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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's almost time for my annual riding vacation. Our group has gone from 3, to 4, to 5, and now up to 6 guys.
Somehow the half-dozen point just crossed a line in my brain. It's been hard enough keep up with all of us on the road for 7 days. We don't have communication from bike to bike so we rely on hand signals.
Still, there have been a few times where we leave someone behind, or lose them in a patch of traffic, or miss a point where we thought we were going to meet.
it doesn't take long for these gaffs to become safety concerns; not to mention the loss of some good riding time.
Can any of you veterans out there give some tips on keeping a group safe and happy on a week long trip?
 

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Get at least two sets of helemt coms. One for the guy in the lead, and one in the rear. Keep good accountability, and go over your hand signals, every morning before leaving. Make sure each rider, plays simon says, and mimics the leader's signals. This will assure everyone is on the same page. If everyone signals for a left turn, then you know everyone is aware of the left turn ahead. You can pick up some com sets pretty cheap. I highly recommend at least two sets. Ride safe bro!:bigthumbsup:
 

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Hink makes some good points. The rider com. thing is good if you want to spend the money and think it would help you guys. Honestly 6 or 7 riders is not a big group at all. I'm used to riding with 25 other bikes alot and that is different, where we got a road captain, tailgunners, roadguards & the whole nine yards.

Just keep it simple, ride staggered, talk about maintaining correct spacing, guys not falling way back, a few simple hand signals (lane changing, turns, slow down...etc), also everyone is responsible for the guy behind them. If someone has to stop unexpectedly, the next rider is checking his mirrors and pulls over when his buddy behind him is not there. In a group of 6 or 7 guys you'll all be stopped real quickly if everyone is keeping an eye on the rider behind and nobody gets left behind.

Also have everyone fill up or top off for gas at the same time. That way your all on the same page and someone isn't always riding up to the front saying they need to pull over to fill up.

Ride safe & have fun!!! :bigthumbsup:........:doorag:
 

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Biggest thing is have a plan that everybody knows. Have your most experienced group riders leading and chasing (front and back). The chasers, or sweepers should have the cell # of the leader for emergencies, or if the group gets split up.

The leader should be aware of the whole group. If the group gets split up by a traffic light or something, he should slow up and either putt along or ( if safe to do so) pull over till the rest catch up.

Common hand signals help alot too.
 
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everyone knowing the hand signals.... is a good plus
Everyone knowing at least "about" how you're getting somewhere

Beat it into their brains that if they get left behind, lets say a traffic light not to freak out and try to "speed up" to catch everyone...As a leader of the group as soon as you notice you've lost some of your pack...ease up..slow up..or pull over (most times I've noticed or knew we would not have everyone make a light) and just pull over where it's safe for the group....

Helmet coms and all are good...but not really needed....good communication before the ride, and riding with people you know and trust are very important.

Have fun and hopefully you get good info!

and I think someone else already stated...if you break the group up if it get's "too big" for you...always have a seaoned rider that knows exactly how and where you're going midpack, or at the end of the pack so they can take over lead if they seperate from ya....
 

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If the front pack gets threw a light and the back of it is stuck at it two suggestions

1. The lead bike should be watching to see where the cycle of the light is at, to insure that the pack can get threw. Your pack of 6 is a small pack.

2. When it happens pull over and wait untill they get a green light and then proceed when they are coming towards you.

Use blockers at the stop signs. Every one in the pack should have phone numbers and know the routes in case anything should happen.


If you are taking a trip for days at a time, I would hope that some of these guys know your riding style and they know yours. We kept a pack of 70 together at previous meets and this meet will be 100 plus being kept together. :evil:
 
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For most things it's simple. At each stop make sure that everyone knows where the next stop is, how to get there and has enough gas to get there. (maps are cheap). Exchange cell #'s and make sure the tailman has a cel. Don't stop without the group unless you have no choice. If you really need to stop put your turn signal on. Everyone watch for the next riders turn signal until the leader sees it and puls over (hopefully at a safe place. If someone disappears from the back follow the previous method until the leader puls over. At all other times the leader is first to put on a turn signal. Check for cell phone messeges. if no messege just 2 people (no one should go off alone) should go back to look then call the leader when the rider is found or check in if not found. If the rider can't be found or contacted 2 riders should continue to the next stop incase they show up there. All riders should know to go to the next stop if unable to find the group. After that it's 911 time. Having a designated home # to someone not on the trip that has been given everyones # and emergency contact #'s is a good idea too.

If split up at a stop light there's no need to pull over if everyone knows where they're going. slow up the pace and they can catch up without racing to catch the group. Often times the group will catch a light down the road and all's good.

If every one stays tight enough to see the next 2 riders in front and behind this works great. No need for radios and hand signals.

These simple rules have served me well for alot of years with lots of different groups.
 

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I think the biggest thing is for the least experienced guys lead out as long as they know how to get to the next stop. That way the pace is set by them and they don't try to push to hard to keep up. But if the experienced guys lead as long as they know everyones capabilities there shouldn't be a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Great list!

This is just what I was looking for.
Criminy - 30-40-70 guys on a tour? That's a whole other league.

The good part is that I trust the guys. We do quick rides all year long, so we know each other's habits, and miles per tank.

I never knew there were standard hand signals. Never know what you're going to learn on these forums.

Great advice guys. Hadn't thought about it, but giving everyone a number to call that isn't on a bike is a great idea.
I may look into getting a couple of coms. Sounds like a cheap and easy way to keep connected.
And I'm an idiot, but I've never given out map copies before. This year we will.

Look for a half-dozen old Atlanta guys lost and loving it in Northern Virginia in a couple of weeks.
 

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This is just what I was looking for.
Criminy - 30-40-70 guys on a tour? That's a whole other league.

The good part is that I trust the guys. We do quick rides all year long, so we know each other's habits, and miles per tank.

I never knew there were standard hand signals. Never know what you're going to learn on these forums.

Great advice guys. Hadn't thought about it, but giving everyone a number to call that isn't on a bike is a great idea.
I may look into getting a couple of coms. Sounds like a cheap and easy way to keep connected.
And I'm an idiot, but I've never given out map copies before. This year we will.

Look for a half-dozen old Atlanta guys lost and loving it in Northern Virginia in a couple of weeks.
Looking forward to seeing you at the meet. :bigthumbsup:
 

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Look for a half-dozen old Atlanta guys lost and loving it in Northern Virginia in a couple of weeks.
Where about would you be in Northern, VA in a couple of weeks? Are you talking about the Mid-Atlantic Meet in June or something else? Let me know and we can probably hook up for at least a few hours on your way to your destination; maybe even make my house one of your planned rest-stop:bigthumbsup:.
 

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Where about would you be in Northern, VA in a couple of weeks? Are you talking about the Mid-Atlantic Meet in June or something else? Let me know and we can probably hook up for at least a few hours on your way to your destination; maybe even make my house one of your planned rest-stop:bigthumbsup:.
Are you close to the DOT/Navy Yard? I'm there a couple times a month. If I'm there on Thursday I go to some Jazz club at a downtown Holiday Inn, the band is incredible
 

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There is A dozen or two of us that ride in north GA each October every year usually not much traffic to deal with, when we are riding some are faster than others we just keep going till we get to A right or left turn at that point pull over till the last bike makes it there (usually A minute or two) that way every one can ride at there own pace if someone doesn't show up then one man goes back for him. many people that ride in that area for the first time have no problem staying with the group, The fast guys can have fun and the others can enjoy.
 

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In addition to hand signals and communication devices, lets actually look at the actual riding situation..


Make sure you are all riding in a staggered position and at least a few bike or car lengths between each rider. Riding too closely to eachother may look cool but in reality if someone has to dodge or avoid an obstacle they need space to accelerate, decelerate and move left and right. Don't ride too closely!!!

The other point I was going to make was regarding over taking vehicles... This happened to me last week when I was riding in a group. If the person or people in front of you are overtaking a vehicle, you obviously have to wait till its safe to pass and proceed with caution. The guy behind me actually got so impatient waiting for me to safely pass, he started passing ME while I was passing a car! That means we are both in oncoming traffic AND he was in my personal space. We almost collided at over 100KPH because of his stupidity.

Be careful out there and HAVE FUN!
 
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