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Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else This is an opportunity to ask any question, and post any notice you wish that doesn't fit into one of the other sections.
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  #1  
Old 19 Dec 2006
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Question Road positioning when riding in group

We are 2 riders. One very experienced, one much less (me!). Same bikes.
In "easy" conditions, riding around Europe in paved road, I am normally leading, with the hubby following.
However, in more difficult conditions, around South America or Asia for example, or on trails... what do you think is the best positioning? Should I go ahead? Should I follow?
How you guys are riding when you have people of various riding experience travelling together? What is the best combination, if there is any? What distance between bikes?

Cheers,
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Old 19 Dec 2006
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In most cases the slower rider should be in front. This way you can ride at a pace you're comfortable with, without having to play catch up with a faster rider. It'll also benefit the faster rider, because they won't have to keep checking their mirrors to see where you are. The exception to this would be in tricky off-road conditions. The less experienced rider would benefit from following another rider's lines through difficult areas, and hopefully learn some new techniques along the way. Experiment and see what works best in various conditions.
The most important thing is to keep a sensible distance between riders, and if possible ride in a staggered formation. You don't want to compromise your view of the road ahead by following too closely.
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Old 19 Dec 2006
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As with hiking and cycling you should go at the speed of the slowest rider. that way you will never loose anyone.
in big groups one leads who know the way and one brings up the back, they also know the way. everyone makes sure they can see the person infront and the person behind. at junctions the no2 rider waits and shows next riders the way and rejoins at the back infront of the last man. everyone gets a turn at the front and your never stuck behind a slower rider for more than a few junctions.
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Old 19 Dec 2006
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Both excellent comments from both Mark and Smokinrider!

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 02:13.
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Old 19 Dec 2006
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Mostly I ride in front and my other half follows. It's not ideal but unfortunately the 2 accidents she has had have been when I've been behind her. I much prefer it when there are at least 3 of us in which case she rides in the middle and I usually ride somewhere behind her. She's a very competent rider but it doesn't do my stress levels much good when I'm following her! We would normally ride staggered on a main or good road with a 1 second gap, increasing it to 2 sec when it's poor or bendy and we are using all the road.
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Old 19 Dec 2006
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Open roads: Either in front
Off road and busy roads: More experienced in front
Chaotic, multi-directional, exhaust spewing, fender mating, out-of-control, sidewalk riding, curb hopping, no lanes, suicidal, 3rd world...city traffic: More experinced in front

Last edited by Lone Rider; 20 Dec 2006 at 01:05.
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Old 20 Dec 2006
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thanks!

Thanks for your advice guys! All interesting!

I am doing a bit of 'advance riding' with the IAM and have been told I am a "safe" rider. However riding in the gentle roads of Surrey is one thing, going through say, Lima, or Bolivia with the crazy truck and bus drivers that populated that part of the world, is another story entirely!

I guess as my departure date is approaching I'm starting to worry a bit!
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Old 20 Dec 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maria41
Thanks for your advice guys! All interesting!

I am doing a bit of 'advance riding' with the IAM and have been told I am a "safe" rider. However riding in the gentle roads of Surrey is one thing, going through say, Lima, or Bolivia with the crazy truck and bus drivers that populated that part of the world, is another story entirely!

I guess as my departure date is approaching I'm starting to worry a bit!
I think the important thing is not to try do much in a day so you get tired and lose concentration. We've just come back from India and you really have to concentrate 100% all the time both on the road surface and other road users. Stop and rest frequently. You see more of the country and it's people that way anyway.
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Old 20 Dec 2006
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Maria,
I hope you've had some time to do some off road training.

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 02:13.
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Old 20 Dec 2006
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I concur with this absolutely

Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog
Maria,
I hope you've had some time to do some off road training. IMO nothing will make you a better, more confident rider than doing some dirt riding. You will also learn how to pick up the bike properly (and how to crash properly ) and get used to the bike moving about under you. But mostly the benefit that most aren't aware of is how well dirt skills translate to street riding.

Most novices crash in sand or mud because they don't know how to relax on the bike. Noobs target fixate on obstacles and run straight into them. Off road training will help you move your mind around this trap, as target fixation is a common reason for a noob crashing on the street too. You see a big ditch, you panic, look straight at it and promptly ride directly into it!

Things like "looking where you want to go" and relaxing on the bike all will help off road and on road as well. Once you can confidently slide your bike around a bit, lock the tires up and slide (in the dirt) all this skill translates beautifully
to pavement and basic survival.

Have a great trip!

Patrick
Dirt bike coach
Riding round a field or similar is the only safe way to learn how to 'feel' what your bike is doing. Once you have that feel, you will understand what your bike is saying to you in any conditions. When you know what is happening, often you will react to it subconciously long before a 'critical point' is reached.
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