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Rules of the Road: Basic Group Riding Etiquette

Riding in a group is a great way to experience a new place while enjoying the camaraderie other like-minded motorcyclists. When done improperly, however, it poses special risks. Here are eight suggestions for mitigating those risks and enjoying your upcoming tour!

Plan the Ride/Ride the Plan Our tours are well organized, with designated fuel and lunch stops. During a pre-ride meeting, we’ll discuss route conditions, riding formation, hand signals, and speed. It’s important that everyone understands and sticks to the plan, unless an unforeseen event requires deviation.

Designate an Experienced Ride Leader The ride leader sets an appropriate steady pace for the groups’ skill level, has an in-depth knowledge of the planned route and stops, makes sure a proper formation is maintained, and curbs any inappropriate/unsafe riding behavior. Blue Rim Tours’ local motorcycle guides are experienced leaders with the right touch for a memorable trip.

Designate an Experienced Sweep Rider The sweep rider is responsible for monitoring the group from the rear. Most of our tours include a sweeper on a motorcycle. This also makes it easy to make two groups if necessary.

Arrive Ready to Ride We’ll take care of the technicalities: tools, first aid kits, etc. You just need to arrive with an empty bladder, appropriate riding apparel, your cell phone, and a positive attitude!

Ride Your Own Ride Always stay within your skill level and comfort zone. If you need to drop back, alert the sweep rider.

Use Established Hand Signals or Comm Systems to Communicate The Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s recommended hand signals can be found online. These are generally initiated by the ride leader and passed along by each succeeding rider.

Be Courteous When Passing Other Motorists First check your mirror if you’re not being overtaken. Signal when changing lanes to pass another vehicle, don’t dart directly in front of the vehicle passed, and be sure to maintain your pace after passing. When a motorist pulls over to let you go by, it’s nice to show appreciation by waving.

Don’t Become Fixated on the Bike in Front of You Always look through curves and down the road for potential hazards.

Don’t’ Forget about the Bike Behind You Regularly check your rearview mirrors. If the bike behind you isn’t visible, slow down until you see it again or reverse course to find out what happened. This will work its way up to the ride leader.

Before registering for a Blue Rim Tour, it’s important to note the skill level required. Whether you’re a new or seasoned group rider, take some time to reflect on these considerations before the tour takes place. It’ll ensure a smoother and enjoyable ride for everyone!

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