Brent, I'll share some GPS routes soon. I'll also try to write up a turn-by-turn. If all group plans fail (and sometimes they just do) there's still cold beers waiting at the hotel at the end of the day and we can bullshit about it there.
For any that haven't ridden hoon-style yet, I'd better write this down:
1) We don't want to ride parade-style, since there are many different preferences for riding and we like lots of distance between riders (like standing at the urinal), but if we're all on the same roads, we'll all hit the same spots. Even if we're all riding the same speed, give it some space. If deer want to hit us, they'll have to take us one at a time.
2) If we DO try to ride in one big group, each person should ride his/her own ride and just keep sight of the person behind you *once in a while.* That way somebody can sport it up if he/she wants and not worry about somebody getting dangerous, trying ride outside his/her comfort zone to keep up. If you ride slow, then ride slow and have fun doing it. I only get offended when I hear that somebody behind me 'scared himself' trying to keep up with the group. Remember, when I'm leading a group, I feel like I'm toodling. Second and third riders may think so too... but with the accordion effect with bikes further back, the tail can get whipping and I've heard stories of guys making mistakes 'back there.' Don't do this. We stop and wait at the road changes and we want to see a gleeful grin when you come rolling up. If you're riding crazy or outside your comfort zone, I don't want to ride with you, so please 'ride your own ride' and have fun. Two of my dearest friends died on group rides (not mine) and I've had enough trouble wanting to do group rides because of this... 'nuff said?
3) When I'm riding with someone wanting to ride a little slower, I just have my fun and then slow down in the long straights until I see a headlight or two coming along. As I said, if I'm leading a group, I'll be going very casually in the straights, but I don't slow down much (or I may speed up a little) in the turns. That way, if people take the corners more casually than me... they can quickly reel me back in on the straights. I've been at the tail end of rides with squids that didn't set an upper speed limit, and it caused guys to ride like their asses were on fire. I won't do that on the street again. Fast is for the racetrack (where I had the pleasure of riding with Mathew Scholtz and Garett Gerloff last weekend, **** they're fast) but I'm only willing to do 'briskly' on the street.
4) We love Arkansas because there's little traffic on the roads we like... and the beautiful countryside. But even in the light traffic, passing other vehicles tends to separate the groups the most. On a modern motorcycle, your passing should be effortless, quick and safe. Some groups do a hand signal around a blind turn to tell riders behind that it's okay to pass. I DON'T do this. I have my reasons... beside the reason that it can scare the bejesus out of the vehicles being passed. Just because your buddy in front of you thinks it's safe to pass... it may not be. YOU have to make the decision for yourself. A bike going around a vehicle (with a nice wave) is one thing, but when five guys take a pass at the same time, cousin Ed tends to get mad - and gets on the cellphone with cousin Cletus - and he knows the Sheriff. Yes, it's happened to me on multiple occasions. So we do pass, but we do it friendly-like and respecting the other vehicles. (Another passing story had to do with chipseal pavement tinging a vehicle as we passed... I guess I'd be a little pissed too if it were my truck) The last note on passing: when I get a few miles from the next highway change, I'll be sitting behind cousin Rufus' truck until we get to the intersection... since we'll likely be paused at the intersection waiting for the tail of the group. Even as polite as we can be, sometimes Rufus is mad that people passed him, and I don't want him to spit his Copenhagen spew on my boots when he rolls up.
Sooo... being part of a briskly moving group going through these roads is fun, even though we're not going for speed records. Capiche?