"Should I Join a Guided Group Motorcycle Tour?”
Are you the right type of Rider for this format?
Like with so many things motorcycle related, multi-day trips and adventures can be expensive endeavors. For this and many other reasons, we want to make sure our Customers are choosing the right motorcycle trip format for their adventures.
Remember that in the case of our trips, “Guided Group” means there is a Lead Guide and Support Truck essentially “encasing" the group as they traverse amazing landscapes through remote and vast regions of the world. It's a trip format you may have ridden in before, but we send this list of points and questions below out to all Customers during their booking process as a way of making sure they're choosing according to their riding style, personality, and demeanor. As it turns out, the Guided Group format isn't for everyone, and that's why we also have Self-Guided Motorcycle Trip packages, and even a unique Self-Guided, Truck Supported package in Patagonia to make sure everyone enjoys the fullest!
1) Will your riding pace match the Group? - This question about “pace” becomes a very complicated one to explain because we all have preferences:
A) First, it’s important to be comfortable maintaining the posted Speed Limit when the situation calls for it. If there are no traffic issues, roadside emergencies, weather problems, animals or people blocking the route, or no other possible reason to not maintain at least the Speed Limit, then you can expect the posted limit is at least the pace your group will be moving along at, (if not perhaps a bit more when the situation safely calls for it, and with the understanding that most motorists around the world rarely doing exactly the Speed Limit.)
B) Second, please note that the Riders in Guided Groups will sometimes separate a little. Even within these "closed groups," some Riders will prefer to ride faster than others, and so you can expect to see perhaps a “slow, mid, and fast” group even within just 8 or 10 Riders. This is okay, and your Lead Guide will know how to balance the timing of rest stops and turns and such accordingly. The main thing to consider is if you’re at least okay maintaining the Speed limit as described in part A above.
C) Third, everyone will have a different preference for the duration of rest breaks, but keep in mind that your Lead Guide will ultimately make the decision on how long each rest stop is. As perhaps the group needs to make up some time on a given day, or a situation develops where a extra time can and should be spent somewhere, it’s very important that you’re accepting of what might be varying rest break durations, and can “play along” accordingly. Riders will need to pay attention to the Lead Guide’s indications that “we are about to leave,” and as such, be ready to go. Yes, the Lead Guide will consider varying states of bathroom breaks, etc. each individual may be in, and won’t just “leave without you.” However, please remember: Just because you are “ready to go,” doesn’t mean the Group will be leaving when you want them to. Part of being in a group is being flexible, and understanding that it’s all about following your Lead Guide’s moves.
2) Are you a “Group” type of person? — Please take a moment to evaluate yourself in general, “am I the Group type?” If unsure, perhaps ask a loved one or friend to offer their best judgment on whether or not they can imagine you enjoying, and being a fun part of a Guided Group motorcycle tour. Are you the type of person that is generally accepting of other people and their differences? Can the wrong political comment send you off into a tirade? If you’re accepting of others and enjoy meeting like-minded people from around the world, then a Guided Group motorcycle tour can be one of the most life-enriching experiences you’ll ever enjoy. As Riders, we already have at least 1 interest in common, and from just 1 common interest have spawned many, many long term friendships and relationships around the world. But it does yourself, and nobody in the group any service or enjoyment to have an unpleasant demeanor introduced to the situation, so please consider this carefully, or that perhaps a Self-Guided tour may be better for you.
3) Are you a patient person? - Again please ask yourself, “am I a patient person?” and remember that when you’re having fuel, lunch, photo, and other stops along your route with a Guided Group, not everybody puts their helmet and gloves back on as fast as you. Or, not everyone might be done taking photos, even though you put your camera away a few minutes ago. Is this going to be a point of stress for you? As mentioned before, your Lead Guide will set an appropriate duration for each rest break, so then it’s mostly up to you to pay attention to the situation and take notice of when your Lead Guide is putting their helmet back on and readying to leave for the next riding section.
4) Are you okay remaining behind the Lead Guide and within the Group? - The requirements of each of these Guided Group trips we offer maybe be different from trip to trip, section to section, or from Lead Guide to Lead Guide. In some situations though, it may be a requirement for the proper safety and overall success of a group to always remain behind the Lead Guide, and in front of the Support Vehicle (basically remaining “within” the Group.) For that reason, are you okay with this? Or do you think you’ll have the urge to blast out and race ahead of everybody? Be sure to inquire specifically with your RIDE Adventures Representative about the requirements of the trip you’re interested in joining if “staying within the group” maybe an issue for you.
5) Can and will you maintain a respectful distance from Riders around you? - For some, there’s only one way to ride with other Riders, and that’s “perched” on top of them as if they were Valentino Rossi chasing down Jorge Lorenzo. Just to be completely clear: This is NOT acceptable in our Guided Group trips. There could be no simpler, easier safety strategy for riding than to keep a proper distance and spacing between yourself and other vehicles around you, so we simply will not accept Riders who don’t or won’t maintain a proper “minimum 3 to 4 second following distance” between themselves and the Group member in front of them. This means that the rear tire of a the Rider in front of you should not be touched by your front tire without at least 3 to 4 seconds of time passing by. Stop and think about that the next time you’re riding, and actually count the duration for yourself. - Of course exceptions may be necessary in slow-moving city situations when trying to keep the Group together, but for safety and enjoyment reasons, “crowding” each other is simply not acceptable on our Guided Group tours.
6) Can and will you complete the day’s ride without consuming drugs or alcohol? - As another safety and legal measure, the consumption of alcohol or other “recreational drugs” are not acceptable during lunch, rest breaks, or any of the riding times of these Guided Group tours. In accordance with laws around the world, we sincerely hope Riders will never take such risks for themselves or others to begin with, even if riding Self-Guided. Once the motorcycles are parked though, party-away and have fun like so many of us do (keeping in mind that sometimes we need to get on the bikes early!) But during the riding day, all Riders must comply with this rule, or they will be asked to leave the group.