When you’re first starting out, you may be anxious to get into the scene and meet other likeminded riders in your area. That can be great, but just like any other sub-group of people, keep in mind that your mileage may vary! Just because you all like bikes doesn’t mean you all ride the same way, have the same safety standards in mind, or even get along on many other fronts.  

Some riders may push you beyond your range of comfort, especially if you’re brand new to riding. It can be hard to do because you don’t have a lot of confidence in your skills yet, but don’t let them. Don’t let anyone make you ride beyond your comfort level. Whenever someone tells you to “ride your own ride,” that’s some of the best advice a rider can give you. Go at your own pace, and if the group you’re riding with decides to break a whole bunch of traffic laws and you’re not comfortable with it, you can always split off from the group. If you feel like you need to reach out to them after the ride, do so, but you don’t owe them anything.  

I remember going out for a ride with some local scooterists when I first started out. There were only a handful of us, but that particular group of people weren’t very safe. I finished the ride but never rode with them again.

Another time, my partner was out with a sportbike group, and a newer rider who wasn’t very confident yet was lagging behind. That rider went down, and my partner pulled over to help. The rest of the group left them behind without a backward glance. The rider who went down thankfully just had a scratched fairing and a bruised ego, but my partner also never rode with that group of people again. 

Riders are some of the coolest people you’ll ever meet, but some are also jerks. You are under no obligation to ride with jerks.