Motorcyclists have a passion for riding, and it’s a passion that no one fully understands unless they’re a rider, too. The camaraderie and commonalities between motorcycle riders makes riding together a natural thing. Riding with a group, however, isn’t as easy as just taking off together and going. There are safety tips that you must be aware of in order to make sure the group ride is fun and safe for everyone involved.
Plan the Ride
Everyone who is going to be a part of the group must meet together and discuss the ride. You will decide on a specific route, and you’ll plan fuel and rest stops. You should discuss things like hand signals, formation, and what to do if someone gets separated or there is an emergency. Everyone should be aware of the plan, and there should be no more than seven riders.
Have a Leader and Chaser
The leader of the pack must be a rider that’s comfortable with leading. The leader is responsible for setting the pace and communicating with the other riders. It will not be hard to keep up or stay with a good leader. A chase rider must be an experienced rider who is last in formation. This person will look out for the riders in front of them, and they should be able to handle emergency situations and react if there is an accident or a fall.
Ride in Formation
During a group ride, you should never ride side-by-side. Riding next to another motorcyclist is dangerous, especially because it limits the amount of space each of you have to maneuver and turn, and you’ll be more likely to collide in an accident. The leader should ride on the left of the lane; the next rider should be one second behind on the right, and the pattern should repeat.
Be Confident and Prepared
Riding with a group is much different than riding alone. Even if you’re an experienced rider, you will need to become accustomed to group riding before you really get the hang of it. Because group riding can be challenging enough in itself, don’t join a group if you’re not confident in your riding skills. Prepare by making sure your bike is in good condition, and make sure that you have full fluids so you won’t run out of gas before anyone else does.
Join the Right Group
There are so many different motorcycle groups, and all of them have different personalities and styles within their riders. You should join a group of people that are experienced and committed to safety. Do not ride with a group that’s more “wild,” such as with fast and dangerous driving. If you’re not comfortable with the way the group is riding, then you should leave it, even if you have to separate yourself from the group in the middle of the ride.
If you love the experience of motorcycle riding, then don’t hesitate to consider group riding as another activity. Just remember that in a group, safety is paramount.
Jessica Brown is a mother of two and works with Nissan auto for a living. She enjoys taking joyrides on motorcycles and blogging about road safety.