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updated 4/25/2015

Group Riding Roles

Congratulations, Road Captains!

Table of Contents



  1. Provide for the safety and welfare of all individuals within the group, and any surrounding motorists or pedestrians.

  2. Lead the group to its destination and back in a well-organized, disciplined, and safe manner.

  3. Avoid creating hazardous situations.

  4. Be the most knowledgeable of the state laws and safe riding guidelines.

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Road Captain Recommended Qualifications:
  1. Maintain a current and valid motorcycle driver's license.

  2. Tact & understanding of people should be a high priority.

  3. **Remember, you were once a new rider. Deal with problems & issues as you would want to be treated.

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Road Captain's Responsibilities:
  1. Has full charge of the group until arrival at the destination.

  2. Lead the group in a manner consistent with the objectives and guidelines as stated herein, and execute his or her best judgment in situations not specifically covered in these guidelines.

  3. Brief other assigned Road Captains/Tail Gunners/Blockers as to route, responsibilities, and other details pertinent to the ride prior to departure.

  4. Conduct a rider's briefing prior to departure.
    • Review ride rules, signals.Review route, likely hazards, stops.Ensure all are gassed up/topped off.
    • Assign formation positions for riders, and "shepherds" for newbies.

  5. Be responsible for the final decision with regard to ride termination due to inclement weather, hazardous conditions, or other difficult or unsafe conditions.

  6. Instruct any rider to ride in a specific position within the group, or leave the group entirely, for reasons of misconduct, disorderly or unsafe riding, or faulty/unsafe equipment. Use common sense and tact.

  7. Bring a well-maintained First Aid kit to the ride. (Highly Recommended)

  8. Bring a well-stocked tool kit to the ride. (Highly Recommended)

  9. Bring a pager for emergency purposes. (Highly Recommended)

  10. Establish and maintain a uniform speed consistent with the ability of the least experienced rider, and with consideration of safe road conditions, traffic, and weather conditions.

  11. Initiate all maneuvers with traffic in a "safety first" manner.

  12. Lead the standard formation of a staggered double row, in one traffic lane.

  13. Be at the head of the group, and ride just to the left of lane center.

  14. Maintain a safe following distance by using the MINIMUM 3-second rule between the group and any vehicle ahead. This distance may be increased at the discretion of the Road Captain, but will NOT be decreased.

  15. Command the group to a single file formation when they cannot maintain visual control of the road conditions ahead over a minimum of a 4 second distance, narrow road, mountain/curvy roads, traveling directly adjacent to parked vehicles, or any other condition which may severely restrict the ability of individual group members to perform emergency avoidance maneuvers.

  16. Keep in mind that the Road Captain's job is not to be a tourist, but to maintain the group in a safe manner. If you want to just enjoy the ride, don't volunteer to be the captain.

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Tail Gunner:
  1. Assist the Road Captain in the performance of his or her duties.

  2. Ride at the rear of the group (except when conditions dictate otherwise) unless required to take on the responsibilities of the Road Captain.

  3. Be observant of any hazardous conditions or conduct, take immediate corrective action, and inform the Road Captain at the earliest safe opportunity.

  4. Bring a well-maintained First Aid kit to the ride. (Recommended)

  5. Bring a well-stocked tool kit to the ride. (Recommended)

  6. Correct and instruct the least experienced rider(s) gently if necessary.

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  1. Be experienced rider.

  2. Travel in second position behind the Road Captain.

  3. Perform "Sweep" for troublesome drivers in order to pass efficiently on two-lane roads.

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  1. Be a responsible, considerate, and safe rider.

  2. Be ready to leave when the Road Captain is, gas, bathroom, helmets on.

  3. Maintain safe, regular interval and staggered positioning. When there is a change, be ready to move to a new position.

  4. Change to single file through twisting or narrow roads.

  5. Make right half of lane open for the Blockers to advance to front following "sweep".

  6. If you're dropping out, let the Road Captain (or Tail Gunner) know.

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Road Captain Checklist:
  1. Welcome riders and introduce road captains.

  2. Define destination and outline route.

  3. Determine gas stop requirements.

  4. Outline itinerary for the day.

  5. Determine return plans.

  6. Review riding standards.

  7. Staggered position and safe distance.

  8. Entrance and exit.

  9. Lane changes.

  10. Single file procedures.

  11. Hand signals.

  12. Broken bike procedure.

  13. Locate pager and first aid kits.

  14. Designate emergency notifications.

  15. Determine riding group by size, skill level & cruising speed.

  16. Remind everyone to have fun, and to ride safely.

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