Team Riding: Two Up!
By: Mary Walters, Road Captain
Are you getting ready for this summer’s motorcycle runs? Some of our Top Cats are already out West and the year is under way! And you know that their great memories and stories are developing every day! And for those of us still here – The excitement of spending time on the road is creeping into our thoughts. Those WARM ideas are growing as the cold snowy days are disappearing!
As the riding season begins, it would be good for us to start discussing some topics that will add to the fun and safety of the riding season. Many of us ride with a partner… and it can be a challenge when ‘Team Riding’. Sometimes the issues that creep into the trip can change the aura of those ‘special ‘ biking memories
This article will take a quick look at the ‘Team Ride’ conversation. “TEAM”, you ask? Yes… Team. Its when two people are riding together… the idea is as follows:
E: Execute the plan
A: Adjust as needed
M: Make Memories
This format includes significant input by both people who will be riding on the same bike. It’s a conversation that will add to the safety and enjoyment for all people on the ride. Taking these initial steps as the season opens, will decrease the number of challenges and increase the amount of focus on the road for both bikers during the ride. It will allow each ride to become the great experience that only a motorcycle can provide!
To get the conversation started, here is a checklist of issues that should be considered and clearly communicated between the rider and the passenger BEFORE getting on the bike:
WHAT ‘Extras’ need to be packed and WHERE will they be packed:
Emergency info, insurance papers, registration and manuals for the bike
How much room is available for each person after all of the above necessities are stored?
What can (or can’t) be packed for use by BOTH persons?
- Shampoo, Soap, Hair sprays, Blow Dryers, etc…
What space is left in saddle bags and tour pack? How will this be divided?
- Who is responsible for checking gear?
- Who is responsible for checking mechanical issues?
- Who will make calls for confirming destination information? Where or how will that info be recorded or communicated?
Garmin or Trip Information
What route is being taken?
Is this being planned that or organized that as a team?
If not, the rider needs to take time to communicate this information with the passenger before getting on the bike. (Unless this is part of a present!)
Making this a present from the passenger to the rider is a bit more complicated. Pre-set Garmin routes that the Rider is to follow can detract from the safety of the ride.
- What can be expected by weather and road conditions for this ride?
- What riding apparel is needed?
- When/how will stopping be determined by rider or by passenger?
- Where is Emergency information stored on the garmin? How can the passenger access this if needed?
- What is to be done if an accident scene is experienced? What responsibilities will fall to each person? This should be identified using numerous scenarios.
- Leaning procedure:
- Where should passenger be positioned during ride, turns or passing situations?
- Leg positions?
- Head and torso positions?
- How can the passenger prevent sliding forward into the rider?
- What should the passenger expect in passing situations?
Group signals given by rider only. (Discuss exceptions to the rule)
Minimize gestures between rider and passenger.
Identify the best way to communicate information between rider and passenger if no technology system for communication is being used. This will minimize the riders distractibility during the conversations.
- What things can the passenger be listening/watching for that may indicate an issue that would require a stop?
- Noises that are more pronounced at the back of the bike.
- Hard/soft riding experiences.
- Visual issues that may start at the back of the bike.
- Gear placement.
- Post Ride or Stopping:
- Review of issues that occurred during the ride.
- Riding conditions and the need to adjust gear
- Feel of the bike
Issues notices by passenger from the list above
Post-Ride or Stop Responsibilities:
Who will pump/pay for the gas
How to and who will clean parts of the bike; windshield, headlights, rear view mirrors
Food and drink…. On the run or stationary?
…. Oh, and one last piece of advice from a wise passenger, AND soon to be rider… When you arrive home, there will be a whole lot of CLEAING!
- Decide who will be unpacking
- Who will do the laundry
AND…. Who is washing and waxing the bike…
Now, It’s GO TIME! With all of this ‘pre-programed’ information, your TEAM time on the bike will be more care-free. Thoughts and talk can now be focused on the 3R’s of Motorcycling… The Road, The Ride, and the Reason for the Season!
And ….The ride has just become a better memory for all!