Organising a Group Ride-out

How to organise a safe and enjoyable ride for your group

Somerset has some of the finest motorcycling roads in the UK and welcomes safe riders. Somerset Road Safety has gathered together some helpful hints and tips from a number of different sources to help ensure you are able to plan a fun, and above all safe, ride-out.

A ride is supposed to be a fun experience, but this should never be at the expense of safety. The following hints and tips are not a strict set of rules but, rather, a set of guidelines to help you and the other riders involved in the ride-out to stay safe.

Hints and tips for a safe ride-out

  • Before you start ensure that you have a full tank of fuel
  • Carry sufficient funds for purchases throughout the ride e.g. coffee and lunch breaks. There may also be bridge tolls or ferry fares to pay
  • Check your bike thoroughly, especially tyre pressures. If you usually ride solo but take a pillion, you’ll probably need more air in your rear tyre – check recommended pressures, and be aware the handling of the bike will be different.
  • Carry a fully charged mobile phone in case of emergencies or separation from the group, and make sure it is loaded with an ICE (In Case of Emergency) contact number
  • At all times ride defensively and observe the Highway Code. Remember YOU and you alone are responsible for your riding
  • Generally, don’t overtake other bikes
  • Keep up with the bike in front to avoid other road users squeezing in. For the same reason, be aware of the distance between you and the bike behind. If the ride needs to slow down the leader will do so
  • Do not overtake the leader and don’t fall behind the rear marker/sweeper for the safety of the group. If the leader loses contact with the rear marker the leader will wait for everyone to catch up. Once the leader sees the rear marker again they know that everybody is together
  • In the event of a breakdown the ride should stop to help the relevant bike
  • The leader should always observe the relevant speed limits, and travel at a speed that is safe for the road conditions
  • There may be a ‘whiplash effect’ of bikes at the rear going faster to keep up with the ride. To avoid this happening the leader should go slower than the speed limit so that the bikes at the rear do not go faster than is safe for the road conditions
  • The ‘Second Man Drop-off’ system may be used on journeys. This means at a junction or roundabout the leader may appoint the second rider to stop and mark a turning or junction whilst the ride carries on. When it is your turn, stop safely in a way that does not obstruct other traffic whilst you are marking that junction. Remain there until the ‘Rear Marker’ catches up with you. There is now a new second rider whose turn it will be to mark the next junction
  • If Marshalls are used they are likely to be given high-viz/reflective waistcoats to wear. Marshals may be used to mark junctions and so on similar to the Second Man Drop-off system. If marshals are used and need to get to the front of the ride again please be aware of them and allow them to pass.
  • Finally, no wheelies, stoppies or other stunts - it's not big, it's not clever, and there is no quicker way to make yourself, your group, and motorcyclists in general look like a bunch of idiots

Please ride carefully and courteously at all times. Actions speak louder than words, and a well organised and safely run ride-out will provide you with no better opportunity to prove to other roads users why we enjoy riding motorcycles!

Somerset Road Safety also run a ‘Biker Assist’ courses, providing valuable information on what to do if a member of your group has an accident. The Biker Assist course is free of charge, takes two hours and can be delivered at your club meeting, for more information click here.

You could also consider joining the ‘Green Dot Crash Card’ scheme, for more information click here.

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