Gold Country Women Motorcyclists (GCWM) welcomes female motorcyclists of all skill levels and motorcycle types that want to ride and have awesome adventures with other strong, independent, fun-loving ladies. We are as diverse as the motorcycles we ride. We represent a wide spectrum of ages, vocations, and interests but we all have one thing in common: a passion for riding, and a desire to support other female motorcycle riders. If you are looking to make new riding buddies and enjoy some fun adventures together, this group is for you!
Please review the following before requesting admittance into GCWM. As part of your admittance you'll be asked to confirm you've reviewed and agree to abide by the requirements outlined below.
About Our Rides:
A planned monthly ride is held the second Saturday of the month and coordinated and led by volunteers. Additional rides may be scheduled throughout the month if a member would like to coordinate one. Most rides are 150 miles or more and include awesome roads and social time over a meal. Ride routes and ride ratings are published in advance of a ride so ladies can make informed decisions on whether the ride is of interest and is within the rider's skill level. Occasionally we also schedule overnight getaways to some fabulous scenic locations.
GCWM is not associated with any other membership based organization. There are no monthly dinner meetings, bylaws, elected officers, or required participation in special events. The only dues you may be asked to pay is a nominal annual fee that is applied toward the Meetup subscription cost. To date our Meetup costs are covered by sponsors so no fees are collected.
Membership and Riding Responsibilities:
Liability Waiver: Motorcycle riding is inherently dangerous and can result in injury or death. The Organizers of the Gold Country Women Motorcyclists are not professional event organizers nor represent themselves as such. The Organizers sole purpose is to facilitate people coming together with similar interest. Each member(s) is responsible for their own safety and assumes full responsibility for their actions. By requesting membership, you agree to hold the Organizers harmless from any liability as a result of participating in this Meetup Group. If you do not agree with this liability waiver, do not request to join. You will also be asked to sign a release of liability waver the day of the ride (included in the ride sign-in sheet).
Gear & Experience: Use of a DOT approved helmet and a closed riding shoe at a minimum is required. Motorcycle must be 250cc or higher and in good working condition. Participation in a group ride requires at least 1000 miles of motorcycle riding experience and at least 500 miles of experience riding on the motorcycle you plan to ride with our group.
Behavior: Posting religious or political content is not permitted nor is content that would be considered offensive, crude, vulgar, foul language, fault-finding, or disrespectful to others. Advertising to group members is not permitted. No Drama. This group exists to have fun. Drama and complaining is not tolerated. All members are expected to coordinate and/or lead rides once they have the riding skills to do so.
Safety: Please understand our first and foremost priority is "safety", both yours and ours. No alcohol or drugs are permitted on ride days. (Typically, rides officially end at a lunch destination.) Members are expected to ride in a safe fashion or they may be expelled from the group. All members are expected to maintain motorcycle insurance.
Sorry fellas, this is a ladies riding group. Men can attend rides by invite from a female group member only.
Group Riding Guidelines
Group Riding - Rider Responsibility: Every rider is responsible for reviewing the route description and ride rating ahead of time to ensure that the planned ride is within her skill level and preferences. Use of a DOT-approved helmet (at a minimum) is required on all group rides. While we are not an All Gear All The Time (AGATT) group, it is strongly encouraged. Group riding is more challenging than solo riding. Please abide by guidelines to ensure safe riding by all. Participation in group rides requires: a minimum of 1,000 miles of motorcycle riding experience, 500 miles of experience on the current motorcycle and membership in the Gold Country Women Motorcyclist (GCWM) Meetup group. No alcohol or drugs are permitted on ride days. Any rider feeling they must partake will be asked to remove themselves from the group. Know the limits of your abilities and your motorcycle. The time for a new rider to learn skills is NOT on a group ride. We encourage new riders to practice and gain skills prior to a group ride. Newer riders are encouraged to contact other members to ride with outside of the group rides so skills can be practiced in a less challenging environment. We ask our more novice riders to be in the back of the group. If you feel you fit into this category, please place yourself there. On rides with numerous participants the ride coordinator may separate riders into several groups based on riding style preference and experience; Relaxed, Moderate & Energetic. Periodically check in rear view mirror to see if you need to adjust speed, that way, all riders may adjust and stay in a group. If you are going to separate from the group, for any reason, you MUST let someone know. We want to be sure all arrive back home safely. If someone separates from the group, it’s of great concern that something may have happened to them. Each rider is responsible for knowing the route and bringing a copy of the directions or map to the ride. Some of our rides may be in excess of 3 hours and in varied weather conditions. Please prepare mentally and physically for the distance, time and conditions.
Group Riding Guidelines: Larger groups should break into smaller, more manageable groups, ideally, 5-7 riders per group. Best if each group is made up of riders with similar skill levels. The ride coordinator will assist in this. Large groups can also employ a buddy system including “bread crumbing” at turns to ensure no rider gets left behind. A staggered formation is best because: it takes up less space on the freeway, keeps the group together, is easier to see the group, the group less likely to become separated and provides for the generally accepted following distances. Staggered formation is when the leader is in left 3rd of lane, next rider is in the right 3rd of lane, with one second between each rider, which is 2 seconds between you and the rider directly in front of you. Use single file formation on curves or narrow roads, or entering or exiting freeway. Watch for hand signals, the 1 and 2 second following distances do not pertain on curvy roads but visual sight of the next rider ahead should be maintained. Rider on the left starts first when stopped at stop sign or signal light. On a freeway, enter and exit in single file, and then establish the staggered formation once the lead rider has selected a lane. On a freeway, when passing other vehicles, each rider signals and then changes lane, one by one. Ride your own ride. In other words, ride within your skills and abilities. Do not ride beyond your abilities. Monthly rides are rated so members can decide if a particular ride is appropriate for her. While reading the ride rating and description, picture yourself being safe and comfortable on that ride. Review the route with a map or GPS to determine if the road, elevation, traffic and curves it suggests are within your skills and abilities. The ratings are from 1 to 5 with 5 being advanced. Message the ride coordinator for more information/clarification. Novice rides may be held to introduce new members to group riding. Going on an intermediate or an advanced ride is NOT the way to gain riding skills. GCWM encourages members to ride often to enhance, maintain and grow your riding abilities. Arrive 15 to 20 minutes early, with a full tank of gas, and be ready to ‘let clutches out’ at designated ride time. If you are new to the group or to group riding locate a ride buddy during this time if you have not done so prior to the ride day. The ride coordinator briefs the group 15 minutes before the ride. This information briefing includes: General ride route, specific road conditions, traffic etc., identify additional ride lead(s) and sweep(s), identify gas and/or lunch stops. Reminder for less experienced riders position themselves to the back of the group. (back of second or third group on split group rides, in front of the sweep for their visual) If you are uncomfortable or cannot keep a 2 sec. space between yourself and the bike directly in front of you (1 sec. behind bike on the left or right of you in formation), please drop back and signal others to pass by using your left hand to wave the rider behind you forward. The sweep is there to make sure we all arrive at our destination. When passing others in the group do so with safety in mind. Stay in your lane position. Do not weave back and forth between left and right of center lane when in staggered formation. This causes group confusion. The ride coordinator has the authority to make changes and ask people to change positions. The ride coordinator takes the lane position closest to the dividing line of traffic. After a turn, this lane might change, and therefore, the leader will switch positions within the lane. The riders behind the leader switch lanes accordingly. If a rider has a mechanical problem (or needs to pull over, etc.) on a group ride, everyone behind the disabled motorcycle stops IF they can pull over safely. If pulling over cannot be done safely, the members proceed ahead until a safe pull-out is found. The riders in front of the person should continue and pull over at the next scheduled stop to wait for information. (Doubling back could cause problems.) Quickly and safely, communicate the issue to the sweep. If the delay cannot be resolved quickly, the sweep stays behind with the disabled rider, and the other riders proceed to communicate the issue to others waiting ahead or at next stop. The sweep can use a cell phone to call for help. If the group is separated, continue on the ride route to reunite with the other riders. Just remember: It can be very exciting to ride in a group (somewhat like a parade). For your own safety please adhere to stop signs, traffic lights and other standard rider safety requirements.
Ride Rating Guide: Ride ratings are designed to help participants better understand the route difficulty, the skills that might be required, and can be used as one of many factors in helping the rider determine if the ride is a good fit and will be enjoyable for her. Note: Ride ratings are somewhat subjective and ride conditions can change dramatically from the time the coordinator pre-rode the ride until the ride takes place. A rider should consult with the ride coordinator and then objectively assess whether to participate on a ride or not. Riders assume the risks and responsibilities of participating on a ride regardless of how it has been rated.
Level 1 = Least challenging: Novice riders with 1500 miles experience generally can navigate the route. Level 1 rides do not typically include riding at high speeds, in high traffic conditions or include many sweeps.
Level 3 = Moderately challenging: May include a few challenging aspects but the rider is not expected to maintain constant intensity or sustain riding in difficult conditions.
Level 5 = Most challenging: The route includes a variety of challenging aspects for a sustained period of time or may include elements that the average rider may not be familiar with or have the skill to navigate. Level 5 rides should generally only be attempted by very experienced riders or intermediate riders that are comfortable with new challenges and willing to ride outside their comfort zone.
Rating factors: Ride coordinators take into consideration the following when rating a route.
Ride Length & Duration: Short distances of less than 50 miles of easy terrain could be rated as a Level 1 while longer rides with greater than 350 miles might be rates as a Level 5. Ride duration should be considered as well since riding 50 miles could take hours if route is challenging.
Intensity: What kind of stamina is needed to complete the ride and how frequently will riders get to take breaks? What kind of weather is anticipated? Excessive heat, cold, rain, wind or fog may require greater stamina. What is the average speed the rider would be expected to maintain? Are there ride conditions that can be particularly intense such as single lane bridge crossings, railroad track crossings, open range with livestock or sections with gravel? Does the ride extend into hours of darkness? Are riders expected to maintain tight formation for an extended time during the ride?
Road Surfaces & Conditions: How well marked is the road? (i.e.: signage, lane lines, speed advisory’s) What kinds of elevation changes exist? (i.e. steep ascending and descending grades) What are the pavement conditions? (i.e. potholes, gravel, fully paved, versus some dirt) How much of the route is single lane versus multiple lane? Are construction delays expected? What kind of traffic volume is anticipated? Are riders expected to park on gravel?
Technical Skill required: What sort of technical skills does a rider need to possess and is a newer rider likely to possess the skills? Does the rider need to be able to navigate tight turns? Does she/he need to be able to comfortably ride on the freeway? Does the ride include a variety of different terrains or road conditions that may be uncommon for newer riders?