Group Runs

Information on Location, purpose and notes for guidance

Group runs are an opportunity for associate members to have an observed ride with any observer/senior observer, without prior arrangement (subject to availibility on the day).  Please read the notes below.

Associates are required to pay a £10 contribution to the observers expenses, for at least one and a quarter hour observed ride on a variety of road types, the observer to provide a completed run report form afterwards.

SATURDAY & SUNDAY RUNS — Leaving at 9am from the National Motorcycle Museum.
(10am Dec, Jan & Feb) (see map)

WEDNESDAY NIGHT RUNS —- Leaving Morrisons Supermarket, Coventry Road, Sheldon, B26 3PD at 6.30pm (April to end of August)

Notes for guidance of associates

On arrival at start point please contact the run organiser.  (Usually identifiable by virtue of the handful of routes carefully scribbled on scraps of paper in his/her best joined up writing and a harassed expression.)  Bring your membership card if you are a new member.

Anyone wishing to be observed on a run will be allocated an Observer before the start.  (If you haven’t please speak up.)  The number of Observers attending on the day will determine the number of riders in each Observer group.  Stick with your allocated group and don’t chase after other groups, they may be going a different way.  The riding order (depending on numbers) for an observer group usually looks like:


1.      Associate being observed
2.      Observer
3.      Associate
4.      Associate

If 1 & 2 get too far ahead because of traffic situations and conditions e.g. traffic lights, overtakes etc. don’t worry, keep going.  It is unfair on the associate being observed to have his/her ride disrupted by constant interruptions whilst waiting for the others.  When the route to be followed deviates from “straight ahead” the observer will stop and wait to indicate the direction to take.  Therefore, do not ride fast to catch up, breaking speed limits or riding dangerously, the observer will be waiting.  If s/he isn’t you have your own copy of the route but do not read it whilst on the move.  If you are unsure your observer will explain.

When being observed (running No.1) your observer will normally indicate in plenty of time the need to turn left or right.  (A good way to see if your rear observations are up to scratch.)  At all junctions etc. assume that you are to proceed straight on or remain on the same road unless otherwise indicated by the observer.  If you lose sight of the observer in your mirrors it usually means s/he’s been caught at traffic lights etc. so pull in at the first appropriate safe place to wait.  If s/he doesn’t appear in a couple of minutes it usually means that you missed a directional change signalled by him/her and s/he will be waiting back at the place you should have turned at.  It is your responsibility to return to pick up the correct route.


REMEMBER. There is no pressure whatsoever for you to ride faster than you feel totally safe and at ease with.  It is your decision when it comes to establishing a correct speed for you bearing in mind prevailing conditions.


During the “observed” part of the ride you may note that the observer will adopt somewhat odd positions on the road (when compared to what is written in IAM – How To Be a Better Rider).  This could be due to a variety of reasons that include being able to better see what you are doing or adopting a position for safety.  You might also find it helpful to have a demonstration ride to help understanding of some of the concepts being explained.  Your observer will be able to do this if you ask.

After the observed ride the observer will debrief you;  going through the ride in accordance with a check list of important aspects of riding.  S/He will discuss the things that you have done and compare them to “best practice” as detailed in IAM – How To Be a Better Rider and her/his own experience.  You do therefore, need to read both IAM – How To Be a Better Rider and the Highway Code and commit them to memory as your riding will be considered and compared to these books and then items recorded on a Ride Report which will be given to you as an Aide Memoir.

Finally, all of the effort that you put into getting up to Advanced Test standard will be well worth it.  You will get a lot more pleasure and enjoyment from your riding and also be much safer in the process.

Notes for guidance

Full member runs are for those members who have passed the IAM advanced test. The Run Leader will be either a senior observer/observer/committee member or alternatively a Run Leader can be appointed by the Group Committee and this person should report directly to a nominated Committee Member.


The Leader and Last person shall be identified. Safety is No.1 Priority. Every rider is responsible for their own actions and any consequences that those actions may have. Traffic Laws to be obeyed at all times.
System is 2nd person drop, straight ahead unless a marker is placed. All roundabouts to have a marker at exit where safety permits. The marker to position themselves accordingly.

If any rider wishes to leave the ride they must inform the Leader or Last person before doing so, to avoid any confusion by the following riders.

There will be an outward route and a return route; any riders who wish to make their own way back may do so, but must notify the leader and last man. Riders are not allowed to overtake the Leader. Route details showing Petrol/Rest stops to be issued prior to start.

Any Rider who acts dangerously is to be reported to the Leader/Organizer who will take any action. A Rider could be warned or excluded from the ride and will be reported to the Group Committee for any further action.


Notes for guidance

When riding in a group we tend to use the second person system, more usually called “second man drop off “.  It is simply a way of riding in a group, with one person leading who knows the route (hopefully!) and the remainder following in an organised manner, hopefully all arriving together!
The leading person and the last person are identified and they always remain in those positions.  Everyone else in the group takes it in turns to ride in second place and when directed by the lead rider, the person in second place will stop in a safe place by the junction and mark the route.  He/she stays marking the route until the penultimate person passes and the ultimate person sees him/her, and then rejoins the group, following the directions of the others until that person becomes second person again.

It is not always necessary to mark every junction.  For instance, the group can assume that simple junctions not marked are straight ahead.

For example.  You are riding in second place approaching a T junction, the lead rider assesses the junction and points to the nearside kerb before the junction.  You stop, providing it is safe, and as fellow riders approach you direct them in the direction the lead rider has gone.  When the ultimate rider approaches, you signal the direction to him and then resume your place in the group in the penultimate position, until you overtake the next second person that has stopped to give directions, when you will move one place closer to the front.

Occasionally it may be necessary because of the road layout or other traffic to actually complete the junction and stop in a safe & visible position to direct the rest of the group.  Equally it may be necessary to actually let the ultimate rider pass you and then when it is safe to do so, you can overtake and remain in the penultimate position until you pass the next person giving directions.

Roundabouts with open views are easy to direct.  As second man, you simply follow the lead rider until the exit and then stop in a safe & visible position.  The rest of the group will know the direction simply by your position on the roundabout.
There are two very important things to remember when you stop at junctions.  Safety first.  Secondly, you must wait until the last rider sees you.  Sometimes, even when all riding at legal speeds, the gap can be quite long, caused by traffic or other situations on the road.  If you do not wait, everyone behind you will be lost!

If one of the group does not see you marking the direction to take at a junction and travels off in the wrong direction remain at the junction indicating the correct route to other members until the Last Man arrives. Flag him down and tell him/her of the lost man. You then continue with the route as indicated telling junction markers as you pass that a person has gone off route and there may be more of a delay than usual. The Last Man remains at the junction for an appropriate length of time, bearing in mind the geography being travelled through, until the missing rider returns.  The off route rider should become aware that s/he is in fact off route when coming to a junction that would normally/reasonably be marked and is not.  You should return without delay till you find the last man and thus regain the route.

It is a good system of moving a group of motorcyclists safely without the need for everyone to have directions.  As you become more skilled with the technique, the group can move progressively.  Occasionally, those wishing to make progress a little quicker may desire to move up to the front – keep your observations up and where safe to do so, you may want to give them a bit of space. Remember at all times, ride within your own limits.
Persons riding with the group are expected at all times to ride within the law and with due consideration of other road users.