Berkshire Hills H.O.G. Group Riding & Safety
The following tips are being offered to allow riders of the techniques that help groups of motorcycles to stay together, ride safely, and enjoy the trip. Some of these tips may already be part of your every day riding habits, but some may be new to you and will certainly make any group ride more enjoyable.
1.) All participants are to arrive ON TIME and be ready to ride, including a FULL TANK OF GAS, potty stop, and a motorcycle maintained, to avoid any problems.
2.) The ROAD CAPTAIN is responsible for speed, lane changes, gas, food stops, and potty breaks. The Road Captain should be aware of the group he or she is leading and schedule accordingly.
3.) THE MAXIMUM SPEED OF ANY EVENT WILL BE TO KEEP UP WITH THE FLOW OF TRAFFIC, OR AS POSTED BY LAW!
4.) Normal group formation for the Berkshire Hills Harley Owners Group will be staggered, as it allows for a greater safety cushion between riders at all times. Normal space between you and the rider in front of you will be between 2 to 3 seconds by count. At intersections, slowly come together side by side to conserve room, then when moving on spread back to staggered formation.
5.) Ride in staggered formation to allow plenty of maneuvering room for all riders. Always stay in line with the bike in front of you, and do not switch between the left and right side of the lane, no matter where the bike next to you may wander. If you are not experienced in riding with a group, please advise the Road Captain.
6.) On mountains, curves and narrow or bad roads ride in single-file formation when signaled by the Road Captain (index finger pointing upward) to allow plenty of maneuvering space until reaching a straight away, or until a staggered signal (two fingers) is given by the Road Captain.
7.) No racing past or switching positions. Stay in your starting positions unless signaled to change. If someone leaves the group and a spot opens up in front of you do not change the lane you are in. If you are on the inside, stay on the inside. If you are on the outside, stay on the outside. When safe, single the rider behind you in the opposite lane to move up past you to fill in the gap. NO CLOWNING AROUND. Remember, there are newer riders, and we ride for fun, and don't want anyone to get hurt.
8.) Obey all signals of the ROAD CAPTAIN - he is your road boss. Always signal to the rider behind you by the use of hand signals from the person in front of you so that the information can be passed along. THIS IS IMPORTANT NOT ONLY FOR STOP AND TURN SIGNALS, BUT ESPECIALLY FOR ROAD HAZARDS THAT MUST BE AVOIDED. The first rider to spot a road hazard should identify it to those riding with you, and pass the signal along.
9.) Remember the "BUDDY SYSTEM" - If your riding partner has problems or needs to pull over, pull over with him, or signal the Road Captain so he can find a safe place to pull everyone over. In the event the problem cannot be resolved in fifteen minutes, the Road Captain or chapter officer will determine the next step. Also, if you decide to leave the group for any reason while the ride is in progress please be sure to notify the Road Captain or an assistant.
10.) Group riding requires safe habits. Safety and fun is the number one rule, and endangering other riders will NOT BE TOLERATED. Anyone doing so will have a MAJOR discussion with chapter officers at the earliest, safest opportunity.
11.) Keep a safe distance from the bike in front of you. KNOW THE STOPPING POWER OF YOUR MOTORCYCLE. Try to maintain a constant speed to avoid "rubber-banding."