RULES OF THE ROAD

1. Ride in a Precise Formation: As road conditions permit, the 3 second rule will apply. The tighter and faster the pack goes, the more dangerous it becomes for all. The staggered formation will be the norm on all relatively straight roads, unless otherwise directed by the Road Captain (R/C). Maintain your proper offset and distance. When riding on single lane twisty roads or roundabouts, plan on changing to single file to give riders front and back the advantage of the whole lane for cornering safely.

2. Execute Signs and Turns Properly: Especially near the front of the pack both hand and bike turning signals should be used. Hand signals are as follows:

A twisting of the hand with the little finger and index finger extended means go to staggered formation.
One finger, or “tomahawk chop”, held up overhead for single file.
Left and right hand signals are well known. Left arm straight out for left turn and arm up with bent elbow for right turn.
A pumping upright fist means catch up or tighten up.
An arm down means slow down or maybe stop.
Pointing up and over to the right means a potential danger or pedestrian/bicyclist on the shoulder.
Pointing a toe, or in a circle, means road hazard;gravel, ice, pothole, etc.
Basically, always let the riders behind you know of approaching hazards or movement changes.

3. Do Not Screw Around: No horseplay when riding with the group. Any member observing another member fooling around in formation should discuss it with that member and attempt to clear up the situation. If it should persist, bring it to the attention of the Road Captain (R/C), one of the Assistants, or the SAA at the next opportunity.

4. Riding Positions: Line up for a ride as follows: Road Captain, President, other officers, CVR patched members, to include our Auxiliary, Known Associates and flash patched members, followed by prospect members with their sponsors. Behind the CVR patched riders is the preferred position for other non-CVR guest riders, then the vehicles with more than two wheels and the sweepers. Once you are in a position, keep it for the remainder of the ride. Do not attempt to break into or out of the pack during a ride. Remember, any new rider, or someone that feels uncomfortable riding in a pack, should ride to the rear just ahead of the sweepers. If they have a sponsor, that sponsor should be nearby to guide them. Last in the main group will always be the sweepers.

b.) While on any ride, the President may appoint a Road Captain (R/C) . The President will ride alongside to the right or just behind the R/C depending on the formation in use. For large groups, if the RC has an assistant R/C, and they have radios, one will be up front and the other take a position near the rear. In the absence of a regular R/C, whoever the President appoints will ride point. Remember, the R/C calls the shots; where he goes, everyone goes. The R/C is also responsible to insure the safety of each bike in his pack.

c.) The “Sweeper”, or assistant Road Captain, will ride at the rear unless otherwise directed by the R/C. This sweeper will be responsible for holding a lane open while making a lane change. He will also assist any member who may break down or fall behind. The R/Cs will operate as a team and watch for problems within the group. Watching for all signals and seeing the need for changes are major parts of the “Sweeper”, or assistant R/C’s job.

d.) In staggered formation, for every rider in one part of the lane, there should be an offset rider in the other part of the lane, either ahead or behind. This pattern should go zig-zag, from side to side, all the way along a column. Move up and fill the offset gap. Never cross over to rearrange the pattern, except at the very last position.

e.) The R/C will give instructions to all riders prior to the start of a ride. This will include, if known, the stops along the way and the name and address of the destination. Each member shall make it his/her business to know the route and prearranged stops for the ride.

5. Use Common Sense At All Times: When the group goes through a light you have to recognize when you are to yield or stop. There will be no Road Guards to block intersections. At this time it is against Washington State Law. The pack will get back together when conditions allow.

a.) Anticipate your next move as well as those of the group.

b.) We are all aware of the proper safety procedures and the need for them. Let us exercise caution, at all times, and obey traffic regulations. If a rider does not feel comfortable riding in a group formation at the CVR standard spacing, they are expected to take up a position near the rear of the pack. This does not matter if you are a patched member or not. This is a matter of safety.

c.) Remain alert and watch for signals coming from the front of the pack. Our goal is to respond as a group. You must remember that the R/C, from time to time, will be giving a hand signal to execute a maneuver such as to pass a slow moving vehicle, slow down, make a turn, change the formation to single file or staggered, etc. Ideally this should work like this: When passing a slow vehicle, the front R/C will take into consideration the size of the group and the distance necessary to get the pack from one lane to another safely. The Road Captain will signal and let the Rear Sweeper know of his intention to pass, rear sweeper signals and goes to the far left (passing) lane to block oncoming traffic so the group can safely take position in the passing lane when the front Road Captain moves over. Then the pack, starting with the riders on the left, start to move over keeping gap enough for the riders on the right to join them. Then the Road Captain passes the slower moving vehicle and stays in the passing lane until the President (or ranking officer) has enough room to easily clear the slow vehicle. This should be continued two by two until all the group has passed the slower vehicle. The rider in the left portion of the lane always should wait until the rider behind and to the right has clearance then both return to the right lane with proper clearance of the vehicle they are passing. This method avoids cutting in front of the rider behind, and should be executed in two’s when going to the right. Each member’s assistance in executing the maneuver safely and smoothly will be necessary. Stay in relative position during any lane change or direction maneuver.

6. Leaving The Group: If you know you have to depart during the ride, let your intentions be known to the R/C or Assistant(s) ahead of time. If you break down or have to make an unplanned stop, pull off the road as best you can. The pack will be pulled into the nearest and safest place. The R/Cs, and/or members he designates, will return to the stopped rider. After ascertaining the problem, the R/C will decide when to get the group on its way as soon as possible, and make arrangements to have the stopped rider and his bike taken care of, if necessary. DO NOT JUST LEAVE!!!

7. Gas Stops: You are expected to start a ride with a full tank and empty bladder. Don’t plan on arriving and have others wait for you to gas up. Get to know your machine’s cruising range with regard to gas. Running out of gas or making gas stops with large groups is time consuming. Therefore, arrive for the rides with a full tank of gas and top off your tank at every gas stop if you are uncertain, no matter how small the amount. This will avoid staggered gas stops and possibly save time.

8. Bike Maintenance: Maintain it carefully, this is considered a must. One person failing to check for loose straps or wires, shorts, dead batteries, worn tires, or worn chains/belts, can be trouble or dangerous to the group.

9. Wearing Apparel: It is strongly urged that on any CVR ride, each member wear his/her cut with patch. He/She should also wear safe boots and clothing when riding. Helmets are preferred, but not required in some states. Adherence to these guidelines will provide for a long, successful, and safe riding season.