into the mix can make group riding interesting to say the least. It is easy for a group that rides together often to become "tight" meaning that following distances get shorter and side by side riding is more frequent. This, of course, elevates the level of risk. What follows are some tips to help keep group riding less stressful and safer for everyone.
Establish A Riding Order.
Most MC's place officers in front, Patched members next. Prospects behind the patched members, and hang arounds and guests in the rear. Usually the least experienced riders are among the hang arounds and prospects. A Road Captain or other designated experienced rider rides sweep behind everybody.
Break A Large Group Into Smaller Groups.
If your group size exceeds 20 bikes, consider breaking it into smaller groups. This usually helps if you will be riding in heavy traffic areas. It can be frustrating to try to hold a large column together when other traffic interferes......and it will. This is usually not necessary if the ride is escorted by marked LE vehicles.
Pre-Ride the Planned Route.
If you're doing a charity Ride, Poker Run, or other planned ride, someone should pre-ride the route to look for construction, potential delays, and/or hazards to be announced prior to the start of the ride.
Use the MSF Staggered Group Riding Formation. Here is a link.
This is a proven method of group riding for safety and you can still look good. The major advantage is that it gives riders some flexibility when the unexpected happens, like some idiot in a cage making a head-up-ass lane change right through your column. Holding your position does you NO GOOD if the motorist doesn't see you or doesn't care. Give yourself some room to react. Deal with the idiot later.
Live to fight another day brothers and sisters.