How We Ride

 

 

 

Basic Rules for Riding in a Group

Most of us have ridden together, some more than others. We know each others’ abilities and skill levels and are probably comfortable with each other. These tips should help us all become more aware of some things that will help us all ride safer as a group, whether you’re a novice or skilled rider, new to our group or a veteran.

1. The ride leader (RL) should have the ultimate right of way. That dynamic needs to be in place, as the RL has many issues of concern. He/she is attempting to lead the group as one, therefore this carries an important responsibility. The leader should think as the group. He/she should generally be alone in their lane up front using the left portion of the lane. That allows full use of the lane width, giving the RL the ability to scan for potholes, debris, irregularities etc. and to have room to avoid them and to give the appropriate signal to those following.

Thunder in the Valley | Ride Configuration

2. Lane Changes – The first person to make a lane change should be the drag bike. This will clear the lane for all others riding in the group. Remember the way to change lanes is to wait for the drag bike to make the first move. The RL and those up front will be the last to make the lane change. This is why it is important to maintain spacing so that the group can stay close together otherwise the more spread out the group gets the longer it takes to clear traffic and the more difficult it is for the RL to signal when a lane change is anticipated.

3. Riding a Line – Riding a line is the safest and fastest way through a curve or corner. Pick a radius before entering a curve then ride that radius as consistently as you can through the entire arc. You’ll find you are a lot smoother and faster. The exception is when having to avoid road hazards, pot holes, animals, wet spots(!) cars or fallen riders. Cornering is half the fun of riding. Always go at your own pace- don’t go faster than you are comfortable. Curve speed limit signs are there for a reason. If you see you’re holding up other riders, give them the signal to pass and then get in your sweet spot.

4. Passing – If the group gets caught behind slower traffic it will be the responsibility of the RL to assess the situation and to set up a passing formation so the group can pass safely. In some cases, the whole group cannot pass. The RL can signal the trailing bikes when it is safe to pass simple by riding in the oncoming lane for a short distance. On two lanes roads, the group should pass one at a time. Each bike when passing should maintain speed after passing so that it opens up a spot for the next bike. As bikes set up to pass the slower traffic they should move up and take the left side of the lane. Then once the pass is made move back into their original slot in the formation. Always consider your safety and that of others – make your passes as cleanly and safely as you can. If everyone else has gone by and you can’t make it- don’t worry about it. There will be a spot coming up where you can safely make a pass and catch up.

5. Learn the Hand Signals – the basic ones that we use are:

  • Hand tapping top of helmet: There’s a cop.
  • Pointing to the ground with hand or foot: There’s something in the road on that side.
  • Left arm extended in the air and 1 finger pointed upward: set up single file.
  • Left OR Right arm extended out and slightly waving up and down with open hand: slow down or possible stop.
  • Turns: use the standard right turn and left turn signals as well as your blinkers.

6. Stay in Your Slot – Don’t go flying by someone in the same lane as they are in unless they have signaled you that it is ok. Stay in your slot, ride in formation, and make passes in accordance with traffic conditions. Do not take it on yourself to ride outside the formed group. You may find the rider in front of you on top of you without you expecting it.

7. Emergency Cards – Its always good to have a card with you that has all of your information and Emergency Contact info.

8. Drag Bike – There are times when the drag bike might pull out into the road and stop…he is doing this to create a barrier so cars know to stop and allow the group to turn into the road. Be aware for this… he/she will then rejoin the group.

9. Traffic – Sometimes when we’re riding in traffic, traffic can cause problems by cutting into the group, or repeatedly slowing down and speeding up, weaving, waving, generally not paying attention, doing dopey stuff that can put us in jeopardy. In order to get the group out of traffic congestion and into a safer environment, the ride leader with the help of the drag bike may take an opportunity to get into a less crowded lane. If the group does get separated be patient and wait for a time when the group can get back into a formation. This could take some time especially if there is a lot of traffic.

10. Leaving the Group – If you peel off during a group ride let someone know.

11. Stay Alert – When following in the group stay alert – Don’t Target Fixate! Stay on top of your game! Every once in a while we get to see the results of losing concentration, inexperience, boredom, etc. Most of the time there’s no harm done. The potential does exist however for problems, so just be aware! A loss of concentration can mean not seeing a hazard when everyone else does, not seeing a red light (or a yellow for that matter). Not seeing someone having to make an emergency stop, etc.

The best reward of our rides is that we have a great time, enjoy each others company and respect, and return home the same way we left- ready to do it again as soon as we can.


 

In Case of an Accident

  1. Don’t’ move the rider unless he/she can’t breath (helmet in water puddle, mud etc. Keep the neck straight as possible.
  2. Know CPR.
  3. Do not pull out anything impaling a rider (braches, etc.). Leave it in, as pulling it out may allow more bleeding.
  4. Don’t’ take off their helmet! Make sure it goes with them to hospital.
  5. Know how to use a tourniquet.
  6. Call an ambulance – be on safe side.
  7. Search for emergency card inside jacket inside or under seat.
  8. Turn the off bike. Shut off lanes of traffic – place bike in lane(s) if necessary.
  9. Find out where EMTs are taking the rider.
  10. When Police show up, have a plan on what you’re going to tell them.
  11. Keep talking to them if concussed – don’t’ let them get up.
  12. Use your head.

 


 

Ride Leader Guidelines

RIDE CAPTAIN CHECKLIST: (20 minutes before departure)

At the Pre-Riders meeting the following should be covered:

  • Welcome riders and introduce new riders.
  • Planned route (define destination, mileage and route directions)
  • Discuss stops (Fuel, Rest, Meals, Restroom, etc). This will be helpful if anyone gets separated.
  • Outline itinerary for the day.
  • Discuss any road information such as type of roads, speeds, safety concerns with road conditions.
  • Riders that intend to split off from the group should inform the ride captain ahead of time so the group is aware of this action.
  • Illustrate most common hand and hazard signals.
  • Review riding standards:
  • Staggered position and safe distance (bike to right of lead bike is 1 second back, bike directly behind the lead bike is 2 seconds back) road conditions or weather would increase that spacing.
  • Single file riding is used in twisty or narrow roads. The lead bike takes responsibility to make the signal (holding single finger up) to initiate.
  • Drag bike role and procedure
  • Entrance and exit procedures
  • Lane changes procedures
  • Single file procedures
  • Hand signals
  • Any departure instructions – such as radio channel or group formation.
  • 2 by 2 through Stop Signs procedure
  • Broken bike procedure.
  • Remind everyone to have fun, and to ride safely
  • Pray for a safe ride

DRAG BIKE DUTIES:

  • Will assist the Ride Captain in the performance of his or her duties and ride where they can see the formation best.
  • Will ride at the rear of the group (except when conditions dictate otherwise) unless required to take on the responsibilities of the Road Captain.
  • Will be observant of any hazardous conditions or conduct, take immediate corrective action, and inform the Ride Captain at the earliest safe opportunity.
  • Lane protection is the Drag Bike’s responsibility. On the highway, as the group prepares to make a lane change, the Drag Bike will make the lane change as soon as is safe to do so, once the lane is secure the lead bike will make the lane change, the rest of the group will move over as a group following the lead bike. The whole group will then speed up to quickly and safely pass. The whole group maintains speed until the Drag Bike gets the signal from the lead bike secure the slower lane. At that time the drag bike makes the first move to secure the slower lane. The group will follow once the lead bike starts a move.

 


 Rider and Passenger waivers – Must be signed and provided to a Board Member or Ride Captain before participating in scheduled rides.  A one time only form.

 

PNC THUNDER IN THE VALLEY

MOTORCYCLE RIDER WAIVER AND RELEASE FORM

As consideration for being allowed to participate in any PNC Thunder in the Valley organized rides, now or in the future, whether scheduled or impromptu, I hereby agree as follows:

I freely, on behalf of myself, my heirs, successors and assigns, fully and finally release PNC Thunder in the Valley and Puyallup Church of the Nazarene, and their directors, officers, employees, ride organizers, sponsors, representatives, agents and volunteers, and hold them harmless from any and all claims, demands, suits and/or liability of any kind, whether known or unknown, fully, finally and forever, arising or resulting from my participation in, or attendance at, any PNC Thunder in the Valley ride or event. I hereby fully and finally waive any such claim, known or unknown, which may arise.

In signing this document, I represent that I am fully knowledgeable of the danger and hazards associated with riding motorcycles and I choose to assume such risk. I certify that I am duly licensed, insured and competent to operate a motorcycle in a safe manner, and the vehicle is in a safe operating condition. I acknowledge that I will be riding on public roads and highways among traffic and that I am solely responsible to determine the speed and operational characteristics of my motorcycle while participating in the ride. I hereby release PNC Thunder in the Valley and Puyallup Church of the Nazarene, and their directors, officers, employees, ride organizers, sponsors, representatives, agents and volunteers, and hold them harmless from any and all claims, causes of action, or any other liability of any kind arising from my operation of a motorcycle.   I hereby fully and finally waive any such claim, known or unknown, which may arise.

I certify that I have no known physical or mental impairment that may affect my safety or the safety of the group and that I am 18 years old or older. I understand that the choice of wearing a helmet or other protective gear is solely my own and that I am responsible for my compliance with all state laws, including those regarding helmets. I certify that I am not under the influence of any narcotic, alcohol, or other drug that may impair my understanding or judgment and that I will not at any time during the ride operate my motorcycle under the influence of any drug or alcohol. I also understand that this Waiver and Release is in force for the duration of any ride or event I participate in and that if covers any and all activities.

I hereby certify that I have read this Waiver and Release in its entirety. My signature below indicates that I fully understand it and agree to its contents.

Signature: _____________________________ Date: ________________________________

Printed Name: __________________________ Ins. Co.: ______________________________

Driver’s License Number: _______________________________________________________

 

 

 

PNC THUNDER IN THE VALLEY

MOTORCYCLE PASSENGER WAIVER AND RELEASE FORM

As consideration for being allowed to participate in any PNC Thunder in the Valley organized rides, now or in the future, whether scheduled or impromptu, I hereby agree as follows:

I freely, on behalf of myself, my heirs, successors and assigns, fully and finally release PNC Thunder in the Valley and Puyallup Church of the Nazarene, and their directors, officers, employees, ride organizers, sponsors, representatives, agents and volunteers, and hold them harmless from any and all claims, demands, suits and/or liability of any kind, whether known or unknown, fully, finally and forever, arising or resulting from my participation in, or attendance at, any PNC Thunder in the Valley ride or event. I hereby fully and finally waive any such claim, known or unknown, which may arise.

In signing this document, I represent that I am fully knowledgeable of the danger and hazards associated with riding as a passenger on a motorcycle and I choose to assume such risk. I certify that I alone will determine if the motorcycle operator I choose to ride with is licensed, insured and competent to operate a motorcycle in a safe manner, and that the vehicle is in a safe operating condition. I acknowledge that I will be riding on public roads and highways among traffic and that I alone will determine the safety and competence of the operator I choose to ride with in such circumstances. I hereby release PNC Thunder in the Valley and Puyallup Church of the Nazarene, and their directors, officers, employees, ride organizers, sponsors, representatives, agents and volunteers, and hold them harmless from any and all claims, causes of action, or any other liability of any kind arising from my decision to ride as a passenger on a motorcycle.   I hereby fully and finally waive any such claim, known or unknown, which may arise.

I certify that I have no known physical or mental impairment that may affect my safety or the safety of the group and that I am 18 years old or older. I understand that the choice of wearing a helmet or other protective gear is solely my own and that I am responsible for my compliance with all state laws, including those regarding helmets. I certify that I am not under the influence of any narcotic, alcohol, or other drug that may impair my understanding or judgment and that during any PNC Thunder in the Valley ride I will not participate under the influence of any drug or alcohol or ride with anyone who is. I also understand that this Waiver and Release is in force for the duration of any ride or event I participate in and that if covers any and all activities.

I hereby certify that I have read this Waiver and Release in its entirety. My signature below indicates that I fully understand it and agree to its contents.

Signature: ____________________________________

Printed Name: _________________________________

Date: ________________________________________

 

If a passenger is a minor, have a parent sign the waiver and have them indicate on the form that they are signing as the parent of whomever it is prior to the day of the ride.