There is something about the freedom of motorcycling that stirs a desire in all of us - but we must remember that to enjoy our passion, some basic rules need to be followed.
This is a short guide to Group Ride Etiquette - and while it is not the definitive word on what you should or shouldn't do on a group ride - it should be kept in mind all the same.
SAFETY is paramount. We all need to be mindful that each of us ride differently and have varying levels of skill and experience.
If you are new to Group riding, please let the Ride Leader know BEFORE the ride....
1. ALWAYS RIDE TO YOUR CAPABILITY - do not feel pressured to ride faster or harder than you are comfortable with.
2. DO NOT PASS THE RIDE LEADER. To be considered as riding within the Group, you must be placed between the ride Leader and Tail End Charlie.
3. If road conditions permit, it is encouraged to ride in a staggered formation.
4. The rider BEHIND the Ride Leader sets the formation;. if the formation changes and it is necessary to change sides in the lane (ie; from right hand wheel track to left hand wheel track), do so only when safe. Other riders behind should follow and adjust their formation but only if safe to do so and road conditions permit ie. avoidance of potholes, gravel etc. Always leave a 3-5 second gap between yourself and the bike in front, whether following in staggered formation or single file.
5. When the ride leader comes to a junction or corner, the rider DIRECTLY BEHIND the Ride Leader "Corner Marks". The Ride Leader will indicate with their left hand that the corner should be marked - the rider then pulls over (where safe) and indicates (left or right) so that the following riders know which path to take. The Corner Marker waits for ALL RIDERS to pass and the Tail End Charlie to pull up behind them and give a signal (usually flashing their headlights). When safe to do so, the Corner Marker re-joins the ride with TEC pulling in behind. You are free to safely make your way through the pack and take up any position you like, as long as it is between the Ride Leader and TEC
6. NEVER OVERTAKE ON THE LEFT
When riding in a staggered formation it is sometimes tempting to overtake the bike in front on the left , or underside. Overtaking in the SAME LANE, either on the left or right is extremely dangerous and Logan City Ulysses do not condone this manouver. Overtake only as you would in a car - by crossing the centre line - when it is safe to do so, and abide by the road rules. Always indicate your intentions and check your mirrors.
7. DO NOT TAILGATE. Leave a gap of 3-5 seconds between you and the bike in front and stay alert. Take notice of brake lights ahead. Leave enough distance to safely stop if necessary.
8. YOU MAY WANT TO TRY AND KEEP THE BIKE BEHIND YOU IN YOUR MIRRORS. This may not always be possible on twisty roads but try not to hold up the ride slowing down to compensate for slower riders.. TEC will gather them up.
9.STAYING IN THE SAME PLACE WITHIN THE GROUP is a much safer option than overtaking everyone in front of you. Usually the slower riders begin (and remain) towards the rear of the ride group.
10. FULL TANK - EMPTY BLADDER. Please make sure you have BOTH before you begin the ride. Pay attention at the ride briefing and ask where the fuel /comfort stops are likely to be if unsure you'll make the distance. However, remember to stay hydrated.
It's not easy to keep a head count of riders., so if you think someone is missing, ask if they have left the ride or stopped...LOOK OUT FOR YOUR MATES
Always be on the lookout for the unexpected - dogs, kangaroos, wandering cattle, pot holes, distracted car drivers etc.
Follow these rules of Ride Etiquette and we will all have many enjoyable and safe rides together.
Check out the Sixth Sense video below on Group riding techniques and further details on Corner Marking, Tail End Charlie responsibilities ( which I would encourage every rider to do at least once) and our re-grouping procedure.
Group Riding Tips from Mick Doohan
For more Sixth Sense videos, please use the button in the Ride Etiquette section or go to our Links & Videos page.
The Ride Leader indicates to the bike directly behind them by pointing to the side of the road, where they should pull over (safely) and indicate the turn (left or right) to all following riders, This person is known as the "Corner Marker".
The corner Marker is to remain in position until the Tail End Charlie arrives.
TAIL END CHARLIE
The job of Tail End Charlie is to look out for stragglers or break-downs and to make sure no-one gets left behind or has an accident without being noticed.
The TEC will usually be wearing a Hi-Viz vest .
This helps the Corner Marker identify TEC and allows them to prepare to re-join the group.
As the last rider in the group, The TEC approaches slowly and/or pulls up behind the Corner Marker and flashes his/her lights to advise the CM that all riders in the group have now gone past. The corner marker now re-joins the group and the TEC pulls in behind until the next corner marker is encountered.
(Image is not an indication of how we ride)
From time to time it is necessary for the
Ride Leader to pull over at a safe place and wait for the riders to re-group. As it is sometimes difficult for the Ride Leader to see every rider in their rear view mirror, the procedure is for all bikes to pull in behind the ride leader on the shoulder.
The TEC, when he/she arrives, then pulls up next to (if safe) or in front of the ride Leader and indicates that all riders have now re-grouped.
The Ride Leader then moves off with the group following, and TEC pulls out after all the riders have gone and assumes his/her position at the Tail End. (last bike in the group)