Group riding is one of the greatest parts of belonging to any HOG Chapter and our Raleigh NC Chapter is no exception. We love to ride and have many group rides throughout the year.
Here are some of the basic group riding techniques that we follow.
- We obey all traffic rules.
- We ride in staggered formation, 2 seconds behind the bike directly in front of us, 1 second behind the bike to our left or to our right. The safe riding distance is 2 seconds.
- When traveling behind a trike, position yourself behind the bike that is in front of the trike. A trike normally travels in L2. If the bike in front of the trike is in L1, you should be in L1.
- We fill in gaps, such as when a rider leaves a ride returning home, based on the situation.
- If a stop will be coming soon, the gap can be maintained until that stop. At that stop, riders move forward to fill the gap, then the group leaves the stop in the normal staggered fashion.
- If there is no imminent stop we follow MSF guidelines, meaning the rest of the group should re-form the staggered formation by crisscrossing into the next vacant position.
- Neither MSF nor Raleigh HOG recommend passing another rider within a lane because it is risky.
- When making a turn or passing, check your mirrors. Both of them.
- We always use our turn signals. We also use hand signals and these will be described by the road captains prior to the ride.
- We NEVER leave anyone behind. If you pull off, one of the road captains will pull off and stay with you.
- Check your mirrors often! If you notice the person behind you is missing, then please wait at a safe and visible location at the next turn to help that person find us. This is called "breadcrumbing"
- When part of the group becomes separated by a traffic light or any other traffic delay, the moving group will monitor behind them. If the separated group is not in sight, the last rider (breadcrumb) in the moving group will stop at the next turn in the route. Only stop in a safe location. The last rider (breadcrumb) will stay at the turn until the delayed group reaches the turn. Once this turn is made by the delayed group, the rider (breadcrumb) at the stopped location will fall in behind the delayed group and continue the route.
- The delayed group will continue on the route (stay straight) until they observe the moving group or a rider (breadcrumb) stopped at the next turn in the route. The separated group shall not make any premature turns without observing a breadcrumb at the turn.
- The breadcrumb rule may apply at several turns until the entire group is whole again.
- The following illustration shows the breadcrumb method.