Last Saturday's ride was a first for me. Ron and I joined tbolt's newbie ride. This was my first time riding with a group or with anyone other than Ron. Before the ride Stacy went over the general instructions for the ride. Then some of the ride leaders shared tips and advice for us newbies that would be helpful on the ride. I wish I could give credit where due, but with all that was going on, I didn't catch too many names. Everyone was very supportive and made this a positive and fun event.
I've been fearful of group riding on motorcycles. From bicycling with a club and riding pacelines I know how fast things can go to pot. And that's just on a bicycle at a measly 15 mph. Bump the speed up to highway speeds, and I was sure destruction would be eminent. We split into several groups based on speed and experience. We didn't ride in tight formation, but kept a nice cushion of space between riders leaving plenty of room to maneuver, especially in the corners. So while it was a group ride, we were spread out enough to ride our own ride, adjusting speed and line as suited for the situation. The route was excellent. A nice selection of great scenery, fun and challenging corners, long, smooth roads, and a couple spots with a few bumps to dance over. Lunch and coffee in Monmouth. What more could a rider ask for?
I appreciated having a chance to watch other riders going down the road, and especially seeing them pick their line through the corners. I rarely have the chance to observe other riders. Ron rides behind me when we're together, or if he goes ahead of me, it's to play and I'm not going to keep him in view when he's playing. Having a chance to watch others ride is invaluable.