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Riding Formation

Crossroads HOG
March 2015

When Crossroads HOG orchestrates a ride – a group ride – we ride with our primary formation being a “2-second stagger.” This is an organized arrangement of the motorcycles on the road that provides us with the greatest amount of security (safety) we can achieve as a group riding
together.

The formation can be described as:

  •  2 parallel columns of motorcycles.
  •  The right column set back 1 second’s travel distance from the left column.
  •  The left column is headed by the lead Road Captain.
  •  The last rider/bike in the group is the “sweep” Road Captain.
  • Within each column:
  •  Bikes are separated by 2 seconds’ travel distance

Determine the 2 second distance in this manner

  •  Watch the bike in front of you
  •  When it’s rear tire crosses a fixed mark on the road (a pole shadow, a tar strip,etc) Start counting out loud (so as to count slowly enough) One – one thousand, two – one thousand
  •  Your front tire should cross that same fixed mark as you finish two-one thousand.

Pertinent information for each rider includes:

  • You:
  •  Keep your eyes up – watching not only the bike in front of you but several bikes ahead –including the other column’s bikes ahead of you.
  •  Keep checking you mirrors.
  •  Duplicate hand signals (and directional light signals) you see in front of you.
  •  Check your distance frequently to assure proper spacing – note the actual length of roadway between your bike and the bike directly ahead of you will increase as speed increases

Why this formation?

  •  This arrangement of bikes allows for a reasonable cushion of space around each bike.
  •  This arrangement of bikes allows time, and the use of the entire road surface width for emergency maneuvers.
  •  With every bike in the group intent on staying in the same defined arrangement, we assure dependability and predictability throughout the group – enhancing the safety factor for everyone. Even if you are riding behind an unfamiliar (to you) rider, you know that he/she is following the same procedure as you.
  •  This arrangement on the highway alerts other traffic to the presence of a ‘group’ of riders – shows cohesiveness and professionalism. It adds to our visibility.

Other stuff:

  •  Only the lead rider and sweep rider have their passing lamps on. All others are turned off. This enables the lead rider to see the sweep rider in his mirrors.
  •  The Group compresses to a ‘side-by-side’ configuration at a stop. Then, as it pulls away from the stop it re-organizes to the stagger.
  •  There is no passing while in the stagger formation. If a column slows down, both do. If one rider slows down, all rearward of that rider do so. Maintain the proper stagger.

Road captains will deal with the reason(s) at the next stop.

  •  The formation changes to single-file only when the hand signal for such is given –typically by the lead rider. If you need to move to avoid something, do so within your available space then return to your proper position.

After a stop it is wise to reassemble in the same position within the group as you have been riding. This adds to the comfort level as you become more familiar with those riders closest to you.