This is to be read in conjunction with the guide published by the IAM called “Group Organised Rides”. All members will hold a copy and will comply with it at all times.
The principles of these rules apply to all NAM rides, but will vary slightly for larger groups where the “Drop-Off” system is used (ref to the other NAM and the IAM document Tabs)
If a member of the group wishes to organise a ride out for other members of the group, he/she must first register it with committee, for approval and a grading standard.
The committee must decide whether it will be suitable for all members, full members and above, group qualified observers and higher, or by invitation only. This will be determined by the distance to be covered in the day, or the types of road to be covered.
Once a grading for the ride has been agreed (see the “Ride Gradings” tab) a request will be put out to the group members via the groups’ Facebook page and by email invite. This is where we ask for a commitment from members wishing to attend, and from the observers willing to assist.
We need the reply box ticked to show interest from the members so that we can get enough observers to comply with the maximum number of associates an observer can be responsible for whilst on a group run; this must not exceed 3-1, but ideally 2-1.
All group rides have to be led by either a Group Qualified or National Observer, or an experienced approved committee member, and have either a GQ or NO at the rear. As this is a requirement by the group to fulfil our obligation to comply with the insurance policy we hold.
Failure to comply with these rules may put a member’s continued membership of the IAM and NAM in jeopardy.
The IAM state that the primary consideration at all times when riding in a group is safety and at no time may the safety of riders or any third party be compromised for any reason.
It remains the personal responsibility of all riders within the group to exercise their own judgement about each and every course of action that they take. Each rider is responsible for their own safety and their own actions and any consequences that those actions may have.
Any serious deviation from the advanced riding standard MUST be made known to the individual concerned as soon as appropriate. ALL Observers have a responsibility to monitor the standard of riding within the group.
(Observers you will discuss it with the lead / tail bike to decide when and where the appropriate place may be. This may require the group to stop on route if it is felt that the safety of other group members is being jeopardized).
Traffic laws must be obeyed at all times when riding on the public highway. At no time when participating in a group organised ride will any person riding in the group be expected or required to act illegally.
Please note: – any breach of the RTA or any other regulation legally enforced may result in the group insurance being negated.
The following may take part in group organised rides.
- National Observer, GQ Observers and trainee observers who are fully paid up members of NAM and the IAM.
- Members fully paid up of both NAM and the IAM
- Associates enrolled under the SFL but they must be under supervision at ALL times.
- Only vehicles deemed to be in a Roadworthy condition and would pass a MOT test regardless of age of the vehicle. (I.e. bald tyres on a new vehicle etc.)
- The Group leader / Tail have the discretion to remove a rider if he feels that the safety of the group may be compromised.
Group organised rides may be restricted to a particular category, and the group committee have the power to exclude specific members from participating in group organised rides where, in their reasonable judgement, this decision is in the interests of other members, the group or the IAM.
Each and every rider must ride within their own capabilities and must exercise their own judgement when determining the safety of their actions. If at any time a rider or observer feels that a person is not capable of continuing as the ride exceeds their personal skill level then they should inform either the group leader or tail rider. Who will then consider the appropriate options to take, this may include:
- Organise 1-1 guidance for the rider separately, from the group.
- Adjusting the pace of the ride to one that the member can comply with.
- Agree that the rider should ride within a more suitable group.
Advice in Riding in a group
When riding in a group there can be a large number of riders together. The following guidelines apply whatever the number.
On a straight piece of road all riders ‘stagger’ their position on the road in relationship to each other. The first rider takes up the correct position then the subsequent riders all ride off-set to each other like so:
This means there is no need to consider the 2-second rule from the rider in front of you (e.g. rider 3 to rider 2). The advantages are that, as a group, we do not trail out over several hundred yards. We can stay closer together. It looks neater and more professional.
The 2 second rule does apply between rider 1 and rider 3.
For bends or hazards everyone should assume the correct road position. This should be achieved by each rider reducing their speed to allow a safe distance to develop, then, taking up the correct line behind the rider immediately in front of them. Once safely clear, take up the ‘staggered’ position again.
When reaching a junction or traffic lights this allows bikes to close up stopping side by side, allowing junctions to be cleared more quickly, give those following a chance to get through traffic lights in one sequence change. Group members should select their offset position early to allow followers to “slot” in place easily.
Whilst travelling in the group you have been assigned to, you are not allowed to pass the bike ahead of you (nb different for the drop-off system). This is to keep it safe for all those who are there, because everyone can relax as they know that another bike is not going to come up on their inside or outside in a bend etc. thus leaving them time to concentrate on the road ahead.
You should never leave a group ride without informing the lead or tail end bike first. They could spend time retracing their steps to look for you whilst you are sitting at home.
Most importantly you must remember this is not a race or a thrash.
We are out on the road representing both the IAM and NAM. We are there to show other road users how to behave responsibly whilst having fun doing so.
The briefing prior to setting off MUST be carried out by either the group leader or designated tail observer before every ride commences.
Remind all riders that they are responsible for maintaining safety and complying with the law at all times, and each rider is responsible for their own safety and their own actions and any consequences that those actions may have.
You must hold a current full driving licence and insurance.
The vehicle must be taxed, Roadworthy and have an up to date MOT certificate (if applicable).
(This should be read out as a disclaimer prior to going out just as we do before an observed run)
NAM will operate the following system of running a group ride out,
The leader and tail end will be on a radio link so they will be in communication at all times and they can adjust the pace at any time to suit the group’s progress.
It is vital that the person behind is kept in view on the approach to a junction where a change of direction will take place, so that the person behind will know where to go. You must look after your follower and slow down or stop until they come back into view. This will also pass a signal up the line to the leader who may also stop if needed.
Once clear of the junction the tail will radio through to the leader to notify that the group has cleared the junction and the ride can continue.
Should some of the group get delayed at a junction etc whilst on route the tail must again contact the leader so that they can either find a safe place to bring the group to a halt, or reduce the pace at the front so that the trailing members can rejoin the group.
There is no point telling the tail ender where you have gone if the members between you and him do not hold a radio because unless they can see you they will not benefit.
It is important that all observers attending any group organised ride bring with them any group radio equipment they hold, as this may assist with the running of the ride.
Nott’s Advanced Motorcyclists
This motorcycle group is now actively encouraging all members who put a ride on, to use this system. It does work.
The leader (usually the person who has put the ride on) stays the same throughout the ride. A rider will volunteer to be back marker (sometimes press-ganged). That person will stay last rider throughout the ride. All other persons should make sure they recognise these people.
As the ride gets under way the leader will lead, all other riders will set off behind. The back marker will stay in the car park until everyone has got going.
The rider behind the leader should mark the first junction or turn that the group comes to. This should be done with safety being first priority. The change of direction should be made as clear as possible. If the road is open and clear pull onto the intended new road providing you can see where you came from.
As this is sometimes not possible you may have to stop before the intended change of direction and indicate the route with a hand signal. Everyone behind you should then pass you and enter the indicated route.
Note that the leader may point to indicate to the following rider (the marker) to “drop-off” in that approximate location but it is for the marker to decide on the safest position to do so.
Each rider should ensure that the following rider is visible at all times.
If not he/she should stop somewhere safe. In this way, the group will soon be brought to a halt in the case
of a problem. The lead rider will, if necessary retrace the route to investigate the cause of the hold-up/delay and take appropriate remedial action
You should be looking in your mirrors for the back marker.
The back marker should acknowledge your presence and will make space for you to re-join the ride.
Try to remember who was behind you when you stopped because the chances are that they will be marking the next junction.
Once under way again if you find yourself having the urge to go that little bit quicker than the person in front of you, providing it’s safe, there is no reason not to overtake them and make your way up the pack again until you reach the leader. The Leader WILL BE RIDING AT SPEED LIMITS where appropriate. You should not be exceeding the Speed limit even when overtaking!
ALL Overtakes are to be made with Care – Ensure the rider in front knows you are coming through – Head Lamp Flash or Horn Warning means I AM HERE!
Then wait for the next junction and mark it. As the title implies all rides are group rides and we should finish with the same group we started with.
If you wish to peel off from the ride for any reason, you must stop, wave other bikes through and wait for the tail to pass you. Otherwise, you may find you have some unexpected guests for dinner as they all follow you home.
Enjoy your ride with NAM (Nottingham Advanced Motorcyclists.)
Ride Grading Guide Matrix
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