I just received my monthly Thumper Talk News Letter and one of the recommended links was "Trail Etiquette - Hand Signals" unfortunately it is a locked post, thus the reason for this one. Recently I posted an article on this issue on our local dirt bike forum "e-dirt" here in South Africa after a tragic incident that happened to a youngster on a fun out-ride with mates. Last week we had another incident that claimed the life of a Quad Bike rider when he had a head on collision with another Quad Biker. I thought I would share a few things with you...OK, some only really apply to us here in South Africa due to our very different riding terrain and circumstances...but anyway, hope this helps and if this article saves at least someone from injury or even worse, loss of life...then it`s worth posting:thumbsup: Reading about the Hammarsdale tragedy has prompted me to write this post regarding riding ethics, especially Group riding ethics. Since reading about the young man that lost his life I have found myself wondering why this happened and what could be done in the future to prevent this sort of thing ever happening again. This boy was only 24 years old and lost his life, because in my opinion (Dont know all the facts about the incident, so only speculating as to what happened), some simple rules about riding in groups were possibly not followed and possibly a lack of some common sense. A few things that come to mind and that were discussed at our riders briefing when I did the Enduro Africa last year where we have got 15 -20 complete novice foreigners (per team), that could hardly ride bikes and had at most watched a dirt bike DVD, and we had to get these guys 1400km across technical terrain over a period of 9 days. Some of the points here are from that briefing and some are my own views and I welcome additional points. I did a previous post similar to this one some time ago, and it ended up being a very good, informative post (Was deleted in the big clean up..and I never made a copy…so its lost….unless someone has a copy) Group Riding Etiquette Group rides can be difficult. Each rider in a group has their own ideas and expectations for the ride. Some might want to ride hard and fast while others want to take it easy, or don’t have the ability to ride hard and fast, each rider will have varying skill levels and equipment capabilities. As the size of your group increases so does the diversity of opinions and abilities. Drastic diversity can easily ruin an otherwise good ride and also end up being dangerous! It's difficult to keep a large group moving, therefore, keep personal breaks short. Unnecessary breaks include too many photo stops, smoke breaks, rest breaks, taking your helmet off at every stop, stopping your engine at every stop, etc. Such breaks signal other members of the group to do the same after which it takes several minutes to get going again. Nothing is more annoying when you are raring to ride than a group that keeps stopping to chat! On long rides, especially in remote terrain, you'll find the sun going down sooner than you think—a dangerous situation! To minimize stops, plan designated rest stops for group rehab/hydration ahead of time and let everyone know. Plan and provide yourself with enough sleep and nutrition so that you are healthy and ready to ride the entire outing. Make certain that your equipment is in top shape and ready to ride BEFORE leaving on your ride. Performing work on your bike while everyone is waiting on you is discourteous! A bike that breaks down due to lack of maintenance ruins everyone's day, especially when its km`s from home Don't impinge on others by asking them to provide supplies that you failed to bring. Plan well and keep a checklist that you can refine and reuse for future trips. Don't invite a friend without checking with the group first. If your friend doesn't mesh with the group or can't keep up then no one will want him along again and he won't enjoy himself. Wait for a different trip or plan your own trip where your friend can fit in well. Group Safety Ride together. Don't lose track of who is in front of, and behind you. Maintaining unity is everyone's responsibility. Wait for others to catch up periodically. This ensures they haven't fallen or strayed off-track. STOP at all turns in the ride. Make sure the rider behind you doesn't become lost. If you lose someone or become lost, STOP! ALWAYS RETURN TO THE POINT WHERE LAST SEEN AND WAIT. Never ride beyond your ability! Slowing down the group is much better than ending the whole trip due to an injury. An injury twenty Km`s into the wilderness might mean a cold night and discomfort for all involved. Always know where you are at in case YOU become the rescuer. Know where and how to get help. Etiquette For Planning A Group Ride Consider everyone in the group and their abilities and expectations. It's not fair to plan an outing that EVERYONE will not enjoy! Make certain that everyone knows exactly what type of out ride you are planning and what is to be expected as far as skill-level and intensity. An average rider might not want to join an advanced ride. Likewise, an advanced rider might opt out if there is little challenge; but not necessarily! Advanced riders enjoy social, casual rides, too, just not every time. Let everyone know what to expect. If the size and diversity of your group is too great, consider breaking into two groups, each with a different plan matching their ability or expectations. For example: a longer, more difficult ride for advanced riders. Just make sure each group has a competent leader. If you do break into separate groups, remember this: If you invited someone on a trip, it's not right to put them with another group of people unless that was their expectation to begin with! If you invited them, you are obligated to accommodate them. Plan multiple rides. Invite smaller groups to more advanced rides, and invite everybody to the easier fun rides. This makes everyone feel included.