MKAM uses the Buddy and Drop Off systems for our Group Rides. These enable us to use complex routes so we can ride on the fun, bendy, scenic roads and leave the boring, straight ones to the cars!
The Buddy system is generally used for smaller groups of riders, for experienced groups of riders, and for traversing motorways on longer rides (e.g. multi-day European trips). The Drop Off system tends to be favoured for larger groups (around 7 or more).
These systems reduce risks sometimes experienced in group riding because riders do not have to travel faster than they are comfortable with simply to keep up with the bike ahead. And they can be more enjoyable because those who ride at more progressive rates can do so without concern for losing the group behind. As a result, each rider can ride their own ride.
See the separate documents for full details about the Buddy and Drop Off systems. These include a detailed description for those new to group riding, and a short summary which may be useful as a quick refresher if you’ve not been along for some time.
The Buddy and Drop Off systems are like a Slinky toy spring: gaps between groups of riders naturally increase and decrease over time, but the group as a whole remains connected. The Drop Off system tends to run faster and produce a more spread-out group than under the Buddy system.
Please always arrive good time for rides. Some rides may state a ‘meet for’ and a ‘to leave at’ time; if only a departure time is stated, consider 10-15 minutes a minimum. Ensure your bike is in a good state (POWDERB) including a full tank of fuel. You need to be fit and well yourself too, of course – and note that some meet locations do not have toilet facilities. Bring some water and a snack if need be, as well as the usual essentials of wallet and phone. Pillions are welcome unless stated.
If you are new to MKAM or Group Riding, why not come along to a Wednesday evening social ride? These are shorter, informal rides held from early May to late August and are an ideal introduction to group riding. If you speak to the ride Leader before setting off, they will help ensure all goes smoothly.
If you have any other questions or concerns, ask an Observer or contact the MKAM Newsletter editor. We may cover common points in a FAQ document at a later date.