Group Rides are social events and are an ideal opportunity to practice your Advanced Riding Skills. Whether you are an Associate still learning the System, or if you have already passed your Advanced Test, group rides offer the chance to hone your skills to perfection in preparation for the Fellowship test or any further training you may wish to undertake, eg IAM RoadSmart Solent Advanced Plus.
Group rides are an opportunity to explore new roads, find great cafes, and ride with people who are of a similar riding standard. They also present a perfect opportunity to those new to Advanced Riding to pick up tips from other Associates and from more experienced Members. It is perfectly permissible to ask any Observers on the ride whether they would be willing to offer informal comment on your ride.
IAM RoadSmart Solent Group Rides are categorised by Ride Levels which provide an indication of the type of roads to be ridden, the length of the ride, its technicality and suitability for the ride for participants, eg Associates or Full Members.
Group Rides are conducted in accordance with the IAM RoadSmart Group Ride Policy.
All Group Rides should be ridden progressively. Riders should be looking to achieve the posted speed limit where conditions allow and it is safe to do so, and each rider must ride within their own capability.
Associates and Members who are not sure what ride level is suitable for them should contact the Group Ride Coordinator in the first instance. Some Observers may advise their Associate to only participate in Level 1 rides until their riding confidence and knowledge of the Advanced Riding Course is sufficient to allow them to benefit from a higher level.
This level is primarily aimed at those riders who are new to Advanced Riding. This includes potential members who take advantage of the free ride assessment offered during SolentSunday, or new Associates who would like to practice their newfound skills. In addition, Members are welcome to attend to practice and maintain their skills.
Mainly A and B roads.
The use of roads that are less than two cars wide should be avoided unless their use adds significant value to the ride, eg a one mile section of unclassified road may avoid a longer ten mile detour. The use of a single track road, particularly if it has gravel or grass down the centre line, must be avoided. Such roads require a high degree of technical ability to ride safely and are not suitable for new Associates.
Distance and Duration
A Level 1 ride will typically be ridden in sections of 35-40 miles, or 60-70 minutes, before stopping for a break.
In the event of an overtaking opportunity arising, participants will be expected to be in a position to recognise and plan for the overtake if their skill level permits.
This level is aimed at qualified Members and those Associates who have a good understanding of Advanced Riding, have had several development sessions with their Observer and want to take the opportunity to practice their skills between observed rides.
A and B roads will be used, as well as unclassified roads subject to the recommendations below.
A Level 2 ride may take advantage of narrower unclassified roads where there is still sufficient space to allow a motorcycle and a car to pass safely. The use of single track roads, particularly featuring gravel or grass along the centre line, should be avoided unless their use adds significant value to the overall ride. Members and experienced Associates should be able to negotiate these roads although the progress may be restrained.
Distance and Duration
A Level 2 ride will typically be ridden in sections of 40-50 miles, or 60-90 minutes, before stopping for a break.
In the event of an overtaking opportunity arising, participants will be expected to be in a position to recognise and to be actively looking for the opportunity to execute an overtake.
This level describes a route that would best suit confident and experienced riders who have a high skill set and are able to make progress in all conditions on all types of roads, and are able to ride for longer periods without stopping while maintaining a high level of concentration.
A and B roads will be used, and routes may take advantage of single-track unclassified roads with passing places, subject to the recommendations below.
Where there is grass or gravel down the center, these roads should be avoided as they detract from the riding experience.
Distance and Duration
A Level 3 ride will typically be ridden in sections of 50-75 miles, or 60-90 minutes, before stopping for a break.
On a Level 3 ride, participants will be expected to make progress by executing all overtaking opportunities as they arise.