Drummers should always focus on the "1". That first note should equal the length of a triplet and set the table for the other triplets in the bar. The result is a groove that is felt in 12/8. Note the term "Felt" as opposed to "Think". Thinking in 12/8 creates too much clutter.
I've chosen not to include written examples of the ride rhythm in any form because it can be misleading. One of the advantages of the triplet feel is the evenness. The dotted 8/16 feel is too clunky and implies a staccato feeling. What you should aim for is a wide legato feeling. This is something that a triplet foundation can give you.
"Papa" Jo Jones was the model I always looked to. His groove was so wide and legato it was hard to discern which beat was which. The recordings with Basie and with Illinois Jacquet are lessons on how to swing. He achieved "flow" and that is the most elusive element of groove.
The triplet concept provides an approach to widen your beat and is a better foundation for building a cymbal legato. The first step in achieving this is to make all the notes of the bar even without any accent so that the backbeat is implied rather than stated. The next step is to play notes between the beats with your other limbs at the same or slightly higher volume to create a round rolling feel.
If your not sure of how any of this sounds, just listen to Elvin Jones or Jack DeJohnette. The triplet legato will the take the "drumness" out of your sound as you began to move the groove over the set. Music making should always be your goal and hopefully this approach will lead you to it.
The Groove Continues....