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Motorcycle Safety Foundation

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Motorcycle (Group) Ride Rules/Observances

Group motorcycle riding is a great experience when common sense, respect for other riders, and safety prevail. Please review these riding rules and tips for your personal and group riding safety.

Do not mix alcohol and motorcycle riding at anytime, especially when riding in a group.

No attitudes while with the group. A diversity of people ride. Motorcyclists are very diverse. We just share the love of riding.

Top-off your gas tank before you begin a ride. Bikes with small gas tanks have to stop more often. Decide before you begin when and where you will stop. Inform everyone of designated stops.

Do a personal and bike safety check before beginning a ride. Bikes should be in good running condition before riding (anytime).

Riders should wear eye protection, and a DOT/Snell certified helmet. This is law in many states.

Group Riding

Riders who choose to ride in a group must do just that, ride with the group. If a navigational mistake is made (e.g., missed turn or exit), continue with the group until the error can be safely corrected. It is recommended to have Ride Captain(s) travel the route prior to a run, thus, avoiding navigation mistakes.

As in the military, formation is mandatory. Two up is the typical ride arrangement (riding staggered). The more experienced rider should ride on the left…not the person with the biggest ego. (Loud pipes on the right!)  Motorcycles with a passenger should ride on the right when possible. All passengers should know their riding assignment prior to the ride. Alternate bikes for passengers should also be chosen. New riders should never have a passenger.

Maintain approximately two bike lengths between bikes; weather and road conditions permitting. If a vehicle wants to break through the group on a multi-lane road, give them space to safely do so. Close formation once the vehicle exits the lane. If the vehicle does not move, cautiously and carefully pass to reform. Bikers do not own the road. Be considerate of other vehicles. Give them space.

Novice and inexperienced riders should ride in the middle of the group until they are comfortable riding in a group. The Ride Captain(s) or those who have ridden the route should ride up front…again, not riders with big egos. Experienced riders should also be the rear of the group…this is done to maintain order.

Know hand signals, and pay attention to them. Signals are passed back by every rider so that everyone is informed. Be certain it is a real signal, and not a wave to a passing motorcycle. Maintain a steady pace with as few (dramatic) speed changes or sudden moves as possible. Changing lanes on a freeway should be done from the rear then moving forward to the clear lane.

Turns and Turning.  When turning left, the right lead bike should safely block oncoming traffic. The group should continue through a red light only if Road Guards have the intersection secured. If Road Guards are not used, be sure the riders behind you know that you intend to stop. When a single file signal is given, the bike on the left proceeds (in front of) the bike on the right.

Road Guards. Blocking intersections is risky and very often, an unsafe practice. However, an exception is an escorted ride. If you block, review these:Road Guards should wear a brightly colored safety vest to be more visible. Turn headlights toward oncoming traffic when blocking, and use 4-way flashers. Urge riders to tighten up and move as quickly as possible through blocked intersections. Have a procedure for getting Road Guards to the front from the rear. Road Guards should always be chosen from more experienced riders in a group.

Rear Ride Captains should pull out and block the lane before a group lane change occurs. When a lane change is signaled, do not move until the rider in front of you moves.

The group should know who is blocking. Do not follow Road Guards! Caravan vehicles should never block unless asked by the Ride Captain.

   

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