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View Poll Results: What is your choice of riding format?
Solo ride 75 40.11%
Group ride with known people (2-7 riders) 108 57.75%
Group ride with known/unknown people (>7 riders) 4 2.14%
Voters: 187. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 30th January 2023, 09:45   #16
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Re: Group rides v/s Solo rides

I am a beginner in riding, while a really organized group ride is better Solo is my option.

Few thoughts behind that, finding a group that accommodates you and has the patience to get you in the groove is hard to find.
The groups predominantly are very brand / model specific. I seldom find mixed riders unless they are friends for a long time.
A few group dynamics are a turn off, especially when you look at that ride for joy & rejuvenation. You end up having to grin and bear that than enjoy the trip.

Group is an excellent option if itís a warm, welcoming & an open-minded team or its just your pals backpacking together. In all other cases, Solo is the way to go.
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Old 30th January 2023, 10:04   #17
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Re: Group rides v/s Solo rides

3 people who can get along, on 3 separate bikes, and none of whom is too rigid, fussy, or determined to have their way always, works best for me.

Solo rides are great, and I've done most of my rides solo, but there is the issue of not having help in case of a breakdown or accident. Two people work, but can get on each other's nerves over weeks, on long rides. Three is perfect to break the tension and yet not waste time. Plus, in case of an accident, one can stay with the incapacitated rider/vehicle while the third goes for help.

When I started riding, I tried a couple of group rides, thinking it would be more fun and safer. What a waste of time! Restaurant meets to plan, another restaurant meet to start off, yet another restaurant break whenever anyone feels like it, innumerable pictures, boasting, eating and talking about riding rather than riding. Also tried one of those 'all India biker meets' once, no offense, but I've done my time in an all-boys school and then engineering college. Spending days together in all-men groups is no longer my idea of fun anymore.
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Old 30th January 2023, 10:29   #18
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Re: Group rides v/s Solo rides

I voted for solo rides. I am a born again biker who transitioned from a Passion Plus commuter to a RE Bullet 500, after a gap of 11 years, and at 46 years of age.
I have ridden solo from
Hyderabad to Pune and back once,
Hyderabad to Jogulamba Temple and back 2 times (distance of around 220 kms 1 way from my place at Hyderabad).
Vagator to Hyderabad - Aound 721 Kms
Hyderabad to Kerameri Ghats (In TS) and back in a day - around 750 Kms round trip

In a group, along with two other bikers, I have covered Hyderabad - Vagator - around 721 Kms

I found solo rides to be better as you can maintain your own pace and choose your own route. Yes, it does tend to get lonely at times, however listening to an audio book helps to alleviate the boredom to an extent.

Group rides are also good provided you gel well along with the other riders. In my solitary group ride along with the other bikes to GOA, we were able to gel well, and maintain a consistent pace.

I would any day prefer a solo ride.
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Old 30th January 2023, 16:17   #19
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Re: Group rides v/s Solo rides

I am a big fan of solo riding. It gives me the freedom of riding at my own pace and selecting the location of ride of my choice. It also provides me the freedom of starting the ride at my own chosen time and provides me more flexibility. However, solo riding has its own demerits too, especially if I am riding to offroad locations. Have faced one such situation wherein I got stuck on a rock and the bike would not go forward or backward. A localite helped me push the bike off the rock. As i said, solo riding has both positives and negatives.
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Old 30th January 2023, 16:46   #20
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Re: Group rides v/s Solo rides

I didn't vote as I am a driver and not a rider.

My riding experience is very limited: A 100cc commuter bike and roughly <300 KM a day rides in the plains. The era was late 1990s to early 2000s when riding/driving for pleasure was in nascent stage. Commuter bikes were the norm and only RE had the big boys.

I have good experience of road trips in car and few noteworthy are:
  • NCR - Manali - Leh - Manali - NCR
  • NCR - Udaipur - Palanpur - Udaipur - Jaisalmer - NCR
  • NCR - Rohru -NCR
  • NCR - Pali - Rajkot - Somnath - Diu - Mehsana - NCR
Apart from these, there have been numerous other short and long solo trips.

Now on solo vs group. I believe in following mantra:

If one has to do something, then one should do it even if it has to be done alone. Not having someone to get along is not an excuse.
I don't mind driving solo because it is very difficult to get like minded people who can endure long hours on the road, are flexible with travel plans and above all enjoy journey rather then destination. Since we are talking about leisure or pleasure trips, being with like minded people is of utmost importance to me.

Of course, having people around you (even if its one car) is a great asset:
  • especially in case of any emergency.
  • the traveling buddies can act as morale booster when the going gets tough
  • there are two additional set of eyes on the road, especially during the night drives
  • they can take care of important tasks like finding a hotel, eating joint, research a route etc.
Many people are very pesky and are rigid to have their own way. Bigger the group, bigger this problem. This is generally a problem with self organized trips where everyone is an equal stakeholder.

To summarize: Either be with like minded people or be alone.
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Old 30th January 2023, 16:55   #21
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Re: Group rides v/s Solo rides

When I bought my first big bike a couple of years ago, I thought I will end up doing solo rides mostly. However, got lucky to be a part of such an awesome riding group of 20+ riders that now most of my rides are group rides.

With Sena it is like one giant chat room with lot of information regarding the road condition ahead.

However, I do intend to do a weeklong solo ride to the south sometime next year. Let's see how that experience turns out to be.
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Old 30th January 2023, 22:16   #22
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Re: Group rides v/s Solo rides

Group rides with friends is probable the best way to bike long distance. Solo rides are ok occasionally.

Never gone riding with strangers yet. I am sure will happen sometime.
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Old 31st January 2023, 19:41   #23
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Re: Group rides v/s Solo rides

Voted for Solo rides - Solo rides because I trust myself more than anyone else. I just have one friend who likes touring but long trips are near impossible due to his work schedule. Although there are several riding groups and people with big bikes in my city, all of them are the 24*7 hazard-light-flashing, weaving-in-and-out-of-traffic kind of guys. Do I want to travel with such people ? Hell no.
I love going at my pace and anyway there are hardly any people who match my riding style. Even when I was planning my Ladakh trip in July-August 2021, I convinced my parents to go alone and I did. I would trust myself alone more than anyone else. I just took some essential spares and I know basic preventive maintenance of my bike so there were low chances of me getting stranded. Luckily everything went smooth and I will continue to ride solo for as long as I feel comfortable.
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Old 31st January 2023, 20:10   #24
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Re: Group rides v/s Solo rides

Voted for Group ride with known people, ideally around a maximum of 5 riders, primarily for three reasons:

1. Company in the event of an emergency
2. A sligtly more engaging ride experience, atleast for me
3. Smaller groups are easier to communicate with even without intercoms
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Old 1st February 2023, 13:45   #25
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Re: Group rides v/s Solo rides

Voted for Solo Ride, as I am returning to riding after 30 years and all my current rides ( short rides albeit) have been Solo. Also IMHO considering even a small group of 5 riders, the statistical probability of a puncture Or a mech failure is upped by 5 times ! Though there is sense of comfort in numbers, a mismatch in rider skills and the hard fact that not everyone rides the same way would eventually lead to discontent.
So till I find a' like- soul' i would prefer to ride alone. And we are fortunate to live in a Friendly country with amiable souls ( optimist) who are always ready to lend a helping hand in times of distress. Anyway, it ups the chances of casual chats with absolute strangers enroute and that definitely adds to the charm of travelling!
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Old 1st February 2023, 19:27   #26
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Re: Group rides v/s Solo rides

I picked Solo as the ride is always going to be solo (you and your machine) and gives ample time for that quality "me" time.

I have also done few rides with good friends in small groups (2-5) mostly for those weekend breakfast rides but never done in a large group until now. Maybe will try sometime in future.
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Old 18th February 2023, 13:20   #27
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Re: Group rides v/s Solo rides

Only Solo rides for me.

I've been a part of large /small groups during rides (across stratas) and done solo rides as well.

The group's that i have ridden with varied from 4 to 30 in numbers and have ridden with Triumph groups and Bullet groups.

There are pros and cons for solo and group riding.

Group: pros
1. Safety in numbers.: It helps if you are doing a long tour and are in a group. Generally there will be someone in the group to address any kind of unique situation.
2. Workload management : again if you are doing a long ride, roles and responsibilities can be split. That makes a good trip.
3. Making good friends: this is an underappreciated and undervalued thing about group riding. The friendships that are forged during such long rides generally stand the test of time.

1. Hooliganism: Generally speaking being a part of a group gives one a sense of strength which sometimes gets manifested in the wrong way. I've seen my riding style changing when I used to ride in a group. I became a little more darring than what i generally am.
2. Time delays: group riding means always being late. There is always some bike that needs attention, some on that has over slept, someone that has not packed well and needs something...
3. Riding style: you cannot ride in the style that you possess, you have to match your riding style of the group's.
4. Flexibility: flexibility to stop and soak in the view, just stopping whenever you felt like or continuing whenever and wherever you wanted...goes out of the window.

Given all the above, i do only solo rides and the times when am planning a 15 day ride, i ask my friend that accompany me on his harley.

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