Editor’s Note: Yesterday we heard from veteran rider Patrick Garvin about the advantages of leaving the pack behind and traveling solo. Today, we’ll get a second opinion —this one from Jake Herring — on the benefits of riding with friends. And as we’ve said in the past, J&P has no stake in this argument. It’s presented purely for entertainment value and to maybe stir up some dust. When you’ve finished reading Jake’s post — and if you’re so inclined — leave a comment on your take on this issue.
Which is Best? When It Comes to Riding, the More the Merrier
By Jake Herring
First off, I want to make it clear that I love riding my motorcycle whether it’s all by my lonesome or in a pack of friends. I do feel a bit safer when in a pack of bros — especially when it comes to civilians on the road. See that old cager texting his wife to find out what’s for dinner? Isn’t it more likely he’s going to spot a pack of bikes coming up on him than just a single rider? Of course it is.
That being said, I do agree with Patrick on the concept of riding with a group of strangers. Definitely not the smartest idea, but if you are with a group of strangers it usually involves a charity of some sort or a parade. And if that’s the case, then you’re probably going so slow that if you can’t avoid an accident, you shouldn’t be on a bike to start with!
I ride on a regular basis with a half dozen other guys, and 99 percent of the time I can tell you what they are going to do before they do. Why’s that? Because we’ve ridden together for years. We know each other’s habits and riding styles as well as we know our own. If Bud or Brian point to the ground I know to watch out for the pothole or road ’gator up ahead. Or if they tap the top of their head, I know there’s a member of the local police department lurking in the distance.
Another good reason to ride in a group is if you like to ride fast. You’re far less likely to be pulled over by Johnny Law when there are six or eight of you. Not so if you’re out there by yourself. Super cop will not hesitate to jack you up in an instant for going five miles over the speed limit.
Here’s another benefit of the group plan. Let’s say you take off on your own one morning and get 100 miles from home way back on some country road where there’s no cell phone reception. Suddenly you break down. All you need is a piece of wire, a zip tie or a simple nut or bolt. Of course you have none of these things. But with a friend or six, somebody’s bound to have something that can fix your bike. And if they don’t, one of them can run up the road 20 miles for a part.
Or let’s say you don’t have a gas light and you’re enjoying the ride so much you overlook your petroleum situation in the last town you ripped through. When you run out of gas, you’ll be glad your buddy is with you to drain some out of his tank or run back up the road to get you a soda bottle full so you can limp up to the next filling station.
Maybe riding in a group isn’t your thing, or maybe you don’t have any friends that ride. But it’s my opinion that it’s safer and definitely more fun to hit the asphalt with a group of buddies. You’ve heard the term, “There’s safety in numbers?” That holds true for a group of bikers too — as long as the leader of the pack isn’t a novice or a fool. So choose your path and I’ll see you on the road. Later!