1. Arrive ready. Registration begins at 7AM. The Opening Ceremony begins at 9 AM. Kickstands up is 9:45AM. Take care of equipment and personal needs before the ride starts. Portable toilets are available at the staging area. There are no breaks during the ride.
2. Registration. Upon arrival, follow the directions of the BNR Staff to get to the correct registration line. If you preregistered have your receipt readily available and proceed to the appropriate line. If you already have a wristband, wear it on your LEFT Hand and proceed to the appropriate line. If you need to pay, have your payment readily available (exact amount appreciated) and proceed to the appropriate line.
3. Ride safely. Adhere to the "Tips for Group Riding" listed here. Be aware there will be hundreds of people lining the ride route. And, most of them are unaware of the challenges we face as group riders. Everyone should have a cell phone for emergencies.
4. Do not slow down or stop. While riding through Barnstable, religious leaders are gracious enough to bless the riders and bikes as they pass through the town. Do not slow down! There are two other locations that tend to slow down - when passing the block where Nick grew up (Notable because many of Nick's USMC buddies line the road) and when riding over the Route 6, Cpl. Nicholas Xiarhos USMC Bridge where the Bag Pipes are usually playing. Do not slow down.
5. Speed Bumps. There are newly constructed Speed Bumps and a traffic island located in Barnstable. Please be alert and signal riders when approaching.
NOTE: Police Escort
This ride is escorted by local and state motorcycle police. If you are riding on the traffic side - left side - of the group, keep an eye in the mirror for police passing you on the left. Give them the line by sliding to your right a bit so they have room to pass, This will minimize their time in the oncoming traffic lane. If you are on the curb side - right side - of the group, be sure to leave room for the rider to your left to move closer to your line. (These tips also apply to any groups that may be using blockers during other rides.)
1. Make sure you and your bike are ready. Before you even meet up with your group, fill your tank and be sure you’ve taken care of any maintenance issues. Also be sure you’re ready by applying sunscreen, packing back-up rain gear and hitting the restroom before you leave.
2. Know the route and destination. It is important that every rider in the group understand where you are going and the route. Before the ride, map it out with the riders. It is wise to also check the route for construction or detours.
3. Be prepared. Make sure at least one rider in the group has a first-aid kit and a tool kit. Everyone should also have a cell phone for emergencies.
4. Designate a leader. The leader understands the limitations of the riders in the group and can set the pace. This person is trustworthy and has good judgment, so as to not put others as risk. This rider makes quick decisions to avoid hazards in the road and is also a great communicator.
5. Assign a sweep rider. The sweep rider keeps a eye on the riders in front. The sweep rider should be experienced and know what to do in case of an accident or mechanical failure.
6. Stay together. Riders up front need to make good decisions in order to keep the group from separating especially when dealing with traffic lights. Leaders can slow down and stop at a light ready to change if there is enough time and space. Another option is to stop in a safe area on the side of the road after passing through a light and wait for riders to catch up.
7. Ride in staggered formation. The leader takes the front left third of the lane, the next motorcycle behind the leader is in the right third, the next rider behind is in the left third of the lane and this staggered formation continues for the riders behind. Avoid side-by-side formations. Riders should stick to their positions within the formation so as to avoid accidents. (See below)
8. Don’t fixate on the bike in front of you. Look well though the turn to where you want to go. Look beyond the rider in front of you. Keep an eye in the mirror. REMEMBER: Head on a swivel. Just because you are in a group, it doesn’t mean you should disregard your basic training.
9. Stay at a safe distance from other riders and vehicles. Riding two seconds away from the bike or vehicle in front of you or one second for the bike to the side of you gives you time to stop or avoid obstacles such as potholes or debris. (See below)
10. Trikes and sidecars. Due to their width, they should consider riding at the back of the group. They are wide enough to take up two-thirds of the lane and don’t handle with the same nimbleness as a two-wheeled motorcycle. That differential in handling could create a problem in a sudden change of speed or adjustment needed within the lane.
11. The bike on the left proceeds first. When stopped at a traffic light or in heavy traffic, tighten the formation to side-by-side to take up less space. As the light turns green, or when traffic opens up, the bike on the left proceeds first.
12. Use hand signals. Verbal communication during a ride is difficult due to the noise level created by the bikes, other vehicles and wind. It is best to use hand signals that every rider understands. Hand signals should be a quick discussion point with a possible “show and tell” during the pre-ride meeting. Ensure all riders know the signals and their meanings. (See below)
13. Watch for and point out road obstacles and debris. While riding you will often encounter road debris, sewer covers, pot holes and the infamous “road gators” (large pieces of tire tread that have detached from commercial vehicles tires). Point out road debris and hazards to fellow riders who are traveling in the same direction as you. On the left side point with your hand, on the right side point with your foot.
14. Take breaks. The experience level of the riders as well as the length of the ride will help determine how often to break. Fuel, snacks, restrooms, lunch and special events are among the stops to take.
15. Leave the group if you are uncomfortable. Do not surrender your own safety to the group. If you feel like your safety is at risk or you decide you no longer want to ride with the group, signal the sweeper and pull safely out of formation. You can always meet up with the group at the destination later.
NOTE 1: Blockers: If your group is using Blockers for intersections and you are riding on the traffic side - left side - of the group, keep an eye in the mirror for Blockers passing you on the left. Give them the line by sliding to your right so they have room to pass, This will minimize any time they may need to ride in oncoming traffic. If you are on the curb side - right side - of the group, be sure to leave room for the rider to your left to move closer to your line.
NOTE 2: Passing Vehicles Safely
There will come a time when you will need to pass a vehicle traveling in the lane in front of you. In order to safely pass the vehicle, do so one motorcycle at a time. Obviously, the leader will go first, but each successive rider will need to position themselves in the left third of the lane prior to starting the overtaking maneuver. Riders behind the one making the pass will need to adjust their lane position to keep a proper following distance and in the correct pattern in case the passing opportunity dries up. If only a portion of the group is able to make the pass, the remaining riders need to adjust their position to assume the correct riding pattern until the next passing opportunity presents itself. As each member passes the vehicle in question, they do need to keep their speed up and allow a gap to form behind them and the vehicle they passed. This gap is necessary for the next rider to safely pass and rejoin the lane with a safe distance to the vehicle.
Additional Signal: Curbside Hazard - Left hand over the head pointing to the curb. This is used for pedestrians, bicyclists, cars or other hazards obstructing the route. Proceed with caution.