Goldwings Northwest Group Riding in short!
- When riding with the Goldwings North West, we ask you to ride responsibly, for your own safety and the safety of those riding with you.
- We ask that you keep to the speed limits and ride at you own comfortable pace. Do not try and keep up with the man in front especially if the pace is going to quick for your enjoyment, please slow down to your own pace as the man in front of you will always wait at a junction before he makes a turn) remember if you lose site of the man in front keep going strait and do not turn off.
- As above will YOU always ensure the man behind knows, where you are going at all times. NEVER make a turn from the road you are on until the man behind is in sight of YOU.
- The “Group Leader” and the “Back Door Man” control the group, if you lose site of the man in front or you breakdown providing you have not turned off the route the back door man will catch you up.
- Always make sure you have the phone number of at least the leader or back marker incase you get lost or breakdown, if the lead rider or back marker receives a call when out on a ride out and providing you have not with held your number they will always call you back when they have stopped.
Above is the basics of our ride out rules and below you will find a more comprehensive guide that we use for all our ride outs.
They rules are there for your safety and to ensure your enjoyment of the ride.
- Don’t be frightened of group riding, it’s enjoyable, otherwise we wouldn’t do it! Group riding is done for companionship; it should never be allowed to develop into a competition and especially not into a race.
- You remain responsible for your own safety while riding your bike, so don’t allow group riding to encourage you to do anything which is unsafe. Listen to the Group Leader’s briefing and try to remember at least the basics of the route and the location of any planned refreshment stops; this is information you will need if you do get separated.
- Maintain all round vigilance, as you would normally do to ride safely. Other riders in the group could be a source of risk to you as well as other traffic, so keep your eyes peeled. Frequent rear observations are particularly important. Other road users can look upon groups of riders as an irritating obstruction and they may try to overtake the group aggressively.
- Don’t allow yourself to ride faster than you can cope with safely just to avoid losing touch or a navigational turn; getting lost is much easier, quicker and less painful to recover from than an accident.
- The Group Leader and his Back Door Man will be constantly in touch with each other regarding the speed, as it can vary greatly at times between first and last bike believe it or not!
- A staggered riding formation is often used on main roads and motorways because it allows the group to ride together safely. Each rider still then have a two second gap behind the bike in front, each rider occupies half of the lane in a staggered position. It is not necessary or desirable to ride very close to your side of the lane. It’s not advisable to use the staggered riding formation on narrow country roads or on poor roads; it is better to pick your own line around bends
- At roundabouts or junctions it is advantageous to close up into pairs, slightly staggered so when it’s your turn to pull out you can see both ways, pulling out quickly and safely, this also allows the group to keep its cohesion.
- Drop off – GOLDWINGS NORTH WEST as a rule does not use the “DROP OFF SYSTEM”. However, at times it is necessary to adopt the system and be mentioned in the briefing before we set out off on the days ride. Please read on to see how it works! If you find yourself immediately behind the Group Leader at a turning point on the route you might be “dropped off” to act as a marker for the turn. The Group Leader will indicate with an outstretched arm, pointing to where he would like you to stop. You must make your own assessment of whether it is safe to stop and if so where, the Group Leader is inviting you to do so by his arm signal, not ordering you. Normally the safest place to stop is at the nearside curb, either well back from the junction or roundabout for a left hand turn or just beyond a right hand turn, where riders approaching the turn will be able to see you across the junction or roundabout. Sometimes, at complex or obscured junctions or roundabouts, the Group Leader might drop off more than one marker, when you stop after being dropped off at a turning point you should wait until the Back Door Man approaches, he and partner should be noticeable by a different coloured Vest, their windscreen could be marked too. When you see the Back Door Man approaching, prepare to move off just in front of him; he will slow down, beep the horn and/or wave to alert you.
- Bike-to-bike communications by all means enjoy chatting during the ride if you wish but please don’t prevent the Group Leader communicating with his Back Door Man.
- Group riding on motorways requires a different approach and needs everyone to try to keep up with the bike in front; the group needs to ride at a similar pace if not faster than most other traffic in order to be able to ride defensively, to avoid being at increased risk from other motorway users (this is especially true in Germany). If you don’t feel comfortable doing the pace the Group Leader is setting on a motorway you should consider leaving the group as soon as practicable and make your own way instead.
- Whilst the staggered group riding is advised, you should allow other motorway users to break into the group in order to change lanes, especially in order to enter or leave the motorway.
- Overtaking on Motorways – although it is preferred that we keep our positions in the group whilst on the motorways, we will meet vehicles that are slower than us and will need to overtake them, follow the Group Leader and overtake as you draw closer to the vehicle. On occasions there might be heavy traffic, the Back Door Man will on the request of the group leader pull out at the same time, this is to make the overtake manoeuvre easier for YOU. LOOK OUT for him and move quickly, he is effectively holding up the traffic momentarily for you!
- Mobile phone – it is advisable to carry a mobile phone and have at least the Group Leader and Back Door Man’s number; don’t forget to give them yours too! You might want to put the number of your holiday travel/medical insurance firm, breakdown recovery and consulate in your phone too.
- Breakdown – If anyone sees any winger from the group broken down please alert the Group Leader, he will bring the group to a halt when safe to do so. If a breakdown occurs on the motorway, again alert the leader he will halt the group at the next service station or motorway turn off and contact will be made via mobile phone. The Back Door Man may stop briefly with the broken down vehicle.
Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask for help.
MOST IMPORTANTLY ENJOY YOUR RIDE