Sober Bikers United, Inc.
Group Ride Safety Guidelines
SBU is built on the “KISS” principle. That’s Keep It Simple Stupid (just so you know). Our group riding guidelines will be the same way. If you chose to ride within an SBU group, you are expected to follow these simple guidelines in order to protect everyone’s safety.
Riding will be in a staggered formation. In staggered formation, the bikes form two columns, with the leader at the head of the left column, so he/she will be able to view all bikes in the formation in his/her rearview mirrors. For any reason that that staggered formation is broken, DO NOT cross over to the other side of the lane. The riders on the side with the break will just move up one spot to re-build the staggered formation. A tight staggered formation allows each rider sufficient safety space, and discourages other vehicles from cutting into the group.
The Ride Leader 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/she must make sure that he/she 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, turning off at exits, any concerns of what lies ahead. Should the Ride Leader make a wrong turn, all riders should follow the leader regardless. If the group breaks up, it is very difficult and often dangerous to reform it. The Ride Leader will make the necessary turns to get back on course or pull the group off the road at the next safe location.
Traffic Lights & Emergencies
If the group is split up due to traffic lights the last rider who see this will turn on their four ways if their bike is so equipped. Also raise your left arm over your head and wave from side to side until the rider in front of you starts to wave and so on. Once the Ride Leader sees the signal he/she will slow or pull the group over at the next safe location. If a bike breaks down follow the same procedure until the Ride Leader pulls the group over.
Each rider or their passenger should duplicate all hand signals given by the rider in front of them, so that the signals get passed all the way to the back of the formation. Please remember not to make unnecessary hand gestures while in a group ride. You may point to an interesting object on the side of the road and the rider behind you thinks a lane change is coming. The following signals are used in an SBU group.
Standard right and left arm signal for turns and lane changes …
Slow Down : Ride Leader will hold his/her right arm down palm open and facing to the rear. Riders on the left side of the lane will pass this signal back with their right arm. Riders on the right side of the lane will pass the signal back with their left arm. This signal is passed back in the middle of the lane because riders on the right side of the lane can not see the Ride Leaders left arm in a down ward position.
Single file : Ride Leader will raise his left hand straight up, holding up just his/her index finger. All other riders will repeat this, and the two columns will merge into one.
Staggered Formation : Ride Leader will raise his/her left hand straight up, holding two fingers upward. All other riders will repeat this, and the single file will form into a staggered formation.
Road Hazards : This is the one signal that can 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. If the road hazard is on the side of the road (parked car, bicycles etc) use the left hand and point over your head toward the hazard. All following riders will repeat this.