1. Going on a group ride with your favorite motorcycling friends can provide some of the best fun to be found on a bike. The fun of strafing apexes with your buddies is like nothing else-as long as you're all on the same wavelength. There are some basic things you can do to ensure no one in your group is caught off-guard or confused if a situation arises.
First of all, talk about the ride before heading out; let everyone know the final destination, and any gas stations you plan to stop at. If you feel like cruising, tell the others to wait for you at intersections. Familiarize everyone with hand signals you might want to use, and always ride in single file or staggered formations, so that each rider can use most of the lane while cornering.
2. If you're with a large group riding in town, make sure everyone is aware of cars around them in case one needs to cut into the group to make a turn. If you're at the front of a group of riders, and notice debris or hazards on the road that the riders behind you will need to avoid, lift your leg off the footpeg or extend your arm downward to warn them. Each rider should then repeat the signal to those following. It's common practice to signal on the side where the hazard exists, but sometimes there may be one on both sides (like rocks in the road, etc.). This is why it's always best to keep enough distance behind the rider in front of you so you'll have adequate time to take evasive action, while still keeping the leading riders in your line of sight (so that you'll be able to see their warning signals).
3. Only pass within the group when you're asked to, and always pass to the left of the rider ahead. Making an unexpected pass more often than not will spook the rider you're passing, which can result in a crash and injury to one or both of you. The rider in this photo is shown waving the rider behind him to go ahead and pass, giving someone else the chance to lead the group. If you don't like the pace someone is running, either back off and slot yourself toward the rear of the group, or be patient until they wave you by. If you can't follow, how do you expect someone to follow you? Again, give the rider in front of you plenty of room, and wait periodically for any rider in the group who is not able to keep up. If you haven't seen him in your mirrors for five minutes, pull over or slow down until you do.
4. Accidents usually happen when riders become competitive within their own group. Trying to show what a stud rider you are by practically running in the lead rider's draft and trying to "fill his mirrors" is a sure way to cause a pileup if the lead rider makes an unexpected move or mistake. There are too many variables and not enough room to use the street as your own private racetrack. Also, riding in a competitive nature invariably ratchets up the pace at a constant rate, until you end up riding far too quickly for the street. Ride at a pace where the speeds are still fun, but the competitiveness is absent.
Half the fun of this sport is enjoying it with other people who share a common interest, and it's even better when you form a cohesive group of riders who can anticipate and predict each other's actions.