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Ten Motorcycle Group Riding Rules

by, Mick Lindley

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    Group riding can be a challenge under the best of conditions. The larger the group the more challenging it becomes. I have come up with a few rules over the years that makes things much easier if everyone agrees to them before the ride. My rules may make some people not want to ride with you, but that's OK too.

1. On the day of the ride be ready to leave at the appointed time with a full tank of gas. If you are meeting at 8:00 a.m. kick stands go up at 8:00 or 8:05 at the latest. If you are late you are making it very unfair to the ones who made the effort to get there on time. Be there or be left, catch up if you can or want too.

2. The above also applies to multi-day rides. If you want your windshield or your bike cleaned, or if you want to eat breakfast get up early enough to do that. At the appointed time kick stands will go up, and if you aren't ready you will be left.

3. If you can't pack it on your bike don't bring it. Just because someone else may have a little extra room on their bike don't ask them to take your stuff and keep up with it.

4. Conduct any personal business before the ride. Don't try to conduct your business while at lunch or at another stop making others sit and wait. If you want to waste riding time waste your own, you will be left. Catch up if you can or want too.

5. If a group member has an accident on or off the bike get him or her medical care as soon as possible. What is done with the bike and your decision to stay with them is up to you. I understand how vulnerable we can be on this one. It may be our best friend who is hurt, and as always during the ride it's your decision, but don't expect me to stay unless I want to, I'm off to Alaska.

6. If a group member has mechanical trouble with his or her bike offer every form of assistance you are capable of giving. If the bike cannot be fixed be sure the group member has a tow truck or has one on the way. Don't expect me to stop riding because your bike broke down. Remember, I am off to Alaska fulfilling my decades long dream. However, the group will never abandon a rider for any reason.

7. If at all possible the lead bike and the tail bike should have some means of communication to keep an eye on the group. I have been on rides where the riders in the rear dropped off and the lead bike rider didn't know it for a few miles.

8. Remember that riding in a group does not mean you surrender any decision making when it comes to your safety. Ride your own ride, and don't go any faster than you feel comfortable going. If the group is riding faster than you are comfortable with, drop back and ride at your own pace. The lead rider will sense this and slow down. The best lead riders will ask if the speed is OK with everyone.

9. Don't leave the group without letting someone know. Not knowing for sure you were safe, we would end up wasting a lot of riding time looking for you.

10. Be safe and have fun. Remember what we came for, to ride, and to ride another day.