First things First… We ride in this order:
Full Patch Members,
The only exceptions is our “Sweeps.” The Sweep is the rider last in line whose job is to ensure everyone else in the group ride arrives at the destination safely. The Sweep is often the person with the most experience, not always the fastest, but certainly with a reliable motorcycle who is not going to be the person who breaks down or has a crash themselves. They will typically, have at least a basic amount of mechanical experience and tools is a plus, so field repairs may be made if necessary.
Sometimes, the Sweep function is performed by a truck or other vehicle that may also have a trailer. This is usually for very long trips that cover many miles on the highway as on twisty backroads the pickup and trailer may not be able to maintain the same speeds as the motorcycles. When this is done, the term "chase vehicle" is usually the preferred term, though the function is essentially the same.
We ride year-round through all seasons and have been known to ride thru various weather conditions within the skills of our riders. Safety is always our primary objective. We have riders of varying levels of skills and riding styles…. We will always try and make accommodations where we can and put similar riders together and group by their skills. We have some who like slower to stop and check out many of the sites and attractions, and some Road Warriors that roll from point to point and make time along the way and will rack up the most miles.
We will typically run no more than eight (8) bikes per pack to minimize risk and keep things orderly. This allows us to move thru traffic in a more efficient manner and keeps us from getting separated as we pass thru traffic lights.
All that we ask is that you self-identify your skills to our Road Captains; They will be already evaluating your skills anyway. Tell them if you like to ride in the back, middle, or with the slower pack, or run with the Road Warriors just let the Road Captains know. It is important to mention that if you are new to riding with our MC, you will not always get your choice. Some of our members don’t get a choice either. The Road Captains and Officers have the ultimate say on where you ride.
IF you are unwilling to take direction from our Road Captains or any of our Officers, you will be asked to leave the ride and will from that point be riding on your own.
The Road Captains will often place you where they can evaluate your skills before letting you join our pack. In some cases, they will request you join them for a tandem ride, so they can get a feel for your riding style.
Please don’t take offense at this… We are just making sure that we do not induce any unnecessary risk to our members. When we roll into formation, you better know what you are doing because it isn’t just your life, but the brother or sister beside you that must be accounted for.
Some examples of the types of Rides that our MC takes:
Informal Pop Up Rides – these rides are posted by our members to our members through our online messaging system. They are typically… “Hey there, anyone want to ride around the lake….” or “Let’s go hit some of the roads up in the forest and play on some of the curves” type rides. Anyone of our Prospects or Patch Members can initiate and post to the messaging system. The only thing we require as a club is that there is a start time… approx. end time…. a place to meet up to begin the ride… and who ever is going to lead the ride is capable of that responsibility.
Formal After Meeting Rides – we will typically take a ride after any one of our meetings or meet ups. Our Road Captain’s will plan these rides with a formal route. These types of rides can be anywhere from a destination for food after the meeting or could be as long as a half of a day worth or riding and will range from 50 to 300 miles. It really depends on what the Road Captains want to plan out.
Formal Runs – Now these are the fun ones and require a little more commitment as they can be multi-day, multi-state, and often challenging for a Novice ride. Some of these rides can easily exceed 5,000. These will always be planned by our Road Captains and may contain multiple routes to cater to our various rider’s skills and desires. Remember we will often break into multiple packs and meet up at various locations to allow for our riders to take full advantage of their abilities and seek different adventures. The Road Captains will address the membership during our gatherings or meetings as they plan the route and solicit feedback, to maximize the experience for all involved.
Some types of Formal Runs are as follows:
Monthly Rides – these are posted by our Road Captains and will typically range from 150 to 500 miles.
Patch Runs – typically a multi-day ride to a specific destination or distance
Rally Runs – We do from time to time participate in various State and National motorcycle Rallies. These will also be multi-day for the in-State Rallies and potentially multi-state rides for the National Rallies.
National Runs – typically a multi-state run. These are the ones that make memories and will include the most miles. They can average 500-700 miles per day.
Some of the pre-requisites to taking a ride with us are as follows:
- advanced riding skills and full understanding of all group riding hand signals
- conditioning to the elements (it gets freaking hot in the summer time and cold in the winter)
- ability to ride safely in any weather condition
- ability to ride at a minimum of 120 miles without stopping
- you must have a well-maintained motorcycle
- you must possess a basic tool set for your motorcycle
- you must have proper riding gear (helmet, gloves, eye protection, boots, jacket/vest/rain-suit)
- in the summer months, you must have at a minimum one (1) bottle of water on your bike for hydration or any other needs deemed.
Other recommended items:
- DOT approved Full Face Helmet
- Bike to Bike Communications
- if foul weather looks imminent it is recommended to have riding gear to match the elements (cold, hot, windy, or wet)
We do ask that any participant in any of our rides “check in” thru our messaging system or via text message back to our members to make sure everyone has gotten “home safe.”