There is nothing like the feel of riding your Harley with a
group of other bikers. It's an awesome experience when you
hear the rumble around you and bikes are lined up as far as you
can see. For many of our members, riding with a
group of friends is one of the best parts of being in the
chapter. Whether we're out for a short dinner ride, or on
a weekend overnight trip we want you and the rest of the group
to get back safely. Here are some things you should know
before you come out for your first chapter Group Ride.
you aren't a member you will need to sign a waiver before going
on a chapter ride. You also need to sign a release if you
have a minor riding with you. See the Membership page to
print these forms, and bring them with you the day of the ride.
Always fill up with gas before you arrive, so your bike is ready
to make it to the first gas stop without a problem. Road
Captains plan routes with rest and fuel stops, so you don't have
to worry about running out if you start with a full tank.
Also make sure you have checked your bike over before leaving
home, so it's ready for a day of riding. Check your tire
pressure, lights, look for leaks and check the fluid levels.
Road Captain will hold a pre-ride meeting, to share directions,
go over the planned stops and review safety information.
If you're new to riding in a group, let the Road Captain know so
he or she can help you get off to a good start. The
schedule will show the time the ride will be leaving, so you
should plan to arrive at least 30 minutes ahead so your bike is
in position and you don't miss the meeting.
During group rides, we use a
staggered riding formation. This allows a proper space
cushion between motorcycles, so that each rider has enough time
and space to maneuver and to react to hazards. Each rider
stays at least one second behind the rider in the opposite third
of the lane, and two seconds behind the rider in the same third
of the lane. An easy way to check your distance is to
position yourself so that you can see the face of the rider in
front of you in their rear view mirror. As we come to a
stop, pull up tight to the rider in front of you and stay in
your third of the lane. This allows us to take up less
space, and set up the staggered formation as we pull away from
the stop once again. For this reason it is not necessary
to switch places while riding if the formation changes when a
rider leaves the group. Just wait until the next stop and
it will take care of itself, without each rider behind you
trying to reposition themselves.
The Road Captain who is leading the ride
will communicate with the group by using hand signals. It
is each riders responsibility to pass on the message to the
riders behind them by using the signals as they are observed
ahead of them. The most common signals we use are