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Site content was updated:
16th December 2017 by Yo-yo

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Riding with the Exiles

Download the safety handbook for the common sense rules of riding with a group, the staggered formation that we use and some useful information for emergency situations.

If you are a new member or a guest rider this will give you the information you need to keep up and stay safe.  It's also worthwhile for experienced members to review these protocols from time to time and even if you're not a biker but a responsible car driver, it's useful to know how a bike train works.

A line of bikes working together is sometimes called a pack or a bike train.  The guy at the front is called the 'Road Captain' and is normally one of the most experienced bikers in the group.  He is the train driver, leading the way and attempting to move the line of bikes safely through the traffic.  The guy at the back is the 'Sweeper', another experienced rider whose main job is to help any biker who falls behind.  He may sometimes 'claim' a lane so that the whole group can move over safely.  The bikes in between will usually be in two lines in a staggered formation, this is to allow braking distance and maneuvering space for each bike in case of an obstacle in the road.

In a car

If you are in a car on the highway and somehow find a bike train between you and your exit, you probably haven't planned your turn very well.  Do not attempt to speed ahead of the line and cut in front of them, your chances of making it in time are very slim and your chances of being hit by a car on the other side of the line are quite high.

A bike train has to be treated as a long line of traffic because that is exactly what it is.  Imagine how you would drive in the same situation but with a lane full of moving cars beside you.  Use your indicators, give the riders time to figure out how to let you through safely and don't forget to check that the bikers' lane and the lane beyond are clear before you move.