Safety Tip 1 - Group Riding
These are the guidelines by which we will conduct our Group Rides. Make sure you understand them and if in doubt, contact one of the Officers or talk to the Road/Ride Captain before the ride. 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. Always remember that even when riding in a group, You and you alone are responsible for your own safety.
The Road Captain will lead all group rides and the group is expected to follow him/her and watch for his/her directions. A Ride Captain will be designated if the Road Captain is absent or if we ride in split groups.
We will normally ride in a standard Staggered formation (see figure below). In staggered formation, the bikes form two columns, with the leader at the head of the left column, so he/she will be able to view all bikes in the formation in his/her rear view mirrors, and be able to see around vehicles the group approaches. The second bike will head the right column, and will ride approximately 1 second behind the leader (and in the opposite side of the lane). The other riders will position their bikes 2 seconds behind the bike directly in front of them, which puts them 1 second behind the diagonal bike.
This formation allows each rider sufficient safety space, and discourages other vehicles from cutting into the line. The last rider, or Tail Gunner, may ride on whichever side of the lane he prefers. He will have to change sides during the ride, based on the situation at the moment.
The Road/Ride Captain will communicate with the group using Hand Signals. You have to understand the meaning of the hand signals to ride safely and know what is happening. Once initiated by the Road/Ride Captain, every rider will repeat the hand signals until it reaches the end of the group.
The group must obey all traffic signals and obey all traffic laws.
Do not run stop signs unless some special arrangements have been made or the group is under police escort and they are securing the intersections.