Group Riding 

There are many positives to traveling in a group.  Preventing problems with other traffic, and support from the group if a problem arises are just a few. 

We break large groups into individual �Groups of Five� formations, i.e. staggered with each rider, maintaining a 2 second interval between their motorcycle and the one directly in front.  (See illustration). It is just as important to maintain a minimum as to maintain a maximum distance.  Abiding to guide lines will help each rider know what to expect from the other riders, and where riders are expect them to be. 

The spacing between Groups is approximately mile or 15 seconds apart. This gives cars that are invariably on �the wrong side� a large enough place to pass.  Likewise proper spacing in a Group will suggest to a car to move to this gap before passing through. 

Each Group of motorcycles ride with the 1st, 3rd   and 5th riders in the left tire track of the lane, and the 2nd and 5th in the right tire track. Trikes should try to accomplish this to the best of their ability. The 1st position is the Leader and the last position is the Drag, the above mentioned 2 second interval between 1 3 & 5 in the left track, and between 2 & 4 in the right track.  This effectively gives 1 second between bikes, but because of the stagger the gap is 2 seconds in each track. This spacing gives other drivers an impression of the Group being a unit. This is very important in multilane environments, helping to dissuade others from cutting into the group. 

Each Group should ride a reasonable speed taking into account the skill level of the group, and the traffic conditions.  

The proper procedure for stopping at a traffic light is side by side. When you start again return to the properly spaced, staggered formation. A rider should never risk an accident by running a red light to stay with the group. If one or more of the group is separated, the group leader is responsible for slowing the pace and/or pulling to the side (out of traffic) to allow the other members to catch up. 

It is a very important safety aspect of group riding that everyone maintains proper position, proper spacing, and proper speed.  If there is some emergency that requires that one bike leave the group, they should notify the lead rider (flashing the bright lights or sounding a horn if they don�t have a CB), and the entire Group will stop. The Drag will be on the look out for riders who have a problem, but can not signal. 

While a staggered formation is best for most roads, some situations call for single file. These include, but are not limited to, a wide load approaching or a very curvy road.  An ideal situation would be for all to have a CB, but a minimum recommendation is to have both lead and drag utilizing CB�s. 

Lane changes are accomplished when the Leader asks the Drag to secure the other lane. When safe to do so the Drag will move over to the other lane. When the lane is secure up to the front of the group, the Drag will let the Leader know it is a good time to move over. Other bikes in the center positions should wait for the Leader to move. This will enable the drag to have a clear view of the lane ahead of them. This will also enable the Group to move as a unit, reinforcing to the other traffic they are in fact a Group. It is up to each rider as to whether or not the lane is still safe at the time a lane change initiated by the Leader.  If the lane being moved into is unsafe it is suggested to stay in the original lane until it is safe to proceed.

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TCLOCS Check List -

This form from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation will help you be ready to ride. This form is on the national page or you can just click on the URL to the left. Print this out and check it every time before you ride.


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Motorcycle Safety Foundation Guide to Group Riding

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