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Old 02.04.2012, 14:54
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Written/unwritten rules for group motorcycle rides?

I went on my first group ride in Switzerland this weekend. I was surprised to see there appeared to be no rules/regulations governing lane position in group rides. I don't know if this is because of whom I was riding with or if people don't receive any training on this when they take lessons.

In Canada I was given VERY specific instructions on this, as well as explained all the rationale behind the instructions, and research that showed why it was "proper".

What were you taught about lane position in group rides, and what country were you taught in?
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Old 02.04.2012, 15:18
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Re: Written/unwritten rules for group motorcycle rides?

Swiss instructors definitely give strict "guidance" on this topic, but I can't type it out at work. ;-) I'll try to come back later and post some of the things I was taught here.
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Old 02.04.2012, 15:22
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Re: Written/unwritten rules for group motorcycle rides?

These are the written rules:

Art. 12 VRV
Quote:
Der Fahrzeugführer hat beim Hintereinanderfahren einen ausreichenden Abstand zu wahren, so dass er auch bei überraschendem Bremsen des voranfahrenden Fahrzeugs rechtzeitig halten kann.

Lorsque des véhicules se suivent, le conducteur se tiendra à une distance suffisante du véhicule qui le précède, afin de pouvoir s’arrêter à temps en cas de freinage inattendu

Drivers need to have sufficiant distance between them, in case of an emergency breaking of the one in front you have to be able to stop in time.
Art. 47 SVG
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Motorradfahrer dürfen nicht nebeneinander fahren, soweit es nicht beim Fahren innerhalb einer Kolonne von Motorwagen geboten erscheint.

Les motocyclistes ne doivent pas circuler de front, sauf s’il est indiqué de le faire quand ils se trouvent dans une file de voitures automobiles.

Motorcyle riders must not drive next to each other, unless it is suitable in a collumn with cars.
Art. 43 VRV
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Die Führer von Motorrädern dürfen weder nebeneinander noch neben Fahrrädern oder Motorfahrrädern fahren. Radfahrer und Motorfahrradfahrer dürfen nicht neben Motorrädern fahren.

Les conducteurs de motocycles ne circuleront ni de front ni à côté de cycles ou de cyclomoteurs. Les cyclistes et les conducteurs de cyclomoteurs ne circuleront pas à côté de motocycles.

Motorcycle riders are not allowed to ride next to each other, nor next to bicycles and mopeds. Bicycles and moped rideres are not allowed to ride next to motorcyles.
Art. 52 SVG
Quote:
Andere motor- und radsportliche Veranstaltungen auf öffentlichen Strassen, ausgenommen Ausflugsfahrten, bedürfen der Bewilligung der Kantone, deren Gebiet befahren wird.

Pour les autres manifestations sportives automobiles et de cycles sur la voie publique, l’autorisation des cantons dont elles empruntent le territoire est nécessaire, sauf si elles ont le caractère d’excursions

You need a permission for motor sport, expect when it is a simple excurions tour.
Otherwise, all laws applies, Priorety from right, Traffic circles, etc.

So called Stoppies are not allowed. See this discussion in German.

Last edited by aSwissInTheUS; 02.04.2012 at 15:52.
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Old 02.04.2012, 15:32
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Re: Written/unwritten rules for group motorcycle rides?

Google translate tells me the following about your quotes:
"Motorcycle riders must not ride side by side, unless it is not deemed necessary when driving in a convoy of motor cars.

The leaders of motorcycles shall not ride side by side or next to bicycles or motor bikes. Cyclists and motor cyclists should not ride motorcycles in addition to

Other motor and radsportliche events on public roads, except for trips require the approval of the cantons, whose territory is traveled."

I appreciate the links, and the intent, but it's not very clear to me as a non-German speaker.
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Old 02.04.2012, 15:40
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Re: Written/unwritten rules for group motorcycle rides?

The way we've always done it, everyone rides their own ride, one is always at the front, another at the back, no-one overtakes the front rider, the rear rider never overtakes anyone, and the rider behind the lead rider get left at junctions to point the way until the clean-up rider shows up.

We sometimes get so spread out that there can be 10-20 minutes between lead and clean-up riders!

Tom
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Old 02.04.2012, 15:47
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Re: Written/unwritten rules for group motorcycle rides?

I was taught that on group rides you ride in staggered formation.

The first rider is always on the left of the lane to be most visible to oncoming and following traffic. The next rider is on the right, being 1.5 seconds behind the rider in front. The next on the left and 1.5 seconds behind the rider on the right and 3 seconds behind the rider directly ahead of them to maximize visibility...and so on, right, left, right, left.

You pretty much stay in "your part" of the lane unless there are problems on the ride, or you are going around a blind corner, or up a steep hill, in which case, you take the right part of the lane, and everyone adjusts their following position. If another vehicle merges into the group, the new leader, takes the left position and everyone behind staggers as above.
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Old 02.04.2012, 15:54
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Re: Written/unwritten rules for group motorcycle rides?

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The way we've always done it, everyone rides their own ride,
The big organised groups, like HOG and Wing Riders, tend to have an acknowledged 'Road Captain' complete with rulebook . Completely over the top, and completely at odds with anything I ever wanted to be part of as a motorcyclist of 30+ years. The very thought of sticking rigidly to self-imposed speed limits, positioning rules and lane etiquette, with no overtaking and no fun riding, is anathema to me and other riders of my acquaintance, and just makes me wonder why they'd want to do all that stuff on a motorcycle, rather than just taking a train.

Their choice, I suppose, but anyone I've ever ridden with has been much happier with the basic 'ride your own ride' approach you suggest. Oh, except, I now notice on re-reading, all of this:

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one is always at the front, another at the back, no-one overtakes the front rider, the rear rider never overtakes anyone, and the rider behind the lead rider get left at junctions to point the way until the clean-up rider shows up.
Why bother with any of that? Just make sure everyone knows where they're going, and if some individuals want to ride in convoy that's their own lookout. I'll ride at whatever speed, in whatever fashion, I like, TYVM.
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Old 02.04.2012, 15:58
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Re: Written/unwritten rules for group motorcycle rides?

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Why bother with any of that? Just make sure everyone knows where they're going, and if some individuals want to ride in convoy that's their own lookout. I'll ride at whatever speed, in whatever fashion, I like, TYVM.
Because it allows everyone to ride at their own speed, and no-one gets lost, despite often times not having another group member in sight!

Like I said, we'll be spread out over kms, or even 10s of kms, before long, and we don't stop often.

Also, we are generally doing complicated routes that aren't necessarily familiar to most.

Tom
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Old 02.04.2012, 16:01
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Re: Written/unwritten rules for group motorcycle rides?

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I'll ride at whatever speed, in whatever fashion, I like, TYVM.
The thing is that you can't possibly know what fashion everyone else is comfortable with (nor their skill level or alertness), and your riding could actually put everyone in danger if you assume they are as skilled as you.
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Old 02.04.2012, 16:20
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Re: Written/unwritten rules for group motorcycle rides?

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Because it allows everyone to ride at their own speed, and no-one gets lost, despite often times not having another group member in sight!

Like I said, we'll be spread out over kms, or even 10s of kms, before long, and we don't stop often.

Also, we are generally doing complicated routes that aren't necessarily familiar to most.

Tom
Nearly never do rides. But that would be a style to my likening.
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Old 02.04.2012, 16:33
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Re: Written/unwritten rules for group motorcycle rides?

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The thing is that you can't possibly know what fashion everyone else is comfortable with (nor their skill level or alertness), and your riding could actually put everyone in danger if you assume they are as skilled as you.
Eh? Sorry, I don't understand that. If I choose to ride faster than a 'less skilled' rider, how could that put them in danger?

Or to put it another way, if my riding put anyone else in danger I shouldn't be on the road in the first place.
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Old 02.04.2012, 16:51
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Re: Written/unwritten rules for group motorcycle rides?

Peer-pressure, I suppose. The less-skilled rider might be tempted to try to match your (or the group) speed and eventually crash. Not directly the fast-rider's fault, of course.
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Old 02.04.2012, 16:51
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Re: Written/unwritten rules for group motorcycle rides?

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I'll ride at whatever speed, in whatever fashion, I like, TYVM.
The way I interpreted what you wrote, is that you do what you feel like, without necessarily considering how your actions impact others. Laws, rules, and etiquette exist for a reason, primarily to keep us safe. Motorcycles are already dangerous. If everyone just rides at whatever speed and fashion they feel like, it's no surprise how many deaths there are.

I don't know you, nor how you ride, maybe you are the safest rider out there, I don't know -but that kind of statement scares me a bit. We all impact each other whether we realize it or not.
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Old 02.04.2012, 16:52
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Re: Written/unwritten rules for group motorcycle rides?

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Eh? Sorry, I don't understand that. If I choose to ride faster than a 'less skilled' rider, how could that put them in danger?
Agreed, it's only a danger if they try to keep the same pace as a faster/more experienced rider, in which case the less skilled rider is at fault for riding beyond their comfort zone.

I showed a former girlfriend that by taking it easy and not trying to keep up with me, and NOT to follow my lines, she'd actually become faster and less tired, and she agreed (to her surprise).

Tom
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Old 02.04.2012, 17:20
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Re: Written/unwritten rules for group motorcycle rides?

I'm with Tom, we always have one front and back who know the route, so back man can catch up with stragglers. We often get strung out a bit, so usually concertina back into a group at major junctions and roundabouts. The bits between, you enjoy at your own pace. We've had some real good outings so far :-)

Chris
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Old 02.04.2012, 17:30
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Re: Written/unwritten rules for group motorcycle rides?

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The way I interpreted what you wrote, is that you do what you feel like, without necessarily considering how your actions impact others.
Oh well that was far from my intended meaning. I just meant that having a third party (i.e. not me, not the law) dictate how I should or should not ride in a group completely negates any of my preconceived notions of riding pleasure, so I would not be happy to adhere to said rules.

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I don't know you, nor how you ride, maybe you are the safest rider out there, I don't know -but that kind of statement scares me a bit. We all impact each other whether we realize it or not.
Of course. I would never suggest otherwise.

As it happens, my ~30 year riding career ended about five years back when I nearly killed myself flying back-first into an Armco barrier at Eeeek!mph. I rationalised at the time that continuing to ride would make no sense for me at all - either I'd carry on riding like a twat (and if I killed myself I'd never forgive myself) or I'd try and ride slowly, thereby removing the reason I rode in the first place.
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Old 02.04.2012, 17:49
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Re: Written/unwritten rules for group motorcycle rides?

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I was taught that on group rides you ride in staggered formation.

The first rider is always on the left of the lane to be most visible to oncoming and following traffic. The next rider is on the right, being 1.5 seconds behind the rider in front. The next on the left and 1.5 seconds behind the rider on the right and 3 seconds behind the rider directly ahead of them to maximize visibility...and so on, right, left, right, left..
O_o

What is this, motorcycling or formation flying?
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Old 02.04.2012, 21:33
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Re: Written/unwritten rules for group motorcycle rides?

Dunno about you but half the fun is razzing about (safely ) and trying to get in front of the other guy.

Getting lost is the penalty. My mates would just go on without me.

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Old 02.04.2012, 21:39
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Re: Written/unwritten rules for group motorcycle rides?

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The way we've always done it, everyone rides their own ride, one is always at the front, another at the back, no-one overtakes the front rider, the rear rider never overtakes anyone, and the rider behind the lead rider get left at junctions to point the way until the clean-up rider shows up.

We sometimes get so spread out that there can be 10-20 minutes between lead and clean-up riders!

Tom
And i guess after the clean up rider shows up, the rider who waits at the junction speeds up to go to his old place again?

What if there is another junction coming up and the junction guy is stuck to the previous junction?

Im just trying to work out logistics. Im an engineer sorry
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Old 02.04.2012, 21:41
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Re: Written/unwritten rules for group motorcycle rides?

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And i guess after the clean up rider shows up, the rider who waits at the junction speeds up to go to his old place again?
Indeed, that's the whole fun, moving past everyone back up again!

Tom
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