Road Captain Rules

Subject: Road Captain Rules

   

The purpose of riding in an organized group instead of an undisciplined pack is to provide the additional safety that a well-organized group inherently generates. This comes from within the group and from the outside. When a group rides in an orderly fashion, people don't get in each others way, and the organization of the formation itself discourages cars from attempting to cut in. I have seen trucks move to the far side of their lane to minimize wind blast when they see a well-ordered formation "single up" and move as far away from the truck as their lane allows. Once riding rules have been adopted by a group, EVERYONE riding with that group is expected to follow them. Anyone violating the rules and compromising everyone's safety, will be warned, and if their actions continue, they will be asked to ride behind the group. The following rules are compiled from a number of sources. Most groups that ride in orderly formations follow similar rules.  

1) Formation

Riding will be in a standard staggered formation unless the Road Captain calls for single file. In staggered formation, the bikes form two columns, with the Road Captain (ride leader) at the head of the left column. The second bike will head the opposite column, and will ride approximately 1 second behind the Road Captain (and in the opposite side of the lane). The other riders will position their bikes 2 seconds behind the bike directly in front of them, which puts them 1 second behind the bike diagonal from them. These positions can vary to 3 seconds depending on the riding conditions. This formation allows each rider sufficient safety space, and discourages other vehicles from cutting into the line. The Rear sweep, may ride on whichever side of the lane they prefers.  

2) 
Road Captain

The Road Captain (ride leader) is responsible for the safety of the entire formation. He must be aware of the length of the columns, and must gauge the passing of merges, highway entrances and exits, est. to allow for maximum safety and for keeping the group together. He must make sure that he leaves enough time/space for the formation to get into the appropriate lane before exits or turns. All directions come from the Road Captain. The Road Captain makes all decisions regarding lane changes, stops for breaks and fuel, closing of gaps, turning off at exits, any concerns of what lies ahead. NO individual will assert himself independently without direction from the Road Captain to do so. 

3) Rear Sweep The Rear sweep serves as the eyes of the Road Captain. He watches the formation, and informs the Road Captain of any potential problems within the group. He watches other vehicles, and informs the Road Captain of hazardous conditions approaching from the rear, such as vehicles trying to cut into the formation and trucks passing with potentially dangerous wind blasts. He will watch for merging lanes, and will move into a merging lane (or stay in a merging lane just vacated by the group) in order to "close the door" on other vehicles that may otherwise find themselves trying to merge into the formation. At the Road Captain's request, the Rear sweep changes lanes before the group, to secure the lane so the group can move into it.

4) ICE Rider This person will be the first rider in front of the rear sweep. The ICE rider will stop with the problem bike. The road Captain will lead the group to a safe stopping place and make contact with the ICE rider. 

5) New Riders
New riders should be teamed up with an experienced rider. It's the experienced rider's responsibility to instruct the new rider on all hand signals and rules. 

6) Lane Changes
All lane changing starts with the Road Captain or the Rear sweep. The Rear sweep will (when it is safe to do so) move into the desired lane and the Road Captain will make the lane change when the lane is clear. At this point the Road Captain has three options. 

A) Simple Lane Change
After the rear sweep has secured the new lane, the Road Captain will put on his directional signal as an indication that he is about to order a lane change. As each rider sees the directional signal, he also turns his on, so the riders following him get the signal. The Road Captain then initiates the change. All other riders change lanes too. The important concept is that NO ONE moves until the BIKE IN FRONT of him has started moving. 

B) Rear Fill-in  This is sometimes necessary if a long enough gap cannot be maintained in the new lane, for example when trying to move from the right lane to the center and vehicles from the left lane keep cutting into the opening. 
After the rear sweep has secured the new lane, the Road Captain (usually at the suggestion of the rear sweep) will call for the group to fill in the space from the rear. He signals this by raising his hand and "pushing" it towards the new lane. All riders repeat the signal, and the last bikes move into the space in the new lane ahead of the rear sweep, then the next bikes move in ahead of those, and so on until the Road Captain finally moves into the space ahead of the entire formation. 

7) Emergencies
In the unlikely event of an emergency condition, the Road Captain will make every attempt to move the formation to the shoulder in an orderly safe manner. If a bike breaks down, that rider will seperate from the group and move to a safe place.The ICE rider will stop with the problem bike. The road Captain will lead the group to a safe stopping place and make contact with the ICE rider. 

8) Tolls
If some people in the group are not using the SunPass, they will split out from the group, and they will regroup on the other side of the toll booth without stopping, the SunPass group will lower their speed for the rest of the group to catch up. The Road Captain, rear sweep and ICE rider will retake there positions. 

 

Any member not able to ride correctly in a group should respectfully be willing to follow behind the groups.