Rider's Job: Preparing for a Group Ride

Riders are expected to arrive on time at the departure point with a full tank of gas, in proper attire for the conditions, and physically ready to ride (potty stop made, medications packed if needed, sober and alert). Motorcycle endorsements and insurance should be up to date, and the bike should be in street-legal condition. The Road Captain may ask a rider not to join a group ride if these basic conditions are not met (for example, if a rider is drunk or a bike is mechanically unfit to ride).

If a rider brings a co-rider (a passenger) for a group ride, he or she is expected to manage and attend to that passenger's needs personally, before the riders' meeting. The following guidelines are suggested for preparing a co-rider for a group ride:

Do not permit a co-rider to mount the motorcycle until all riding gear is on and fastened securely (beware of outside pockets!). The co-rider should not mount until the rider is seated and holding the motorcycle vertically, and then not until the rider nods that he or she is ready for the co-rider to get on. The co-rider should avoid contact with hot exhaust pipes, wiggling out of position once seated, and shouting or making sudden movements of the upper body during the ride. The passenger's feet should remain on the pegs or floorboards designed for them at all times, until disembarking.

A co-rider needs to know generally what he or she should and should not expect in terms of comfort and safety considerations. If the co-rider wishes to communicate with the rider, the rider should explain how to do this: by thumping on the rider's head? Intercom? Shouting in the rider's ear? Will the co-rider be responsible for copying hand signals given by the rider to others in the group?

Suggested jobs for the co-rider during the ride: Watch out in traffic for anything that may detract from a safe ride: two pairs of eyes are better than one. Do not assist the rider by leaning in turns, but look over the rider's inside shoulder on curves. Wave at all other bikers, children, anyone who shows interest in the riders, and law enforcement officers on their feet. And -- smile!

In group riding, if the rider (with or without a co-rider) wishes to slow down or stop during the ride, for any reason whatsoever, he or she may drop out of the ride. If at any time a co-rider becomes uncomfortable during the ride and wants the rider to slow down or stop, for any reason whatsoever, the rider should be prepared to do so as quickly and as safely as possible. It is courteous to notify or signal to the other riders in the group before doing this unless it is not convenient or possible to do so. Unless the Drag Bike clearly understands the reason for a rider's decision to drop out, normally the Drag Bike will notify the Lead Bike of a problem and will stop with the rider who is stopping, to render aid if needed, or to determine his intentions about rejoining the group ride.