New Feature: Local Groups for Rideouts and Meet-ups

The great thing about this forum is how it brings people together who have a common interest in riding bikes. Many of our members are quite social (and sometimes even sociable) people who enjoy setting off together to ride the highways and byways of this green and pleasant land, consuming many bacon sandwiches and cups of tea along the way.

So, how do you find out if anyone is interested in going out for a ride at the weekend or popping down to a local biker haunt on a balmy summer’s evening? You could post something to the whole forum but you’re likely to be met with a lot of silence or “it’s too far for me,” replies. It’s understandable but a bit disheartening.

We need a way to help people on the forum arrange meet-ups and rideouts on a more local basis. And now we have one!

Part of the functionality of the forum is the ability to create groups. It’s exactly what it sounds like - you can have groups within the membership for whatever purpose you like. If you look in the forum menu you’ll notice an option for ‘Groups’. Cunning, I’m sure you’ll agree. If you look in there now, you’ll see I’ve set up a whole load of them at county level or similar, depending on the country and other factors.

Geographically, the forum covers a wide area with members potentially located anywhere in the world,. Right now though, most of the membership are resident in the UK, particularly England, Scotland and Wales so that’s all I’ve set up for now. I will expand the groups as needed in future or on request.

How to use the groups

The principal is this: you live within the area of one of the groups listed, so you join that group. For me that would be South Yorkshire. But you may also be interested in what’s going on in neighbouring areas (I live close to West Yorkshire and Derbyshire, for example), so you join those groups as well. Now you’'ve effectively subscribed to get messages and notifications for all the areas you want to hear about.

Groups are a bit like normal members in that you can send them messages using @groupname. This is the key to broadcasting just to the people who’ve joined those groups. You can @ mention the group in a normal post, or send a PM to it just as you would a regular member. So, for example, you can notify everyone in the @South_Yorkshire group that you’'ll be out-and-about this Saturday by typing the name of the group either as the recipient of a PM, or in a regular post. As you start tyoing the name you’ll see a list appear so you know you have the right one. Like this…

Screenshot 2022-08-10 at 22.05.55

Carry on typing the name or just click on the one you want when it appears.

Now the key point - you only have to post messages to your own area because anyone interested will be in it, even if they’re actually from in a neighbouring region!

Adding yourself to the places you’re interested in is pretty much a one-off activity and it’s only a single click for each group to join or leave. Then it’s just a case of messaging your own locale and seeing who’s coming out to play!

A word on regions

You’ll see that there’s quite a disparity between region sizes in some cases. There are a few cities and some small areas of Scotland compared to, say, the Highlands. There’s no easy way to set the regions so they’re of a similar size because we all need to recognise the boundaries. I also didn’t want regions to be too large as it’ll undermine the principle of having neighbours and keeping it relatively local, avoiding those “it’s a bit too far” responses. Having said that, I’m open to tweaking the groups if people in that part of the world feel it could work better. Use the ‘Forum Business’ section for those discussions.

More help

I’ll create a user guide based on this post for posterity in the next few days but if anyone has questions drop me a PM or start a thread in ‘Forum Business’.