Riding In A Group

SAFETY WHEN RIDING AS A GROUP

INFORMATION FOR WIDOWS SONS ORGANISED RIDE OUTS

Motorcycle riding gives you an exhilarating feeling of being in the open air while feeling the wind over your body. While riding alone is sometimes the goal, one of the best experiences you can have on a motorcycle is to ride in a group of close friends or family. Together you can enjoy the scenery from the open road and arrive safely to your destination with a few suggested guidelines.

STAGGERED RIDING
During the ride, the group will encounter straight sections of road and curvy sections. In the straight section, the lead rider should take a position in the right third of the riding lane. This will give them the best ability to see around traffic ahead of the group and to monitor oncoming traffic or debris in the road ahead. The next or second rider will ride approximately one second behind the leader and in the left third of the lane. The third rider continues the trend riding in the right third of the lane one second behind the second rider and two seconds behind the leader. The riders behind that continue the pattern until the group is complete and staggered accordingly.

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In a curvy section of road, each member should ride in a single-file line approximately two seconds apart. The spacing and lane position can be adjusted accordingly for safety, but this should give each member time to adjust to any other traffic and changing conditions. One thing to note is that riding side by side should never be done as it doesn’t allow either rider the option to move carefully within the lane to avoid other traffic or road debris. There will be too much opportunity for the riders to contact each other. In conditions with limited visibility or other constraints, consider which of the formations (staggered or single-file) will provide the safest condition for the riders and choose it accordingly.

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PASS VEHICLES SAFELY (OVERTAKING)
There will come a time when the need to pass a vehicle traveling in the lane in front of them. In order to safely pass the vehicle, do so one motorcycle at a time. Obviously, the leader will go first, but each rider successive will need to position themselves in the left third of the lane prior to starting the overtaking manoeuvre. Riders behind the one making the pass will need to adjust their lane position to keep a proper following distance and in the correct pattern in case the passing opportunity dries up.

If a portion of the group is only able to make the pass, the remaining riders need to adjust their position to assume the correct riding pattern until the next passing opportunity presents itself. As each member passes the vehicle in question, they do need to keep their speed up and allow a gap to form behind them and the vehicle they passed. This gap is necessary for the next rider to safely pass and re-join the lane with a safe distance to the vehicle.

THE 2 MAN DROP OFF SYSTEM
The system is a method for ensuring that all turns are marked so everyone gets where the group is going, even if they don’t know the way. The system allows everyone to ride within their own abilities with no pressure to play ‘Catch Up’. Riders don’t need to keep the rider ahead in view, don’t need to go through red traffic lights, and don’t need to exceed speed limits as there will always be someone waiting to point the way.

The system requires a Leader, a Tail Ender or Tyler and Riders:
The Leader: Is the rider out in front. He/ she will be familiar with the route, and follow it as closely as possible.

The Tail Ender or Tyler: this rider stays at the back of the group throughout the ride and is also familiar with the route. He/ she should be readily distinguishable from the rest of the group.

The Riders: Everyone Else
Once the ride sets off, everyone follows the Leader. The basic rule is that the route is ‘straight ahead’ at roundabouts and junctions. If at any point the route deviates from straight ahead, i.e. a turn off or uncertainty at a roundabout or the group has split up for whatever reason, the rider immediately behind the Leader stops to mark the way at the junction in a place prominent to the following riders. This must be a safe place which does not confuse or inconvenience other road users. The choice of position will usually be guided by the Leader who will be experienced in choosing suitable places.

Once stopped, the second man waits until everyone except the Tail Ender passes him before setting off. If road and traffic conditions permit, the second man should re-join the group in front of the Tail Ender. If not, the second man allows the Tail Ender to pass safely before setting off; he/ she then catches up with and overtakes the Tail Ender to reform the group.

GENERAL NOTES FOR SAFER RIDING
When traveling on the open road, everyone must ride for themselves, i.e. each rider is responsible for his/her own safety. Always take the line you choose, allow sufficient stopping distance, and keep to the speed limits.
Do not feel pressured to go faster by a rider behind you. Do not ride above your ability/ limits to try and keep up: you will not get lost as there will be a rider waiting for you at the next turning point.
When traveling in built-up areas and waiting at junctions or traffic lights, for example, riders should close up two abreast. This takes up less space on the road and allows for more bikes to cross the junction(s) when the opportunity allows.
If the group becomes very spread out or separated, there may be short stops to allow it to reform. Such stops may not be coffee stops – if the Leader’s helmet is still on, it’s only a re-grouping stop.
If you need to overtake within the group, then that is okay but do it in a manner that is safe, lawful and considerate for other members of the group and other road users.
If any of the Riders decides to drop off the back of the group (behind the tail ender),
they must tell the Tail Ender or Tyler who then still knows how many riders are in the group.
Remember!!!
You must always be able to stop in the distance you can see to be clear.

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