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Info - Safety - MAP Reports

Riding with your Buds, Posse or MC

One of the benefits of having a motorcycle is meeting up with your buds, posse or club for a nice group ride. However, just as riding solo has risks, group riding also has risks. Covering too much road, mixing riders of various skill levels, and general chaos from poor planning were just a few of the group-riding concerns bikers may have.

Obviously, some helpful safety tips can help decrease the unpredictability of what can be a fun and stress-relieving experience.

Have a pre ride meeting before you ride. This helps to get together with all your riders beforehand to talk strategy of where you'll stop, how long you'll ride, where to go if you get lost, etc. Believe it or not, it'll be easier to sort out concerns in a quiet room than over the crackle of the throttle. Discuss any safety issues or plans- in case of an accident. It also means discussing who has a first-aid kit, bike tools, and other necessities.

Come prepared- This includes simple things that everyone should do, like arriving on time with a full tank of gas and bringing a cell phone with updated emergency contacts and of course cash. Don’t forget your med kit or Trauma pack and tools

Keep your least experienced rider in mind- Not sure how far to ride? How fast? How often to take a break? The answer is always to figure out what your least-experienced rider is capable of and comfortable with and use that as your pace. Next up, choose a rider to lead (the one in front) and a sweep rider (the one in back). The lead rider is in charge of telling the group what's coming, be it a traffic jam, rainstorm, or stampeding horse. The least experienced of your bunch should be behind the leader, letting the experienced rider’s line up behind them and assist in setting the pace. The sweep rider sets the pace for the group. An experienced rider with first aid training and Accident Scene Management is recommended for sweep. All riders should be reminded of proper hand signals.

Don't be a dick- In group motorcycling, there's no room for showboats or renegades despite how badass you think you may be. Avoid competitions, tailgating, or passing other riders to show off. Stagger your riding formation- One of the toughest parts of group riding is perfecting the formation. That's because while you want to keep your group relatively tight, you also want to maintain a space with all of the riders in the group. The best way is to stagger. The leader rides on the left side of the lane, the second rider stays one second back and on the right side. The third rider stays one second behind the second rider and on the left side, and so on. If you prefer one side over the other, request it at the pre ride meeting before the group leaves.

You don't want to ride side-by-side since this will limit your maneuvering space if you need to swerve quickly. Always have an out. Keep in mind that you may want to go single-file on very curvy or deteriorated roads, when entering the highway, when turning at intersections, or in bad weather. There is something so beautiful of seeing a group in perfect formation. Pass in formation- When it comes to passing other vehicles on the highway, group members should do so one at a time and then return to their spot in formation. So the leader would pass and return to the left side of the lane, then the next rider would pass and return to the right side, and so on.

Take plenty of breaks- If all these group riding rules seem a bit exhausting, that's because they are. In order to keep your concentration and energy and avoid taking the fun out of the experience, take frequent rests and stay hydrated. When the group stops for gas, top off. Post Ride meeting- after the ride, discuss what went well and opportunities for improvement.

Until Next time - Have fun and Ride Safe

Teresa “Trauma Mama” McClelland
A.B.A.T.E of Arizona State Safety Officer