Spring is in the air. The weather is warming, flowers are blooming and many motorcyclists are getting their bikes out and hitting the open road. While some people prefer to ride alone, there are many groups in New Jersey that get together and ride as a team. Those riders should take extra precautions when riding in a group in order to prevent an accident.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation recommends that the group hold a brief meeting before hitting the road in order to make sure that everyone is on the same page regarding the route, rest stops and other procedural matters. It also recommends that motorcyclists ride in a staggered formation and never side by side. A minimum two-second following distance should be observed between bikes. Everyone in the group may want to learn certain hand signals so that they can communicate with other group members during the ride.
In addition, the American Motorcyclist Association recommends the following:
- Each rider should maintain a speed he or she is comfortable with, even if it means falling behind.
- Experienced riders should be at the front and back of the formation, with less experienced riders behind the leader.
- Riders should proceed in single file in some places, such as highway ramps, roads with rough surfaces and roads with many sharp turns.
- Cell phones should be carried by as many members as possible so that breakdowns and accidents can be reported immediately.
As long as a few basic safety ground rules are followed, group rides can be a wonderful opportunity for camaraderie among motorcycle enthusiasts.