THIS INFORMATION HAS BEEN REPRINTED FROM THE ROAD CAPTAIN’S HANDBOOK.
THIS IS IMPORTANT INFORMATION OF GENERAL MEMBERSHIP RIDERS
GROUP RIDING RESPONSIBILITIES
FOR GENERAL HOG MEMBERS
Road Captains should strive to help maintain a safe riding environment by encouraging HOG members in the following areas:
YOU, THE RIDER, ARE ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY AND THAT OF YOUR PASSENGER. WE IMPLORE YOU TO RIDE WITHIN YOUR CAPABILITIES AND THOSE OF YOUR MOTORCYCLE. ENCOURAGE MEMBERS TO RIDE THEIR RIDE IN THE INTEREST OF SAFETY
GENERAL GROUP RIDER RESPONSIBILITIES:
- Safety First
- All riders are asked to observe these time-proven practices in order to assure the safety and welfare of every person within the group, surrounding motorists, and pedestrians.
- Follow the suggestions of the Road Captains in all situations, unless, in your opinion, those instruction place the rider or any other individual in an unsafe condition.
- Maintain your motorcycle and equipment in a safe riding condition
- Meeting Places and departure Times
- Departure times will be reviewed at the Chapter meeting, in the HOGLOG and posted at Bakersfield Harley-Davidson.
- ALL MEMBERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO ARRIVE WITH A FULL TANK OF GAS.
- Rider Briefing
- Advise riders of intended route
- Inform riders of any gas or rest stops
- Provide information concerning lead riders and sweeps of each group
- Review group riding practices, formations, and procedures
- Riding formations and individual positions
- Preferred Formation: The Staggered formation is the preferred formation for group riding under good road conditions, traffic, and weather. This will be a double row, staggered, in one traffic lane. The interval will be no less than one second between staggered riders. (See attached diagram.)
- New members, guests, and any riders with little experience: NEW MEMBERS, GUESTS AND ANY RIDERS WITH LITTLE EXPERIENCE IN GROUP RIDING ARE ASKED TO MEET WITH A SENIOR OR HEAD ROAD CAPTAIN TO EVALUATE THEIR RIDING EXPERIENCE. THE ROAD CAPTAIN WILL PLACE THE NEW RIDER INTO THE GROUP IN THE MOST APPROPRITATE POSITION CONSIDERING THE EXPERIENCE OF THE RIDER.
- Maintain position: We ask each rider to maintain his/her starting lineup position in the group until arrival at the destination. Should a rider drop out, other riders in the group should maintain their same starting position.
- Change in Road Conditions: Under certain conditions the lead Road Captain will signal the group to form a single file formation. The signal for this is the left arm held overhead with the index finger extended skyward. Other riders in the group should give the same signal and begin to form a single file line increasing the space between the riders.
- Smaller groups: Safety may dictate we form smaller groups due to the large number of riders. ANY ROAD CAPTAIN WHO OBSERVES A SITUATION DICTATING HIS/HER GROUP SHOULD SPLIT UP WILL MAKE THE NECESSARY NOTIFICATION TO OTHER RIDERS TO SPLIT THE GROUP UNTIL THE SITUATION PASSES.
- SPEED, INTERVALS AND DISTANCES
- Safe Speed: Road Captains will establish and maintain a uniform, safe speed consistent with state law and the ability of the least experienced rider, surrounding road conditions, and safe riding practices based on his/her best judgment.
- Inexperienced Riders: In the interest of skill development and safety, Road Captains may choose to separate the group of inexperienced riders into a group of their own. Any Road Captain who feels this may be necessary should make his/her concerns know to a Head or Senior Road Captain before the departure time of the scheduled ride.
- Speed Management: All riders are asked to make an effort to maintain the same speed to minimize the effect of irregular speeds on riders at the rear of the group.
- Rider Separation: All riders are asked to maintain a safe distance and lane position between themselves and the rider directly ahead; to be consistent with existing road conditions, traffic, and weather conditions.
- Generally accepted Safe Following Distance
- Position Within the Lane Lines: A safe lane position is generally accepted as riding immediately to the right or left of lane center. This will keep the riders just off the center oil stain, while maintaining the staggered formation, distance between riders and other obstacles, and providing necessary lane protection.
- TRAFFIC LANES
- Lane Selection: The front Road Captain will attempt to guide the group in a single lane; where the traffic flow appears to be most consistent with the speed of the group; using lane changes only when necessary to pass slower traffic or to avoid a hazardous condition and avoid blocking faster surrounding traffic.
- Two Lane Highways: On two lane highways in each direction, the group will generally travel in the number two lane (aka: Slow lane) allowing faster traffic to pass to the left; except when passing slower traffic in the right lane.
- Three Lane Highways: Highways with three or more lanes in each direction, the group will normally travel in the number two lane keeping the right lane open for other vehicles entering and exiting the highway and the left lane open for faster traffic to pass.
- LANE CHANGES AND PASSING
- Lane Management: On a multi-lane highway, the double row staggered formation will generally be maintained.
- Lane Change: The lead Road Captain will communicate to the sweep the need for a lane change and in which direction using the CB radio. The sweep will then, when safe, complete a lane change and notify the lead Road Captain when the lane is clear for the group. The lead Road Captain will then signal his lane change and move into the appropriate lane after visually checking to ensure the lane is clear.
- Individual Lane Changes: There may be a time when a rider within a group may need to make a lane change for safety. That rider should signal his turn with a turn indicator, make a visual check to ensure the lane is clear, and make the lane change. When the safety issue no longer exists, that rider can reenter the formation when safe.
- EMERGENCY STOPS
- Emergency Stops: If a rider must pull over immediately, or has an accident:
- ONLY the rear Second Sweep Road Captain will accompany that rider to a stop.
- The front Road Captain should be informed if he/she is not aware of the situation.
- Once the front Road Captain is informed, he/she will pull the remainder of the group over as soon as it is safe to do so.
- PLEASE RESIST THE URGE TO PULL OVER IMMEDIATELY TO ASSIST. IT CAN BE VERY HAZARDOUS AND INCREASE THE CHANCE OF ACCIDENTS IF WE BLOCK THE ROAD WITH ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT AND PEOPLE.
- EXCEPTIONS: The only exception to the above would be that trained medical personnel would be expected to pull over and render assistance if there is an accident. Personnel stopping to render assistance should follow safe riding practices when doing so.
- Bike Problems: Any rider who observes a problem with another rider?s motorcycle or equipment should inform that rider as quickly and as safely as possible.
- Emergency Stops: If a rider must pull over immediately, or has an accident:
- HAND SIGNALS
- Standard Signals: At all times, we urge that standard hand signals be used for changing the formation to a single row and back to staggered formation, all turns, lane changes, slowing and stopping. Turn signals should be used at all times also.
- Pass them Back: All hand signals should be relayed to the rear of the group to allow all riders to take appropriate precautionary measures and be aware of changes in speed and direction.
- Standard Hand Signals: Bakersfield HOG will use standard hand signals whenever a hand signal is used.
ALL ROAD CAPTAINS ARE ASKED TO ABIDE BY AND ENCOURAGE OTHER HOG MEMBERS TO ABIDE BY THE FOLLOWING:
If you, for any reason, are uncomfortable riding as we request, riding without a valid California driver’s license with a “MI” motorcycle endorsement, proper insurance coverage, or are under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, we respect your wishes, but ask that you not ride in our group.
PLEASE REMEMBER THAT YOU HAVE THE ULTIMATE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR SAFETY, AND ALWAYS RIDE WITHIN YOUR CAPABILITIES AND THAT OF YOUR MACHINE?S.