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7 Ways To Annoy Everyone On Your Next Group Ride

 Don't be 'That Guy'! Avoid these 7 Deadly Sins of group ride etiquette.

Published on 10.19.2017
Getting Roosted by 'That Guy'

We’ve all been there. It’s a pleasant weekend Adventure Ride with you and your normal crew. The sun is shining, the skies are blue. The trails are perfectly moist and tacky with a bit of early-morning dew. It’s you and your favorite steed with a fresh set of knobbies and nothing could be more right in the world.

Then disaster strikes. It isn’t the skies darkening and puking rain. It isn’t getting hopelessly lost, running out of gas and having to hit ‘the button’ on your SPOT before resorting to roasting your Pirellis on the fire for dinner that night. Worse than that horror scenario is the emergence of That Guy™ !

You know him well. The one your buddy met on ‘one of the forums.’ He has never ridden with your group but boldly announces his presence with the smell of antifreeze boiling over two minutes after leaving camp or by attempting a gnarly hill climb not even Jimmy Lewis would try.

No one knows where this guy came from but one thing is certain, he won’t be getting an invite to the next ride. To make sure you aren’t left at home hitting the refresh button on your email for that ride invite that will never come, read on to learn about seven deadly sins of group ride etiquette that wash out with riding partners worse than a bald rear tire in the sand.

1. The Ego

Group ride etiquette: the ego always want to go his own way

He only wants to ride the sections that he likes. He is quick to tell you what you could do better to improve your riding. ‘The Ego’ knows no wrong and is always going on about past exploits such as the time “…back in ’87…” when he raced Baja with Chuck Norris as his teammate.

Sure, he is fast and knowledgeable to some degree. But his pride has a larger displacement than his 998cc big-bore bike and he will never own up to his mistakes during the ride. When he gets passed or stumbles on a tricky section, it is the fault of whatever bolt on farkle arbitrarily captures his wrath that day. You’ll be hearing all about why his next ride will be so much better once he gets a new rear tire or when he finally ‘dials in’ his ignition mapping.

2. The Motormouth

Group ride etiquette: The motormouth strikes

Like a bad case of monkey-butt, this guy starts off benign but gets old quickly. His heart is in the right place. After all, he is just trying to fit in with a new group of riding companions who before today’s ride were just an assortment of username handles on a screen.

The Motormouth comes in two strains. There is the comedic motormouth who makes jokes incessantly on the Bluetooth intercom during the ride. And his behavior continues during longer breaks in the ride when the helmets are off. There is also the expurgating motormouth who belches in the headset mic and for some reason screams in terror, even when the terrain is about as terrorizing as a Starbucks parking lot. All motormouths make you want to disconnect your headset so you can enjoy your ride. But then you might miss a key direction and take a wrong turn, getting separated from the group, hopelessly lost, ending up cold and alone roasting your Pirellis on an open fire for dinner while waiting for rescue.

3. The Anti-MacGyver

Group ride etiquette: Come prepared to fix your own flat

The Boy Scout motto of ‘Be Prepared’ doesn’t resonate within this individual at all. This guy has never heard of a tool pouch and thinks a tire spoon is for eating soup. Your journey takes you deep into the wilderness, hundreds of miles from civilization, where anything that goes wrong could lead to a rescue mission, but this guy never has a contingency plan.

He will use your last inner tube, all your compressed air cartridges and hit you with a ‘Hey man, can you help me fix this flat real quick’ and watch as you do everything from breaking the bead to spooning the tire back on.

4. The Jackrabbit

Group ride etiquette: the jackrabbit doesn't care about the group

This guy rides skillfully. But he never waits for the rest of the group and is on a ride of his own. Look out, because he will put an aggressive pass on you like he is competing for a podium spot in the Dakar Rally.

The jackrabbit just goes on ahead, never considering the plight of the other riders in the group. He flies right on by when someone has had a particularly hard crash, never checking to see if everything is okay or lending a hand to pick up the bike. When the jackrabbit is out, he doesn’t wait at forks in the road or turns in the trail, leaving everyone behind him wondering which way to go.

5. The Nitro Bro

Group ride etiquette: Taking a big bike up a gnarly hill climb.

A long time dirt-bike addict, the Nitro Bro gets his name from the episodes of Travis Pastrana’s ‘Nitro Circus’ he watches nightly for life inspiration. He loves his ROCKSTAR ENERGY tank top and assures you that he has a MONSTER ENERGY tattoo under his Rockstar tank because the Nitro Bro doesn’t discriminate when it comes to awesome.

Although he grew up shredding Ocotillo Wells on his YZ 250, the big-bore adventure bike he rides now is a bit different. But the nitro bro does not know the limits of his new machine and is eager to ride way over his head on a bike with several times the horsepower of his old dirt bike. He also knows nothing about throttle control, so stay clear of his deadly roost! It will do more damage to you than emulating his daily intake of six ROCKSTAR ENERGY drinks before noon and a Monster Energy-laced whey protein shake before bed.

When you are hours out from civilization on a ride, the Nitro Bro is liable to take his bike up a climb that shouldn’t even be attempted on his beloved quarter-liter dirt bike, much less a 500+ pound Adventure Bike. Of course, he tears a hole in the engine case when he hits a large rock shaped like a giant figurative middle finger directed at your ride. Now you have to bail him out in the middle of nowhere, and what had the makings of a great ride is summarily curtailed.

6. The King of the Hammers

Group ride etiquette: He's the King of the Hammers and he never takes it easy.

This hotshot knows the quickest route from Point A to Point B. The crow takes directions from him before it flies. A genuinely talented rider who, unfortunately, neglects to think of others in his group. If there is a 10-mile trail back to camp you can take to avoid a 50-yard section of asphalt road, he is all over it. Even if said trail looks like a post-apocalyptic wasteland that not even Mad Max or a Nitro Bro (with two cans of Rockstar in him for fortitude) on a Christini two-wheel drive KTM could hope to navigate.

He has a masochistic streak and will take you down trails that are black diamond-rated for dirt bikes, way beyond the skill level of many of the riders in your group. Bodywork gets scratched, brake lights burst, rear view mirrors crack and skid plates fold under the auspices of “The King of the Hammers.”

Back at camp when the rest of the group is exhausted and broken, he is ready for more; a night ride down the gnarliest trail in the national forest just might do the trick.

7. The Monkey Wrench

Group ride etiquette: That monkey wrench is here somewhere.Courtesy Sharif Massoud

Always the first to chime in on forum posts, but the last to show up to meet in the morning to get going; the monkey wrench is always throwing the proverbial, well, monkey wrench into your plans, normally due to habitual tardiness, unawareness and lack of tact.

The monkey wrench was mostly known for fooling around with his carbureted machine for two hours trying to figure out why it won’t run, never thinking to check the gas petcock. With the advent of fuel injection, the monkey wrench has been able to hide but can still be easily identified by a few telltale tics. Maybe he brought two right-hand gloves in his gearbag. Or he left his goggles at camp in the morning. It’s always something.

He is just as likely to forget to gas up before he rides as he is to prolong a ‘quick’ trailside break by automatically taking off his helmet and bringing out an assortment of Power Bars, nuts and beef jerky that could feed a small Eastern European nation for a week.

Group Ride Etiquette Basics

Being a good riding buddy starts with being considerate and aware of the other riders in your group. Avoid emulating any of these rider types and you are likely to get invited back to ride with every group you set out with. Heck you may even make a few friends along the way.

Chime in below in the comments if you’ve come across other ‘sinful’ group riding behaviors that should be added to this list, or if you’ve been guilty of one of these seven deadly sins yourself!

Connor Frankhouser Author ProfileAbout the Author: Connor Frankhouser is a lifelong motorcycle enthusiast. Despite heavy exposure to the delightful smells of Klotz oil and the solvents in new motorcycle tires in his youth, he became a journalist overseas. This allowed him to launch several adventure riding trips in South East Asia, yet he never stopped daydreaming about the single-track trails back home in America. Now stateside again, Connor spends far too much time in the garage working on mods. In his spare time, he enjoys Dual Sport riding around New Mexico and Texas.

Author: Connor Frankhouser

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17 thoughts on “7 Ways To Annoy Everyone On Your Next Group Ride

  1. We usually try to avoid “ultra loud exhaust guy”. Then there’s “Let me come with you guy or guys” that try to glom onto our group, like I didn’t prep my bike and my wife’s bike and make plans with all my friends to ride with you. There’s always “weird guy” that wants to hang out after the ride but they’re usually harmless. “Heavy roost guy” don’t be that guy. What about “I’m in way over my head guy” no dude I’m not gonna ride your bike outta here; but worse would be if they crashed trying to keep up. It’s hard finding a good group of normal people to ride with but the high buy in cost of adventure bikes helps keep some of the mutants away. Love how you used the picture of Jeremy as motor mouth guy!

      • Not skills “wanna be internet troll girl” but if you have enough life skills to make enough money to buy an adventure bike to ride off-road and crush it, you’re probably capable of putting sentences together unlike some of the people that frequent the new jersey pine barons enduro events. For instance “400 dollar mx boots with camo cargo shorts, piney power, flames and piston tattooed, clapped out 91 Suzuki rm 250 guy” some times sans teeth. That’s the mutants we adventure people don’t deal with too often. I like moon shine once in a while but the adventure crowd is pretty amazing as far as brain cells per person and we usually drink good beer.

  2. This is exactly why I DON’T do group rides anymore. I ride by myself, or with one or two close friends whom I already know.

    I won’t ride in groups on pavement either because I’ve been around groups of riders when on a solo ride (or in my car) and trying to get around them can be problematic.

    • I used to be the same way Rob, but the juice isn’t worth the squeeze sometimes when you are out in the middle of nowhere with limited cell service- even with SPOT and telling your girlfriend to call the police if you aren’t back by 6pm (as if she wouldn’t be rejoicing by 6:01 pm).

      Especially if you are riding something gnarly, you are only a missed back brake grab or single misjudgment away from breaking something or having a 400 lb slab of Austrian steel landing on you. For this reason my dad and a few other buddies are invaluable as far as peace of mind goes.

  3. I ride mostly alone because I don’t want to be that “girl”. I’m a bit more aggressive then most girls but I’m not a show boat either. I’m kind of selfish too I like to pick the trails. But this does not mean I can’t calm my self down so I can ride in a group. I like meeting new riders and riders that have been riding for a long time. Everyone will have a weird or different way about them, that’s just being human. All those odd ways of different rides make a true adventure. As long as I am twisting a throttle am happy to ride with others or by my self. So keep riding you weirdos I hope to meet you soon!

    • I am the same way- love meeting people and sometimes it is the most outlandish and weird guys (or gals) whose antics make a good ride into a weekend that is (as you would say) ‘a true adventure’

  4. This is way I don’t ride with others;
    Like people much, other than to punch
    I Ride with a Spot Tracker
    I dont give a shit how cool you where, want to be, think you are
    How much you raced, how many races you won, how you can still hit triples at 60 years old
    What you ride
    How much money you make
    What you think of me
    Just not enough time to spend with “time suckers”
    If you can’t ride with others, don’t…no one is watching you, or cares
    Some are learning, some are experienced, some are at the ending soon, figure out what kind of company you want before you go out with others, because it all gets down to everyones attitude as a group in a unplanned challenge in the ride… support the ground where you can, and at the end of the ride you all will have a story of concurring a challenging day riding TOGETHER!
    Nothing makes beer taste better!
    Just my opinion.

  5. Pingback: 7 Ways To Annoy Everyone On Your Next Group Ride – Any sound familiar? LOL – Cool Motorcycles and More

  6. I’ll add one – The Slowpoke anti dirt guy – You know a guy that always wants to join you on an adventure ride, complete off-road novice but, owns a $15K adventure bike anyway. You plan a route that Grandma could do on her Lark scooter and SADG (Slowpoke Anti Dirt Guy) complains the ENTIRE ride about being off-road. Can’t wait to get back to the pavement, I need a break, after a break 5 minutes ago, riding so slow that your bikes first gear is too high even to idle behind him. I’ve been on Waay to many rides with these guys.

    • Ah yes, ‘S. slowpoucus’- a very pestilent group that split off from ‘A. antimacguyverus’ sometime after the late 1980s when the Honda Transalp and KLR made the segment accessible causing genetic drift and an ultimate merger between H. roadkingriderus and A. antimacguyverus, leading to the species you described.

      At least they are out there riding, I have seen a few thoroughbred street riders become off-road, technical terrain loving Clydesdales given the opportunities and chances to go off road and push the envelope. There may be hope for S. slowpocus yet!.

  7. I don’t mind riding with a few friends from time to time. Riding solo to me is more fun, it is more risky, but the rewards are greater. I can stop and take a pic when I want, I can take a different route on the fly without a meeting of the minds. To me its a time to get away and have a piece of mind and clear my head.

  8. Great list Connor! I’d add one more: The first-timer street rider who picked up a new ADV bike and gets in over his/her head.

    I was on an organized dual sport ride one year where a rider showed up on her brand new BMW GS, she was clearly an experienced rider on the street section. Once we hit the dirt there was a steep but short uphill. Her partner gave her the advice to ‘pin it’ and get her speed up. Well, she pinned it allright and launched her new GS a good 10 feet in the air in an Erzberg-sytle 30 mph freestyle jump over the top of the hill. The day was spent in the ER and bike went home in a truck.

    I always urge street riders to spend some time on a proper dirt bike, even a crappy one, just to get a feel for the dirt, fall-over, make mistakes.

    • Glad you liked it Sasha. I agree that dirt bike experience can be integral before attempting to take a full blown ADV bike on any technical terrain- regardless of your previous experience.
      Guys like Adam Riemann and Mike Lafferty post vids to YouTube where they shred erzberg level trails on these liter bikes and make it look just too darn easy.

      Interestingly, the converse is true also. Staying alive in city traffic has its own set of skills separate from those developed off-road.

  9. This article is great, but sadly I think most of us have been a combination of one or more of these characters if we are honest with ourselves. I remember one time I was all packed for a 4 day ride and realized I forgot my boots! Doh! The more people you add to a ride the more likely something will be forgotten or broken on the ride.

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