Pre-Ride Briefing


Potomac Area Road Riders is dedicated to safe motorcycle riding. With that in mind, a group pre-ride briefing is mandatory at the beginning of every PARR ride. Familiarization with group riding rules will help to ensure not only the safety of each individual but the safety of the group. The pre-ride briefing should be announced even if everyone on the ride has heard it previously. Norman Vincent Peale once stated "Repetition of the same thought or physical action develops into a habit which, repeated frequently enough, becomes an automatic reflex." We want responsible rules of the road to be an automatic reflex for everyone on a ride. This can only be accomplished through repetition.

PARR has an abbreviated version of the pre-ride briefing that one can carry in his/her wallet. Each PARR member should retain this card for reference, as anyone could be in a position to lead a ride. Having the pre-ride briefing card will enable everyone to be adequately prepared.

The following paragraphs summarize pre-ride activities and the group pre-ride briefing:

First of all, ensure that all riders have signed PARR's Release, Waiver and Indemnity Agreement.. Each rider should carry several copies so that if a new rider shows, the form is available for him/her to review and sign. Anyone who has not signed a waiver cannot participate in a PARR ride. This is a mandatory requirement in order to keep PARR from being a subject in a possible legal suit. In order to remain protected under our "corporate shield", everyone MUST sign this waiver.

Secondly, ask for a show of hands of those who have not signed a waiver. If no one raises a hand, state "there is no show of hands, so I understand that everyone on this ride has signed a PARR ride waiver".

Next, move to the details of the ride briefing:

  1. Stay in your assigned position and do not pass other riders. No matter how small or large the group, each rider should be assigned a riding position. This will cause less confusion when the group begins to pull out for the first time and after each rest stop.
  2. Notify the ride leader if you plan to leave the group. The ride leader will convey this to the other riders. This will ensure that no one accidentally follows you when you split off from the group.
  3. Roads with no shoulders use a single file formation with a slight offset. You should not follow directly behind the rider in front of you.
  4. Roads with plenty of shoulder use staggered formation. If the person in front of you changes bike lanes, you should also change the side of the lane in which you are riding.
  5. Avoid accordion formation. This usually causes the line of motorcycles to stretch out too far. It also causes some members to speed in order to catch up with the line.
  6. At stop signs and lights, pull up side by side. This will take up less space and enable everyone to get back out more quickly.
  7. At stops, pull out one at a time. Never pull out at the same time as the bike beside of you. If someone weaves a little on the pullout, it could cause an accident.
  8. You are responsible for the rider behind you. Don't lose him/her. This is an important rule in keeping everyone together and not losing anyone. In short, the rider behind you must be able to see you make any turn. Slow up (or even stop) so the rider behind you doesn't miss the turn. If everyone follows this rule, no one will get lost.
  9. Point out any road hazards. Use your foot to point out debris on the highway. If you have a CB then you can also make an announcement, however always manually point out hazards.
  10. For emergencies, slow down, pull off, and stop. If everyone is following Rule #8, everyone will follow suit and the group can deal with the emergency.
  11. Watch for group passing action. Follow the lead when safe to do so. The action may begin from the rear of the group, especially if the leader and tail gunner both have CB radios. The leader will tell the tail gunner to take the new lane. Once this has been accomplished, the remaining riders will move to the new lane. If there are no CBs, the action will most likely start from the front.
  12. Allow cars into the line if they insist; we will lose them eventually. Some car drivers do not understand the group motorcycling concept and will squeeze in when they feel like it. They will eventually turn off or pass the group. There is no need to be concerned.
  13. At rest stops, get gas only if you don't have enough for the next 75 miles. The distance between rest breaks is usually around 50 miles, so if you can make the next 75, don't get gas. Large groups will consume an inordinate amount of time at rest stops if everyone insists on getting gas at the same time - especially if we pull into a small gas station.
  14. No drinking alcoholic beverages until the bikes are parked for the night. Alcohol hampers one's reflexes and affects the safety of all riders. Enjoy your favorite alcoholic beverage after the ride.

After all of these points have been covered, the following pieces of information should be announced:

It is our sincere belief that if all follow these rules, we'll be riding as safe as we possibly can for the entire trip.