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Old 11-19-2018, 04:13 PM   #5
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Re: What's up with the forum?

If you're really bummed out, and itching for a ride, organize one!

Figure out a destination worth riding to. Somewhere that's interesting, or has great food, activities, is unusual, or whatever. It shouldn't be too close or too far... 50-100 miles is a good distance for a first time. Make sure it's "bike friendly" (i.e. has ample SECURE parking, can accomodate a group on short notice, has room for helmets & gear, etc). Then pick a meeting place that's centrally located for your target group, and ideally, near gas and fast food, and again, ample room to park. If you really want to do it up, arrange a "support car" where helmets & gear can be securely stored at the destination... It should leave well in advance of the bikes, and the driver should be treated to lunch and gas money.

Figure out a route... if it's distant, you'll be on expressways... will there be tolls? Take traffic into account. A gas stop should be planned within 100 miles of your start point, and at the very least, before heading home. Even those who don't need fuel will need to stop to stretch or use the restroom. If you can, pre-ride the route the week before with one or two buddies, to identify problem areas. Your Lead and Sweep riders should be the most experienced group riders, as they will be responsible for everyone's safety and a smooth ride. They both should be aware of the route. On surface streets, decide how you will you deal with traffic signals/stop signs (any group of sportbikes WILL attract attention, so you want to be careful... the entire group running a red light will be sure to attract unwanted "official" attention. If you have a reallyl large group, consider breaking it down into groups of 5-8 riders... that's an ideal size, especially for people who aren't used to riding together. Identify your "newbs" so the sweep rider can keep an eye on them.

Once you've got it figured out, post it up. Meeting place, Date, Meeting time, KSU time (Typically 15-45 minutes after meetup). Post the destination, whether the ride will be- 2-up friendly, or more "spirited", on twistier roads (there ARE some in S. Fla. if you know where to look).

On the day of the ride, get there early and park in a spot where arrivals can see your bike. Greet each arrival and introduce yourself. Find out a little about them (riding experience, style, etc.)... that will give you an idea of who you're riding with. MAKE SURE their bikes are fueled. And now is the last chance for food/restrooms before heading out. Ask everyone to signal the sweep rider if they have to drop out of the group for any reason. Exchange cell numbers (especially lead & sweep). Determine if everyone is riding back together or if some will be riding back on their own.

At KSU time, fire up & head out. Don't leave the lot unti you see ALL the bikes are running and moving. Some people need longer to get all of their gear on. Remember - group riding requires extra concentration and is dangerous enough without people riding like idiots. It's not a good time for wheelies, stoppies, or burnouts.

If your ride is enjoyable, and things go well, your next attempt will likely attract more riders. Back in the day, we routinely had 20-30 bikes EVERY Sunday (rain or shine), and we rode destinations from the Keys to Okeechobee. We fed Tarpon at restaurants on the Intracoastal; we ate exceptional seafood (and key llime pie) in Islamorada; we visited odball places like Coral Castle, or Venetian Pool (bring a swimsuit). Some rides were just loops with a lunch stop in the middle (Clewiston used to be popular for lunch on loops around the lake). You get the idea. Everyone got to know each other and even socialized with each other when not riding. People brought their wives/girlfriends/kids. It was a great time.

Good luck, and let me know how it goes. PM me if you want a copy of the "group Riding Rules" we came up with back then.

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2002 ZX9r (Street)
2005 KFX400 (SportQuad) - SOLD
2006 KX250 (2-stroke MX) - SOLD

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