What kind of group is this?
THIS IS A RIDING/RIDERS GROUP
This group is for people who like to ride motorcycles to find other people who like to ride. Some members are exclusively passengers, these members may, or may not, ever own and ride their own bikes, but we expect you to read and abide by our very limited rules and remember that AMRG is a RIDERS GROUP first and foremost. There are many ways to use this group. Some members may not attend any posted rides, but will email other members and have their own little mini-group. Some members will want to only go on big rides. Some will only go on smaller rides. If there is something you want to do, either post it on the message board, post in the ideas section or send the Organizer or an A.O. an email with your idea. If there is something posted you don't want to do, don't do it.
Meaning the principal purpose is Riders, and riding, We have invited passengers to come on board, to enjoy the site, the people, and the rides when, and if, you can get them. We love that you're here, but you will have to find the rides, as a Riding Group, we tend to just setup and go for rides. Please, Please, Please..... if you see a ride that you want to attend, post your interest and/or start asking for a ride from those that are going. If you have a ride, RSVP yes, and then show up! Don't miss that ride. If you say you are going and then you don't show. That person may not offer again in the future.
WE DO NOT WANT to see people feeling pressured or "guilted" into giving rides. A man or woman's bike is theirs, they may not wish to give a ride. That is their personal choice. We encourage all attendees to feel free to post comments before or after rides, but remember, no personal attacks or negative comments should be posted on public boards. If you have an issue with someone, talk to them privately. PLEASE DON'T BE RUDE or abusive. Life happens and plans sometimes have to change. Be courteous and contact your rider or others to notify them of unavoidable changes.
Some members are "Fender Fluff", or Passengers
There are many ways to achieve a ride if you are a passenger. The best approach is to find a ride on the calendar you are interested in attending and RSVP "No" and post a comment that you are interested in getting a ride. Please, DO NOT RSVP "Yes" until you have confirmation that you have a ride. It is a good idea to spend some time browsing the site. Many of our riders will gladly offer passengers a ride, some have "regular passengers" (A wife or girlfriend), some don't take passengers as a matter of personal preference. If you intend to become a regular member who is a full time passenger, it is strongly recommended that you invest in your own riding gear if you wish to wear protection gear. We don't have any AMRG rules about wearing helmets or other riding gear; those decisions are left up to the individual rider. Some riders carry spares for passengers but not all riders do so and passengers should not expect a rider to provide gear for a passenger. Of course you may also use the Email option to reach a specific individual to communicate about rides or confirm passenger arrangements.
Thanks, have FUN and RIDE safe.
Is this a club??
This is not
a club, no officers or dues. This is not a dating service, although anyone that rides and wants to meet other single riders is welcome.
Sounds fun and I like motorcycles. Who can join this group?
Everyone is welcome. This group is for people who like bikes. You don't have to own one, some of our members will share rides, just let it be known. A little chipping in on gas would be appreciated too. In fact, you don't have to be a member to go on rides, just to reply on the message boards, get announcements of events, and to RSVP for events.
What is up with this page?
Everyone needs to read this page. Fully. If you don't like what's on here, offer suggestions in the message boards or don't go on rides until you do. This group is probably a little different from any other club or bike group you've been a part of.
What should I do after I join??
Each profile has some questions. Please fill them out as best you can. You don't have to be serious, but please be sure your answers are correct in content. These questions let us know who you are as a rider, as far as experience riding, and as a rider in a group dynamic. If you do not fill in the questions, we will warn you once, then we may remove you. After you join, The policy of this group is not to force people to participate, we have many rides throughout the year, more of course during peak riding season. Although this is a participate as you wish group, we do require that you visit the website to show involvement. if you reach 5 months without "checking in" you will be removed from the group. So please log-in to meetup, and visit the site. That way you will not be removed from the group.
Is there anything I need to sign??
You may be aware that some clubs have liability forms and such. Please re-read meetup.com's terms of service, especially section 5. You agreed to it in order to use this site. You may not have read it, but you had to check the box that said you did. In general, section 5 says if an organizer or any member places a ride on the calendar and you get lost or something, it's your own fault. If someone runs into you on the highway, call the cops and handle it like any other traffic accident and don't sue everyone in the group. If you can't live with that, this group isn't for you.
"I noticed sometimes you go to bars. I don't like to drink and drive, can't we go someplace different?"
Bars serve non-alcoholic drinks as well as alcohol. Those drinks are often cheaper and sometimes even have free refills. For the most part, when we go to a bar, some of the riders may have a beer and some may drink sodas. No one will chastise you for not drinking. We don't encourage drunk riding and most AMRG riders won't ride with anyone who is impaired, but neither do we have any rules about not drinking. You are responsible for yourself and your behavior.
This group isn't about drinking at bars, however, bars are places where adults can go to hang out and be loud and obnoxious if they want to. Some restaurants might not always appreciate some of the jokes we tell or how loudly we may laugh. Other places might not appreciate a group of 20 people showing up in leather, covered with road dust and taking up all the parking places. We have a list of places we know we can go to that have parking to suit us and either tolerate or encourage 'our kind'. (You know, nice people who like to have fun and would help a total stranger who might be broken down alongside the road.)
What are the rules?
If you want a group that has rules, you don't want this group. OK ... there are Ride Rules, most of which are common sense. When on rides with other members, everyone will respect each other skills and riding styles. That means if someone does something you think is unsafe, don't ride close to them. They may be better than you and can deal with it. If that isn't good enough, tell them directly or whoever setup the ride, that you are uncomfortable. Or, email the organizers later if you are concerned about it. Nothing may get done about it, so be prepared for that. No one forced you to go on a ride, and no one will force you to stay on one. You can leave a ride, or the group, at any time. However, we do expect you to let the ride leader know if you are leaving a ride. The rules you are generally expected to follow are as follows:
Photos on the profiles
Recently we took a poll about photos on the profile. You MUST Have a photo of some kind posted as a default, or front photo. This can be whatever you want, as long as it takes the ugly grey box away. Somewhere, either in front, or just posted in your pictures, you MUST include a face photo. This will help us recognize you when you come out on a ride. This is a security issue for the group and you will not be approved as a member or you will be removed from the group if you can't comply with this simple requirement.
Rules of the Ride
The person leading the ride is in charge of the ride. He/She will make the determination of where the ride will go and the scheduled stops. This person will also set the pace of the ride. The leader is responsible for posting the ride, including a description of the route and the pace of the ride, plus any other special information pertaining to that ride. We use "pace codes" in describing rides so that riders can select rides that are appropriate to their personal interests and skills. Rides are typically lead by experienced riders who are familiar with the route and frequently are Organizers or Assistant Organizers with AMRG.
Pace Codes and Definitions:
“A” pace – Most common rides where we generally ride within 5 mph plus or minus of posted speeds.
“C” cruise pace – Please use this code when planning rides for beginners or for those who like to cruise at a slower pace.
“Q” quick pace - On occasion we have what we call “spirited pace rides”. These rides are substantially faster but not so fast that most cruisers could not attend if desired.
“R” ridiculous pace - Specifically for the sport-bike speed demons. Not recommended for cruisers.
Again, organizers and assistant organizers are required to designate a “Pace Code” for each ride so that participants can better match rides to their respective skill levels.
A Sweeper follows the entire group to ensure that nobody gets left behind. This person is also responsible for keeping the rear of the group with the front. If a Sweeper has to stop, then he/she must either designate someone to catch up with the rest of the group to inform them of the stop or the Sweeper may need to temporarily leave the rear to catch up to the others. Every rider has the responsibility when group riding to monitor the riders behind them. If riders behind you disappear or pull off the road, bring it to the attention of the leader right away. If all riders are doing their part to ensure that the Lead rider is informed that riders behind them have dropped out of sight, it should be easy for the Sweeper or another designated rider to catch up with the group to communicate the separation. Once the Lead rider is informed of the separation, they should find a safe place to pull over and wait for the remaining riders to join the group.
Rovers are going to be a staple in our rides going forward. A Rover is an extension of control between the front of the group and the back. They will relay actual or potential problems between the front and rear of the group such as speed, mechanical issues, the need for fuel, or even a suggested meal and pit stops. A ride with more than 10 bikes will require 1 Rover; over 20 bikes 2 and so on. There may be rides where Rovers are not needed or desired and this will be determined by the leader considering the riding conditions, location, and the size of the group.
Each AMRG member also shares certain responsibilities. As a rider in the group, you should familiarize yourself with the route prior to the ride. Minor details of stops and all the turns are not as important as finding your way home from anywhere on the route. Do you know the area well enough to know where to go for gas or food if you did get separated from the group? A rider is always, always, responsible for themselves and their equipment. So if you want a first aid kit, get one. Although many riders are equipped with emergency items, do not rely on someone else to provide tools, a tire repair kits, etc. Riders sometimes opt to deviate from the original route on the way back home and that’s fine; however, if for any reason you plan to depart from the group and go your own way, it is important that you inform the leader and sweeper of your intentions.
Every rider is responsible for maintaining proper spacing while riding in the group. If you can't or won't do so, ride alone! A staggered formation provides lane protection, better visibility of riders and overall rider safety. We generally use a staggered formation, as recommended by the National Motorcycle Safety Foundation, that is approximately 2 seconds from the person in front of you and 1 second to the stagger to your side. Please note that spacing is determined by time and the actual distance will change will change as speed changes. This is an approximation and can be adjusted to where the rider feels comfortable. We will typically close this spacing some when we are in town and dealing with traffic lights and heavy traffic. However, we have had some huge gaps in the formations on many rides. This is very dangerous to the riders in the group and may encourage other vehicles to break into those gaps. This eliminates the ability to keep the riders behind in the rear view, so keep the riders behind you in your mirror. If you don’t see anyone behind you get word to the Rover. If there is no Rover, then take it upon yourself to get to the front and tell the lead that we have lost people.
Lastly, ride SAFE and have FUN!
Frequently Asked Questions
Who runs this group??
This is a group of people riding, there is an Organizer, and several assistant organizers. We try to let the group run itself as much as possible , but there are some guidelines that we have adopted to make sure that everyone is able to enjoy the group as a whole. If someone starts telling you what to do beyond the basic ride rules that you see here and you don't agree with it, don't do it. Use your own common sense and leave the ride if you think it is too risky for your taste. However, if someone starts suggesting how the group should ride, try listening. They just might have a good idea and you should try it.
I'm confused ? Someone needs to lead the rides?
Yes. Someone will lead the ride. Usually, the person who suggests and plans the ride will do that. Sometimes they won't. There are some members of the group that are very active and will take up positions in the front and back of a ride to make sure we all get where we are going at the same time. It changes. If you want to lead, get up front. If you don't, stay towards the back. The leader may position new riders in certain places for safety reasons.
I don't get it ? How do you keep everyone together?
It's very simple. When you ride in this group, the person in front of you will watch you from time to time in their mirror to make sure you don't get left behind. And you will watch the person behind you. If the person behind you pulls over or drops back, you will pull over or drop back and keep them in sight. If you lose sight of them, pull over, preferably after you get the attention of the person in front of you.
Now I'm scared! I don't know if I can do this!
If you want someone to help you through a ride, ask. We all had our first ride and we know that another AMRG member will be willing to help. Above all, you need to be responsible for your own riding, that includes knowing how to get home and being able to take care of yourself if you get separated from the group. It doesn't happen very often, but it can.
What happens if my bike breaks down during a ride??
Aha!... the biggest advantage to riding in a group. If something happens on a trip, the group will make sure that you are taken care of. Someone will stay with you to make sure you can at least get home. The whole group may stay, so get rid of your guilty feelings. We know you would do the same for us. We have members with trailers that might offer to help. We all know good places to take bikes to be worked on, and some places to stay away from.
So what am I, personally, supposed to do on a ride?
All riders are expected to read the ride notes and be prepared to ride. That means you know what the weather might be like and have the proper gear (or choose to ride without it.) It means you know where we will be riding and how long the ride might be (both in miles and time), and should be able to ride home if things change. It means that you know whether or not we plan to stop and eat so you either eat before we ride or eat during the ride. It means you show up with a full tank of gas, unless you know you can make it to a planned stop where there is gas. It is unlikely anyone will get left behind, but it isn't impossible, please prepare for it. Ask for cell phone numbers if you are uncomfortable with that prospect.
Above all, it means that if you go on a ride, you are not allowed to grumble if it does something on the plan. The group may or may not choose to stay with the plan after the ride starts, but we usually stick fairly close.
What if I don't want to go on the whole ride??
If you do have to leave a ride, let someone know. If you are riding and have to leave, try to safely get someone's attention and wave bye-bye. Make sure they wave bye-bye back, or nod, or do something that seems to look like they know you are leaving. (We use a particular type of wave, the "Princess Wave", to indicate to others that we are leaving deliberately. Ask others to make sure you know what that signal looks like.) It is usually best to let the leader at the front know, since they tend to keep an eye out for how many riders there are. If it is a large group it's also a very good idea to let the sweeper know as well
I don't know if I will ride much. What do I have to do to stay a member?
If you become a member and don't use the site for three months, you will be dropped. Don't take it personal, you can come back by sending the organizer an email. You don't have to attend rides if you don't want to or don't see any you like. Just visit the web site from time to time. Members who participate on rides and use the message boards are also less likely to get dropped.
I'm going to be away for awhile, I don't want to get dropped. What should I do?
Bikers are often wanderers and we understand that. It is better to send an email to the organizer and let them know you will be away for a few months. That way, your profile won't get lost.
Do I have to RSVP to every ride?
No, you don't have to. But the group would like to know, from time to time, why you aren't going on some of the rides. If we only get 'yes' RSVPs, then the rides that are posted will continue to be the ones that are posted. But if you RSVP with a 'no', and tell us why you can't go on rides we will try to add rides that you can go on.
There is somewhere I would like to go, how do I get a ride to there?
There are two ways. You can post something in the message boards, or you can send the organizers an email.
Do I have to plan the whole thing out?? I'm not very good at that.
A ride suggestion can be as simple as 'I want to go to Madrid and hang out for an hour or two on this date'. Or it can have a detailed ride plan. That is up to you. If it's not detailed enough, usually an organizer or other member will embellish it, so don't worry.
Manipulating the Meetup page and your profile
All these settings are found in the "account" tab at the top, right-hand corner of the page. That is where you can upload your personal pictures, remove yourself, set up your profile and email preferences, etc.
The original text for the "About Us" page has been pilfered from our "sister group" PMRG (Phoenix Motorcycle Riders Group) http://motorcycle.mee...
. Thanks to John Fox for the inspiration and direction. When it's good, it's good, and Mr. Fox is GOOD.