Brickyard Chapter Group Riding Expectations
Revised April 13, 2019
Arriving early for the Pre-Ride Meeting where the group will discuss where you’ll stop, how long you’ll ride, what to do if you get lost, etc., and field any questions you may have.
Be sure to arrive with a full tank of gas (and an empty bladder.)
Make sure your Spyder is in good working order.
Bring a cell phone, a first-aid kit, water, tools and rain gear.
Access the map with the destination/GPS info which you can find on the chapter website.
Have contact info for the Road Captain handy (member contact info has been emailed to all chapter members.)
How far will we ride? How fast should we go? How often will we take a break? The Road Captain will make these decisions, keeping in mind the capabilities of the group’s least-experienced riders. There is no formal definition of “experience” in this context. It refers to the number of miles/years a person has been riding, whether they have touring as well as local experience, whether or not they have driven in inclement weather, etc. No one should be bashful about recognizing their own lack of experience. This is important to acknowledge because everyone’s safety is paramount and all of us were inexperienced once.
Should be kept to less than nine riders. If the group has nine or more riders, the Road Captain will split it into smaller increments. However, each separate group must have an assigned (preferably experienced) Road Captain and Tail Gunner.
In the daytime, riders should leave their bright lights on to make it easier for the Road Captain to see them. The group should be kept reasonably tight in order to:
Make it obvious that it is a group riding together,
Make it easier when negotiating traffic signals, and
Discourage other vehicles from cutting into the formation.
Riding Order & The Staggered Formation
The Road Captain leads the ride, followed by the least experienced riders and then the more experienced riders behind them. The Road Captain normally rides on the left side of the lane, except when riding in the left lane of a four-lane divided highway, when they will ride in the righthand side of the lane. The second rider stays 1-to-2 seconds back and on the opposite side of the lane, the third rider stays 1-to-2 seconds behind the second rider and on the same side of the lane as the Road Captain, and so on, staggering the formation. The 1-to-2 second gap allows each rider sufficient safety space and reaction time.
Note that the staggered formation described above is not appropriate when going through curves or intersections; just proceed one behind the other with the appropriate interval.
Be Sure To Maintain Your Interval
One second means the time it takes to say, “one-one thousand.” At 30 mph, 1-to-2 seconds counted this way will allow for approximately 4-8 Spyder-lengths of separation between Spyders. Failure to maintain the 1-to-2 second interval transforms an organized group ride into what quickly becomes just a bunch of individuals who hope to get to the same destination eventually. (See “Ride Formation” above.)
This may be the most dangerous maneuver in group riding. Generally, you shouldn’t pass a car on a two-lane road unless it is going very slow. If the Road Captain decides to pass a car, each rider must decide on their own when (if?) it is safe for them to do so. Don’t depend on the person in front of you to make safety decisions for you; look before you change lanes.
“Blocking” traffic by placing your Spyder in the way of cross traffic is illegal and will not be done on Brickyard-Sponsored rides.
Don’t Go Rogue
In group riding, there is no room for showboats. Avoid competitions and never tailgate or pass other riders. Also, if you know you will have to leave the ride before it ends, inform the Road Captain and Tail Gunner before the ride starts.
Duties Of The Road Captain
Be sure that the ride information is posted on the chapter website, including the meet-up location, the date and time of the pre-ride meeting, a map and/or directions and the Road Captain’s cell phone#. Check with the Web Master for assistance with this.
Pre-ride the route no more than two weeks in advance of the ride, noting any road construction or freshly tarred roads, bridge outings, etc. If a restaurant is a destination, contact the restaurant for reservations and let them know the group size expected.
In the event of bad weather which might require delaying or cancelling the ride, contact the Web Master and have that information posted on Facebook and the chapter web site.
Conduct a pre-ride meeting at the start location prior to departure.
Remind everyone that rider safety is priority #1.
Refer the group to the safety precautions and ride rules on the reverse of this form.
Remind each person that they are responsible for their own safety.
Ensure that liability forms are signed for any new rider and/or new passenger.
Review the general route, noting rest stops, gas stops, etc.
Identify the less experienced riders.
Identify the Tail Gunner and together, determine the rider order.
If there are nine or more Spyders, break the group into smaller riding groups of eight or fewer and identify each Group’s Leader and Tail Gunner.
Ask for and answer questions from the group.
Provide constructive feedback throughout the ride to any individual rider who is not following the defined rules and expectations. (See the reverse of this form.)
Duties Of The Tail Gunner
The Tail Gunner assists the Road Captain in the execution of their duties.
If communication equipment is available (this is highly recommended) remain in communication with the Road Captain at all times during the ride.
Ensure that the group stays together through intersections, traffic disruptions, etc.
Be watchful that less-experienced riders are keeping up with the group.
Inform the Road Captain of any individual rider’s difficulties.
Stop and help anyone who breaks down or has pulled over for any reason.
Inform the Road Captain of the situation.
Advise the Road Captain of actions that need to be taken.
In the event of an accident:
Pull over and assess the situation.
Immediately inform the Road Captain who will safely guide the group to a stop.
Call 911 if requested by the rider in the accident or if the seriousness of the accident obviously dictates such a call.
Remain at the site to assist emergency responders.