February 2005 Safety Thoughts

 Ride Rating System Revisited

By Dave Hansen 


As a typical HOG Chapter, we know that each member has a varying set of riding skills. None of us possess exactly the same riding capabilities or experience. 

Historically, our Chapter has developed, instituted and adopted a number of policies into our riding program that are meant to promote a safer riding program for our membership.  Weíve also encouraged and planned a wide variety of rides, ranging from our short Friday Night Dinner Rides, to multiple-week cross-country trips. Roads for the rides will range from local surface streets to long stretches of extended interstate highway.  In between will be flat terrain, hills, mountains, gentle curves and tight switchbacks.  Within this large and diverse ride planning each year, we hope to be able to provide rides that appeal to our membership. 

Several years ago, one of the observations made was that, while we plan a variety of rides requiring varying levels of riding skills and our membership includes riders with a similar varying level of riding skills, the two were not always in tune with one another.  In other words, we have had incidents and sometimes accidents that seemed to correlate to the mismatching of required riding skills sets for a particular ride and the participating memberís capabilities. 

To remedy this without instituting a skills testing program within the Chapter, we compromised by adopting a Ride Rating System that I drafted and proposed to the Board. 

Please review the Ride Rating System now.

While the Ride Rating System can be an effective tool to match our variety of rides with our membershipís riding skills, it is only a guide. It requires active voluntary use by all our members during your individual ride selection process.  Anything less can and does jeopardize the safety of all our members participating in that ride.  If your skill set isnít up to the level required for a particular ride but you still want to participate, be sure to discuss this with those planning and/or leading the ride in question in order to cooperatively explore solutions. 

We donít want to refuse anyone participation in a ride, but we do want all our rides to be as safe as possible for all those participating. 

Ride Safe!

Words of Safety