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Im asking this because last year three of us organized a scenic trip from Pa. to S.C. for bike week. The three of us planned well ahead and things went well. This year were planning a similar ride, very scenic to and from bike week. This year there will be 6 of us on bikes, we are level headed and sober riders. As of now Ive taken charge of setting up meetings and getting all the hotel information and maps out to everyone. We have set up a Itinerary for riding.

When we get on the road What should be expected of a good ride captain? What have you disliked when you have rode with others that I can address before we get started? Would it be stupid of me to copy a article on riding as a group and give it out at one of our meetings, there are different amount of riding times among us so I dont want to assume anything.

Any other advice would be apprieciated.
 

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Soar like an Eagle
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Group riding can be hazardous to your health if not done properly and safely. Be sure you know who you are riding with. Why not share information about safe group riding techniques with the guys you will be on this trip with if you have not done group riding with them before. Why not bring the topic up and talk about it. I would if there were some that I had not ridden with as a group before. Running in a tight staggered formation requires the use of hand signals and many other common courtesies that need to be made clear among all to keep it safe. Borrow some of the info from your MSF course or Riders Edge course info and share it. Would rather be safe than sorry and ruin your trip and perhaps get someone hurt in the process.
 
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Road Glider makes the point that I consider most important. Talk with everyone in the group beforehand. If you assume someone knows something, because you consider it "basic", they will undoubtedly prove youwrong at the least opportune moment.

Decide ahead of time how you will re-group if separated. This prevents people from feeling like they have to ride 100 miles an hour to catch up.

If the route has a lot of turns, the second rider should stop at each corner, so the entire group sees the route change. You can set it up so he then becomes the trail rider, or that the group slows so he can return to second position.

Generally, the larger the group the fewer miles per day can be covered. Allow for this.

Harris
 

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Infidel
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66impala said:
Im asking this because last year three of us organized a scenic trip from Pa. to S.C. for bike week. The three of us planned well ahead and things went well. This year were planning a similar ride, very scenic to and from bike week. This year there will be 6 of us on bikes, we are level headed and sober riders. As of now Ive taken charge of setting up meetings and getting all the hotel information and maps out to everyone. We have set up a Itinerary for riding.

When we get on the road What should be expected of a good ride captain? What have you disliked when you have rode with others that I can address before we get started? Would it be stupid of me to copy a article on riding as a group and give it out at one of our meetings, there are different amount of riding times among us so I dont want to assume anything.

Any other advice would be apprieciated.

If there are vast differences in riding skills, the guy in the back should be the most experienced rider. He'll watch what the point man is doing and anticipate for the rest of the group (for example lane changes, front man signals, rear man moves over as soon as it is safe and the middle guys are protected for their move). Front man should also be experienced. All should signal turns, road debris etc.

It sounds like ya'll are planning well. Have a good trip.
 

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Knower of Stuff
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I have taken a few trips with 6 riders in a group.
A few of the things that I have learned along the way.
1. It is not neccassary for the entire pack to stay together as long as the next stop is defined.
2. Always use a buddy system. No rider should ever be by himself. With 6, we always formed groups of two, so there was always sombody to offer assistance in case there was a problem.
3. There is always a couple who likes to ride faster that the rest. As long as the destination is defined there is no need for the others to try and keep up if they do not feel comfortable doing so.
4. Review the maps every morning for the route and destination. This refreshes it everybody's mind and allowes for 1 and 3 to happen.
5. This one is important. When riding through towns with stop lights, ride as if the other bikes are just cars and do not all try to make a light. You will be spread out and when a light turns yellow, STOP even it other members have gone through already. They should pull into a parking lot and wait for the rest of the pack. Never try and beat a light to stay together.
6. Carry cell phones, at least one member in every group of two should have one. Make sure you all have the numbers programmed in.
7. Have a single land line phone any one can call and get messages from. If there is no cell service, messages can be left about status and location for others to hear using pay phones and calling cards.
8. Get together and go for a group day ride of about 200 miles before the trip to get to know your riding partners and where thay like to ride on the road. It will get you familiar with ther habits and riding style.
9. If going through a major city on the interstates, stop before you get to the city and review the route if there are any turns involved in the city. Staying together in city traffic is difficult sometimes and should only be a secondary concern. Staying on the route is the primary concern.
10. Learn the common hand signals and use them.
Good luck and ride safe.
 

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Have chrome will travel
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I agree with wyodude. A good sweep road captain is real handy. Getting everyone out for a short "learning ride" will be helpful. Have a well thought out pre-ride briefing to ensure everyone is on the same page with you. You set the tempo of the ride and if someone else is out of sync with you that is where all the trouble begins.
 

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LittleBear has this very well thought out. I'm going to pick up his idea for having a common land line voice mail for when cell phones don't work. Last year I was in Cass, WV area where cell phone coverage is not allowed because of the raido telescope. A land line was the only way to get to the outside world.

In our family we also use bike-to-bike radios. They are very handy for keeping in touch and keeping everyone happy. We don't jabber, but when it's time to stop or confirm a turn, we use the radio. (I get a lot of "Dad, get over, our turn is just ahead." from my son and, "Turn around. That looks like a good place for lunch" from my wife.)

In a larger group the lead and tail can use the radios to help keep the group together. If the back half gets caught by a red light, the lead can slow down and / or pull the group over to wait.

I really prefer breaking into small groups with similar riding styles. Let the speeders go ahead and let the others go at their own pace. Also, in a larger group I find myself looking at the rider in front of me instead of at the left, right, back, 12 second spot, 4 second spot, etc. I have encountered and avoided deer because I was watching the ride and not the rider.

Thanks for letting me add my 2c.
 

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Soar like an Eagle
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LittleBear said:
I have taken a few trips with 6 riders in a group.
A few of the things that I have learned along the way.
1. It is not neccassary for the entire pack to stay together as long as the next stop is defined.
2. Always use a buddy system. No rider should ever be by himself. With 6, we always formed groups of two, so there was always sombody to offer assistance in case there was a problem.
3. There is always a couple who likes to ride faster that the rest. As long as the destination is defined there is no need for the others to try and keep up if they do not feel comfortable doing so.
4. Review the maps every morning for the route and destination. This refreshes it everybody's mind and allowes for 1 and 3 to happen.
5. This one is important. When riding through towns with stop lights, ride as if the other bikes are just cars and do not all try to make a light. You will be spread out and when a light turns yellow, STOP even it other members have gone through already. They should pull into a parking lot and wait for the rest of the pack. Never try and beat a light to stay together.
6. Carry cell phones, at least one member in every group of two should have one. Make sure you all have the numbers programmed in.
7. Have a single land line phone any one can call and get messages from. If there is no cell service, messages can be left about status and location for others to hear using pay phones and calling cards.
8. Get together and go for a group day ride of about 200 miles before the trip to get to know your riding partners and where thay like to ride on the road. It will get you familiar with ther habits and riding style.
9. If going through a major city on the interstates, stop before you get to the city and review the route if there are any turns involved in the city. Staying together in city traffic is difficult sometimes and should only be a secondary concern. Staying on the route is the primary concern.
10. Learn the common hand signals and use them.
Good luck and ride safe.
Good job little bear. The land line is a great idea. We all have an answering machine at home and it would be easy to set it up to relay messages or for me I would just use my office voicemail system and share a temporary password for a designated number.
 
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