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Feb 2010 Vol 10 - No 2 - Group Riding Formations- Cluster or Solo? By Ben Harper PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 04 March 2010 19:19
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Feb 2010 Vol 10 - No 2
Group Riding Formations- Cluster or Solo? By Ben Harper
The Valve Stem by Alex Ford
Fuel Pump Gravity Feed by Dave Wolf
THE PERFECT (PURRFECT) SOUND by Alex Ford
Rear Brake Switch by Dave Wolf
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Group Riding Formations- Cluster or Solo? By Ben Harper

For years I have strongly advocated keeping a tight formation when riding in a group. In my opinion, this makes a stronger impression on other drivers than a scattered formation, and protects new riders better than riding as individuals.

However, I have had numerous discussions with several experienced riders on this subject, and I have learned several facts that I would like to share with the Galaxies in an attempt to give you a better choice than to just follow my point of view.

As I have stated before, a tight formation protects inexperienced riders, projects an impression of a large formation instead of individual riders, and lessens the inevitable bad driver from cutting off a part of your formation to “get ahead” in traffic.

There are some advantages to the more spread-out formation that need to be considered though. If you have a group of experienced riders, spreading the formation encourages more appreciation of the scenery through which you are riding, which is part of the reason we ride in the first place. As many of you already know, enjoying the landscape is a wonderful experience, and is part of the reason we ride Star motorcycles instead of high-performance, high-speed models.

Constellations also need to consider the safety advantage of spreading out on roads with heavy traffic. This formation allows for aggressive drivers to cut in and out of traffic, including your formation, without serious jeopardy to your members. Experienced riders who have ridden solo in the past are already familiar with this sort of driver, and can readily adapt to a group of individual riders as easily as a tight formation.

So, in conclusion, the choice is really yours to make. If your ride leaders feel confident about the riding skills of the participants, then a spread-out formation is probably just as safe as a tight group. As with most Constellation decisions, this one is yours to make.

I am pleased with the response to my previous letters on this subject, and encourage members to continue to offer their opinions to me. After all, even my forty years of riding experience do not mean I know everything there is to know, and I enjoy discussions with those who hold different opinions. This is how we improve our riding skills, and increase our cohesion as a riding association.
 



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