Adirondack Chapter 3220 - Harley Owners Group - Fort Ann, NY

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Welcome to the
Adirondack Harley Owners Group
Safety Page

You'll find lots of tips on staging areas,
group riding, hand signals and more...


Rides will leave at times specified in the newsletter, web site, e-mail or phone. Please arrive with a full tank and empty bladder. Also early enough to review the route, and sign the release forms.
See below for additional info on how we ride. 

All riders and passengers must sign a release.

Speed limits will be observed.

Please do not use drugs or alcohol before or during the ride.

Your safety is your responsibility, and we are all responsible for the safety of the group - do not ride above your comfort level at any time and stay alert to changes around you.

Please have your bike ready for the ride; check air pressure, oil level, lights, etc before the ride. Please arrive with a full tank of gas. 

If you will be leaving the ride before its completion, please let a road captain know so that time will not be spent looking for you. 

If you have special needs or concerns, please let the group leader know.

We ride in a staggered formation.

hog staggared

Try to maintain a two-second space from the bike ahead of you. Additional space may allow room for a car to try to squeeze in, and result in a dangerous situation. 

Maintain your lane position unless you need to ride up to fill a gap in the formation. This allows riders to become familiar with riding styles of those around them and creates predictability. 

Be careful not to ride in someone’s blind spot. 

Do not block traffic or intersections; the head road captain will pull over when safe and wait for the rest of the group to make it through the stop sign, red light, or other obstacle. 

When stopping as a group at an intersection, break stagger formation and pull up beside the bike in the adjacent lane. This will reduce the length of the group by half. Stay in this formation until you are through the intersection (if we are going straight). Because the group is half as long it will take half the time to clear the intersection and increase the odds of keeping the group intact. 

On turns at intersections, let the rider who was traveling ahead of you go first. When in a tight curve, the rider on the outside of the curve should give room to the rider on the inside, in case the curve is too tight to negotiate at that speed without excessive overcrowding. 

Directionals and hand signals should be used at all times. See below for a hand-signal reference chart:

hog hand signal

Start Engines
With your right or left arm extended, move your index finger in a circular motion.
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
Hazard Left
Extend your left arm at a 45 degree angle and point towards the hazard.
hazard right
Hazard Right
Extend your right arm at a 45 degree angle and point towards the hazard.
hazard right2
Hazard Right
Extend your left 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.
Extend your left arm at a 45 degree angle with the palm of your hand  facing rearward.


Single File
Position your left hand over your helmet with your fingers extended upward. This indicates the leader  wants the group in a single file formation. Usually this is done for safety reasons.
Staggered Formation
Extend your left arm upward at a 45 degree angle with your index and pinkie finger extended. This indicate that it is safe to return to 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.
Extend your left arm straight out with your elbow bent 90 degrees. Carefully extend your middle finger to clearly demonstrate your dissatisfaction with the other guy.
NOTE:  It is not recommended you do this when you are alone. 

Group Riding:
Seventeen tips to ensure
everybody has a great day
By Bill Andrews

Apr. 23 – The engine purrs beneath you as a string of motorcycles snakes through the hills in front of you. With a quick look in the mirror, you see your buddy following close behind with a smile on his face that matches yours. The camaraderie forms because, at just this moment, you're all on the same page.

That's what a group ride is all about. It's an opportunity to share the open road and wonderful scenery with other like-minded people.

But like most motorcycle experiences, this one is best enjoyed by following a few simple guidelines that keep everyone safe. And that's the idea behind a new videotape put out by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation that focuses on group riding. You can get your own copy by visiting the MSF website at:, but here's a few tips from the country's foremost motorcycle safety experts.

1) The first thing you want to do is organize the ride. This can be as informal as standing around in a parking lot, or as complicated as a special meeting to hand out maps and cellphone numbers.

2) Remember that riding in a group does not mean you surrender any decision making when it comes to your safety. Ride your own ride, and don't go any faster than you feel comfortable going.

3) When picking your route and the stops you'll make along it, consider the stamina of the group, the experience of all the riders, and the limits of the motorcycles in the group. Remember, these are your friends. If it's going to be a long ride, be sure to have a few break stops along the way.

4) You'll need to communicate while on the ride, so make sure everyone knows the signals you'll use.

Group Riding:
Common hand signals

Reprinted with permission of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, Copyright 2003.






5) When creating your formation, it's wise to have your experienced riders at the lead and running sweep. Consider positioning the less experienced riders immediately behind the leader. This allows the front rider to adjust the pace if necessary.

6) Ideally, the sweep rider will have a cellphone to call for help if a motorcycle is disabled, or if there has been an accident.

7) If the goal of the ride is to keep the group together, the leader should only go at the pace of the least experienced rider.

8) While riding, don't fixate on the motorcycle in front of you. Instead, remember your basic training. Look well through the turn to where you want to go.

9) If the group is riding faster than you are comfortable with, let the sweep rider know you're dropping out and ride at your own pace. So you may reach your destination a few seconds behind the others, but you will get there, and that's what's important. Keep in mind, it's all about fun.

10) All riders are also responsible for making sure their motorcycles are mechanically up to the task. Before you even meet up with the group, make sure you've got plenty of fuel in the tank, and you've taken care of all those maintenance issues. Not sure what to check? Use T-CLOCK. You really don't want to be the reason for stopping the group for something mechanical you could have prevented.

11) If it's going to be a large group, consider establishing a buddy system among the riders, or divide the group into smaller five- or seven-rider packs. That way, if something goes wrong, you don't have 25 motorcycles sitting on the side of a busy highway. Also, smaller groups can more easily navigate through city streets.

12) On the road, motorcyclists should have at least a 2-second cushion in front and behind them. If you want to keep the group tight, consider a staggered formation. Leave enough room per lane so each rider can maneuver side-to-side if need be. Avoid side-by-side formations as they shrink your space cushion.

13) Trikes and sidecars should stay in the center of the lane, and should be given the same amount of cushion as if they were a car.

14) As turns get sharper, or as visibility decreases, move back to a single file formation. You'll also want to use single file when entering or exiting a highway, at toll booths, or when roads have a rough or questionable surface.

15) At intersections where you've come to a stop, 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 through first.

16) Remember we share the road with many other vehicles, and it's against the law to block an intersection.

17) When parking, try to get the group off the roadway as quickly as possible. If you can, arrange in advance to have pull-through parking at your destination, or at the very least, make sure there is ample parking for your size group.

Want more group-riding tips for your club or group? Order the MSF Guide to Group Riding video at, cost is $15.00 for a video and a handbook.

© 2003, American Motorcyclist Association


The Ultimate Guide to Motorcycle Safety

The Tips Guide Below Is Different
The Ultimate Motorcycle Safety Guide:

Tips for New Riders

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