The siren call of the road has been beckoning and new motorcyclists have been answering. According to the Motorcycle Industry Council, retail sales of bikes from the leading manufacturers rose 2.6 percent in 2012 over the previous year.
For some bikers, riding is the ultimate freedom. They enjoy hitting deserted roads, flying through sweepers and choosing when and where to go. Other bikers prefer the camaraderie of riding with others, taking a nice cruise and then stopping for lunch. If you are a new motorcyclist who would like to fall in the latter group, then check out these tips for finding fellow bikers to cruise with:
Join a Club
Becoming a member of a local riding club is a great first step to find fellow enthusiasts to cruise with. Before checking out clubs, however, you should know the difference between a riding club and a motorcycle club. In most cases, you will want to join a riding club. These clubs have been created for bike enthusiasts who are looking for fellow motorcyclists to ride with. According to MotorcycleRidingClubs.net, motorcycle clubs are social clubs or brotherhoods that typically require a lifelong commitment. In addition, you can also find clubs that focus specifically on a particular motorcycle manufacturer or a certain type of riding. Start your search for a riding club by checking out Riderclubs.com. On this site you’ll find hundreds of clubs, sorted by motorcycle type, manufacturer, riding preferences and interests.
Once you join a riding club, you might discover that a friend or a family member will want to join you on your rides. If so, make sure to equip your bike with accessories that will help make their riding time more comfortable. For example, you might want to invest in a Danny Gray Medium Passenger Bigseat or chrome passenger grab rails, which you can find in an online specialty store like Motosport.com. Remember, if your spouse or significant other enjoys riding with you, they will be more willing to support your new hobby.
Motorcycle Meetup Groups
Another great place to find riding clubs is through Meetup. Although Meetup may sound like a dating site, it is actually a social site where people can create groups designed around a particular interest. You’ll find numerous riding groups on Meetup simply by typing motorcycle in the site’s search engine. For example, in the D.C. area, biker groups include, “Where the Locals Ride Motorcycles,” and the “Maryland Motorcycle – Ride In and Hang Out” Meetup.
There are some big biker rallies, including the world-famous Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota, the Laconia Motorcycle Week in New Hampshire and Daytona Bike Week. They typically offer multiple guided rides to interesting areas, as well as fun poker rides. Taking part in a guided ride or a poker run is an excellent way to meet interesting people and to discover new places to ride, while also enjoying great scenery.
The Big Rides
A few rides, such as the annual Rolling Thunder rally held during Memorial Day Weekend in Washington, D.C., are iconic events that draw bikers from all around the country. According to the Huffington Post, Rolling Thunder typically draws about 250,000 bikers each year. America’s 911 Ride is another large ride that draws thousands of bikers annually. If you are in the area of one of these large rides, consider signing up so that you can participate in what could be an once-in-a-lifetime event.