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Safety Briefing

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Safety Briefing

Ride Leaders/Road Captain – Safety Officers

We begin each Pride Ride Wisconsin (PRW) ride, with a “Ride Briefing” by the Ride Leader/Road Captain.  RL/RC will explain today’s ride purpose or theme, what the planned route will be, where the group will stop (If any), and what our expected timeframes are. This is followed by a safety briefing, which will be presented by one of the Safety Officers(Ride Leader/Road Captain). Here are the key points that will be covered:

  1. Please make sure you start each club ride with a full tank of gas.
  2. The club rides are always in staggered formation and never side by side unless a special circumstances. This provides additional room should one of us need to make an emergency maneuver. Side by side is okay when we come to a stop, but remember that the bike on the left always leaves first.
  3. 1 second – 2 second rule applies. When in staggered formation, stay two seconds behind the bike directly in front of you (same side of the lane) and one second behind the bike in front of and across from you. If the weather conditions are poor – fog, rain, etc. increase the distance between each bike accordingly.
  4. If a rider drops out, don’t cross over to the other side of the lane to reset the stagger formation. Stay in your lane and move up to fill the opening if the rider who left was in front of you, or motion to the rider behind the opening to move up when its’ safe to do so.
  5. We use standard riding hand signals for left and right turns, slowing down and stopping. We have others that you may not be familiar with, such as ‘debris in the road’, ‘single/double file’, and obstruction on the side of the road. We’ll go over all of these during the Safety Briefing.
  6. Pass hand signals them Back! Remember that once you get a few bikes back from the Ride Leader/Road Captain they can not be seen by everyone, and they can’t see you. Make sure you pass all the hand signals back.
  7. If you are new to group riding, or a new rider overall, the best place for you is right behind the Ride Leader/Road Captain. The further back you are, the more “slinky effect” you will encounter as we change speeds.
  8. Trikes and bikes with sidecars will ride in the rear but forward of the Tailgunner, or may ride in a separate group.
  9. Remember, at 35 MPH you’re traveling 50 feet per second – 3 car lengths.
  10. Don’t get complacent. It’s sometimes easy to trust in the group and do a little sightseeing, knowing that the Ride Leader/Road Captain will lead you to your destination. This is a serious danger! Riding in a group requires even MORE alertness than riding alone (if that’s possible). YOU are not only still responsible for your own safety; you have obligations to those riding around you. Keeping this in mind, and knowing that the folks riding around you are doing the same, is one of the most important elements of a group ride.
  11. Don’t blindly follow lane changes, move through intersections, and stop lights etc. without looking for yourself. If the group is going through a traffic light and it changes to yellow just in front of you, make the conservative choice. Keeping the group together is a distant second to keeping everyone safe. The group may have safety officers working traffic control with larger group rides, this does not mean you you are relieved from your own safety responsibilities.
  12. If the ride group gets separated directly in front of you, and you are not comfortable leading, call for single file (using riding hand signals) and move to the right side of the lane. A Safety Officer will ride up the left side of the lane and take the lead.
  13. If you do keep the lead, DO NOT race recklessly to catch up with the rest of the group. The Ride Leader/Road Captain, with the front group, will slow the down and wait for the separated riders to catch up, maintaining a safe, legal speed will close the gap soon enough. In the event of large gaps, the Ride Leader/Road Captain will pull over and wait for the rest of us.
  14. Finally, remember the importance of keeping your bike in top-notch condition. Properly inflated tires with good tread are one obvious maintenance issue, but don’t forget to check your entire bike before each ride. Your owner’s manual includes a section on the things you should check before every ride – if you haven’t read it recently, it’s a good idea to refresh your memory.