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Riding SOP for CVMA Chapter 49-2

C O M B AT V E T E R A N S M O TO R C Y C L E
A S S O C I AT I O N
U TA H

CVMA CHAPTER 49-2

RIDING STANDARD
OPERATING PROCEDURE
(SOP)

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Riding SOP for CVMA Chapter 49-2

INDEX

1.0 General
2.0 Individual Responsibilities
3.0 Safety
4.0 Formations
5.0 Hand Signals
6.0 Road Captain
7.0 Ride Briefing

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Riding SOP for CVMA Chapter 49-2

Duration: This SOP remains in force until proposed modifications are approved by the Chapter
Board of Directors and signed by the Chapter Commander.

1.0 General
a. The intent of this SOP is to help ensure organized and safe group rides. It is not
intended to restrict our actions, but instead, to help ensure that we all return home
safely. It is important to remember that the educational and riding experiences of
our members can vary dramatically. This SOP standardizes procedures, establishes
practices, and provides information in an effort to narrow the gap in rider abilities
and help us, as a chapter, ride as a single-minded unit

b. The SOP has sections covering various aspects of riding in a group. These sections
include:

(1) Section 1: General.

(2) Section 2: Individual Responsibilities.

(3) Section 3: Safety.

(4) Section 4: Formations.

(5) Section 5: Hand Signals.

(6) Section 6: Road Captain.

(7) Section 7: Ride Briefing.

c. It is the responsibility of every member (full, auxiliary, or support) to be familiar


with and comply with this SOP.

d. Questions concerning this SOP can be directed to the Chapter Commander, Chapter
Executive Officer, Sergeant at Arms, or the Chapter Road Captain.

2.0 Individual Responsibilities


a. Ensure you are well rested before participating in any scheduled ride.

b. Perform a self-evaluation of your personal mental and physical state to access whether
you are fit to ride on a particular day.

c. Perform a pre-ride inspection of your motorcycle prior to any ride utilizing the T-CLOCS
inspection list contained in Section 3.

d. Review weather forecast for the riding day(s) and ensure that you feed, hydrate, and
clothe yourself for the range of conditions that are expected.

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Riding SOP for CVMA Chapter 49-2

e. Arrive at the designated meeting location with a full gas tank.

f. Arrive at the designated location allowing sufficient preparatory time to meet the
announced Kick Stands Up (KSU) time.

g. Report any condition that may affect your ability to ride safely within a group to either
the Road Captain, Sergeant at Arms, or any chapter officer present for the ride. If no
Road Captain or Chapter Officers are present, report the condition to the informal leader
of the ride for that day.

3.0 Safety
a. Motorcycling is inherently dangerous. Operating a motorcycle as part of a group
increases the dangers exponentially, both to yourself and others in the group. Many
aspects of safety in group riding situations will be covered in Section 4: Formations and
Section 5: Hand Signals, however, some aspects not covered in those sections are
mentioned here.

(1) Highly recommend completion of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) Basic
Rider Course (BRC). This 3 day course is an excellent introduction to basic principles
for safely operating a motorcycle and many insurance companies offer discounts to
riders who have completed the course.

(2) Highly recommend completion of the one-day MSF Advanced Rider Course (ARC)
after 2,500 miles or so of riding experience. See MSF webpage for complete listing of
available courses: https://www.msf-usa.org/students.aspx

(3) Mentally assess yourself before any ride, particularly before participating in a group
ride where your actions can have the most dire of consequences; not only for yourself
but for others that you have hopefully come to consider as your Brothers and Sisters.
Ask yourself:

(a) Am I mentally ready to ride?

(b) Am I tired or stressed out?

(c) Am I confident my riding skills are sharp?

(d) Am I able to focus on safety? (can I answer questions from this SOP during the
pre-ride brief?)

(4) Do NOT participate in a group ride if you are impaired due to alcohol or
prescription/non-prescription drugs. Impaired riding on your own or with a group
outside the CVMA is a personal decision, however, it WILL NOT be tolerated within
group CVMA rides. If you are impaired in such a way, notify a Road Captain or
Chapter Officer and a determination will be made as to finding a suitable location
within the group for you to ride or excluding you from that particular ride. If you

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believe someone riding within our group is impaired, you have a responsibility to
bring that belief to the attention of the Road Captain or a Chapter Officer.

(5) Always ride your own ride. This may sound counterintuitive when riding with a
group but the focus is ALWAYS on SAFETY. Ride within your limitations, both as it
pertains to your riding expertise and how you feel that particular day. Don’t succumb
to peer pressure to overextend yourself. There is no shame in saying you are not up
to the proposals for formation/speed/your position in the formation/etc., in fact, you
will probably gain respect for erring on the side of safety concerns for yourself and
your Brothers/Sisters.

(6) DO NOT show off or demonstrate rude behavior while riding in a group wearing
CVMA gear. We are a group of professionals and want to be recognized as such; a
motorcycle association representative of the best our country has to offer (just as
when we wore a military uniform), riders that people want to have nearby and
welcome into their communities.

(7) By default we, as a group, ride at posted speed limits through residential
neighborhoods, posted speed limit +5 MPH on secondary roads, and posted speed
limit +10 MPH on highways/freeways/interstates.

(8) When riding as a group, we will utilize all electronic signaling devices as prescribed
by law as well as common hand signals outlined in Section 5: Hand Signals.

(9) Road Guards: Use of Road Guards will be kept to a minimum and only for larger
formation rides where blocking of traffic or other traffic control measures are
absolutely necessary for safety and/or mission accomplishment. Road Guards will be
appointed by the Chapter Road Captain and specifically trained and familiar with the
procedures outlined in the 49-2 Road Captain/Road Guard/Tail Gunner Manual. If
they are to be used, their use will be briefed during the Road Captains Ride Brief
immediately prior to each ride. All riders in the formation must remain alert to the
fact that Road Guard duties could call for them to move at high speeds along the outer
flanks of the formation which makes it imperative that other riders maintain proper
lane position. Perhaps most importantly, if you ARE NOT an appointed Road Guard,
DO NOT depart your lane position to independently act as one.

(10) Each and every time, immediately before participating in a group ride, perform a
T-CLOCS inspection to include the items listed below and basing tolerances and
adjustments on those prescribed in your motorcycles Owner’s Manual.

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4.0 Formations
a. Positioning Protocol:

(1) 49-2 Led Rides: When 49-2 is leading a ride, the positioning protocol is as follows;

(a) Chapter Road Captain (front left position).

(b) Chapter Commander or highest Chapter Officer participating in ride (front right
position).

(c) Road Guards (if applicable).

(d) All other Chapter Officers.

(e) All other Patched Members.

(f) New Members not yet cleared to ride as part of the group.

(g) Potential Members.

(h) Guests.

(i) Tail Gunners (at least one Patched Member cleared to ride as part of the group)

(j) Marked Chase Vehicle if one is utilized

(k) Exceptions to this protocol can be made at the discretion of the highest Chapter
Officer participating in ride or the Chapter Road Captain. Examples of exceptions
could include, but are not limited to, courtesy placement of members of
Motorcycle Clubs, Full Patched CVMA Members needing to ride elsewhere in the
formation due to impairment, special placement for training purposes.

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(2) 49-2 Participating in Rides Led By Other CVMA Chapters or Entities: Group leading
the ride will determine 49-2s placement within the overall formation. Whatever the
placement, 49-2s portion of the formation will follow the 49-2 Led Ride protocol.

b. Speed – The rate of travel set by the Road Captain or lead bike and ideally maintained by
the rest of the formation. Not maintaining speed results in the accordion effect, constant
opening and closing of the formation. The further back you are positioned in the
formation the more you will be affected. The less accordion effect the more enjoyable
the group ride. Chapter Road captain will set cruise control to help mitigate slinky effect.

c. Spacing – How far apart and aligned you are with the rider to your right or left. Riding in
a tandem formation the desired spacing would be within 12” of the demarcation line of
your side of the lane you are riding in and be no more than one tire length in front of or
behind the front tire of the bike beside you.

d. Interval – The distance between you and the bike in front of you. There are many
theories on what proper and safe interval is. CVMA 49-2 prescribes 2-3 bike lengths or 1
car length. This sounds tight and it is. Maintaining this interval safely requires constant
situational awareness and concentration. The advantage to this interval is that it
dissuades other vehicles from cutting into or through our formation which presents
dangers we don’t want to deal with.

e. Our group riding will be done primarily utilizing one of two column formations;
staggered and side-by-side (tandem). Each formation offers advantages. The Staggered
formation is the safest formation as it offers the greatest distance between you and the
bikes in front of and behind you as well as providing an avenue of escape through the gap
to your side. The Tandem formation offers a more professional and impressive
appearance and, for the experienced rider, an enhanced riding experience based on the
implied trust between you and your tandem Brother/Sister as well as the tandem in front
of and behind you. Which formation we use will be based on a number of factors to
include; mission, road conditions, group speed, overall experience of the group, etc. If
the tandem formation is to be utilized and you are not comfortable riding tandem, ride in
staggered formation positioned behind those members riding tandem but in front of new
members not yet cleared to ride as part of the group, potential members, tail gunners, and
chase vehicle if one is utilized. Changes in formation are at the discretion of and will be
signaled by the Road Captain.

(1) Staggered formation – Road Captain on the left side of lane of travel in the lead
position and 12” from the demarcation line, Chapter Commander or highest officer on
ride in next position to the right side of the lane of travel 1-2 bike lengths behind the
Road Captain and 12” from the demarcation line. Members continue stagger as
above throughout formation with third bike 2-3 bike lengths behind the Road Captain
and on the left hand side of the lane of travel and so on and so on. New members not
cleared to ride as part of the group, potential members, Road Guards, Tail Gunners,
and chase vehicle if one is utilized follow in order.
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(2) Tandem formation – Ideally, tandem formation means riding in perfect alignment
with the bike to your immediate left or right.

(a) This type of riding should only be attempted by seasoned riders who have a
developed trust with the rider they are in tandem with. It requires heightened
situational awareness extending to the actions of the riders in front of, behind, and
to your side as your reaction times and avenues of escape are more limited. You
should be constantly scanning for obstructions that will force you or your tandem
partner to have to veer towards one another. Members not comfortable riding in
tandem formation should ride in staggered formation and position themselves
behind those riding tandem, ahead of new members not cleared to ride as part of
the group, then potential members, then Road Guards, then Tail Gunners, then
chase vehicle if one is utilized.

(b) An added element of risk involved in Tandem riding is the lack of escape routes to
avoid road hazards. In quick reaction scenarios (a scenario where a road hazard
appears with no time for signaling or formation altering), the general rule of
thumb is that you as the rider encountering the hazard in your path of travel slows
and tucks in behind the rider in the other path of travel OR, if an adjacent lane is
clear, moves into the clear lane to avoid the hazard. Once clear of the hazard,
resume your tandem positions and all other riders in the formation resume proper
interval and spacing for Double Column formation.

f. Moving from Staggered or Tandem Formation to Single File and Resumption: In


scenarios where there is ample notice of a need to move from staggered or tandem
formation to single file formation (narrowed lane, pedestrians or bicycle riders
dangerously close to the sides of our formation, etc.), the Road Captain will signal Single
File using the hand signal described in Section 5 and the right-hand column will tuck in
zipper style behind the left-hand column, leaving the Road Captain in the lead position,
followed by the Chapter Commander or highest officer on the ride, and so on. Once the
situation that created the need for Single File has passed, the Road Captain will signal
Double Column using the hand signal described in Section 5 and the riders that were
originally in the right-hand column will resume their positions as it becomes safe to do
so. All riders then resume proper interval and spacing for Double Column formation.

g. Pulling Into Traffic:

(1) Blocking traffic: Based on Road Captain route reconnaissance, Road Guards may be
assigned to act as blockers at certain intersections or departure/entry points. These
locations will be briefed during the Road Captain’s Ride Brief and blocker
assignments made by the Road Captain prior to departure. When approaching those
locations, assigned Road Guards will quickly move ahead of the entire formation in a
timely enough manner to assume blocking positions, remain in position until the
entire formation has passed, and then resume the required position to be ready to
block the next intersection. If unanticipated congestion is encountered that will cause
excessive splintering of the group to get through an intersection or turning
into/pulling out of an entry/departure point, the Road Captain will initiate the Road
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Guards Forward hand signal described in Section 5. Road Guards will move quickly
but safely ahead of the entire formation, receive necessary information from the Road
Captain, assume blocking positions, remain in position until the entire formation has
passed, and then resume Road Guard position.

(2) Unblocked traffic: Road Captain or Chapter Commander/highest officer on ride


(depending on direction of turn) makes a decision to proceed into traffic based on
perceived ability to safely get entire group into formation. If a vehicle is in the lane
intended to be occupied, the member in the lead making the decision to proceed
makes eye contact with the driver and ensures he/she is going to stop and let the
formation proceed. Once the formation begins to move and occupy the lane it is
imperative that the movement continues steadily and fluidly so as not to entice drivers
to cut into the formation and to have the entire formation occupy the lane as quickly
and safely as possible.

(3) Tail Gunners should acknowledge cooperative drivers with a wave to show
appreciation of the fact they deferred their right of way to our group.

h. On Ramps and Merge: The expectation and responsibility of members of the group is to
get onto the ramp as safely as practical, maintain spacing and interval as much as
possible, and capturing the right-hand lane of a freeway with the entire group having
achieved freeway speeds. Differences in bikes, rider abilities, weather, and road
conditions make it unlikely that a large formation is going to be able to capture the right-
hand lane of a freeway from an on ramp as a single unit but that is, of course, the hope.
The more strung out a formation is moving onto a freeway from and on ramp, the more
difficult and dangerous the task of reforming as a single group becomes. Normally the
formation will travel in the left-hand lane for any travel legs exceeding five miles. The
Road Captain will normally push across lanes as traffic permits, eventually capturing the
left-hand lane. Assume the formation will get broken into two or more groups capturing
the right-hand lane of a freeway from an on ramp. In heavy traffic, the Road Captain
may lag with the lead group, waiting for the tail gunners and the last group to capture
lanes moving leftward as traffic permits, mirroring their movements as they block
upcoming traffic, until the entire formation has captured the far left-hand lane. Thus the
Tail Gunners and the last group capture the left lanes first and, using a movement known
as a ‘dragon’s tail’ the other groups from rear to front tuck into their positions in front of
the groups behind them.

i. Off Ramps: The Road Captain will signal a right-hand turn using the hand signal
described in Section 5. Depending on road conditions he/she will likely begin
movements across lanes of traffic towards the right-hand lane as traffic permits and well
in advance of the exit. If traffic is heavy, tail gunners may have to initiate the ‘dragon’s
tail’ movement to effect a safe exit by the entire formation. Tail gunners will have
received the right turn hand signal passed by the formation and will check traffic to
determine if the entire formation can move to the right as one unit unimpeded by traffic
or if they need to initiate the ‘dragon’s tail’. If ‘dragon’s tail’ is necessary, tail gunners
move a lane to the right to block upcoming traffic and members of the formation move to
the right as upcoming traffic that was already by the tail gunners passes. This process is
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repeated as necessary to move rightward across all lanes and set the formation up to take
the off ramp as a single unit.

j. Capturing Multiple Lanes: Used when cars cannot clear a passing lane without impacting
the formation. Basically, the movement involves one of the tail gunners moving into
position in the lane left or right of the formation and adjacent to the last bike in the
formation, blocking any cars from moving up into the formation so as to prevent the
formation from moving as one unit at the end of a passing lane.

k. Stop Signs: When the Road Captain moves through the Stop sign the formation goes
with him/her, whether it’s six bikes or 26. Once the Road Captain has captured the
intersection, move through with purpose while ensuring no gaps that would entice or
enable another vehicle to ‘shoot the gap’. The Road Captain will maintain a reasonable
speed to prevent gaps while the formation moves through the Stop sign intersection. This
assumes a four-way stop. If it is a two-way stop, the rules for pulling into traffic apply.
If a car that has the right of way approaches the formation and appears to be slowing or
stopping the riders affected need to keep moving and maintain eye contact with the driver
until safely past.

l. Traffic Signals: These are likely the most dangerous locations for a large formation.
When making turns through traffic signals and Road Guards or Tail Gunners are
protecting the lanes you are crossing, ensure you keep moving with the formation.
Stopping causes confusion for all and may be perceived as an invitation to drivers to
proceed, splitting the formation and increasing the risk of collision. The Road Captain
will have conducted a route reconnaissance and briefed Road Guards on which
intersections will be blocked and moved through as a group. When moving down a road
with multiple traffic signals in close succession it becomes impractical and unsafe to
block intersections. In these situations, follow normal traffic rules and look ahead. If
your group is cut off from the formation, members at the front of the group that is cut off
will give three brief blasts of their horn to signal their situation to the rear of the on-going
formation. Members at the rear of the on-going formation will pass the hand signal for
Split Formation as described in Section 5: Hand Signals forward to the Road Captain.
The Road Captain will determine if the formation can resume naturally or if action is
required to resume. If action is required, the Road Captain begin merging towards the
right to either find a lane to slowly ride in or a shoulder to pull onto and allow the other
groups to catch up. Once the formation can be resumed, a Thumbs Up as described in
Section 5: Hand Signals will be forwarded to the Road Captain who will then initiate
previously stated procedures to recapture the leftmost lane or move back into traffic.

m. Stopped at Stop Signs or Traffic Signals: Bikes should always be two abreast to
minimize the formation footprint and to get the formation moving more quickly once
under way.

n. Parking: A complex and dangerous operation for large groups. Performing tight turns at
low speeds with a number of bikes in close proximity to one another is a recipe for
disaster.

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(1) The Road Captain and Chapter Commander/highest Chapter Officer on ride will pull
into final parking positions before any rider following begins movement to actually
park. This allows them to begin unimpeded movement to the front of the formation
once travel resumes.

(2) The Road Captain will look for parking space suitable for the formation, stop short
enough of the end of the parking area to allow the Chapter Commander/highest
Chapter Officer on the ride to move around the Road Captain to park first. Once the
Chapter Commander/highest Chapter Officer on the ride is ready to start backing into
final parking position, the Road Captain will swing in next to him/her and wait until
he/she is in final parking position to begin their own backing. If two rows of parking
are needed, the Road Captain will assume a parking position directly in front of the
Chapter Commander/highest Chapter Officer on the ride.

(3) Following riders will wait until the rider ahead of them is ready to start backing into
final parking position before swinging in next to them and that rider that was ahead of
them will wait to start backing until the next rider is actually next to them. That way,
there aren’t backing/forward traveling bikes moving next to each other yet there is
always a bike in motion to park. If two rows of parking are needed, riders fill in the
back row until full and the next rider would pull forward to park next to the Road
Captain.

(4) If you have a passenger, have them dismount quickly (to the side away from bikes
approaching to park) once you are in position to begin backing into your final parking
position. This operation is too cramped to have moving bikes and dismounting
passengers next to each other.

(5) If there is not parking space suitable for the entire formation to park together, riders
will park as close to the main formation as safely possible.

(6) Once activities at stops are complete; if you need to fuel, stop at the restroom, or do
anything else that could possibly make you late for an immediate resumption of
travel, inform the Road Captain so that you do not get left behind.

o. Accidents: Road Captain and at least one Tail Gunner will be equipped with a well-
stocked first aid kit and cell phone. The 49-2 Group Me Chat Line will be used to relay
messages and, for accident operation, messaging will be kept to a minimum to expedite
emergency communications and minimize confusion. If a Chase Vehicle is being
utilized, the vehicle will be equipped with a well-stocked first aid kit and the driver will
have a cell phone.

(1) If an accident occurs ahead of you; take evasive maneuvers to avoid the accident,
pass the Formation Accident hand signal described in Section 5: Hand Signals
forward until acknowledged by the rider in front of you, immediately pull onto the
extreme right-hand road shoulder, kill engine, turn on emergency flashers, and
proceed on foot to the accident site. Follow directions of Tail Gunner(s) to assist in
administering first aid, performing traffic control, etc. Riders must relay Formation
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Accident hand signal forward before stopping.

(2) Tail Gunner(s) and Chase Vehicle (if utilized) will pull onto extreme right-hand
shoulder, kill engine, turn on emergency flashers, gather emergency kit and cell
phone, and proceed on foot to the accident site. Tail Gunner(s) will simultaneously
direct members to use road flares to secure the scene and begin traffic control while a
Tail Gunner utilizes cell phone to call 911 and notify Chapter Road Captain or
Chapter Commander/highest officer participating in ride of the situation. Once scene
has been secured, or it is safe to do so, Tail Gunner(s) will begin administering first
aid to the best of their abilities and direct other members to assist as needed. Tail
Gunners and designated Road Guards will carry first aid kits ranging from standard
rudimentary kits to more advanced trauma kits. The location of these kits will be
briefed during the Road Captains Ride Brief conducted immediately prior to each
ride.

(3) Making the 911 call is the first priority for notifications. When calling 911, do your
best to:

(a) Provide number of riders involved in accident.

(b) Provide general description of injuries (minor/severe).

(c) Identify roadway accident occurred on, nearest mile marker/exit number is ideal
or last town departed and number of miles or time elapsed since departed, and
direction of travel.

(d) Provide more specifics on injuries if possible.

(4) Once the Road Captain is aware of the accident, he/she will begin rightward lane
changes to move onto the extreme road shoulder while using hand signals described
in Section 5: Hand Signals for Right Turn and Formation Accident. Riders pulling
onto the extreme road shoulder should park in a single file as close to the bike in front
of them as possible, kill their engines, and turn on their emergency flashers, and
dismount their bikes to move a safe distance from the roadway. Once the formation is
safely on the extreme road shoulder, the Road Captain will check for a message
concerning the accident on their cell phone and brief the Chapter Commander/highest
Chapter Officer participating in the ride on the situation. The Road Captain, Chapter
Commander/highest Chapter Officer participating in the ride, and the two riders
immediately behind them will proceed (either on bike or on foot, depending on the
distance back to the accident site) to the next available safe means of turning around
and getting back to the accident site. This should put at least two first aid kit/cell
phone equipped riders at the accident site in short order. Before departing to the
accident site, the Road Captain will brief the lead bike in the remainder of the
formation on actions to be taken. This will typically involve:

(a) Staying congregated in the same general area for quick resumption of movement
when possible.
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(b) Not initiating phone calls/messages to personnel not involved in the ride
concerning the accident to avoid spreading rumors and disinformation.

(c) Await further instructions.

(5) If personnel involved in an accident are to be transported to a hospital, the Road


Captain will designate two members to accompany/meet ambulance/life flight to/at
hospital. These personnel, once at the hospital, will be responsible for gathering
updates on health status, attempting to notify injured riders emergency contacts, and
updating the Road Captain. The Road Captain will also designate a member to
remain behind with disabled motorcycles and collect information on their disposition
(name/address/phone number of towing company) and notifying Road Captain when
vehicle recovery has been completed and information gathered. The Road Captain
will ensure he/she has the phone numbers for these individuals and vice versa before
the groups separate. Road Captain will make determination of when designated
personnel at hospital and accident site are no longer needed and provide them actions
to be taken to rejoin the formation or return home.

(6) DO NOT move bikes involved in accidents from their location unless necessary to
assist injured riders or minimize a significant safety risk (unless told to do so by law
enforcement).

(7) Once injured personnel are being transported and designated personnel understand
their duties, all members at the accident site will mount their bikes and pull forward
to the remainder of the formation with the Road Captain and Chapter
Commander/highest Chapter Officer on the ride reassuming their lead positions. The
Road Captain will discuss the situation and actions to be taken with the Chapter
Commander/highest Chapter Officer on the ride and then brief all known information
and actions to be taken to the remaining riders.

(8) Road Captains are responsible for restocking/replacing depleted or expired items in
first-aid kits in a timely manner.

p. Unscheduled Stops:

(1) Non-Emergency: Regardless of the reason for the non-emergency stop (bathroom
break, non-emergency equipment malfunction, need fuel, etc) use the hand signal
described in Section 5: Hand Signals for Non-Emergency Stop. Ensure someone
acknowledges your hand-signal by speeding up or slowing down if necessary to
notify the rider beside you. That person will use the Acknowledgement Thumbs Up
signal described in Section 5. The rider needing the stop and the rider acknowledging
the stop then depart the formation at the next safe opportunity that meets the need for
the stop. No other riders need to stop, just those two, and the other riders fill in their
positions in the formation. If possible, call or text a message to the Road Captain or
any other member still with the formation and let them know the issue, who is
involved, and location/ETA that you anticipate rejoining the formation.

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(2) Emergency: Regardless of the reason for the emergency stop, use the hand signal
described in Section 5: Hand Signals for Emergency Stop. Ensure someone
acknowledges your hand-signal by speeding up or slowing down if necessary to
notify the rider beside you. That person will use the Acknowledgement Thumbs Up
signal described in Section 5 and, if applicable, you give them the Acknowledgement
Thumbs Up hand signal to let them know you need to stop. Reasons for emergency
unscheduled stop could include, but are not limited to; an immediate attention
equipment malfunction (broken clutch cable/broken fuel line with spraying fuel/flat
tire/bike is uncontrollable/etc.) or a medical issue such as being stung by a bee and
needing to administer an epi-pen injection. Once signaled and acknowledged, the
rider needing the stop and the rider acknowledging the stop then depart the formation
at the next safe opportunity that meets the need for the stop. No other riders need to
stop, only those two, and other riders fill in their positions in the formation. That
rider is to stay with you until the issue is resolved and you can both rejoin the
formation, either on the road or at the next scheduled stop or until it becomes clear
that the issue is no longer an emergency but you cannot rejoin the formation and there
is no benefit to the additional rider remaining with you. At that point, the additional
rider should proceed to rejoin the formation or decide to return home. Regardless of
the situation, one of the riders needs to message or text the Road Captain or any other
member still with the formation and brief situation and actions to be taken.

5.0 Hand Signals


a. Many of the hand signals presented here are common, prescribed by the Motorcycle
Safety Foundation, and universally recognized. Others are locally developed and might
even be unique to 49-2. Regardless, they are intended to standardize our group riding
procedures for the purpose of minimizing risk and maximizing safety. Keep in mind,
when riding in formations led by other groups, they might utilize different signals. If this
is the case, knowing they have us with them, they should brief them during the Road
Captains Ride Brief. Likewise, if we have guests riding with us in 49-2 led rides, we
have a responsibility to make sure they are aware of our hand signals and they will be
briefed during our Road Captains Ride Brief.

(1) Left Turn

Left arm and hand extended, palm facing down.

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Riding SOP for CVMA Chapter 49-2

(2) Right Turn

Left arm bent at 90 degree angle, fist clenched.

(3) Hazard In Roadway

Use left hand as shown to signal hazards to the left of you path of travel and right foot as shown to signal
hazards to the right of your path of travel. If the hazard is on both sides of your path of travel, use left
hand AND right foot to point. Be careful NOT to impact the hazard with your foot. DO NOT point at
objects that are not in the path of travel and, therefore, are not really hazards or a safety concern. This
is a needless distraction.

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Riding SOP for CVMA Chapter 49-2

(4) Double Column Formation – Staggered or Tandem

Make a V using pointer and middle finger of left hand above head.

(5) Single File Formation

Hand on top of head, wrist bent with fingers extending upwards to look like the fin of a fish.

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Riding SOP for CVMA Chapter 49-2

(6) Stop

Left hand at 45 degree angle to side, palm facing rearward, no movement.

(7) Slow Down

Left elbow tucked in tight to left side, lower arm extended at 45 degree angle, palm facing down, lower
arm repeating up and down motion.

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Riding SOP for CVMA Chapter 49-2

(8) Speed Up

Left elbow tucked in tight to left side, lower arm extended at 45 degree angle, palm facing up, lower arm
repeating up and down motion.

(9) Formation Accident

Three shorts blasts of horn to gain attention of rider in front of you before initiating signal. Using left
hand raised above head level, repeatedly draw a forward facing X in the air until acknowledged by the
rider in front of you.
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Riding SOP for CVMA Chapter 49-2

(10) Split Formation

Three short blasts of horn to gain attention of ride in front of you before intitiating signal. Using left
hand raised above head level and pointer finger extended, draw a vertical line in the air to your extreme
far left, move hand one foot to the right and draw another vertical line, move hand one foot to the right
and draw a final vertical line. Move hand to the extreme far left and repeat signal until acknowledged by
the rider in front of you.

(11) Tail Gunners Forward

Road Captain will signal need for Tail Gunners to come forward by using left hand to pat the back of the
head and then extending left arm out to side of body with elbow bent at 90 degree angle and open hand

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Riding SOP for CVMA Chapter 49-2

sweeping back to front repeatedly . Continue signaling until rider behind you begins signaling. All riders
continue passing signal back until it reaches Tail Gunners.

(12) Non-Emergency Stop

Rider needing the non-emergency stop will gain eye contact with the rider next to them and use left
hand with extended pointer finger to point to fuel tank. Repeat signal until acknowledged by the rider
next to you with the Thumbs Up hand signal.

(13) Emergency Stop

Rider needing the emergency stop will gain eye contact with the rider next to them and use left hand
with pointer finger extended to draw pointer finger across front of neck. Repeat signal until
acknowledged by the rider next to you with the Thumbs Up hand signal.

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Riding SOP for CVMA Chapter 49-2

(14) Acknowledgment Thumbs Up

Universal Thumbs Up signal to acknowledge either understanding of message being relayed or OK.

(15) Acknowledgment Thumbs Down

Universal Thumbs Down signal to either indicate not understanding message being relayed or NOT OK.

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Riding SOP for CVMA Chapter 49-2

6.0 Road Captain


a. The lead Road Captain will be appointed by the Chapter Commander and shall be
referred to as the Chapter Road Captain.

b. The Chapter Road Captain will designate several experienced and responsible
members to serve as assistant Road Captains who shall be referred to as Road
Captains.

c. The Chapter Road Captain will, at the direction of the Chapter Commander, plan
and brief the plan for all 49-2 group rides.

d. In the event the Chapter Road Captain is not available to participate in a particular
49-2 group ride, the Chapter Road Captain will assign a Road Captain to perform
the duties of Chapter Road Captain for that particular ride; to include performing
the ride planning and briefing. If the Chapter Road Captain is not available to
make the assignment to a Road Captain, the Chapter Commander will make the
assignment.

e. The Chapter Road Captain can, with the consent of the Chapter Commander,
delegate Chapter Ride Captain duties for a particular ride in whole or in part to a
Ride Captain for training or evaluation purposes.

f. The Chapter Road Captain assumes control of the group for the entirety of the
group ride; from the initiation of the Ride Briefing to termination of the ride for
that particular day at which time control reverts back to the Chapter Commander
or highest Chapter Officer participating in that particular ride.

g. Road Captains will be the first choice to serve as Tail Gunners and Road Guards
for group rides and will be designated as such by the Chapter Road Captain or
Road Captain performing duties as Chapter Road Captain for that particular ride.

h. If there are not enough Road Captains participating in the group ride to fill the Tail
Gunner and Road Guard needs, the Chapter Road Captain or Road Captain
performing duties as Chapter Road Captain will designate the needed number of
experienced and responsible members to perform as Tail Gunners and Road
Guards and will conduct a briefing with them to outline their responsibilities.

7.0 Ride Briefing


a. The Chapter Commander will notify the Chapter Road Captain of an upcoming
group ride in ample time for the Chapter Road Captain to research aspects of and
plan the ride from start to finish. At a minimum the Chapter Commander will

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Riding SOP for CVMA Chapter 49-2

provide the ride destination, arrive no later than time, and ride purpose or activity
being supported.

b. Warning Order: The Chapter Road Captain or designated Road Captain will
prepare a Warning Order and distribute via Group Me 49-2 Rides and Events line,
preferably a minimum of two to three days in advance of the ride. The Warning
Order will, at a minimum, contain the following information:

(1) Ride destination.

(2) Ride purpose.

(3) Estimated total miles.

(4) Estimated total travel time.

(5) Weather forecast (temperature ranges, probability of precipitation, wind speed)


at departure point, mid-way point of ride, destination.

(6) Firearm and helmet laws if traveling out of state.

(7) Meeting location.

(8) Meeting time.

(9) Ride brief time.

(10) KSU time.

c. The Chapter Road Captain or designated Road Captain will prepare and present a
Ride Briefing at the meeting location that details:

(1) Reiteration of destination.

(2) Reiteration of ride purpose.

(3) Reiteration of estimated total miles.

(4) Reiteration of estimated total travel time.

(5) General route.

(6) Planned stops and miles between stops.

(7) Overnight plan if applicable.

(8) Formation(s) to be utilized.

(9) Anticipated speeds on expected categories of roads


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Riding SOP for CVMA Chapter 49-2

(residential/secondary/freeway; speed limit/+5/+10).

(10) Identify Tail Gunners and Road Guards and which of them is carrying a first
aid kit.

(11) Intersections planned to be blocked and type (traffic light/Stop sign/t-


intersection/4-way intersection/etc).

(12) Known construction or danger areas.

(13) Updated weather forecast (temperature ranges, probability of precipitation,


wind speed) at departure point, mid-way point of ride, destination.

(14) Reiteration of firearm and helmet laws if traveling out of state.

(15) Identify and recognize any outriders accompanying ride (MCs, other riding
groups, guests, etc) and where they will be located in the formation.

(16) Quick review of hand signals.

(17) Any special instructions.

(18) Reiterate KSU time.

(19) Questions.

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