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Old 06-21-2008, 11:20 PM   #1
maxgs
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Group Ride Rules and Expectations Discussion

Folks,
I've been on a few group rides over the past six months and while admittedly I'm still a noob, I've observed some great things happening each and every time I go out. Prior to the start of the ride, I've listened to group ride leaders talk through the rules and expectations for the ride. Each ride leader seems to have their own mental check list of the things they review; it varies from leader to leader and sometimes from ride to ride. I've found these rules to be so valuable that I decided to write them down in hopes that we can better and more consistently set expectations and rules both when rides are organized and at the beginning of each ride.

It would be tremendously valuable to have forum members review this list and add, subtract or clarify these rules based on their personal experience. If you have the time, please take a look. We can all benefit from each others experience and wisdom. I will consolidate and redistribute the edits and recommendations.

Group Ride Rules and Expectations

1. Each rider must have helmet, jacket, gloves. Boots are highly recommended. Riders without the appropriate gear will be asked to ride on their own.

2. Everybody must ride within their own limits. If you get scared, nervous, or anxious while riding, you are going too fast and you are a hazard to yourself as well as those around you. Slow down before you go down or hurt a fellow rider.

3. Group rides are not a motorcycle rider training tool. Each rider is personally responsible for their own actions.

4. Throughout the ride, there is no passing on the right nor is passing permitted in turns.

5. Riders will ride in staggered formation on highways & main streets and single file in the back country and around curves & bends.

6. In the backcountry as well as curves and bends, riders will open gaps to at least 2 seconds to the motorcycle in front of them.

7. Running wide or out of your lane is a safety hazard for you and the riders around you. This is a clear indication that you are riding beyond your capabilities. Slow down before you go down or hurt a fellow rider.

8. Dragging pegs, exhaust, or any other portion of the bike is a safety issue for you and those around you. Donít do it.

9. Every ride will have at least one designated leader and designated sweeper. Sweepers have responsibility to ensure all riders stay together and remain accounted for throughout the ride.

10. Leaders will commonly display hand signals throughout the ride. They may include standard hand signals for left and right hand turns, per DOT regulations; a raised fist for "stop"; a hand extended down or patting down for "slow down"; tapping the top of your helmet for a police car sighting; and pointing with hand or foot at dangerous rode debris.

11. It is customary to repeat hand signals you see in order to pass information to the riders behind you.

12. While stunting and wheelies are strongly discouraged due to your safety and the safety of your fellow riders, if you must, all stunts are to be performed exclusively in the leftmost lane on multilane roads or oncoming traffic lane on two lane roads.

13. All rides will have a "no man left behind" policy, meaning the group will never leave a rider behind or stranded. The designated sweeper will confirm that all riders are accounted for with the leader at each stop.

14. Riders who are new to their bike, have less than 6 months sport bike riding experience, or are new to the route will be ask to ride together as the UAC (Up and Coming) group. The UAC group will be assigned an experienced leader and sweeper.

15. It is not unusual for a large group ride to have at least one bike related incident. Ensure that incident does not involve you.

16. Riding two up is discouraged.

17. Riders will top off their gas tanks before kick-stands-up. The group will not stop for gas stations except for the designated rest stop areas.

18. Riders will check tire pressures and tire condition before they get to the meeting place. If you need tire pressure advice, ask beforehand.

19. And, again, a reminder: everybody must ride within their own limits. If you get scared, nervous, or anxious while riding, you are going too fast and you are a hazard to yourself as well as those around you. Slow down before you go down or hurt a fellow rider.


Please post your additions, edits, and recommendations. Thanks!

-Curt

Last edited by maxgs; 06-21-2008 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:26 PM   #2
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I think some of the hand signals should be discussed. There was a ride where my hand signs for potential leo ahead, and turn around were the same as another's signs for hi beam and slow down.
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:26 PM   #3
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I'm going on a ride tomorrow i tried to read my psi. recomd. but can't make out what it say's . I have a pilot power 2ct front and a pilot power road in the back . I have 30 in the back tire and 35 in the front right now. Is that ok ?
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:27 PM   #4
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what size is the back?
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:29 PM   #5
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I am 100% on board. GREAT job Curt!!!!! It looks like you covered most of it. I appreciate you comming along and value your opinion as I think most folks do...or SHOULD if they dont.

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Old 06-21-2008, 11:29 PM   #6
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Last edited by ANTISOCIAL; 06-21-2008 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:31 PM   #7
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If we can keep this thread clear of off topic questions and discussions, it would be most appreciated. Thanks folks.

-Curt
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:37 PM   #8
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35-36 front and rear is a good start for street tires.

One gripe I have is for the ride organizer to specify the ride pace, and STICK to it.

I've been on one too many rides where the original post was moderate to "ocassionally" spirited, where we pulled out on the hwy and set it on 100.

I brought the wife out to one mild to moderate ride, and the same thing happened. I know we all like to ride fast, but it is up to the ride leader to keep to the pace specified....

Another thing I like to do is specify a speed limit for the ride... such as we won't go over 100 for any reason.

Again, the leader who set up the ride is stuck with laying down the rules and staying with them.. and the same for those who sign up. Don't sign up for a relaxed ride and expect 1XX speeds.

A couple others... if you feel like someone behind is pressuring you to ride over your comfort level, pull to the right on a straight and wave them around.

Another hard fast rule is when the group stops for fuel, EVERYONE tops off; regardless of how much you have.. you never know when the next stop will be.

Leaders and sweepers should exchange cell numbers

Keep groups to 10 or less, or split into 2 groups.
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bignmz04 View Post
I think some of the hand signals should be discussed. There was a ride where my hand signs for potential leo ahead, and turn around were the same as another's signs for hi beam and slow down.
Basic hand signals should be discussed in the pre-ride meeting..

pat the helmet means LEO ahead

hand or foot pointing to ground means debris ahead

hand out, palm flat, patting ground means slow down

pointing at tank means gas needed

also, try not to roll out of the throttle, tap the brake a bit, to warn those behind



also, go over this thread beforehand

http://www.motohouston.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=22195
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Last edited by texlurch; 06-21-2008 at 11:44 PM.
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:45 PM   #10
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Ahh...just thought of something that kind of bothers me....

If you are passing a car, and the group falls in behind you to pass, stay on the throttle after you pass so that the entire group has room to pass as well. I have, personally, been 4 or 5 back and fall in to pass and as soon as the fist guy gets around the car, they reduce speed and give the guys in the back no where to get back in the right lane.
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texlurch View Post
I've been on one too many rides where the original post was moderate to "ocassionally" spirited, where we pulled out on the hwy and set it on 100.

I brought the wife out to one mild to moderate ride, and the same thing happened. I know we all like to ride fast, but it is up to the ride leader to keep to the pace specified....

Keep groups to 10 or less, or split into 2 groups.
Some great recommendations, thank you. Your points regarding speed limits, pace, and moderate vs. spirited rides all point to the disparity in either rider experience or desire to ride in a spirited manner versus a more relaxed pace.

I'm not an advocate of advertising "spirited" rides or speed limits in excess of posted speeeds due to the potential legal issues. I've tried to address that point with the UAC (Up And Coming) sub group in the rides. I have seen quite a few very experienced riders who want to ride in a relaxed fashion as well as those new to riding, new to their bikes, or new to the route. It would be nice to give these folks an opportunity to ride with like minded individuals within a larger ride as opposed to being excluded from specific rides.
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:46 PM   #12
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Excellent post. I only disagree with #12. Stunting should be prohibited altogether, imho.

Regarding hand signals, the "Stop" procedure is to extend your hand down at an approx 45 degree angle, , with palm facing rearward.
Stop
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdill35 View Post
Ahh...just thought of something that kind of bothers me....

If you are passing a car, and the group falls in behind you to pass, stay on the throttle after you pass so that the entire group has room to pass as well. I have, personally, been 4 or 5 back and fall in to pass and as soon as the fist guy gets around the car, they reduce speed and give the guys in the back no where to get back in the right lane.

yes. And the leader should refrain from passing in no passing areas, over hills, etc.
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texlurch View Post

also, go over this thread beforehand

http://www.motohouston.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=22195
Thanks for the link. I did a search, but it did not go back that far!

-Curt
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:49 PM   #15
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Here's the link for Group Riding hand Signals: http://www.ridemyown.com/articles/sa...dsignals.shtml

I particularly like this one
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:50 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlipSideUp View Post
Excellent post. I only disagree with #12. Stunting should be prohibited altogether, imho.

Regarding hand signals, the "Stop" procedure is to extend your hand down at an approx 45 degree angle, , with palm facing rearward.
Stop
Yes, isn't that the legal signal for stop. In practice, I've observed many leaders using a fist on the left hand with the arm out and elbow bent up at 90 degrees.
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:51 PM   #17
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I dont really like the two-up thing being discouraged. I believe if a rider wants to bring a passenger then they should be able to without bein looked down on. I think it is more then ok to ride two up as long as you ride within you and your passengers riding ability. Plus I know alot of girls that would become severely off if they were told to stay home cause they were "discouraged" or "not wanted"
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
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In practice, I've observed many leaders using a fist on the left hand with the arm out and elbow bent up at 90 degrees.
They must be military
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:52 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxgs View Post
I'm not an advocate of advertising "spirited" rides or speed limits in excess of posted speeeds due to the potential legal issues. I've tried to address that point with the UAC (Up And Coming) sub group in the rides. I have seen quite a few very experienced riders who want to ride in a relaxed fashion as well as those new to riding, new to their bikes, or new to the route. It would be nice to give these folks an opportunity to ride with like minded individuals within a larger ride as opposed to being excluded from specific rides.
I find rides with more or less similar riders to be the best and easiest to manage.

One problem with posting public rides is you get people of a wide variety of bikes, and skills.

I've found that if you post up the expected pace, people are more likely to join rides for their skill levels, rather than showing up and then trying to sort whos who. And the old "ride at your own pace" speach works until the first set of curves and Mr. Ego takes over. Much better to set expectations up front IMHO.

Plus, the leaders get tired of waiting, and the ones in the back get frustrated at trying to catch up. Much more enjoyable when everyone is of the same mindset and gets to ride together.

Other thing to remember, group rides are rides, not races. No plastic at the end.
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Old 06-22-2008, 12:43 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlipSideUp View Post
Excellent post. I only disagree with #12. Stunting should be prohibited altogether, imho.

Regarding hand signals, the "Stop" procedure is to extend your hand down at an approx 45 degree angle, , with palm facing rearward.
Stop
I personally don't like this sign.
reason being that is with this and your hand down low, maybe the biker behind u can see it but anyone behind them may not.
When i am in the lead and have to stop rather quickly i like to raise my hand above my head. I think then that it gets everyones attention.
me tho.

Before any of our rides i usually have a little speach about safety and staying off each others , riding their own rides. etc. I figure we are mostly adults and am not one for telling other adults about "rules" to ride.
Question?
do u check on your rides to insure that everyone has a motorcycle license?
Seems like that one would be a big one.
Michael
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