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Whether it's the banter over cups of tea or the shared laugh at a pal who stalled at the lights, you can't beat going for a ride with a group of mates. But is it easy or are you riding on your wits all the time?

Pics: John Noble/Howard Boylan

There's something special about a ride-out with your mates and, although some people avoid it like the plague, there are definite advantages to riding in groups. The shared experience of wazzing through a series of bends, plus the jokes and banter, are part of what biking is all about. That's not to mention the practical stuff. You can ride more relaxed, safe in the knowledge someone else is doing the thinking about which way you are going; you don't have to worry about breakdowns; and there's always the collective benefit of more eyes to spot speed cameras and police cars. Obviously, there are no strict rules to group riding (other than: don't knock each other off), but if you create a few unofficial' guide-lines between yourselves, it'll make life a lot safer, helping you enjoy the ride more.

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