Make sure your machine is roadworthy. Keep it properly serviced, check operation of lights, horn, kill switch, brakes, fluid levels, tyre condition and pressures, etc.
Arrive about 30 minutes before the actual ride start. This gives time to grab a coffee, check tyre pressures and fuel up. There’ll be planned re-fuel stops along the way and it pays to take advantage of these and top-up so as to avoid any inconvenience because you’ve run dry.
Pay attention to the Pre-ride Briefing. You’ll get all the clues on the route, meeting points, fuel stops and any potential hazards.
Keep a “buffer zone” between yourself and other riders (2-3 seconds is ideal) and adopt a “staggered”, left / right positioning within the lane to increase visibility and rider spacing but still keep sufficient “buffer” to allow the rider to your left or right to move into your path to avoid a hazard. Stay out of the middle of the lane to avoid the “greasy strip” and to prevent peppering other riders with the loose stones and debris thrown there by cars.
Ride at a speed that is within your own abilities, the conditions and the characteristics of the road. This is a ride not a race, don't let your ego overate your ability If someone catches you in the corners, don’t try to outrun them on the straights or accelerate hard when they try to overtake – let them pass safely. If you’re the one catching up, don’t pressure the rider in front and risk spooking them into an accident by riding up their backside – back off and overtake when it’s safe to do so.
No matter how good you think you are, you have no idea about your fellow riders’ capabilities, so don’t get off to a bad start. Avoid an “oh shit” situation, by starting towards the back of the group until you get things sussed. Look, listen and learn from the other riders. If you’re keeping up OK then move slowly and safely through the pack until you find someone who rides at your pace and this will generally be a good spot to stay.
RIDE LEADER & SWEEPER.
These positions are set at the beginning of each ride day. Usually, it’s the ride day contact person who leads the ride. Depending on rider numbers and before the ride kicks off, the Leader may ask for a volunteer to be Sweeper. The Sweeper rides at the back of the pack so as to “sweep up” all lost and wandering souls along the way to the destination. The sweeper will usually carry a first aid kit and our Personnel Location Beacon in case of emergency. A ride ends officially at the nominated destination and for the return journey, riders are free to make their own way home, but as a safety measure we ask riders to leave in groups or to at least have a ride buddy.
THE "FIRST DROP" METHOD OF NAVIGATION
Sometimes the ride leader will use this method of guiding everyone, particularly with large groups and complex routes. At a turn/corner the ride leader will point to the turn and the rider immediately behind should stop and signal all riders to turn, until the sweeper arrives. At the next turn, the next rider immediately behind the lead does the same.
DO AS THE LEADER DOES.
When the Leader pulls over for any reason, such as on a big ride with lots of direction changes, just do as he/she does. If he/she stays in the saddle and leaves his gear on, then that usually means you’ll be moving again soon.
THE LAST WORD.
Remember this is supposed to be FUN. Be patient, consider your fellow riders, stay alert and ride safely. That way everyone gets back home happy and in one piece.