A road ride is a non-competition event where riders of street legal motorcycles follow a designated route. The routes are generally on paved roads, although sometimes a gravel road may be used for a section – the club or promoter will provide information on the route ahead of time. Riders are often put into groups based on skill level and motorcycle type with ride leaders escorting each group. Sometimes groups with different types of bikes will vary their course a bit – like maybe a group of dual-sport bikes will utilize a section of unpaved roads, while the riders on the dressers, cruisers, and sportbikes will stick to the asphalt.
Such events are frequently organized as fundraisers for worthy charities, and are a wonderful way for motorcyclists to demonstrate our willingness and desire to contribute to our larger community as a whole. While road rides are never competitive per se, sometimes there’s a bit of fun added in such as a “poker run” – at a poker run, riders make their way from one waypoint to another (frequently places like taverns, restaurants, bike shops, casinos, etc.) and at each location they’ll draw a playing card. At the end of the event, riders may get awards based on how good their accumulated poker hands are.
While road rides on paper look like just a way to get from point A to point B, they’re more about good-natured motorcyclists getting together and sharing the enjoyment of the open road. The leisurely pace of the events, and stops at inviting locations are all about camaraderie and community, and as such these events are great places to go to find people to ride with and generally share your enthusiasm for the sport.