OVER THE YEARS I’VE DEVELOPED MIXED FEELINGS ABOUT GROUP RIDING. Although most of my weekend excursions and long-distance tours have been on one bike (with and without a passenger), I’ve enjoyed a number of trips with a second bike/rider and sometimes a total of three (such as this weekend in Death Valley National Park – see video below).
And as much as I am aware of how other riders find enjoyment riding with larger groups I have found the social experience “after” the ride to be very enjoyable, but the group riding itself to be somewhat restrictive, since I have a tendency to randomly stop to take photos, or take off in different routes on a whim, and generally start, stop and get going again in a somewhat unpredictable fashion. Heck, I don’t even always plan where I’ll be spending the night until I get tired and start looking.
The point to emphasize is that I have enjoyed my limited experience with group riding (a dozen riders) but my preference has been to ride solo or only with a few friends.
Of course with each additional rider, further coordination is necessitated regarding food, lodging, rest stops and destinations.
However, this weekend I had so much fun riding with 2 other buddies for 3 days, in Death Valley National Park that I’m re-contemplating the advantages and disadvantages of group riding. (Although, in this case, 3 very flexible and friendly guys hardly serves as an example of “group” riding, as we managed to generally enjoy our travels in a similar fashion as I would on my own. In other words, it was mostly an extemperaneous riding adventure with like-minded riders.)
So, the reality is that I’m really pretty inexperienced riding in real groups (more than three).
I’m hoping to gain some insight from contributors here on additional benefits and disadvantages regarding solo riding, very small groups (couple of riders) and real group riding.
What is your experience and preferences?