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IAM RoadSmart

Group Riding basic rules

David Lindfield shared this on our Facebook Group

During our recent trip to Wales, it became apparent that Group Riding skills had become a little rusty. I thought it may be useful to share this little video and also post up a few basic rules and procedures for Group Riding to ensure a safe, successful and enjoyable experience for all.

This video covers several useful points on Group Riding with the exception of covering the Drop of System, but here are a few key takeaway points, (Note: they are not intended to be exhaustive):

1) Always have a pre-ride briefing and pay attention to how the ride will be conducted.

Points to ensure are covered are:

A) Be clear about the final destination and the expected weather en-route, any fuel stops?

B) Agree if a drop off system is going to be used and how it will be applied.

C) Agree if overtaking within the group is to be permitted when using the drop off system

D) Agree a procedure in the event that someone has to leave the group

E) Agree a procedure in the event that something goes wrong or the group gets split up.

2) The lead rider will always set the pace but when riding in a smaller group when the drop off system may not be necessary, always ride so that you can see the person behind you in your mirrors. If you can’t, then simply slow down until you can and the caterpillar effect in the group will allow the lead rider to become aware, adjust the pace and allow the group to reform. Also check that the headlight behind you is actually one of your group and not an infiltrator. Remember the shape of headlight, the colour of the fairing or helmet, clothing just to be sure.

3) On motorways where it is illegal and dual carriageways where it is often extremely dangerous to leave a marker at an exit junction, ensure the group rides in a close staggered formation and keep pace with the rider ahead of you. Aim to avoid being that individual that just wont keep up and allows the group to get strung out which encourages other vehicles to infiltrate the group causing all sorts of lane hopping and position changing in an effort to keep the group together. Aim to move safely as one unit. (The lead rider carries some responsibility here to plan a lane change that permits the group to move together where safe to do so, but the group must assist by riding in a tight staggered formation)

Drop off System: (A few golden rules)

1) Pay attention to the briefing with regards to overtaking policy in the group. Pay particular attention to where the lead rider may expect you to be dropped off, i.e. they may choose to leave markers at both the approach to a large roundabout and at the exit junction. Pay attention to the nominated back markers motorcycle, helmet and clothes so that you can easily recognise them in your mirrors.

2) When you have been dropped off, DO NOT MOVE, until the back marker has joined behind you and waved you on. No matter how long you may sit there, DO NOT MOVE, or the whole system will fall apart.

3) When you get dropped off, find a safe and visible place to stop. Avoid obstructing pavements, bus stops or pedestrian crossings for example, be considerate to pedestrians and other road users in your choice of stopping place. You may be sat there for some time!

4) When you are stopped, indicate the direction of travel with your hand. Relying on your indicators may well be misleading if you have indicated to pull in left but the direction for the group to travel is to the right.

5) If someone in the group has a problem and needs to stop, DO NOT LEAVE THE GROUP without first informing the back marker.

I hope this is useful, have fun, be safe and stay professional! Look, there goes WSAM. 

Download WSAM’s Group Riding Rules