THE WESTCHESTER BEEMERS TAKE SAFETY SERIOUSLY!!! The purpose of the club is to promote riding and all the fun that it provides. However, the club and all of its members and guests recognize the danger inherent in motorcycles. A club tenet is that safety rules allow maximum fun while minimizing danger.
Road Captain. The elected Road Captain or his/her designated substitute will be the Ride Leader. The Ride Leader has the unchallengeable right to terminate a rider’s participation in a given ride or event for reasons of club safety or image. S/he also has the unchallengeable right to direct the ride or to terminate the ride if conditions warrant.
Order of riders and passing other riders. We all have different skills and ride at different speeds. Riders need to sort themselves according to speed with the faster riders in front. The Ride Leader will stop from time to time to allow regrouping. Riding this way will provide the most fun and best safety for all riders. However, never change the order of position while riding. Adjustments in riding order should be made at rest stops. The only exception will be when a rider realizes he is slower and signals the rider behind to pass. This is an important point of etiquette and should be followed for safety and camaraderie. It is especially important not to pass when riding slow since this often occurs when the group is searching for a turn or stop and quick changes of direction may be required. The general rule is: Do Not Pass Other Riders.
Riding Your Own Road. All Westchester Beemers are urged to ride at a pace where they are comfortable. Exceeding your personal limits in turning or passing for the sake of keeping up with the rider in front of you is a recipe for disaster. Westchester Beemers ride as a group, but more importantly as a group of individuals. Know and be comfortable with your own personal limits, and choose your spot in the group accordingly. All riders will be welcomed and respected as fellow Westchester Beemers regardless of their chosen pace, provided they are not a danger to themselves or others.
Formation. When riding on multilane roads, we will use the formation of the Ride Leader riding in the left side of the lane, the next on the right and so on. The reason is that this maximizes stopping room, maneuvering room and line of sight thus improving safety. Formation is especially important when trying to stay together.
Following Distances. The distance a rider maintains between his bike and the bike in front must never be less than what is comfortable for the rider and the rider in front. No rider should ever ride closer than s/he feels comfortable. Furthermore, if a rider feels that the following rider is too close, s/he is expected to inform the following rider who must respect the request to keep a greater distance. A hand signal of left arm down with palm facing the rear in a pushing action will be used to request a following rider to keep a greater distance. This request must be honored.
Passing Cars. Generally, the Ride Leader will not pass cars on roads with a single lane in each direction unless absolutely necessary. However, cars may enter the road separating riders. If this happens and a rider wants to pass to rejoin the riders in front, this must be done safely. If passing is done unsafely, this will be grounds for the Ride Leader to ask the rider to leave the Westchester Beemers ride. The most obvious example of unsafe passing is when the road ahead cannot be seen far enough to complete the pass if a car appears in the opposite lane at the most critical time. Our Westchester Beemers Club prohibits playing odds – even on lightly traveled roads. Passing on a hill or a blind curve (whether marked by double yellow or not) is strictly forbidden and doing so is grounds for being asked to leave the ride. There are times that the ability of a motorcycle to accelerate quickly allows safe passing which would not be possible for a car but never overestimate the ability of the bike.
Criticism of Other Riders. This needs always to be kept to a minimum. However, if anyone observes another rider making dangerous moves or riding at a speed above his/her skill, s/he is obligated to mention this both to the rider (in a constructive and supportive fashion) and to the Ride Leader. Criticisms can be difficult but must be made when safety is an issue. Once made, the subject should be dropped and not brought up again with the offending rider. Mutual respect is key to a good club and a good ride.
Leaving the Group. If a rider has plans to leave the group before completion of the ride, this must be explained in advance to the Ride Leader.
Gas Stops. Know your machine’s cruising range. Running out of gas or making gas stops with large groups is time consuming. Riders should arrive with a full tank. Unless your bike has enough fuel for another 100 miles, top up at any gas stop.
Bike Maintenance. Maintain it carefully; this is considered a must. One failed check for loose wires, shorts, dead batteries, or worn tires, can take away from the pleasure of the club ride. Bike maintenance will be the responsibility of each member. Bring necessary tools and parts for your machine. Generally other riders appreciate problems being pointed out but be diplomatic.
Protective Riding Apparel. Our club strongly urges wearing proper protective gear. Of course, helmets are a must!! Any club member or guest will be able to get much advice on what is the best protective gear by asking any regular rider. However, it must be kept in mind that protective gear does not make a rider safe – but rather less unsafe.
Points of Common Sense.
- Anticipate your next move and those of the group.
- We are all aware of the need for traffic laws and regulations. Let us exercise caution at all times and obey all traffic regulations.
- With regard to remaining alert, as one of a group, you must remember that the Ride Leader will from time to time give a signal to execute a maneuver (pass a slow moving vehicle, make a turn, etc.). He will be taking into consideration the size of the group and the distance necessary to get the club from one lane to another safely. Each member is then expected to execute the maneuver safely and smoothly.
- If a road hazard is observed, point to it as you pass so other riders can avoid the hazard. Such information should be passed down the line.
The undersigned hereby acknowledges and agrees that the activity of riding a motorcycle, as either the operator or as a passenger, is an inherently dangerous activity and the undersigned willingly and knowingly accepts the risks involved in that activity. Accordingly, the undersigned willingly and knowingly agrees that the Westchester Beemers Motorcycle Club, including officers, road captains or other persons serving in an official or semi-official capacity, shall have no responsibility or liability to the undersigned for any accident, injury, or property damage occurring on or in connection with activities organized or conducted by the Westchester Beemers Motorcycle Club. The undersigned hereby waives any and all claims and all rights to assert claims for damages to person or property (both actual and punitive) against any of the officers, road captains or others associated with the activities of the Westchester Beemers Motorcycle Club. The undersigned hereby unconditionally and absolutely releases the foregoing persons from any and all liabilities with respect thereto and agrees that the foregoing waiver and release shall be binding upon the undersigned and his or her estate, heirs, successors and assigns.
Name (print): _________________________________________________
Signature: __________________________________ Date: ____________