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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.