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Sons of Thunder

Group Riding Guidelines & Biker Hand Signals

Standard staggered formation. You should be 1 to 1.5 seconds behind the staggered bike, which would put you 2 to 3 seconds behind the bike directly in front of you.

If you like to ride slow or are new to group riding get up front. Those who like to ride fast should ride in the back. New riders may think they want to ride in the back, but the reality is just the opposite, they need to be near the front. *Road Guards be aware that merging in and out may cause a ripple affect and unnecessary hard breaking through the group.

Spread out a little around tight corners. Most will need a little extra space. We don’t want anyone riding off into the ditch.  If you find a rider speeding and slowing, keep your distance and do not full throttle to catch up and then find yourself slamming on your brakes.  Be consistent in your speed and do everything gradual because of the group riding behind you and what you may cause a ripple affect or wave of response or reaction to what you do.

No wheelies, stoppies, etc. People should also not slow way down from the group, then zoom back up to the group. While it may be fun to goof around with your bike when you’re alone, it can create problems with the safety of the group.

Group Riding Hand Signals
Please Pass All Signals to Riders Behind You.
START ENGINES
With your right or left arm extended, move your index finger in circles
LEFT TURN
Raise your left arm horizontal with your elbow fully extended.
RIGHT TURN
Raise your left arm horizontal with your elbow bent 90 degrees vertically.
HAZARD LEFT
Extend your left arm at a
45 degree angle and point towards the hazard. Alternately, extend your left leg and point to the hazard.
HAZARD RIGHT
Extend your right arm at a 
45 degree angle and point towards the hazard. Alternately, extend your right leg and point to the hazard.
OVERHEAD HAZARD 
Extend your left arm or right arm upward at a 45 degree angle with your elbow bent to 90 degrees and point towards the hazard over your helmet. .
SPEED UP
Raise your left arm up and down with your index finger extended upward. This indicates the leader wants to speed up.
SLOW DOWN
Extend your left arm at a 45 degree angle and move your hand up and down.
STOP
Extend your left arm at a 45 degree angle with the palm of your hand facing rearward.
SINGLE FILE
Extend your left arm upward at a 45 degree angle with your index finger extended. This indicates the leader wants the group in a single file formation. Usually this is done for safety reasons.

STAGGERED              Extend your left arm upward at a 45 degree angle with your index and pinkie finger extended. This indicates that it is safe to return to the staggered formation.

TIGHTEN UP
Raise your left arm and repeatedly move up and down in a pulling motion. This indicates the leader wants the group to close ranks.

 

 

Hand Signals

Certain hand signals are optional in group riding: turn signals on the bikes ahead will usually advise a rider that a turn is coming up, for example, and hand signals in a turning situation may actually add to the danger for some. However, other hand signals are extremely helpful to the rider who has no other means to communicate. The most important two hand signals are these: pointing to an obstacle in the road, warning the rider to avoid it; and pointing to the tank.

  • Pointing to the tank: No matter what your reason, pointing to the tank on your bike, will be telling everyone that you needs to stop as soon as possible. This may be because needing fuel; to make a “potty stop”; because you are having a mechanical or equipment problem; because your co-rider is uncomfortable; because a medical problem; a crisis of confidence; or for any other reason at all. Such a signal should be relayed throughout the Group. If possible, the Lead Bike may orchestrate a stop by the whole group. If not, the affected bike can count on the Tail Rider to stop with him to try to help him.
  • Back off -- Palm of left hand shown to group, pushing motion toward rear of bike
  • Ready to ride – “Thumbs up” high enough in air to be visible to Lead Bike
  • Single-file formation -- One finger points to the sky
  • Slow down -- Left arm is held out straight, then goes up and down
  • Police or emergency vehicles -- Hand taps top of helmet several times
  • Speed up or close ranks in formation -- Left arm makes “windmill” sign
  • Staggered formation -- First finger and little finger point to the sky
  • U-turn -- Left hand makes circle in air over head
Acknowledgment: This guide is to help new or potential Sons Of Thunder members become acquainted with our riding procedures. Sons Of Thunder and the author, disclaim any liability for the views expressed herein.
 

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