We specialise in catering for groups of riders
From our own touring experience we are aware it
is more difficult to find appropriate
accommodation for 9 people and their bikes,
Our Club room is specifically for such groups
The accommodation comprises comfortable 3
foot Beds with sheets, pillow(s) and quilt.
Ample En-suite shower, bath and toilet
facilities, the area is clean spacious allowing
you to store your gear and luggage with room to
relax, even has a stocked beer fridge, It has
access directly onto an outside area for
relaxing next to our splash pool, BBQ
facilities can be made available on request
We have found that this fosters a camaraderie
spirit amongst riders keeping the group
together so that they can get more out of the
trip ensuring no one is left out. What's
more there is a Fridge full of Cold Beer.
Contact us for availability...
After huge success
we are happy to extend
this offer through 2014....
Book the Club Room
for a group of 5 - 9 people and you get the
following for just 58 euros per person per night inclusive:
Home cooked evening meal
French Beer, Wine, Tea and Coffee
WiFi access to the Internet
Routes to explore the
beautiful Auvergne - Limousin - Cantal
regions. All in a free
Think that is good? For just 80 euros per
person per night you get all the above &
fully guided tours to locations such
Oradour-Sur-Glane - The Martyred
Millau Bridge - The Tallest Bridge in
Puy Mary - (1,787m) le Volcano du
Rocamadour - the village climbing the
Puy de Dom and many more destinations
of your choice...
That is an incredible 195€ for 3 nights
Contact us for
more details ...
RIDING IN GROUPS
by Ex. Insp. Kevin Fitzpatrick, in
consultation with: Phil Curtis and Andy Morrison
Thames Valley Police Driving School
All of us love getting together with our friends
and riding out on our bikes for either the day or
the weekend, perhaps even longer. Whether it's a
day at the coast or five days in the Black Forest
in Germany the enjoyment is the same. Planning the
route, sorting out the kit, prepping the bike and
so on is all part of the fun. We all love it but
are we always aware how easily it can end in tears?
I hate to say it but in the past few years there
have been an increasing number of accidents
(including fatal accidents) involving people riding
in groups. Quite often the victim is either a
newcomer to biking or someone who has only recently
joined the group. Sometimes the group itself is new
or had only got together for one ride.
Whatever the cause, with a few simple precautions
and some common sense rules the run can not only be
made safer but much more fun for all concerned. We
have prepared the following to help organisers, who
may be new to running trips, to plan a run with the
benefit of other peoples (sometimes painful!)
A book such as 'Motorcyclists Welcome' by Peter
Gleave is an invaluable asset when organising trips
if you wish to ensure that your accommodation will
be suitable for groups of motorcyclists and that
secure parking is available. The added benefit that
can be had is a photocopy of the page containing
details of the location to which they're heading.
Whether you are looking for the quickest,
motorway based route or a more challenging ride
through the countryside you need to think about
where you are going to make stops and to sort out
rendezvous points in case you all get split up.
When making these plans you need to consider the
comfortable range of all the bikes on the trip as
well as the ability of the riders to ride for long
To avoid mishap it is a good idea to give everyone
a copy of:
the route to be taken (list of roads and/or a route
stopping places / rv points
each others mobile phone numbers
If someone does go astray they are less likely to
get worried or do stupid things to catch up if they
know where they are supposed to be heading and how
to make contact with the rest of the group.
This is critical to get right if you want a
safe and successful run for the whole gang so this
point is worth spending some time on.
You often hear it said that you should put the
slowest bike out in front - but think for a minute
what will happen if you do that. The slowest one is
frequently one of the least experienced riders on a
less than quick bike, does he or she really want
the responsibility of leading the way? What about
the perceived pressure from those behind to 'get a
move on!'? Or conversely, do the others really want
to be stuck behind Timmy Slowcoach for the whole
trip? Some fun that would be!
The reality is that it never happens. The group may
start out with the slowest in front but pretty soon
some of the others get fed up, start overtaking
each other, blatting off and before you know it
it's all gone to rats and you never get them
together again this side of Christmas!
If, like me, you've found yourself at the ferry
port waiting and wondering if the others are ever
going to show up (especially the bloke with the
tickets!) you'll know that this scenario is to be
avoided like the plague!
So what is the best
order to ride in?
Well for a start the leader/navigator should
be out in front. He or she should have studied and
be familiar with the route and should have the
riding skills and the bike to make reasonable
At the back you need a 'sweeper'. This should be an
experienced member of the team (or a pair of good
riders) on a big, reliable bike - one with a turn
of speed if required. This rider should, like the
leader, also be familiar with the route to be taken
and should, if possible, have a mobile phone or
other means of communication. The job of the
sweeper is to look out for stragglers or break
-downs and to make sure no-one gets left behind or
has an accident without being noticed.
Between the leader and the sweeper you can afford
to spread out a bit. Usually riders will pair up
with people they know and little sub groups can
form - not a problem if everybody is still singing
from the same song sheet. As a rule it is best to
keep the newer riders well up towards the front
where they can be a bit protected by their more
Rules of the Road
When out on the road there are two golden rules for
a successful group run and these need agreeing by
everyone before the start:
No overtaking each other without prior planning and
Ride to the bike behind you not the one in front
There is nothing more likely to break up a group of
riders than Tommy Teararse getting a cob on in the
middle of the pack and burning off past everyone
with one or two of the quicker bikes in hot
Okay, it's their trip as well and you've no right
to demand that they ride along with everybody else
the whole time. What is fair though is that they
wait for the stop then let you know they are going
to be having a 'blat' on the next stage of the
journey. You can then warn the rest that a couple
of riders will be out of the group for a while and
you can arrange to meet up at the next stop.
'Riding to the bike behind' is more serious and is
the key to the whole concept of good group riding.
Basically, one of the main causes of accidents is
when the riders in the group play 'follow my
leader' and constantly try to keep up with the bike
in front. You often see riders towards the back of
a group doing stupid things like overtaking on
white lines, flying into blind bends, speeding in
the most inappropriate places and even jumping red
lights in an effort to catch up.
This can easily be avoided, without having to crawl
along in a big group, if you just keep the bike
behind you in your mirrors all the time. That way
you can make as much progress as you like and only
need slow down or stop if you can't see that bike
for any extended period. Certainly, never turn left
or right or deviate from the 'ahead' course without
being sure that the follower has seen you.
By exercising this simple technique you will be
amazed how you can enjoy the higher speed runs
along more challenging roads without having to
sacrifice the group concept.
Staying together, or at least in sight of one
another is quite important on motorways. This is
especially true if you are in unfamiliar territory.
Remember stopping on the hard shoulder near a turn
off just to let the rest of your group catch up is
illegal and can get you booked or worse.
Within reason, the slower your group rides on the
motorway the more likely they are to stay together.
Really big groups of Hells Angels can often be seen
trundling along at around 50 m.p.h. and hogging
(pardon the pun) the nearside lane.
Those of us less comfortable with the idea of
holding everyone up or obstructing other traffice
might like to try a different tactic. The best one
is to give the lead rider the strict speed limit
which is well within the reach of everyone else in
the group. It could be 65 on a busy urban motorway
in the U.K. or as much as 100 m.p.h. on an Autobahn
in Germany. It doesn't matter as long as the others
can do at least 20 m.p.h. more without blowing an
engine - or a driving licence!
Combining this with the no overtaking rule and
riding to the bike behind, no-one should have too
much difficulty staying in touch with the group
when the inevitable speeding car gets in the middle
Town / City Centres
Riding in large cities like London, Paris or
Amsterdam or even smaller towns like Reading with
the intricate traffic management systems can be a
nightmare at the best of times. Even when you know
your way around it is easy to get into the wrong
lane or get caught out at the lights.
Staying together in a large group in these places
is next to impossible. Sooner or later the group is
bound to get broken up and the total strangers to
the area will have major problems finding their
The only way to sort this out is to get organised
before going into the town into smaller groups of
around three or four bikes. Ideally, one of the
smaller groups should be able to act as a
navigator, although this is not always possible.
By riding in a staggered formation it is possible
for this size group of bikes to stay fairly close
to one another at low speeds and even to move
almost as one vehicle through junctions etc.
minimising the risk of further split ups.
However, this technique needs practising to get
right and less experienced riders may be
uncomfortable until their confidence improves. A
bit of practice in local towns before the trip
could well pay dividends if you know a major city
is going to be on the route.
Above all it is essential to have a substantial
landmark as a rendezvous point in case of
dispersal. Even in a country where you don't speak
the language you can usually get directions to
major places of interest and, of course, morale
(which is linked to safety) will stay high for lost
riders if they have the company of a couple of
other bikes with them.
It only takes one member of the team to get badly
injured for the whole trip to be ruined for
everyone. I will always remember being with a large
group in Germany when one of them became seriously
ill. Getting him medical attention and ultimately
flown home was bad enough but getting his bike
transported across France thence back to the U.K.
was an absolute nightmare.
It turned out that the insurance we had all taken
out did not cover any dangerous activity and
motorcycling was specifically mentioned! It ended
up costing our friend thousands and much of the fun
was taken out of the whole adventure.
On the other hand, now older and wiser, a few years
later when two of our number crashed in driving
rain in Dublin we had things right. An overnight
stay in hospital was followed by a call to the A.A.
5 Star service and not only were medical bills
covered but the bikes were shipped home and a hire
car provided free of charge for our friends to
complete the rest of the holiday.
It certainly pays dividends to get the right cover
before venturing on two wheels away from the U.K.
and, even if you ultimately don't use it, the peace
of mind it brings is alone worth the cost of the
premium. Additionally, if you book through the
large motoring organisations you get sent lots of
info on legal requirements etc. for the countries
you are visiting and lots of other bumph as well.
As a veteran of many large trips both home and
abroad I can say honestly that they are great fun
and worth all the hassle of organising. It has been
my genuine experience that the best trips have been
those when the principals mentioned above have been
adhered to and the ones best forgotten were those
where it has been 'every man for himself'. Have