Old Town HOG Chapter #5039

Whether you are new to the Tampa area or just new to the Harley-Davidson experience, welcome!

Group Riding - Helpful Tips

OTC Road Captains plan and lead over 150 group rides each year. Here are some helpful tips to help ensure each ride is fun and safe:

Arrive prepared. Arrive thirty minutes prior to kick-stands-up (KSU) with a full tank of gas.

Check in & receive your ride sheet.Be sure to check in with the lead Road Caption. Not only do you want to receive your ride point and complete any necessary paperwork, but the lead RC needs to provide a headcount to the destination restaurant.

Attend pre-ride briefing. Approximately fifteen minutes before KSU the lead Road Captain will provide important information about the ride, such as, route, rest stops, hand signals, post the corner, and other ride related topics. It's important that you listen closely.

Ride in a staggered column formation. The lead Road Captain rides in the left third of the lane, while the next rider rides in the right third of the lane. Allow 1 second to the rider diagonal to you and 2 seconds to the rider directly in front of you (see diagram below). The rest of the group follows this staggered formation.

msf 2second
Diagram from Motorcycle Safety Foundation®

Do NOT pass in the column. If the group needs to re-form its staggered formation, do so by moving into the vacant left or right lane position (see diagram below). We do not pass another rider in the column.

msf refrom
Diagram from Motorcycle Safety Foundation®

Point out hazards. If you come upon a hazard, point it out using your feet and/or hands. If the rider in front of you signals the hazard, be sure to pass the signal back to the riders behind you.

Post the corner. If there is a separation in the group and you find you are the last rider in the pack, safely post the corner prior to the next turn. This will ensure all riders arrive at the final destination.

Mechanical issues. If you experience mechanical issues, give a thumbs down signal and safely pull over. The Push and Sweep road captains will stop and assist you.

Leaving the ride. If you need to leave the ride, give a thumbs up so the road captains know that you are okay and you do not need their assistance.

Accident procedures. Should an accident occur, unless it is your spouse or significant other, DO NOT STOP. All riders should continue on the ride to avoid putting other riders at risk. The first road captain to come to the accident will stop and assist. The Push and Sweep road captains will also stop to render assistance.

Everyone is responsible for their own safety! If the rider in front of you turns or pulls out to cross traffic, don't assume it is safe for you. Ride your ride, be safe and have fun.



For more information about safe group riding, visit MSF Motorcycle Safety Foundation www.msf-usa.org .

Watch 12-minute video courtesy of ©The Motorcycle Safety Foundation 2006