Group Ride Out Guide.

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Group Ride Out Guide.

Post by James691 » Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:45 pm

[center]Group Ride Out Guide.[/center]


One of the main reasons that ABR Rallies are such a great success story is the fact that we love few things more than riding our bikes! Holding rally ride outs is something that many of us look forward to and to that end I have put together some options for ride leaders.

We must take into account that we all have our own comfort zones and ability level when riding a bike, some may never have ridden in a group before. Leading a group will have unique challenges that I hope to help address.

Plan Your Ride.

If you have a plan then you have a briefing, this is not storming an Embassy and so just a short chat to your riders to let them know where you will be taking them and about the 2nd Man Drop Off System.

As the Ride Leader I would advise the following.

Print off a route map to show riders.

Have a first aid kit.

Have a mobile phone and the number of your Tail End Charlie.

The 2nd Man Drop Off System.

Ride Leader - At the front of the ride you have, as you would expect, the Ride Leader. The Ride Leader will have the route of the ride out and the contact number of the Tail End Charlie.

Tail End Charlie – Bringing up the rear of the ride is the Tail End Charlie. The TEC should also know the route in case the 2MDO system is broken by a rider. I would advice a reflective yellow bib to help identify yourself to the 2nd Man as well as a double flash of your head lights.

The job of the TEC is to look out for anyone dropping behind or break-downs, also to ensure that no one gets left behind. The TEC is also the look out for any accidents that may happen on the ride out and liaise with Emergency Services.

Riders - Between the RL and the TEC are the riders, various abilities, confidence and experience levels will be in the mix.

The System needs ALL riders to do their part to work.

The Ride Leader rides off at a pace that allows the rider in position 2 to keep up without having to rush or break the speed limit of the road – being in a ride out gives you no legal exemption to the Road Traffic Act -. The rest of the group can stagger at whatever legal speed they feel comfortable with. You can be spread out a good distance and even out of sight of other riders as you will not get lost if the system is followed.

When the Ride Leader comes to a junction, the Rider in position 2 stops by that junction and indicates the direction the Lead Rider has gone.

Rider 2 MUST stay at the junction until flashed by the TEC (Tail End Charlie) and it is the responsibility of each Rider to be able to identify the TEC.

The Ride Leader must slow until he/she has a new position 2 Rider before he/she takes another junction turn.

When the TEC does arrive at the junction the stopped Rider will be flashed and able to move off to join the group, leaving the TEC at the rear of the ride.

At the next junction the new Position 2 Rider drops off and is then waiting to be at the rear of the ride when the TEC comes along and flashes.

The Golden Rules of the Ride.

• ALWAYS drop off if you are Position 2 Rider.

• ONLY go as fast as you feel is comfortable and ALWAYS within the legal speed limits.

• NEVER bug ( ride up the arse end of) the rider in front of you.

• NEVER overtake a Rider without them giving specific signals to do so.

• NEVER panic and try to catch up.

• REMEMBER you will be representing ABR out on the public road.

• NEVER leave the junction until the TEC has arrived.

Safe Riding.

One of the biggest causes of accidents according to RoSPA is from Riders playing ‘follow the leader’ – this is trying to constantly keep up with the rider in front and not leaving enough gap.

These are usually down to riding too close to the vehicle in front, or the vehicle behind you being too close.”

There is no need to do this – The Ride Leader will be looking for Position 2 Rider and slow down if required, riding to Position 2 Riders speed and comfort zone.

If you cannot see a bike in front or a bike behind DO NOT PANIC, slow down, rather than speed up and let the TEC catch you.

This system will keep rotating Riders around, so everyone gets a chance to ride to the speed limits.

Motorway and Dual Carriageway Cavalcade Riding.

Here it does become important to keep the Rider in front in sight as stopping on a motorway hard shoulder to let people catch up or to indicate a turn off is illegal.

The RL should ride approx 10 mph slower than the National Speed Limit in my opinion to allow the group to adjust.

Riding in a staggered formation allows the group to keep closer while still remaining safe, so if the bike ahead of you is to the right, then you would position your bike on the left and so on down the group.

Using this system and combined with the no overtaking rule, you can ride to the bike behind and not only stay in touch but also make your group more visible and therefore safer for all out on the road.

Most Importantly.

Have fun and live to ride another day.

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Re: Group Ride Out Guide.

Post by Paul-S » Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:18 pm

Good reminder - may this could be stickied and referenced for rideouts James, for anyone new and not used to riding

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Re: Group Ride Out Guide.

Post by Dark Knight » Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:44 pm

Very good write up James, just exactly what riders should be doing.

Must admit that I am usually riding in a group of three, so we just put the slowest rider/bike in front using staggered formation and with the rule no overtaking.

As an aside have you ever seen large groups of Harley riders (like 50 riders), they use staggared format but ride very close together, this must require a massive amount of concentration, very impressive, but likely to cause problems if you come across an unexpected obstacle ( like the road blocked with a herd of sheep, we have all been there).

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Re: Group Ride Out Guide.

Post by jonny955 » Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:11 am

Thankjs for the info. The 2MDO seems to be well received by most experienced ride-out groups.

Personally, I don't like riding in big groups. I find I spend more time concentrating on everyone else rather than getting into the ride properly, if you know what I mean. I prefer to ride with friends who have a riding style that I am familiar with but of course it's nice to meet up with others every now and then too. I've also been guilty in the past of going too fast/getting too close when the testosterone begins to drown out the "let's take it nice and easy" discussion at the start of the ride :blush: !

My question on the 2MDO system:

The second man is supposed to stop and mark the junction for the third man. With the right conditions, this can be perfectly safe but let's face it, there are many cases where it is either unsafe or unwise to just stop (and you need to be visible to the rider on the road you have just left, too). I'm thinking of typical sweeping unrestricted biking roads but it applies equally to tricky town riding too. The group is likely to have a mix of abilities, including novice riders and a wide range of confidence.

Is it really a good idea to expect novice riders to do this?

Another way to do this is to 'ride to the guy behind you' to ensure the rider behind can see you make the turn but that requires constant monitoring of your mirrors and means you enjoy the ride even less!


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Re: Group Ride Out Guide.

Post by Redmurty » Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:30 am

I don't really like to ride in "groups" and find the staggered system to be dangerous to other roads users, I was going through Wales in the family car Mrs and kids along for the ride, I had the misfortune to come upon a group of Harley riders in staggered formation. I sat behind them for a while and watched the traffic build up behind me, I indicated and made quite obvious that we wanted to get past as we were going 45mph on the straits. The group just completely ignored the situation, so I started to overtake slotting nicely between the bikes to there obvious displeasure. But what did they expect to hold the world up.
My other dislike of the staggered system it can put you at a disadvantage when reading the road, I much prefer to ride "the system" which can be done exceedingly well as a group and infact looks good from an observers point of view.
The choice of the way the group rides should be down to the organisers in any case, this is just me chipping my meager thoughts cheers Spud ;)
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Re: Group Ride Out Guide.

Post by James691 » Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:46 am

Hi Guys and thanks for the questions.

Group riding is not for everyone and at times I much prefer solo rides. One of the things about the ABR Rally tends to be the ride out. That you are going to be lead around some of the greatest roads in the UK and now overseas too! But of course you don't have to go - you can chill out at your own pace at any ABR's just another option for you.

The staggered formation riding would only be used for motorway type situations and I'd not recommend it for normal A or B road use as there are too many issues that need to be dealt with at slow speed. When riding alone or in a group, you should never ride too close to any vehicle that would not allow you to come to a complete stop if that vehicle 'slammed' on. Also leaving enough room for your own vision and reaction to any obstacle or hazard that may come your way, a child running out after a football, a pothole appearing from under the van in front, a car door being swung open from a near side parked car - the list, as we know, is endless. Always leave room for manoeuvring ;)

The 2MDO system works just fine and even for a novice there should not be an issue, no road travel is without risk of course and it's the reason that insurance cover is mandatory on UK roads.

The reason that there should be no issue being that the lead rider should always be an experienced rider and know his or her road craft. Looking at the immediate, mid and long range development of the ride and seeing a junction that may cause an issue for the 2nd man. The Lead Rider should already be thinking about this and formulating the safest way to do this.

The 'riding to the rear technique places pressure on the rider behind to keep up as well as the pressure on the rider to ensure that the rider behind is there, this in my opinion and that of emergency riders is far more skill and so more likely to be an issue to a novice rider, over where to pull over and wait. The same as your basic test 'when safe to do so, I want you to pull over on the left and stop' .

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Re: Group Ride Out Guide.

Post by PeterT » Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:37 pm

Excellent write up James.

I usually lead with a yellow bib and TEC with an orange one. Easy for others to spot.

I also tend only to lead on roads I know quite well; so I'll know where the safe places are for 2nd man to stop and will indicate them by pointing, so it's clear. Another tip is that , occasionally 2nd man may forget the system or not be sure and neglect to mark the junction. If you are third man and for some reason 2nd man doesn't mark the junction, take the initiative and do it yourself.

To further reassure those who don't feel confident in large groups: If you ride Drop off, everyone can proceed at their own pace and if everyone respects the other members of the group there is no pressure, just support. If you aren't enjoying the pace, drop back, the TEC will give you the time to make your own progress; it's part of the responsibility of a TEC.

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