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Group Riding:
Lost 202 rides are closed rides, open to Lost 202 Members or Member invited riders ONLY.

Before the Ride Starts
Ride Leader
Wing Man
Tail Gunner
New Riders
Staggered Formation Riding
Filling in a Broken Stagger
Hand Signals
Stopping, Traffic Lights
Stopping, Stop Signs
Lane Changes
Corner Marking (Split Group)

Before the Ride Starts:
Have a FULL tank of gas and an EMPTY bladder before the departure time. Tell the ride leader and tail gunner if you plan to leave the group before the end of the ride. Also tell the riders in front and behind you so they don't think you are having mechanical or other problems. We try to stop for fuel, smokes, drinks and rest approximately every hour or so and almost always inside of 100 miles. Tell the ride leader if your bike has an unusually short fuel range or if your bladder has an unusually short range!

Ride Leader:
The Ride Leader will position at the head of the ride in the left hand position. He must be aware of the length of the columns, and must gauge the passing of merges, highway entrances and exits, etc., to allow for maximum safety and keeping the group together. He must make sure that he leaves enough time/space for the formation to get into the appropriate lanes before exits, etc. All directions come from the Ride Leader. The Ride Leader makes all decisions regarding lane changes, stopping for breaks and fuel, closing of gaps, turning off at exits, any concerns of what lies ahead, and so on. No individual will assert himself independently over the Ride Leader.

Wing Man:
The Wing Man will take the second bike position, staggered to the outside (right) of the Ride Leader. The Wing Man will serve as the Ride Leaders eyes to the rear of the group. This allows the Ride Leader to focus their attention on the road ahead and on the route. The Wing Man will observe the rear and notify the Ride Leader of any problems, splits or signals being passed up from the bikes in the rear.

Tail Gunner:
The Tail Gunner serves as the Ride Leader eyes at the rear of the pack. He watches the formation, and at rest stops informs the Ride Leader of any potential problems within the group. The Tail Gunner will stop to assist any rider that must suddenly or unexpectantly break formation and drop out of the ride. In lane change situations, he will watch for merging lanes, and will when possible, move into a merging lane first in order to "close the door" (block) other vehicles that may otherwise find themselves trying to merge into the formation. This is difficult to coordinate lacking radio communications.

New Riders:

Staggered Formation Riding:
We ride in a standard staggered formation. In staggered formation, the bikes form two columns, with the leader at the head of the left column, so he will be able to view all bikes in the formation in his/her rearview mirrors, and be able to see around vehicles the group approaches. The second bike will head the right column, and will ride approximately 1 second behind the leader (in the opposite side of the lane). The other riders will position their bikes 2 seconds behind the bike directly in front of them, which puts them 1 second behind the staggered bike. This formation allows each rider sufficient safety space, and discourages other vehicles from cutting into the line. It is particularly important to maintain formation when riding in "in-town" traffic conditions to keep cages from cutting into the ride. The stagger formation benifits all riders by keeping everyone out of each others way, and you always know where the bikes around you are... they are in their stagger formation slot.

Who owns the lane? When in stagger YOU own the entire width of the lane if needed to dodge a pot hole, swing wide in a curve, etc... But you should return to your stagger position ASAP after such a maneuver. The last rider, or Tail Gunner, may ride on whichever side of the lane he prefers. He will have to change sides during the ride, based on the situation at the moment.

Passing in same lane. You just should not do it. But in the event that you feel you must, do so only AFTER prior communication of intent and acknowledgment from the rider to be passed. If you do want to move up in the ride formation (say to pass a two-up couple) communicate your intent & wait for the rider to be passed to acknowledge and approve your pass. If on the road, this may entail beeps of the horn, hand signals and nods of acknowledment.

Leaving from a stop. Careful, orderly, in the same order as the bikes are parked. If you wish to move up in the ride after a stop, make your intention known by moving out away from the group, move forward in the ride and signal your desire to take a spot further up in the formation. Don't just zip past bikes from behind. If you wish to move back in the ride, remain stationary and wave bikes past you. Make sure to signal your intent to reinsert yourself and wait until the approaching rider to acknowledge you before merging back into the ride.

Filling in a Broken Stagger:
If the staggered formation is broken for any reason, the riders behind the break must move to reestablish the stagger. All riders behind the break, starting with the first rider staggered behind the vacated position should change lane positioning right or left to reestablish the stagger. Doing this eliminates any passing in a single lane.

Hand Signals: - View Hand Signals Demonstrated
Each rider (and passenger) should duplicate all hand signals given by the rider in front of him, so that the signal gets passed all the way to the back of the formation. The following signals are used in addition to the standard right turn,

Slow Down:
If the Ride Leader wants the entire group to slow down. The Ride Leader will extend their left arm with palm of hand facing down. He will then lower his hand about twelve inches, raise it back to original height and repeat four or five times. All other riders repeat this and slow their bikes.

Single up:
When conditions warrant single file (narrow road, twisty section of road, obstruction or construction, pedestrians, etc.) the Ride Leader will raise his left hand straight up over his head, holding up just his index finger. All other riders will repeat this, and the two columns will merge into single file.

Staggered Formation:
When single file is no longer necessary, the Ride Leader will raise his left hand with two fingers raised, rotating (twisting) his wrist back and forth (indicating left, right, left, right). All other riders will repeat this and resume staggered formation.

Tighten Formation:
When the Ride Leader feels that the formation should be tighter (bikes closer together) he raises his left hand, makes a fist and pumps his arm up and down. All other riders repeat this and close up all unnecessary space in the formation.

Road Hazard:
This signal may be initiated by ANYONE. Anyone seeing a hazardous condition on the road surface (road kill, oil, gravel, significant pot hole, etc.) will point at it. All following riders will repeat this, and all riders will avoid the hazard. Hazards to the left of a bike should be pointed at with the left hand, hazards to the right of the bike should be pointed at with the right hand. If use of the clutch or throttle precludes a point, the leg & foot may be used to mark a hazard as well.

Regroup or Misc Problem:
This signal may also be initiated by ANYONE. If a bike drops out of formation and the ride leader is unaware (usually a bike from the rear of the group) or any situation arises which the Ride Leader is unaware of and requires the group to stop. Raise your left arm straight up and move it in a circular pattern. This signal may need to be passed up the group to be communicated with the ride leader. If nessecary, beep horns to get the riders ahead or the ride leaders attention.

Back Off:
If a rider is crowding you too closely making you uncomfortable, signal this to the rider by extending your arm on whichever side the offending rider is on, with your palm facing the rider. Push your hand backwards approximately 12 inches and then return to the original position. Repeat 3 or 4 times. If the rider does not back off, inform the ride leader at the next rest stop

Stopping, Traffic Lights:
When stopping as a group at an intersection, break staggered formation and pull up beside the bike in the adjacent lane (parade formation). This will reduce the length of the group by half. Stay in this formation until you have cleared the intersection. Because the group is half as long it will take half the time to clear the intersection and increase the odds of keeping the group intact. Return to staggered formation after clearing the intersection.

Stopping, Stop Signs:
When stopping as a group at an intersection, break staggered formation and pull up beside the bike in the adjacent lane (parade formation). You should be able to get a group of 4 bikes through the intersection simultaneously. The 4 bikes should move through the intersection as tightly as they can safely maneuver. If there is no traffic at the intersection, additional bikes may proceed without each bike coming to a stop. Frequently cages will remain stopped and allow the entire ride to pass uninterupted. However, do not assume this. If there is cage traffic present and more than 4 bikes are to attempt to clear the intersection, make eye contact with the stopped vehicle to determine if he is waiting for you or prepared to proceed. While not strictly legal, most law enforcement recognizes the safety issues involved and will not interfere. Lane or street blocking to allow a group to ride through an intersection is illegal in the State of Minnesota and should be done with caution. Return to staggered formation after clearing the intersection.

Lane Changes:
All lane changing is initiated by the Ride Leader. If possible, the Tail Gunner will (when it is safe to do so) move into the requested lane to secure the lane, and block approaching vehicles from the rear. Simple Lane Change: The Ride Leader will put on his directional signal and use the appropriate hand signal as an indication that he is about to order a lane change. As each rider sees the directional signal, he also turns his on, so the riders following him get the signal. The leader then initiates the change. All other riders change lanes too. The important concept is that NO ONE moves until the bike in front of him has started moving. Under some circumstances the Tail Gunner may move into the lane prior to the rest of the formation to secure the lane, and block approaching vehicles from the rear.

Corner Marking:
If the ride becomes separated. You need to mark corners for the trailing ridsers. This is EVERYONES responsibility. If a ride becomes separated, as long as you can see the trailing bikes in your rear view mirror, they can follow you. If you loose visual contact with trailing bikes, it is your responsibility to stop and mark any turns the group makes. It may be necessary for multiple riders to stop and mark turns before the entire group is reunited. You should mark any actual turns that the group makes, controlled intersections and any spot you feel may confuse the following riders as to what direction the ride leader went.

In the unlikely event of an emergency condition, the Ride Leader will make every attempt to move the formation to the shoulder in an orderly manner. If a bike breaks down, let the rider move to the right. DO NOT STOP. The Tail Gunner will stop with the problem bike, no other riders should drop out of the formation or stop their bikes until the ride leader has stopped the group. The Ride Leader will lead the group to a safe stopping place before stopping.

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