A motorcycle group ride is a social event all riders to look forward to. While group rides are a blast, there are so many things that can turn wrong and take the fun out of the ride.
If you’re a first-timer, you’re in the right place. Here is a handy list of guidelines and safety rules you should follow when you ride as a group:
It is essential that you DO NOT embark on a ride without adequate safety gear. Minimal safety gear would comprise of
Full face helmet
Riding jacket with armour
Comfortable Riding Gloves, not lose not too tight
Riding pants with armour
Adequate riding shoes with heel and toe support.
Ensure your bike is tanked up and tyre pressure checked.
Hold a pre-ride meeting:
This might seem obvious and probably unimportant if you’ve previously taken to the road together. Yet, each trip has its own turns and of course, its own route. Sharp bends on the route, the rest stops, hand signals, formation..the list goes on. These are some basic areas of concerns that you should address prior to the ride. The pre-ride meeting also lets everyone know who the lead rider is. This person is responsible for organizing the ride, the route and set the pace of the ride too. Let the rider with the most extensive experience take charge!
Bring the essentials:
“Essentials” spans out more than just your cell phone. It means the supplies you’d need if a breakdown occurs. This includes some spare cash (nobody’s heading to the ATM mid-ride), a flashlight, duct tape, tool kit and a first aid kit. Means to stay hydrated. You never know what’s going to happen on the road. So stay prepared!
Communicate with Hand Signals:
In the pre-ride meeting, riders should discuss the hand signals before hitting the road. Hand signals let everyone stay informed and slash off any individual worries.
Decide the Pace:
Gauge the experience level of each rider before you set a high pace. If there are some new riders, keep a moderate pace so the group rides together and no rider is left behind. Being the ride leader means ensuring every rider is feeling comfortable at the riding speed. Lead Rider and Sweep rider need to be experienced and decide the pace. Thumb rule always keep the tail light of the rider in front in view and the headlight of the rider behind in the rear view mirror.
Settle on a formation:
Apart from the pace, one of the main things that set a bike group apart from other travelers on the road is the formation. The most common formation is the “staggered formation”- an evenly spaced zig-zag line between two riders. If the weather is unpredictable or the road is narrow, choose the single file formation for utmost safety.
Know that you might separate:
Despite your best efforts, you might separate from the pack. Do not panic. As a group, in the pre-ride meet, you can set up your trip route on Traeser. On losing pace, you don’t need to feel anxious. You can simply check the location of the group on the map. Ride at your own pace and catch up with the group later at one of the stops that the group has assigned on the app! Easy, isn’t it?
Most of all, have fun and enjoy the ride. While group riding is a learning experience for every rider, it’s fun too. You get the opportunity to see and learn every individual’s riding style and at the end, the destination is just the cherry on top.