Motorcycle Ride Group Dynamics/Baja/A Case Study

“Motorcycling is one of those rare sports where you can look back on your life and say, literally, it’s been a great ride.”

AdvRider motorcycle riders traveling to destinations around the world; have a huge depository of knowledge available to them at their fingertips. One such area that recently got my attention are group ride dynamics.

“When asked along on a motorcycle road trip, longer than a couple of days, one should pay particular attention to the number and make-up of the other riders.

On this road trip the large group number (13) gave me reason for pause from the start. As with any long road trip, the number and different types of bikes often compound the possibility for problems. Always higher odds for accident, more chance for mechanical failures, more chance for losing a rider and usually countless delays.

And let me now also add riders who choose to ride at the posted speed limits when traffic around them doesn’t.

1. The speed limits we use today were established last century, when cars and roads were much less developed.

2. Another reason for motorcyclists to exceed the flow of traffic is to avoid tailgaters. You may or may not be aware of it, but a motorcycle can stop a lot faster than a car. … The reason it seems that most motorcyclists are exceeding the speed limit is because they probably are. For their own safety.

THE STORY CONTINUES: …….However, I felt these concerns would be offset by the fact that these riders were mostly professional firefighters, one a scuba-dive master, two doctors, one dot-com millionaire, two battalion fire chiefs, and at least one of the doctors was around his mid-fifties.

The majority of this group was in their late-twenties, early-to-mid thirties. The firefighters, medics, rescue specialist, and two battalion chiefs, would be safety conscious, and the group cohesion should be at a very high level. Or so I thought?

The two doctors, paramedics, and EMT’s would lend even more safety consciousness, and a high level of concern regarding dangerous situations. That would help to insure general levelheaded behavior, and maximum enjoyment.

…….. I received an email with a list of the travel days noted by the starting point and the ending point of each days travel, consisting of seven days, some 1400 miles of Baja roads.

Ok, now that I learned who would be going, I was very Interested in what routes, and roads we would be taking along with how the trip would be organized. I received an email with a list of the travel days noted by the starting point and the ending point of each days travel, consisting of seven days, some 1400 miles of Baja roads, leaving from Mexicali on the northern border.

Along with the travel agenda was supplied the organizational structure which was in the form of a “two team” system: Team A) six riders, one driver (a crew-cab 4×4 pick-up truck pulling a dual-wheeled gear-trailer).

Team B) made up of seven riders. Each team was to have a designated treasurer to mind the travel money for that group, take care of the food, and beer bill when necessary… It was noted, “When the kitty runs dry all members will be required to pay up immediately or risk being exonerated (sic) from our groups.

We will not play with you, and you will be like a lone lion wishing you could hang out with the pride.” Whoa, OK… I’ll bring some extra money. A word to the wise; beware of open ended kitties used to pay for unexpected expenses due to haphazard planning, poor decisions, heavy partying, or… all three.”

To be continued. November 1, 2019, Covid 19 Year