Author Topic: Group Riding Etiquette *A Must Read*  (Read 5167 times)

Offline Curtie223

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Group Riding Etiquette *A Must Read*
« on: May 13, 2012, 05:19:03 pm »

Eighteen Tips to Ensure Everybody Has a Fantastic Ride.....
Yes... there is Etiquette. When riding in a group we must do it in a way that does not endanger anyone or interfere with the flow of traffic. The following, are some general common sense rules followed by motorcyclists touring in a group. These rules are not difficult and each rider must understand that he is responsible for himself and his passenger. He is responsible for the safe operation of his bike so he does not to endanger himself, his passenger, or other vehicles on the road. All your driving maneuvers should be thought out, planned in advance, and communicated to the other members in the group. Never take a spontaneous action unless necessary to avoid injury!!

 

1. The first thing you want to do is organize the ride, the leader should inform the group of the destination and the ride. This can be as informal as standing around in a parking lot, or as complicated as a special meeting to hand out maps and cell phone numbers.

 

2. When creating your riding formation, it's wise to have your experienced riders at the lead and running sweep (bringing up the rear). Consider positioning the less experienced riders immediately behind the leader. This allows the front rider to adjust the pace if necessary.

3. Remember that riding in a group does not mean you surrender any decision making when it comes to your safety. Ride your own ride, and don't go any faster than you feel comfortable going!!

 



4. While riding, don't fixate on the motorcycle in front of you. Instead, remember your basic training. Look well through the turn to where you want to go. If you want to see what?s going on, look 5 bikes ahead of you.

5. All riders are responsible for making sure their motorcycles are mechanically up to the task. Before you even meet up with the group, make sure you've got plenty of fuel in the tank, and you've taken care of all those maintenance issues. You really don't want to be the reason for stopping the group for something mechanical you could have prevented.

6. When crossing controlled intersections, motorcycles should pair up to reduce the length of time crossing and keep the motorcycles together. This should avoid anyone trying to play "catch up." Each rider is responsible to insure he can make a safe crossing before entering the intersection.

7. Each rider should observe, and constantly be aware of, the motorcycle in front and behind, to be on the alert for any trouble. Trouble can arrive quickly... you'd better be paying attention.

Maintain the following formation for normal group riding. On narrow roads, curvy or mountainous roads, areas where visibility is limited, construction areas, loose surfaces, or when there is an obstacle in the roadway, ride single file.


.........................

Adjust your lane position to deal with hazards and invasions of your space cushion. Use at least 2-second spacing when riding single file, such as in twisty sections. Above all, use common sense!! Common courtesy while sharing the road is important!! RIDERS PASSING ON THE RIGHT, WEAVING THROUGH GROUPS OF RIDERS, TAILGATING, OR OTHERWISE RIDING IRRESPONSIBLY, ARE ENDANGERING THE OTHER RIDERS AND ARE NOT WELCOME ON GROUP RIDES!!!

 

9. On the road, motorcyclists should have at least a 2-second cushion in front and behind them, except when stopping at controlled intersections.  Leave enough room per lane so each rider can maneuver side-to-side if need be. Street lanes can be split up into 3 equal sections (this should have been learned at the DMV when obtaining your licience); The left 'tire track' is 1, the oil stained strip is 2, and the right 'tire track' is the 3rd. Always travel in the left or right sections; avoid the Oil strip when possible! ALWAYS RIDE IN A STAGGERED POSITION!!!... Avoid riding side-by-side, it?s extremely dangerous and you?ll have no exit strategy in case of accident or hazard!

10. At intersections where you've come to a stop, tighten the formation to side-by-side to take up less space. As the light turns green, or when traffic opens up, the bike on the left proceeds through first.

11. As turns get sharper, or as visibility decreases, move back to a single file formation. You'll also want to use single file when entering or exiting a highway, at toll booths, or when roads have a rough or questionable surface.

 


Click here to see some commonly used hand signals. (Reprinted with permission of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, copyright 2003.)

12. You'll need to communicate while on the ride, so make sure everyone knows the signals you'll use. Hand signals are extremely important and should be used on every ride..

13.  When passing vehicles, the Ride Leader should maintain passing speed until he has opened up room for the rest of the riders.

14.  Passing other members of the group is prohibited. You may not pass another bike unless it has pulled over to the shoulder and indicated an intention to stop. If you do not like the position you are riding in then change it only at a rest stop.

 

15.  Always maintain a safe speed and keep a safe distance between motorcycles. If you feel uncomfortable in keeping the pace of the group (rain, wind, winding roads, steep grades, etc) mention it to the Ride Leader, call for a stop or let the group know you are going to pull over and stop.

16. If, and when, it becomes necessary for one motorcycle to stop, all other motorcycles are to proceed on until they reach the first available safe place to pull over.



17. If you pass another motor vehicle you may not do it in the same lane that vehicle is driving in, even if it has pulled over to the shoulder with the intent of letting you pass. You must be able to pass in the oncoming traffic lane.

18.  If riding in a group and you need to stop for a rest or stretch your legs; or if you need a drink, food, or fuel; or if you need to make a comfort stop, let the group know your needs, by signaling. Group riding is not an endurance test.

 

 

 

Short Checklist for Group Riding:

- Arrive early
- Arrive with a full tank of gas
- Be certain your bike is in safe, reliable operating condition
- Know your mileage/fatigue limit
- Communicate your intentions
- Be prepared for any weather
- Be prepared for an emergency
- Ride your own ride
-Know who you are riding with
- Make sure they ride THEIR own ride
- Hand out maps or route sheets
- Allow as much space for yourself and others as you would riding alone
- Don?t follow any rider closer than the distance that rider is following the vehicle in front of them
- Allow other riders to pass you
- Pass only on the left
- Pass only when you are certain you have enough room
- Respect the space of others

 

 

There is safety in numbers and group rides are amazing if we can all obey the rules of the road. Remember, you are responsible for the safe operation of your bike. No one else can accept that responsibility. These rules are not intended to be all-encompassing and do not cover all aspects of group riding. These rules are intended to be suggestive in nature and have been found to work extremely well. There is always room for common sense to fit any particular situation.

These are rough guidelines for a successful group ride. Every group has their own objective, style, and personality. Some groups RIP up the canyon, some sit back and Cruise... be sure you know the overall speed and expectations of that particular ride. Take these ideas and adapt them to make them work for you.
Some groups have highly-structured and well-thought-out rules for group riding, using road captains, sweep riders, a set order, and numerous hand signals.

 2001 KTM 300exc 
 2004 LTZ400



-When you see another rider keep in mind that is another friend you haven't had the chance to meet yet!!
-Riding is about doing what you love! No matter what you ride or how you ride. Just as long as you

Offline Curtie223

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Re: Group Riding Etiquette *A Must Read*
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2012, 05:26:47 pm »
Here are Hand signals to use while riding in a group. Please study these as we use them in our rides. With the exception of a couple that I will note that is different.
The Exception on this first one will be the stop. Arm us with your hand in a fist






The exception on this one will be the helmet tap. We use the helmet tap for law Enforcement, Ambulance or EMS ahead



« Last Edit: May 13, 2012, 05:30:59 pm by Curtie223 »

 2001 KTM 300exc 
 2004 LTZ400



-When you see another rider keep in mind that is another friend you haven't had the chance to meet yet!!
-Riding is about doing what you love! No matter what you ride or how you ride. Just as long as you

Offline Luvmystar

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Re: Group Riding Etiquette *A Must Read*
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2012, 06:26:21 pm »
Thanks for posting Curt.The only group rides i've done was the ride to the kneedraggers ball and the one with Paul.I learned several things on each.Several things I was doing wrong with technique.I was hoping I didn't do anything too bad.If I did or do whoever sees it please tell me.My nature will be to say why I did it but your point will be taken and learned from just the same.Its the only way I'll learn and I want to go on more rides.

Marc
Marc

Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

Offline midknight

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Re: Re: Group Riding Etiquette *A Must Read*
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2012, 06:59:23 pm »
Same here Marc...if I go on a ride with anybody and do something completely stupid or wrong let me know. Being sorta new to riding I'll take all the tips I can get!

Thanks for posting curt, I was actually about to go get my msf course book and go back over this stuff to see if I screwed anything up yesterday.

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Offline Curtie223

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Re: Group Riding Etiquette *A Must Read*
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2012, 07:04:50 pm »
You both done great on the rides froms what I can Tell.
The only thing I would add to all that above is to ride your own pace. We will always have a sweeper of some sort. most of the time that is me. and I don't care how slow or fast we go. basically ride your ride pace that you are comfortable with. you will never hear from this group you are too slow. :) 

 2001 KTM 300exc 
 2004 LTZ400



-When you see another rider keep in mind that is another friend you haven't had the chance to meet yet!!
-Riding is about doing what you love! No matter what you ride or how you ride. Just as long as you

Offline DragonRider

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Re: Group Riding Etiquette *A Must Read*
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2012, 07:20:03 pm »
Hey, where is the part about waiting until just before the light turns green to reach over and hit your buddies kill-switch?

Offline midknight

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Re: Re: Group Riding Etiquette *A Must Read*
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2012, 07:50:45 pm »
And running into each others back tire....curt.  :)

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Offline r6boater

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Re: Group Riding Etiquette *A Must Read*
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2012, 07:55:23 pm »
Hey, where is the part about waiting until just before the light turns green to reach over and hit your buddies kill-switch?


For advanced riders, there is the pull the buddy's key and toss it in the storm sewer. >:D

Offline Curtie223

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Re: Group Riding Etiquette *A Must Read*
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2012, 07:59:24 pm »
:lol @ Midknight and Kurt.  I don't remember bumping people back tire  :crap

 2001 KTM 300exc 
 2004 LTZ400



-When you see another rider keep in mind that is another friend you haven't had the chance to meet yet!!
-Riding is about doing what you love! No matter what you ride or how you ride. Just as long as you

Offline tnzeder

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Re: Group Riding Etiquette *A Must Read*
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2012, 08:32:23 pm »
Hey, where is the part about waiting until just before the light turns green to reach over and hit your buddies kill-switch?

:34 hehehehehee I love this one

Offline tnzeder

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Re: Group Riding Etiquette *A Must Read*
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2012, 08:40:31 pm »
 :21 great post Curt, lotta peeps even experienced riders that aren't used to  large groups can be totally lost and I've been on a couple rides where this kind of organization and leadership was nil.  Group riding can be a pain in the arse or easy with a little organization!!!

Offline MikelJay

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Re: Group Riding Etiquette *A Must Read*
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2012, 08:46:57 am »
Good post Curt   :21

Mike

2006 Yamaha Roadstar Silverado

Offline PAULRIDES

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Re: Group Riding Etiquette *A Must Read*
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2012, 10:36:23 pm »
Hey - what happened to my post I sent earlier  ???  I agree and disagree. I will do it again, I will.  ;D

Fits right in with Bump a Tire.  ::)

Great post and worth reading. At least for ideas.

I think it is too complicated and too many rules and too many hand signals. Most riders will not know or remember the rules and new riders sure want. You would need to review before every ride and have a TEST.  :groan

Keep it simple:::

The 1 second staggered is not sufficient. I want the whole lane to manuever for obstacles or to be seen. I am sure not going to sit in the left track on a two lane road meeting cars or on a four lane road with cars passing me to the left side.  Most safety problems are resolved by separation of 2 seconds minimum at lower speeds (40 or less) and straight wide roads. But better at 3 seconds and especially at higher speeds (over 40mph) and narrow rough roads. It for sure needs 3 seconds on a curvy road or a road with reduced visibility for hills or blind corners or on rough roads where one needs to be changing tracks in a lane.

Most safety problems are resolved by separation of 2 seconds minimum at lower speeds (40 mph or less) and reasonably straight. 3 seconds at higher speeds (over 40mph) and especially on narrow, rough, curvy roads.   

Intersections are a problem (OK to side by side at a stop, but take off separetly and when the guy in front has cleared distance for you to know he is gone) It is necessary to maintain the 3 and 2 second spacing as you approach an intersection to go thru or to get that spacing after a stop and taking off from a stop.

EX: The tire bump and close call for me (3 times) has been at intersections.

Two were at a stop and start to go:

On one, the guy behind me did not wait until I had commited to the manuver to leave the stop and turn left (he did not allow me to clear the area in front of him). I stopped because of traffic concerns and was bumped in my rear tire by the guys front tire. He later said he was looking down the road to see if he could follow. The other time was similar, the guy behind me ended up beside me when I stopped and brushed my leg with his engine guard. LESSON is wait until the guy in front has completed his exit from the stop by a second and then quickly get a 2 second spread.

One situation was while approaching Chapman from Wye Road. I was edging down the road approaching Chapman from Wye to go to Sevierville and looking for a merge spot. I finally had to stop and the guy behind me on a Trike was too close (apparently watching the road to see if he could merge instead of staying back and watching me). When I stopped his front wheel came along side me to about mid bike and I heard his tires squeal as he braked (way too close).

Did I do everyhting right on these situations? Possibly not,  but that is another reason you need to stay abck cause the guy in front is not always going to do waht you think he will.

Hand signals are too many and most will not know them. Keep it simple:
Left turn and right turn are well known by most. Stop is also well nown and works for slow as well (waving hand is added and most wil know what that is). Single file and double file is not really needed. Just keep the 3 seconds, that is good for when you need to change from staggered to single (plus as I said - I am not going to ride staggered in traffic or bad road conditions (curves, narrow, rough roads) anyway as I want the whole lane to avoid danger. If you are back three econds you will see and can adjust your own lane position without a signal from the leader otr guy in front of you. 

Just Saying - My Opinion. Most situations that develope problems in groups is riding too close together and 1 second staggered is not good except maybe in a parade at slow speeds or on an exceptionally wide high visibility road. So, just stay at 3 seconds and don't worry about it.   
Ride Country Roads - a lot. :-)

Offline Curtie223

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Re: Re: Group Riding Etiquette *A Must Read*
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2012, 05:49:30 am »
Not sure paul? No one deleted or moved anything. Must have glitched when you tried to post it.

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 2001 KTM 300exc 
 2004 LTZ400



-When you see another rider keep in mind that is another friend you haven't had the chance to meet yet!!
-Riding is about doing what you love! No matter what you ride or how you ride. Just as long as you

Offline Crash

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Re: Group Riding Etiquette *A Must Read*
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2012, 11:12:17 am »
 :21
Crash

Offline PAULRIDES

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Re: Re: Group Riding Etiquette *A Must Read*
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2012, 05:03:53 pm »
Not sure paul? No one deleted or moved anything. Must have glitched when you tried to post it.

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I guess so -- Maybe I did not even click post. I was in a hurry to get moving to something or other while in NC for G-Daugters graduation.

Anyway, these discussions are always good. Never error on the side of hurry up vs safety. It can cause problems. I have done it before myself -- recently ran my NISSAN (wife's primary car) into a dock bumper guard while parking at Music Road Convention Center (a bit in a hurry - just meant to back up and car was in DRIVE when I touched the gas thinking I was going back). Does not back in Drive.  ::)   :groan

One that could have been more serious was when a guy ran into my Scooter muffler doing a pretty good clip when I was stopped beside a car.  I stopped beside the car in a parking lane because the the car was stopped in a traffic lane for no apparent reason. Turned out there were geese in front of him.

I had intended to ease by him in a parking lane cause I did not see why he was stopped, then saw the geese and stopped my self. Next rider (no longer a ride buddy) followed me over there, apparently too close, and when I stopped he did not think he could and tried a swerve. He almost made it - but, his engine guard and highway peg on it caught my bumper.

From there it is a long story regarding agreement to get things squared away and we did not do a police report. When I got concerned that we might not be able to get it fixed reasonably by a friend that does metal and welding work (which I assumed the guy that hit me would pay him), I contacted him and suggested he might want to file a claim. The truth of his character (as I see it) came out. He finally said he thought we had each agreed to fix our own bikes (not hardly after he hit me in rear) and that I said I would not fix anything (In fact, I said I could live with some minor damage, but we needed to get the exhaust pipe straightened and muffler back where it belongs). He also said it was as much my fault as his (what the f___, I am stopped in a parking lane beside a car in the traffic lane, and he comes over there and hits me while I am stopped) He said I was weaving on and off the road and got in his right of way. I could not believe it. >:D

Anyway, no physical body damage, just a $2000 estimate on my bike. I contacted my insurance before trying to get a friend to work on it in case he could not fix it reasonably or if we started work on it and could not fix it. I knew the exhaust pipe and muffler was $800 to $1000.   So, I finally just took the Insurance payment for the estimate and then got it partly fixed (functional with signs of damage) for a lot less.

Why my insurance? Because when I finally decided I had better have them look at it and told them what happened and the denial of the other rider and no police report -- they said it would be his word against mine and not worth the trouble. One could DARN SURE SEE who hit who in the rear end by just looking at the damage pictures -- my stuff was bent up and fwd, his stuff was bent down and back.

Fortunately, neither of us was harmed physically, he nearly lost control and nearly went into a curb when he glanced off of me. But, he got stopped and came back and said exactly what happened - I followed you over there, saw you stop, did not think I could and swerevd. Did not quite make it and my peg and engine guard caught your muffler. 

SO, THAT is another reason I am concerend whern folks get too close to me.  :groan  :groan   
Ride Country Roads - a lot. :-)

Offline Curtie223

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Re: Group Riding Etiquette *A Must Read*
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2012, 09:14:52 pm »
This topic could use a good bump for tour new members and reminders to us others. :)

 2001 KTM 300exc 
 2004 LTZ400



-When you see another rider keep in mind that is another friend you haven't had the chance to meet yet!!
-Riding is about doing what you love! No matter what you ride or how you ride. Just as long as you

Offline MikelJay

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Re: Group Riding Etiquette *A Must Read*
« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2012, 07:37:55 am »
 ;D
Mike

2006 Yamaha Roadstar Silverado

Offline Darkbluexplorer

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Re: Group Riding Etiquette *A Must Read*
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2012, 08:02:18 am »
I move to sticky this! :) good read for all our new people that sign up! ;D

Offline Curtie223

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Re: Re: Group Riding Etiquette *A Must Read*
« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2012, 09:35:08 am »
Good idea

 2001 KTM 300exc 
 2004 LTZ400



-When you see another rider keep in mind that is another friend you haven't had the chance to meet yet!!
-Riding is about doing what you love! No matter what you ride or how you ride. Just as long as you

Offline midknight

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Re: Group Riding Etiquette *A Must Read*
« Reply #20 on: October 25, 2012, 09:45:32 am »
I agree to, so shall it be.  Yay, my first mod action  :31
« Last Edit: October 25, 2012, 09:46:34 am by midknight »