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Five Tips for Safe Group Riding

  • Motorcycle-Group-Riding

    The average motorcycle rider travels alone on his or her way to work or down to the store. However, we tend to like traveling in groups on long rides. That's great. Group riding is a great opportunity to enjoy the open road with the best of friends. There is also relative safety in numbers as well. After all, a large group is easier seen than an individual rider is.


    The thing to remember about group riding is that it can be as unsafe as it is safe. In order to help you be as safe as possible, we have put together the top five tips for safe group riding:


    1. Prepare the Riders


    It's great to just climb on your bike and go without any thought to where you are headed. That's okay for individual riders, but it's dangerous for groups. If not every rider knows what to expect, at least at a basic level, your group is risking an accident. Every rider in the group needs to be briefed about where you are going and how you are going to get there.


    Another part of your preparation should be to assign a lead and sweep driver. The entire group will be depending on these riders to keep formation. Both your leader and sweeper should be experienced riders familiar with the intricacies of safe group riding.


    2. Work out Hand Signals


    Hand signals are your tools for communicating during a group ride. For example, you can use a simple gesture of the left and/or right foot to warn riders behind you of a pothole or other hazard. It is a lot safer than simply veering out of the way and hoping those behind you can react quickly enough.


    The specific hand signals you use are entirely up to your group. However, some of the more common include signals for road hazards, lane changes, fuel stops, and lead changes.


    3. Ride in Formation


    Riding in formation might be the most important thing you do as a group. As much as you might enjoy riding side-by-side, doing so is dangerous. Your formation should stagger the bikes so that alternate riders are on opposite sides of the lane at one-second intervals. This will leave two seconds between each biker on the same side.


    4. Moderate Your Speed


    Group riding is always an invitation for some in the pack to be separated from the others. Lead riders should moderate their speeds based on the amount of cumulative experience in the group. Moreover, if some do fall back, those in front should slow down to allow them to catch up. You will be using your mirrors a lot in group riding.


    5. Formulate Emergency Procedures


    There is always the potential for an emergency when you're riding. As with anything else, coming up with a preparedness plan before you start is a wise idea. Determine what you'll do if you lose a rider or two in traffic; establish procedures for dealing with a medical emergency; give everyone a job to do in the event of accident. The better prepared you are for emergencies, the better your response will be should something go wrong.


    With these five safety tips in hand, you're all set to enjoy your next group ride. Be safe, have fun, and enjoy one another's company. Group riding is the best way to experience what it means to be a biker.


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    Five Tips for Safe Group Riding