A month ago I joined up with old colleagues for the annual excursion on two wheels. Last year I missed out because I was going to an intensive riding course to get my actual motorcycle license. A random note on that is that I have footage from all my training, but as it mounts up to many, many hours I’m not sure what to do with it. Just sifting through 4½ hours for this video was a pain!
Previously I have as most been riding with two other people, or bikes, so this event was a bit exciting as we had eight vehicles. There are basically just a few things that change when you ride in a group.
First and foremost is the positioning on the road. On highways and wide roads everyone follow a zig-zag pattern, this way if someone breaks hard you have twice the distance to react and break yourself as you have a free lane past the one in front of you up to the next bike after that. On narrow roads you naturally stay in a single line to not hit oncoming traffic so it becomes more important to keep your distance, this is a bit counter-intuitive as you also want to stay close to the group.
Secondly, I think what I thought most about was to keep up with the group, to keep the flow around the bends as to not lose track of the one in front of me. I think it only happened once that I lagged behind, mostly because I was distracted by the surroundings, but it made me speed up to get back with the group, which on a small narrow road is not the best idea.
At that time I was second to last in the column which had me very relaxed, the person riding last was the one I practiced a lot with so I knew him well. Later when I happened to end up in the middle of all the riders I was much more concentrated on keeping the pace of the rest of the group, much to not ruin the experience for everyone but also that it would have been quite awkward to get passed by the ones behind you!
All in all I think it was very enjoyable, and it sure is a special feeling to see a line of similar vehicles spread out in front of you. Much more so than when you are in a group of cars, as well… you are pretty much always in a line of cars when in traffic :)