Group Ride Etiquette

As a club affiliated with the IAM, ESAM organised rides are built around a set of guidelines from the IAM.  By following these guidelines, we ensure that as a club we are covered by the IAM’s Public Liability insurance policy. Whilst we always try and keep the event light hearted and open, there are many rules that we must follow, as well as a few other points that are common to all club organised   rides.  Over the years we have   seen   many   different   people, places   and incidents on club rides, and during this time we have formulated many points of etiquette that we like to be followed.  This is for your own safety and enjoyment as well as that of the rest of the riders.

  1. Please turn up for the ride at least 15 minutes before the posted leave time.

This is to ensure that you do not miss any information for the ride that may be given out at the briefing.

It allows the ride leader to get an exact count of how many and who are in the group

It gives you a few minutes to settle and get to know who you will be riding with.

  1. During the briefing, please pay attention to the Ride Leader giving the briefing and suspend any conversations with fellow riders until the briefing is complete.

Even if you have been on many club rides, there may be something specific about the day’s ride that you will need to know.

  1. Always turn up for the ride with a full tank of petrol and an empty bladder. Rides can often last up to 2 hours, and that cuppa you had before you left home can get mighty uncomfortable.
  2. If you have any luggage, ensure that it is secure before setting off on the ride.

Pace – General

There can be a number of issues with pace in a group ride, so please bear these in mind.

Avoid ‘tailgating’ the rider in front of you.  Remember who breaks the 2 second rule!

If the pace of the rider in front is less than yours, the ‘Drop Off System’ allows for you to overtake the rider as long as you remain behind the lead rider.

We stress that this is done safely and considerately.  Bearing in mind that the rider in front may be looking to overtake a slower vehicle themselves or may feel the location is not safe to travel any faster and may be surprised by your willingness to press on.

If you see another rider in the group approaching in your mirrors, give them plenty of room to get past safely.

  1. Pace of the leader.

If you gain on the ride leader, and their pace, in your opinion, is too slow you have many options:

  1. Slow down and wait to be dropped off.
  2. Drop off early and rejoin the ride at a safe spot in front of the sweeper.
  3. Pace of the sweeper.

If the sweeper is riding uncomfortably close, you can pull over and ask them to drop back.  Please don’t feel intimidated into increasing your pace beyond your comfort zone.

  1. Ride leaders.

Do not attempt to keep the group ‘together’.  Ride at your own pace.  Inevitably you will find yourself on your own at times; if this is the case and you have a turning that needs marking, that is the time for you to stop and wait for the next rider.

  1. Road Rage.

This has no place on a club ride either with other road users or with members of the ride itself. If you find yourself in an altercation with a member of the public do not resort to hand signs or other indications of your frustration. If possible just continue, do not rise to any ‘bullying’ or ‘intimidation’. If necessary for your own safety, pull over and wait for the sweeper. Do not get off you motorcycle, other than to move to a safe location as this be threatening behaviour. Do not verbally or physically attack any third party.

If you find yourself in an altercation with another member of the ride forgive them!  It may simply have been a mistake.  We all make them, and it will only spoil your own ride if you let it niggle. If  someone  is  doing  something  consistently  that  you  think  is  endangering  the ride or its members.

Either, avoid the person, (that may mean slowing down and letting them get a safe distance ahead of you), or on a safe stretch of road pass them and move on.

  1. If you need to leave the Ride

If you wish to leave the ride for any reason, please pull over to a safe location avoiding any obvious turn offs and therefore confusion with markers, and flag down the sweeper to let them know of your intention.  This is to avoid any delays to the rest of the ride, looking or waiting for missing riders

  1. Comments or Complaints.

We are very open to feed back:  as ride leaders we need to know what you like and dislike.  But please, if you have a complaint or adverse comment to make, do it discretely.

Pull over and calmly discuss it with the sweeper. At  the  end  of  the  ride,  have  a  word  with  the  ride  leader,  or  any  observer present.  They  will  then  quietly  chat  to  the  rider  in  question,  as  there  may  have been an issue at the time (“wasp in the helmet ”?)

If you feel very strongly about it please e-mail the Ride Co-ordinator or Chairman

Always remember…The Golden Rule

You  are  deemed  to  be  in  control  of  and  responsible  for  your  vehicle  and  your own  riding  at  all  times  irrespective  of  any  guidance  or  instruction  from  any member of the ride team.

You   must   ride   within   the   law   and   obey   road   traffic   regulations,   and   to   a standard expected of an ESAM member affiliated to IAM Roadsmart.