December 2014 Safety Thoughts

Ride Rating System

by Dave Hansen, Co Safety Officer

In 2000, I authored a ride rating system that the Board of Directors adopted for use by the Chapter.  In conjunction with the ongoing planning for the 2015 riding season, I feel a review of the ride rating system will prove beneficial.  The ultimate goal is to provide a lower-risk riding environment for all individual riders participating in group rides.  This system is comprised of two parts

Part A) A Rating System for the rides.

Part B) A Rating System for the riders’ skills.

The rating system for the rides should be fairly easy to understand. We rate all our rides as either: one star, two star, or three star rides.  The easiest is the one star ride, requiring some minimum rider & group riding skills.  The hardest is the three star ride, requiring a much more rigorous set of rider & riding skills.  The two star ride requires what we consider to be average rider & riding skills.  The responsibility to rank or rate a particular ride is the responsibility of the Event coordinator or contact and the Road Captains assigned to that ride. 

 

Rides will be rated using a three-tier rating system:

            *  Minimum skills required.
            ** Average skills required.
          *** Advanced skills required.

 

 

 

Rides Definitions:

 

                      *  Minimum skills required.

·       day ride or less

·       up to 200 miles

·       no rain/slight chance of rain

·       slow to moderate speeds

·       easy roads

·       minimal expressways

                    **  Average skills required.

·       longer ride – all day/multi-day

·       up to 250-300 miles per day

·       100+ miles between stops

·       rain possible

·       mixed roads/curves

·       expressways @ speed for extended times

                   ***  Advanced skills required.

·       longer ride – all day/multi-day

·       up to 350-600 miles per day

·       100+ miles between stops

·       rain possible/probable

·       multiple hills, tight curves, mountains

·       expressways @ speed for extended times

 

Individual riders are expected to review the requisite skill levels required for the planned rides and determine if their individual riding skills meet the required criteria for the reviewed ride before signing up for that ride.  If the individual rider’s skills do not meet the criteria for a particular ride, the rider should either not plan to participate in that ride as a group rider or discuss participation options with that ride’s coordinator and/or Road Captain(s).

 

Rider Skills Definitions:

 

                      *  Minimum skills.

·       Licensed rider with valid motorcycle endorsement (mandatory)

·       Capable of all basic riding skills

·       Read and understand the concepts in the Group Riding Techniques Book

·       Capable of riding with traffic flow

·       1,000+ miles of road riding experience

                    **  Average skills.

·       Licensed rider with valid motorcycle endorsement (mandatory)

·       Capable of all basic riding skills

·       Read and understand the concepts in the Group Riding Techniques Book

·       Capable of riding with traffic flow

·       5,000+ miles of road riding experience

·       Successfully completed an MSF ERC class (suggested)

·       Ridden comfortably in groups on multiple occasions

·       Ridden in rain on multiple occasions

                   ***  Advanced skills.

·       Licensed rider with valid motorcycle endorsement (mandatory)

·       Capable of all basic riding skills

·       Read and understand the concepts in the Group Riding Techniques Book

·       Capable of riding with traffic flow

·       10,000+ miles of road riding experience

·       Successfully completed an MSF ERC class (recommended)

·       Ridden comfortably in groups on multiple occasions

·       Ridden in rain on multiple occasions

·       Ridden in rain in groups on multiple occasions

·       Experienced riding in extremely hilly/mountainous conditions on multiple occasions

·       Experienced riding extremely curvy roads on multiple occasions at posted speeds

 

While individual rides may not experience every condition listed for a particular rating level, some rides may experience conditions higher than those listed.  That means this rides rating system is to be used as a guide, not as an absolute.  We want as many members to participate as possible, but we want you to be safe as well.

Give this some thought & consideration in planning your participation, remembering that the Rides Rating Guidelines are available to you on the Chapter website.

 

Thanks,

Dave Hansen

Co-Safety Officer