Owning a motorcycle is a way of life, so many bikers participate in group riding. Whether you're riding with a group of friends, doing a cross-country road trip, or taking part in an organized motorcycle rally, there are several things to keep in mind when riding in a group.
Tips for Group Riding
- Arrive prepared. Make sure you have a full tank of gas and that your bike is running smoothly.
- Before setting out, hold a meeting where you discuss the route, rest and fuel stops, hand signals, and what to do in case of an emergency or if someone is separated from the group. That way everyone is on the same page before you even begin your ride.
- Assign lead and tail riders who are experienced and knowledgeable in group riding. They are better equipped to deal with a sudden change of plans and can adapt more easily than less experienced group riders.
- The group should have five to seven riders. More can make group riding harder, or even more dangerous. If you have a large group, you can break the riders up into smaller sub-groups, each with its own lead and tail rider.
- Be prepared for anything. At least one rider in each group or sub-group should pack a cell phone, first-aid kit, and full tool kit.
- There is a specific formation for group riding, which is designed to allow riders enough time to maneuver and react to hazards. The leader rides in the left-third of the lane. The next rider stays at least one second behind in the right-third of the lane. The rest of the group follows the same pattern, following in a single-file formation when on a curvy road or in situations where you may need more space or room to maneuver your bike. When riding single-file, you should increase the distance between you and the next rider to three-to-five seconds.
- Do not ride side-by-side. Doing so reduces the space cushion and can be very dangerous.
- Check your rear-view mirror from time to time to make sure riders are still following you and haven't encountered any problems.
- If you're separated from the group, don't panic. Your group should have a plan in place to regroup. Whatever you do, don't break the law or ride dangerously to catch up.
Group Riding Hand Signals
Take a look at these group riding hand signals and safety video recognized by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. They will help you communicate with other riders in your group.
Have a Safe Group Riding Season
Knowing these group riding hand signals and tips for riding in groups can help you have a happy and healthy riding season. For more motorcycle safety guidelines, you can visit my law firm's website at EdgarSnyder.com.
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