Aldrich Law Firm, Ltd.
Aldrich Law Firm, Ltd.

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Best practices for a safe motorcycle group ride

Even though a motorcycle only seats two, many motorcyclists enjoy the open roads of Nevada together. The safety rules for a group ride are significantly different from passenger vehicle caravans, and new riders need to understand the basics before they hit the road together.

According to, motorcycle operators need to determine their formation before they get started. Instead of side by side, riders should be in a zig-zag line, with a space cushion between each. If the leader rides on the right side of the lane, the second motorcycle should be just behind and on the left, and the third on the right, etc. There should be enough space for any of the riders to swerve to the other side of the lane without hitting the riders before and behind in the formation.

To make sure the group is prepared for anything, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation recommends holding a meeting before the ride. Positions in the line should not be chosen at random. The leader and tail rider have more responsibilities in keeping the group together and maintaining the formation, so they should be more experienced. If there are more than seven people going on the ride, it is better to split into two groups.

Everyone on the ride should know the route ahead of time, including pit stops, so that anyone who gets separated can safely rejoin there rather than trying to dodge traffic to catch up. If losing a rider affects the formation, the next rider should move across the lane to the empty space, and the one behind cross into the next space, and so on. Riders should never pass each other in the lane.

Each rider needs to carry a cellphone, and the group should have at least one first-aid kit in case of a motorcycle accident or other emergency.

John P. Aldrich
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