Things to consider on a PoB ride
Psychs On Bikes, Inc accepts no liability for loss, personal injury or damage to property. If you ride on a Psychs on Bikes, Inc event, you do so on the condition that you will hold harmless Psychs on Bikes, Inc and/or its officers or officials or members for any loss, personal injury or damage. Furthermore, you agree to indemnify Psychs on Bikes, Inc and/or its officers or officials or members for any loss, personal injury or damage incurred by you or caused by you.
The following Guidelines are common sense protocols that you should observe on a group ride. These are the minimum obligations for safe riding on a Psychs on Bikes, Inc ride.
Prior to the ride, ensure your motorcycle is fully serviced. Tyres should be in good condition. Motorcycle tyres have a lifespan of about 10,000km (subject to many variables) and you need to ensure your tyres will be safe and roadworthy for the whole journey. Replace them if in doubt. Also ensure you are fully familiar with the regular maintenance requirements of your machine (eg chain lubrication, tyre pressures, oil) and carry them out for the whole journey.
Motorcycling is “pilot in command”. Psychs on Bikes, Inc will not bear any liability for any injury or damage to property on a ride. You ride at your own risk. Consider too the safety of your fellow riders.
Ensure your machine is fully registered, insured for compulsory third party bodily injury and separately insured for own damage/third party property damage.
Ensure you are fully fuelled and ready to go at the beginning of the ride and each morning as the ride sets off. We will not wait for you. This means you need to fuel up and undertake any routine or minor maintenance the night before.
At the start of the day a ride leader and a “tail end Charlie” will be selected. If you overtake the ride leader, you will be on your own. If you wave the tail end Charlie on, you will be on your own. The ride leader sets the route and the pace. Normally sealed roads will be selected, although not all will be to highway standard. Occasionally, “adventure” routes, i.e. mostly dirt, will be available. If you take the adventure route, the main body of riders will not be obliged to wait for you.
Corner marking is compulsory, and an essential courtesy. This means you must ensure following riders are behind you when you turn at intersections. If you cannot see the rider behind you, stop until he/she catches up and you are sure they have seen you turn.
Riding in groups represents some extra risks. Do not race. Employ the 3 second rule. Count 3 seconds between you and the rider in front by picking a roadside marker such as a post or tree and count the time – “a thousand and one, a thousand and two, a thousand and three”. If the road is wet or otherwise hazardous, use an 8 second rule. Always ride to the conditions and build “barriers” (ie separation) around you so that if something goes wrong, you have room to move.
Relax on the ride. Relax and concentrate. Ride within your own capacity and at your own pace. Everyone will get to the destination on time. In particular, don’t run red lights or otherwise take risks just to keep up with the people in front. Considerate corner marking by you and your fellow riders will ensure you don’t get lost.
Stay alert. If it’s a hot day, ensure you stay well hydrated. If its cold or raining, ensure you add an extra layer or two and make sure you have good quality wet weather gear. Hot or cold weather can cause dehydration or hypothermia, which places you or your fellow riders at extra risk.
Buy quality riding gear, especially a quality full face helmet. Open face helmets are a problem in the country, with risks of insects, stones and dust or road debris. Wear quality motor-cycling jackets and trousers and avoid boots or shoes with laces. Laces get caught in levers or running gear.
There may be a back-up vehicle. Make sure you have the mobile phone numbers of the back-up vehicle, the ride leader and the tail end Charlie (which may also be the back up vehicle) in your phone.
Know and understand the route and destination for the day. You may get held up.
Motorcycling requires special skills. Learn these, including braking (80% of your stopping power is provided by your front brake), cornering (your line in and out of the corner is critical, as is where you are looking into and out of a corner), the use of gears to maintain power and speed and counter steering. Seek the counsel of highly experienced riders. Better still, go to a training course such as those conducted by Stay Upright or HART. Regardless of the level you think you are at, your riding and safety skills can always be improved. Risk management is everything in motorcycling!