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As you may have seen, three of us from the forum have decided to head off to Morocco for three weeks.
Never met each other before, no idea about each other besides we all speak English and want to go!
One of the tales in the back of "Adventure motorcycling" by Robert Wicks suggested that setting some rules for a trip like this was essential. Things like everyone wearing body armour for the off tarmac bits, being responsible for one's own water intake etc.
Anybody here offer some sensible 'rules' we should all agree to before we set off?
There will be lots of things to think about...how about
Are you morning people or night owls?
Some want to get up at the crack of dawn and be on the road early while others like a more leisurely approach and will ride until later in the day or evening
You need to get together before you leave the UK IMHO. A weekend of motorways, green lanes then a chat in the pub will help you set the rules.
Personally I won't ride in groups of more than three unless I've previously ridden with all the members in smaller units. Three is OK as you'll hopefully avoid the group clown (only has two speeds 100 mph and 3 mph, orders a seven course meal at a 5 minute fuel stop, fails to buy the fuel, falls off in car parks, starts fights with the locals etc.), but I wouldn't like to find he was on your ride when he turns up at the Morrocan border with the V5 for his wifes car! Then of course there is the mileage nut. No large group is complete without the bloke who works out how far you can go in a day by muliplying the speed limit by 24. Finally there is Mr. Indecision who'll always find fault and want to try the next town/hotel/petrol station up the road and will spend an entire rest day not buying a carpet in the local bazzar. If that's the three of you, I'll consider this trip my revenge by remote control
Best rule IMHO: Ride your own ride, you're only a "group" when stopped.
Three is OK as you'll hopefully avoid the group clown (only has two speeds 100 mph and 3 mph, orders a seven course meal at a 5 minute fuel stop, fails to buy the fuel, falls off in car parks, starts fights with the locals etc.), but I wouldn't like to find he was on your ride when he turns up at the Morrocan border with the V5 for his wifes car! Then of course there is the mileage nut. No large group is complete without the bloke who works out how far you can go in a day by muliplying the speed limit by 24. Finally there is Mr. Indecision who'll always find fault and want to try the next town/hotel/petrol station up the road and will spend an entire rest day not buying a carpet in the local bazzar. If that's the three of you, I'll consider this trip my revenge by remote control
You, my friend, have obviously met all of these. Were they all in the same group ?
I have motorbike owning associates, who I make sure, never know when or where I'm going
Plan the days ride in advance. Set alloted stops for breaks or fuel stops. Then you ride at your own pace and meet up at the allotted points. If they don't show up within the discussed time frame etc., then you panic - only kidding. I find open discussion is the best. Safe ride.
Oh yes. 13 bikes back in my BMW riding days, and these were just the ones you'd not want to meet on the road. You can add the usual loons like the one who'll complain because a hotel in Morocco doesn't serve a full English breakfast and the bloke who'll spend 23 hours a day on his mobile making obscene phone calls to his girlfriend.
Three is said to be the perfect group size as there always has to be a majority decision. I'm not sure about this as I've met groups that I'd say were picked so one guy could do all the talking and another just go along without any thinking. It really is about getting to know the people IMHO and/or having a plan B. To be honest some of the best "groups" I've been part of have formed in hotel car parks and ferry waiting areas and only stayed together for as long as a border crossing or ferry trip. If you have a common purpose (and can just make your excuses and leave) that works better as a group (one guy stays by the bikes while others get their papers done etc.). One blokes questionable nocturnal excursions won't have the same effect as when you are "with" him and are expected to go ask the local plod when they intend to let him go (that one was work related and in the UK thank goodness).
I have motorbike owning associates, who I make sure, never know when or where I'm going
Me too. only ever did the short 'days out' with them, took a trip up to Skye earlier this year, ended up leaving them early one morning and came home alone, the long way round - just in case they caught me up!!
I think applying rules is just a bit restrictive, perhaps, and this is from my own experiences, it's more a case of 'like minded people', if you have the same goals, similar dispositions and similar riding ethos then you should find it OK. As has been said before, you're only a group when you've stopped.
If you want to apply any rule, just make it the RV points - then each of you can ride your own ride. For the off road bits, it's a little more tricky - you might want to come up with some guidlines around that ?? What to do if you are lost, loose the group etc..
Ok, seems there's a general feeling that group rides with guys you don't know can be a nightmare...
Here's a few I think are sensible:
1. Let the others know if you are heading off alone - saves them wasting time waiting / wondering where you are. (this applies equally to times off the bike)
2. Always wear body armour if riding off road - maximise protection to minimise the chance your fellow riders have their day ruined dragging you to the hospital when the right gear could have saved you.
3. Be responsible for your own water intake - de-hydrated riders are bad riders.
4. Know the planned route, rest / fuel stops, and final destination before you set out for the day.
5. Anyone is free to leave the group at any time, providing safety is not compromised.
6. If something is p*ssing you off, say so. Don't let it fester.
7. Don't skimp with bike prep / maintenance. Spoiling the group day out cuz you can't be bothered to keep your bike in good order is selfish.
8. Carry a working, charged mobile phone with the other guy's numbers stored. Leave a message if they are riding telling them what's going on if they havn't seen you for a hour (And I don't mean one that says "answer the ******* phone will you" ). Check the phones and message service will work, if not everyone writes down the number of a hotel/campsite/relative in the UK.
9. Ride your own ride, no tailgating or shooting off expecting the others to catch up.
I thought everyone knew this, until someone ran up my chuff (and I'm not that sort of boy), so it's worth me mentioning it here, and you mentioning it when you're together
When riding in convoy don't ride one behind the other. If you're staggered the guy behind has an extra bike's length in which to stop before he hits anything in an emergency, and the one in front has less chance of being hit.
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