When one motorbike comes round the corner, there’s almost always another one following close behind. And then at least one more. Bikers love to ride in a group. Why is that?

Get on and ride until the gas runs out; feel the wind in your face and bellow out-of-tune songs into nature, because no one can hear you anyway; stop anywhere that’s beautiful, and carry on whenever you feel like it – when you think of motorbikes, you think of freedom. This is exactly what the myth of the motorbike is all about – and not just for bikers.

But bikers, more than anyone else, often come in groups. They ride round the classic city ring roads in convoy, and buzz up and down the twisty Alpine roads one after the other – just like they’ll do again, for example, at the Top of the Mountain Biker Summit in Paznaun in the next few days.

The one at the front sets the pace and keeps the goal in sight, the one at the back keeps track of whatever’s happening in front or behind them. Riding in a group is the opposite of personal freedom. It’s about restraint, deference, discipline.

And apparently that’s exactly what the appeal is: simply riding after the others and having a look around you. Enjoying nature is easier if someone already knows the way, knows that there’s a fantastic view after the next bend, or knows which short cut is really worth it.

That’s not a bad exchange for a bit of self-abandonment. And the sound made by riding in a group is really something else, something special. You can’t ignore that feeling of freedom – it’s right at the heart of it.