Things to know when riding with a group:

 

Before the Group Leaves...

  • Arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the advertised time and endure you attend the pre-ride briefing.

  • Riders that are unfamiliar with group riding techniques should advise the Road Captain and follow his/her instructions on where to ride with the group.

  • All riders are expected to be ready to depart the ride assembly point with a full tank of fuel, a full stomach, an empty bladder, be appropriately clothed, and prepared to ride for at least one hour before the next stop.

  • A route map and/or route instructions will generally be provided at the beginning of the ride.  If you get separated from the group, make your way to the next stop and rejoin the group.

  • Safety is everyone’s responsibility. Do not consume alcohol or use any drugs or medication that could impair your judgment and ability to ride.

  • Any rider appearing to be impaired or observed using drugs or alcohol during the ride or at stops will be asked to leave the group.

  • Turn off passing lamps. Only your headlight should be on. This helps the Road Captain to spot the Trail rider at the back of the group.

  • Examine your motorcycle for mechanical and load problems prior to leaving the assembly point.

  • Ideally, large riding groups should be split into small groups of 6 to 8, each group led by a Road Captain and followed up by a Trail rider (Gunner). The groups will maintain a reasonable distance apart to allow room for other motorists to pass.

  • Large groups may be a road hazard so riders must be aware of other motorists wishing to enter or exit the roadway and provide space for them to pass through the group.

 

If you have any concerns about the group ride speak to the Road Captains and they will try to address them.

 

 

 

 

Best Practices

These rules are provided for the safety, well-being, and enjoyment of those participating in Tallahassee HOG rides.

 

Group riding requires the full attention of all the participants. Riding in a group does not relieve any of the participants of their responsibility to exercise good judgment and does not place the responsibility for rider personal safety on the Road Captain(s).

 

Riders should know their skill limits, the riding environment, limits of their motorcycle and ride within those limits. 

 

All non-member riders in Tallahassee HOG sponsored group rides will file an Event Waiver, for them and their passenger, if applicable, prior to departure.

 

Inexperienced riders should first ride with their friends and learn the basics of group riding before participation in an organized group ride.

 

A Road Captain will lead the group. Watch for his/her directions and signals. A Trail rider (Gunner) will ride at the rear of the group to assist the lead Road Captain.

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer:

The information compiled here has been provided by members and other sources.  They are offered as a reference only and are not intended to represent the best or only approach to any particular issue.  Riders are responsible for their own safety and Tallahassee H.O.G. assumes no responsibility or liability in connection with the use or misuse of any information.

 
 

While on the Road

  • The group will stop for all traffic signals and obey all traffic laws. Do not speed, run stop signs or violate traffic laws to catch up to the group.

  • Staggered formation is the norm on most roads. Single file formation is normal for twisty roads, Interstate entrance and exit ramps and construction areas. Watch for Road Captain signals.

  • Watch for signals from the Road Captain. Turning, staggered/single file, slowing and hazard signals are to be passed back through the group.

  • Ideally, in staggered formation you should follow the bike directly ahead by 2 seconds and the bike in the other left or right lane position by 1 second. This is not always possible. See Prime Directive above. Be aware of the bikes behind you when the single file signal is given. If all bikes move to single file at once and begin to slow, the stopping distance for everyone is reduced considerably.

  • The entire width of the lane belongs to you or the other riders so do not ride beside another rider. Allow room to swerve in case of an emergency or road hazard.

  • If at any time you feel the riding intensity is beyond your current skill level you should drop out of the group ride. Trying to keep up with the group may be hazardous to you and other riders in the group.

  • Less experienced group riders should ride near the rear of the group. This minimizes the rubber band effect and aids the Road Captain in adjusting the pace of the ride.

  • Less experienced group riders should attempt to ride in the lane position closest to the road centerline. This provides a larger space cushion and better visibility around curves.

  • Only official Police escorts may block intersections.

  • Watch for traffic signal changes and be prepared. Safely bunch up approaching intersections to shorten the group length. Do not run caution or red lights.

  • PRIME DIRECTIVE: Don’t hit the bike in front of you…or any other bike either!

  • Maintain your location within the group and do not pass. If you need to change location in the group wait until the next stop then change your position when the ride starts again.

  • If a staggered riding position becomes vacant the following rider(s)cross over to fill the vacated position.

  • Maintain a constant speed within the group. Do not accelerate past another rider or brake late and pass another rider.

  • Check your riding position by checking the rider’s mirror ahead of you. If you cannot see the rider’s face in their mirror you are too close or too far.

  • When riding single file on twisty roads and in curves look well ahead and don’t focus on the bike in front of you. Use the SLOW, LOOK , LEAN and ROLL technique.

  • CAUTION: Ride single file on entrance and exit ramps to interstate highways. SLOW DOWN, bunch up and select a safe turning speed with a slight throttle roll on. Use the entire merge lane for safety.

  • Accelerate or Depart from Stopped Position Slowly

  • Accelerate over 35 mph   Only   after last bike has departed

  • Talk to riders lagging behind in middle of Group

  • Don’t let Group get spread out, this

    • Causes delays for everyone

    • Is not safe for the Group

    • Causes Group to get separated

  • Traffic Light Activation

    • Three activation lines in pavement

    • Single Rider to stop on middle line

    • Double Riders stop on outside line

 

Lane Changes and Passing

  • Watch for and pass back to Trail rider all turning signals from the Lead Road Captain.

  • When the group changes lanes on a multi-lane highway all riders will maintain their positions within the lane. Trail Road Captain will reposition into the new lane to open a gap for the rest of the group to enter.

  • When passing other vehicles on a two-lane highway no more than one or two bikes should enter the passing lane at any one time. When they have passed and pulled in the next 1 or 2 riders may begin to pass.

  • The Road Captain will increase his/her speed when passing any vehicle to provide room for the following bikes.

  • Return to staggered formation after passing if appropriate.

  • Other vehicles may enter the group for a short period. Respect their right to use the road. They usually leave the group at the first opportunity.

 

Group Separations & Dropping Out

  • If you must leave the group, exit from the side of the group, preferably at a location that does not disturb the other riders. Signal to another rider that you are OK and leaving so they may inform the Road Captain at the next stop.

  • The Trail rider will follow at the back of the group and will stop to help any rider who has to drop out of the group that is having a problem. When the Trail rider stops to help someone, the last rider in the group becomes the Trail rider and will inform the Road Captain at the next stop that riders have been left behind.

  • If the group gets separated at a traffic light/stop the last rider of the forward group becomes the Trail of that group. The lead group will stop or leave a rider to wait for and direct the following group at any intersection where the group makes a turn.

  • If you become the lead of the trailing group and do not know the group ride route, then stop your group at the nearest safe pull off point and get a rider who knows the route to lead the group to the next scheduled stop.

  • The Road Captain may send two riders back to check on the missing riders and/or opt to continue the ride.

  • If your riding partner drops out you may choose to drop out to assist, but it is preferred you continue with the group to the next stop where the Road Captain will be informed of the missing riders.

  • ACCIDENT: If a mishap occurs with a rider in the group the Trail rider will stop to render assistance. Other riders should continue with the group. The group will pull off the road at the first safe place and respond to the incident. Do not create congestion on the roadway in the area of the mishap. USE EXTREME CAUTION.

 

Parking at Stops

 

  • FORMATION PARKING: Watch where the lead Road Captain positions him/herself in the parking area. Slowly ride behind him/her and get on line. After everyone is on-line the group backs into the parking slots.

  • FIRST AVAILABLE PARKING: If the Road Captain pulls into a small parking space that’s your cue to find your own spot to park.

 

Road Signals

 

  • START YOUR ENGINE: Road Captain rotates index finger vertically over head.

  • TURN SIGNALS: Electronic or standard hand/arm signals.

  • STAGGERED FORMATION: Rotating hand with extended index and little fingers overhead.

  • SINGLE FILE FORMATION: Extended index finger of hand overhead pointing up.

  • SPEEDUP: Upward sweeping motion of left hand/arm with palm up.

  • SLOWDOWN: Left hand/arm extended down to side with palm facing backwards.

  • ROAD HAZARD: Safely point to it with left hand. Passengers should look for and point out hazards.

  • LOW FUEL: Point to gas tank.

 

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