The NPR Committee has carried out a review of the existing rules for the organisation and conduct of official Club rides. The Committee wish to acknowledge that the NPR is indebted to the small nucleus of members who are prepared to organise and lead official Club rides. Without them the Club would be unable to fulfil one of its primary objectives. Whilst acknowledging the freedom that must be accorded to ride organisers to plan routes of their own choosing, it was felt that some additional guidance should be provided to supplement the existing information contained in The Way We Ride, with the intention of improving the safety and enjoyment of all participants.
The key to a successful ride is good planning. In planning a route the ride leader should consider the total distance to be ridden, bearing in mind the time available, and taking into account such factors as topography, daylight hours, road classification and road surface conditions, and possible weather complications. It is also important to identify a convenient meeting place with access to fuel and other facilities, and to locate suitable stopping points en route for refreshment and comfort breaks. It is strongly recommended that a reconnaissance of the route is carried out before the organised ride, so as to become familiar with the roads, terrain and riding conditions.
Details of the intended ride date and start time, the meeting and dispersal points and the total distance to be ridden, should be passed to the Events Co-ordinator for inclusion in the “Events Calendar”. Details of main waypoints and P&T stops are helpful if known. This should be made available at least 2 weeks before the planned ride to give members time to decide if the ride is suitable for them and to make any necessary prior work, domestic or social arrangements.
At the meeting point the ride leader should give the participants a briefing on the intended route, including any known hazards and to specify the intended P&T stops and the probable travel time involved. S/he should appoint and clearly identify the back marker and remind riders that the drop off system, as published on the club website on the page “The Way We Ride”, will be used.
It is important to identify those riders who are unfamiliar with the system and to brief them accordingly on the procedures involved. It should be stressed to all participants that they are responsible for their own safety, the safety of their pillion and other road users, and for obeying all relevant road traffic laws and legally displayed signs and signals. It should be stressed that they ride at speeds at which they feel comfortable and confident, and should not overtake other bikes in the group unless it is essential (BMF advice). Participants should be reminded that it is their responsibility under current RTA legislation to ensure before taking part in the ride they have third party insurance, a MOT certificate (if relevant), a current vehicle excise licence and the relevant driving licence.
Members who invite guests are responsible for ensuring they are made aware of the content of “The Way We Ride”, the need to comply with the relevant road traffic laws and RTA legislation and are informed that, as non NPR members, they would only covered for claims against them through the BMF liability insurance scheme if they are BMF individual members or members of a BMF affiliated club. If possible, the ride leader should give all participants his contact mobile phone number for emergency calls and, if available, establish radio communication with the back marker.
The ride leader should determine whether or not all participants have a full fuel tank, and if not arrange for the matter to be rectified as soon as possible.
The ride leader must at all time ride within the speed limit. He or she should adjust the speed of the ride to take account of such things as the prevailing weather conditions, the type of road being ridden on and its surface, the traffic conditions and the size and general competence of the group. If the weather, traffic and riding conditions become adverse the leader must evaluate the situation with a view to changing the route for the safety of the group. Should the group become too “strung out” the leader should consider stopping to re-group when and where it is safe so to do.
Club rides should provide enjoyable riding for riders and pillions alike, and be pleasant social events for all concerned. It is not intended that these guidelines should be onerous for ride leaders, but are provided to help them fulfil their responsibilities to organise and implement safe and rewarding Club rides.