Do you ever wish you had a couple of riding buddies with you for your big trips like heading off to a rally a state or two away? Or having someone to meet up with to do a breakfast or lunch ride to cruise your favorite local roads?
You're not alone.
Finding a like minded buddy to ride with can make a world of difference on your trip. While there are definitely benefits and freedom associated with riding solo, most motorcyclists would agree that it can be more enjoyable and, not to mention, safer taking on the open road with someone you can trust.
This begs the question, how do you go about finding suitable motorcycling buddies?
Surprisingly, it’s both easy and hard. Finding another motorcyclist is easy, finding one that rides like you can be difficult. Type of riding, preferred pace, endurance, skill-level, and scheduling all play a part in finding someone good to ride with.
In this article, we’ll be discussing why it’s a really good idea to find motorcycling buddies, and the top 5 ways to do just that.
Yet, it’s a different and it can be a more enjoyable riding experience to “share the ride.” Think: swapping leader/follower duties, chatting at gas stops, eating with someone at a cool local restaurant or just having someone to hold the camera to get that Instagram worthy shot.
Besides just the companionship factor, there’s various other reasons why it might be a good idea to put some time into finding the right riding partners.
The first thing that comes to mind is safety. Here are a few safety benefits when riding with others:
Roadside Repairs - if you ever run out of gas, get a flat tire or something else, it’s nice to have someone else to go get anything needed to get you back out on the road. At the very least, it’s a second mobile phone available and, if it’s getting dark, your riding buddy can hold the flashlight while you fix your bike.
Visibility - The most dangerous part of riding is not being seen by car drivers. But if you are riding with someone, you, collectively, have a larger presence and a better chance of being seen and heard.
Shiny-Side Down - So you hit some gravel in a corner and low-sided. Hopefully you aren’t hurt but if you need medical attention, your riding buddy can be a life saver. She can apply basic medical care, keep you out of further danger and, most importantly, can get help. This is especially important if you are riding in a remote area with spotty wireless phone coverage.
Becoming a Better Rider - If you are following your buddy, you can see how they ride and compare their riding to yours. If they are doing something better than you, you can use what they are doing to improve your skills.
With all of the above, it’s definitely worth the effort to find a good group to ride with.
So, how to you find new riding buddies? Keep reading...
Motorcycle clubs have regular meetings and rides. This means you don’t have to do any work to find a ride or coordinate schedules. Pick a local club you think you might like, choose a club meeting date, show up, introduce yourself and go ride. It’s that simple.
And there all types of motorcycle clubs out there. They range from from biker-style leather vest traditional MC’s to casual Sunday morning breakfast clubs and everything in-between. So, with lots to choose from you can find the motorcycle group experience that works best for you. Check out our featured motorcycle clubs to get a quick sense of all of the different types of clubs that you can join.
There are two ways to go about it. The first, Just like searching for local motorcycle clubs on this site, you can do the same on Facebook and Meetup.com to find out what groups are near you. You then look over the club pages, see if they are still active, and if so, you can join the Facebook group or Meetup. Some FB groups and meetups you can join right away and others require approval from the club admins, but either way you now just found some new people to ride with.
The second way is to participate in an online discussion and see if there are other riders near you. This is a little more work because you have to participate and become part of the ‘online group’ but once you do, you will find other local riders. For example, you can join a local social media group similar to Reddit’s RideItNYC or a discussion forum about the bike you ride like apriliaforum.com.
The benefit of the second method is that you get to interact with potential riders before you go on a ride. Through their discussion comments you get a chance to see what type of rider they are, and determine if you would get along with them on the road.
Don’t know where to look? The internet is your friend! Check websites like TripAdvisor or Yelp for reviews on local meetup spots in your area. Read the reviews and see if any mention the motorcycles in the area. For example:
On TripAdvisor: search “motorcycle and new york city” and you will discover 18th Ward Brewery and their bike nights on Tuesday.
Or on Yelp: search “motorcycle, new york and coffee’ and you will discover Jane’s for bikes and coffee in Brooklyn, NY.
Once you find a good motorcycle friendly spot, you’re way more likely to strike up a conversation with like minded riders. But don’t be that guy or gal by asking everyone to go out on a ride with you. That's weird! Be cool, hangout and make acquaintances. If you become a hangout regular, you will notice others who are too and good things will naturally happen.
So, how do you find a local motorcycle event?
And if you still can’t find a local motorcycle event that is interesting you can search facebook and other social media to find other moto happenings. Especially during warmer months, there is usually something motorcycle centric going on every weekend.
Even if you show up to a big rally or moto-event alone, there are usually guided rides that you can participate in. And with the usual turnout at big rallies, you definitely won’t be riding alone. And if you’re lucky, you’ll meet someone that you can ride back home with.
And at the very least, you will build up a relationship with the shop which will pay off later when you need some new gear or when your bike needs service. So, you’ll never know where a friendly conversation with a fellow enthusiast might take you!
The different, interesting people you’ll meet, and the shared experience of riding with a buddy will make the search well worth it.
And don't forget, whatever your reason is for finding a riding partner, there is another motorcyclist out there that has the same reasons as you.
Keep riding, and good luck!