Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: New Brunswick, Canada
I usually ride solo too but I did have the opportunity to go on 3 group rides last weekend. The group size was limited to 25 riders and it was organized by a local touring club. We had a leader, another club member halfway in the pack, and a third bringing up the rear. All were in communication with one another. Before we started they took the time to explain how to ride in the staggered position safely and I never had any issues being crowded or other riders riding beside me. We stayed in order after breaks so I was always riding with the same people around me and I got to learn their riding styles. It was also tricky staying together with such a big group but they picked routes that had less traffic and for the most part, other traffic respected us and let us stick together. Proper organization and prerunning the routes makes all the difference IMO.
One thing I really didn't like that much was not being able to chose my own route. When I go for a ride I often have no destination in mind, just going down whatever road I feel like taking. I set off last week thinking I might take a ride to the shore (about 20 miles) and I ended up going to another province and putting on 150 miles.
So I guess I like both. It's fun riding in a group, with the feeling of comradery it brings, but the complete freedom of setting out without any specific destination in mind is a strong pull too. This year I talked to a few members of the riding club that organized the runs during the Atlanticade Bike Rally and they told me I was welcome to join them. They really stress safety and they're mostly around my age so I may go on a ride with them and see what it's like with a smaller group. There's no obligation to go on every run so I can do solo runs and still have the option of group rides whenever I'm in the mood for one.
Just my 2 cents.
2007 Vulcan Nomad
2000 V Star 1100 Classic (Sold)
All stock except for:
Switchblade Quick Release Windshield
Ugly but somewhat functional saddlebags