Danvers, Mass to Rockland, Maine Over 2 Weekend Days - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 09-06-2012, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
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Danvers, Mass to Rockland, Maine Over 2 Weekend Days

I'm helping to plan a group ride from Danvers, Mass. (just North of Boston) to Rockland, Maine over a forthcoming weekend. I'm looking for suggestions and feedback on my initial plans. I've been on most of the main roads in a car (and to Portland and back on my motorcycle.) I've driven on several of the peninsula roads, too. I live close to Boston. I plan to ride some of the "new" peninsula roads within the next week.

Day One:
8AM - Danvers to Bath for an early lunch @ 11AM. 95 (Danvers, MA) to 295 (Scarborough, ME) to 1 (Brunswick) into Bath around 11AM.

9:30 - Break (Kennebunk Turnpike Area)

10:00 - Resume Riding

11AM - Lunch in Bath, ME

1PM - To Popham State Park (Peninsula Riding)

2:30PM - Break (likely back at Rte 1 but will look for alternatives)

3:00PM - To Reid State Park (Peninsula Riding)

4:30PM - Ride all the way to Rockland, ME on 1

Day Two:
7AM - Checkout/Breakfast

8:30AM - To Tenant's Harbor (Peninsula Riding)

10:00AM - Break (TBD)

10:30AM - To Friendship, ME (Peninsula Riding)

11:30AM - Lunch in Friendship (TBD)

1:00PM - To Pemmaquid Point (Peninsula Riding)

3:00PM - Break (TBD)

3:30PM - Return: 1 to 295 to 95

5:00PM - Break (Kennebunk Turnpike Area)

5:30PM - Return to Danvers, MA

6:30 PM - Arrive Danvers, MA

It's a group that wants to ride (more than shop, gawk or walk around.) They to want to get a good sense of the areas we're riding through. Almost everyone has a touring or sport touring bike and significant riding experience.
Thanks,
Greg

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post #2 of 8 Old 09-06-2012, 02:15 PM
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Enjoy the ride!

You're planning a trip for a group that "wants to ride (more than shop, gawk or walk around.)"... are they going to want to stop in each park for an extended period, in addition to a 2-hour lunch and two half-hour breaks? That's a lot of non-riding time for guys that want to ride.
It looks like the route is mostly freeway, do you know what type of riding the other guys prefer?
Will they want to break trip into 2 short days, or do 1 long day?

I'm just trying to give you a few points to think about, considering you're planning for other people.
Last week I did a 5-day road trip (my first ever multi-day ride) with some WT members. I had never met them before the trip and thankfully we all had similar riding styles.

Our schedule was very loosely structured - other than the actual route we were on and where we ended up each night, nothing else was planned. If we needed gas we would stop and combine the gas stop with a 10-20 minute drink/restroom break, if we saw something cool we'd stop for a bit to look around and take photos, when we got hungry we'd take an hour for lunch...

It made it really nice not being on a set schedule.

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post #3 of 8 Old 09-06-2012, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! And, thanks for replying in detail, too.

The group has 3 levels of rides, and this is level 1 (the easiest and simplest.) I should have explained that in the original post. On a level 1 ride, the group takes a break every 90 or so minutes or every 100 miles or so. (Level 2 rides are more challenging with fewer breaks and higher speeds plus more skills required. Level 3 rides are very challenging with long sections of twisties and high speeds.)

I'm building a proposed plan for a very experienced group ride leader who doesn't know Maine. He knows most if not all of the other rider's riding styles and habits as I see he's on a lot of rides. I thought it might take 2 hours to park the bikes, get seated in the day one restaurant, eat, etc. Any time we shave off will be used to add in other attractions (like a transportation museum in Owl's Head.) We reviewed it today, and he's programming his GPS tonight and making adjustments as needed. We'll adjust on the ride I'm sure, too.

There are 18 bikes on this ride so far. Bob (the group lead for this ride) also leads the unstructured rides he calls "...an adventure." This won't be one of those rides. It will cover many scenic spots in Maine and some infrequently roads with long stretches without stops. The Peninsula stretches are long stretches like that.

When I ride alone, I don't set a schedule for most things between start and end points if I can avoid it...does make for a great experience everytime, and I find I learn something whenever I do this, too.

Cheers,

Greg

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post #4 of 8 Old 09-06-2012, 03:45 PM
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Wow, 18 is a lot of riders to keep track of!! Your detailed schedule with marked rest areas / lunch areas & scheduled start/stop times will definitely help herd everyone back into a group throughout the day.

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post #5 of 8 Old 09-06-2012, 05:27 PM
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agreed. Shortly after I graduated high school a few friends of mine, and some friends of theirs rode to a bike rally for the weekend. It was kinda messy considering that there was 10 bikes, and we only had 1 planned stop to meet a fellow rider. Other than that it was a great weekend minus the breakdown of a friends bike on the way their.

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post #6 of 8 Old 09-06-2012, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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We each go through group riding training (led by one of our ride captains) before we're allowed to join a group ride. We follow MSF standards plus a few more. The parking lot training is followed my an hour long ride where we all ride according to the standards. We have a PDF with hand signals, lane use, etc. Helps a lot. It's a very right riding formation (2 seconds to the rider in front of you and 1 second to the rider to your left or right, depending on where you are when 2-up. We also ride 1-up when the ride captain signals it.)

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post #7 of 8 Old 09-06-2012, 06:21 PM
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Two seconds is kinda close, no?

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post #8 of 8 Old 09-07-2012, 03:06 AM Thread Starter
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Spacing

Quote:
Originally Posted by rmb View Post
Two seconds is kinda close, no?
The first time I went on a group ride (and it was the group training ride) it did seem a little close but once we were riding for 10-15 minutes, it felt comfortable. It's assumed that you "... have control of your motorcycle ..." and there are several "leads" on each group ride: ride captain (leads the group), sweep (controls the rear) and likely at least one more ride lead in the group. The leads are connected with CB radio. The initial group training ride pauses at least once, and leads provide feedback. If someone needs more time to master their bike and riding conditions, a lead will speak with them privately.

Another benefit of the group: experienced riders take newbies out solo or two at a time for rides to work on basics (hill stops/starts, turns, panic stops, etc.) to ensure everyone is at least at or beyond a basic level of motorcycle control. All this "lead" time is voluntary, and we pay $5 towards Meetup expenses a year. These rides take place around Boston (where we're based) so the new rider doesn't have to travel far to get to it.

I just participated in a large group ride, Nelson's Ride, with several hundred motorcycles in a group. Everyone followed these guidelines (MSF), and intersections were blocked by police and volunteers. We rode about 50 miles without stopping and with no accidents. (The only issue for me was jaw soreness from checking out the bikes when parked before and after the ride: some amazing custom bikes.)

It does take some getting used to, and I go on a group ride whenever possible to maintain that level of focus and comfort. I practice that, too, in traffic when I am out solo: 2-seconds spacing to the car in front of me. More at night and in the rain. The group moves quickly and avoids issues with 4+ wheel vehicles this way. It seems a huge advantage when riding in a group on the road, but to each their own, too.

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