Omaha CO Bluffs Chapter # 2714

Rules of the Road

Introduction

Hand signals should be kept simple, easy to learn, and few in number. Either the rider or passenger can relay the signal. As soon as you see a signal given, you should give the same signal so the rider behind you can see it. When the phrase "1/3 of a lane" is used, it is referring to riding in the right or left track of a lane. These hand signals are not always used by all the groups that you ride with. These tips have been assembled as suggestions only.

Start Your Engines When your bike is running, place your hand on top of the windshield. If you do not have a windshield, raise your hand. This tells the Road Captain that everyone is ready to go.
Staggered Riding The lead motorcycle should be in the left 1/3 lane, second motorcycle should be in the right 1/3 lane, and so on. Each motorcycle should leave enough room for the motorcycle in front to make a maneuver (right or left) without having to worry about hitting the rear motorcycle. Always stay in line with the staggered bike in front of you and do not switch between the left and right side of the lane.
Slow Down Use either arm, straight down and palm towards the back. Move your arm back and forth at the elbow.
Hazard in the Road Point with left hand at the object. Sometimes in group riding, the Road Captain may wave his left arm back and forth, above his head, just to alert the rest of the group. He is the only person who should do this maneuver.
Passing other Vehicles
  • Pre-pass position, be far enough behind the vehicle you are going to pass to be able to see clearly down the road, to do an "oncoming traffic check".

  • Signal if you have a passenger, have the passenger signal as well.

  • Do a mirror check, then a head check of your blind spot, to make sure no one is passing you.

  • When passing, accelerate and change lanes. Remember, you legally cannot exceed the speed limit.

  • When returning to your lane, signal, make a mirror check and head check, to be sure there is space between you and another motorcycle. Return to your lane and turn off your blinker.
Interstate Passing
  • No more than three motorcycles should pass at the same time. This allows an "out" if needed. The entire group should not be in the passing lane.

  • In large groups, the last motorcycle could turn into the passing lane to allow the rest of the group to pass as a unit. However, this is not recommended unless all the riders are experienced riders.

  • ALWAYS pass in a staggered RIDING POSITION. This allows room for each motorcycle to switch from the right to the left track if needed.
Two Lane Passing Should have no more than two motorcycles pass at a time. NEVER have the last motorcycle pull out and slow traffic so the group can pass as a unit. Pass in a staggered formation.
When being Passed If you are riding in a large group, slow to allow the passing vehicle to get around you safely. If, for example, you are in the middle of the group, you may want to slow to allow a gap in the group so the passing vehicle can pass the group one-half at a time. Passing anytime can be hazardous. Use common sense.
After the Pass The lead rider can do one of two things:
  • Stay in the passing lane until the last motorcycle has made the pass and then change lanes.

  • The lead rider makes the lane change, going to the right track, until he can clearly see that the other motorcycles have made their lane change.

  • Bear in mind, if the lead rider stays in the passing lane, be sure there is no oncoming traffic. AGAIN, no more than two for the two lane passing or three for the Interstate passing at a time.
Need Gas? Point at the gas tank.
Please fill up before the ride, as it may be awhile waiting for the departure time.
Speed Do not ride above the posted speed. If there are 35-40 bikes in the pack from the time you start from a traffic light until the time the last bike leaves the same light, it may be 3-4 minutes. If you are speeding, what are the last bikes doing to catch up? This causes a rubber band effect within the group.
Departure Time & Place
  • For "MEETS", just get yourself to the destination by the designated time.

  • Please check your newsletter and events calendar for departure times. 
Experience We encourage our new, and under experienced riders to ride at the front of the group of bikes. It will be easier to see hand signals from this position. Please remember to maintain the staggered riding position.
Drop Out If you intend to drop out of the pack before it reaches its destination, please give this information to the Road Captains. It will save an unnecessary stop for the pack.
Other Tips
  • WHEN IN A TIGHT CURVE, the rider on the outside of the curve should give room to the rider on the inside, in case the curve is too tight to negotiate at that speed without excessive overcrowding.

  • USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM of riding and if your buddy you are riding with has trouble and must pull out of the group, pull of the road with them and offer any assistance you can. A Road Captain will also stop to help.

  • KEEP A SAFE DISTANCE behind the bike in front of you and know the stopping power of your motorcycle.

  • BE AWARE of openings as you ride so that you will have someplace to maneuver in case of an emergency. Also, be aware of the riders around you (especially the one to your side) and give each other as much room to maneuver as possible in any situation.

  • ALWAYS TRY TO KEEP THE PACK TIGHT without crowding each other. Stay close through intersections and traffic lights so that the group doesn't get separated. Remember that some riders in the group may not know where they are going and could end up "leading" the remainder of the pack with no idea of where to go or how to get there.

  • BE A COURTEOUS RIDER, let that vehicle through and then close the gap.

  • NEVER RIDE IN SOMEONE'S BLIND SPOT.