Sunday, February 7, 2016

2016 Ride Calendar

                              Southern Cruisers Schedule 2016

2016 Ride Schedule  -  

March 19 (depends on availability of hunt club) Spring Break (Fling)

April 9 – Fishersville, meet at Sheets Madison Heights, KSU 10 AM
April 23 – Meet & Greet, Harrisonburg (more info to come)

May 14 – TBD   Graves Mill at 12 noon
May 22 – Paint Bank, Graves Mill, 10 AM

June 5 – Goshen Pass, Graves Mill, 10 AM, Possible Cook Out
June 11-12-Fun Run, Ashland (more info to come)
June 26 – Clarksville, Graves Mill, 10 AM, Eating at Erin’s in South Boston

July 10 – TBD, Graves Mill, 12 noon
July 24 – Chateau Morrisette, Graves Mill 10 AM

Aug 5-6 – Virginia State Rally, Bedford, see info on WEB site
Aug 14 – TBD, Graves Mill 12 noon
Aug 27 – Louisa, Evan Adams Ride, Sheets Madison Heights, KSU  8:30

Sept 11 – Scottsville, Graves Mill 12 noon

Oct 16 – Foliage Ride, Grave Mill 12 noon
Oct 30 – Foliage Ride, Grave Mill 12 noon
 All above rides are subject to change due to weather, concerns, general group needs or opinions at the time or as needed.  
POSTED 7 - FEB - 2016

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Common Group Riding Terms

Common Group Riding Terms

Pack: a number of motorcyclists who ride together, generally without maintaining fixed positions or distances between bikes. Packs are occasionally seen with 20-50 motorcyclists in a single formation.
Group: a small number of motorcyclists who ride together maintaining a generally fixed distance between bikes and maintaining fixed positions within the formation (usually no more than six per group). On rides in which participation by a large number of motorcyclists occurs, it is common to have riders divided into several groups and to name them Group 1, Group 2, etc. This facilitates radio communication when several groups are listening to the same broadcasts and traffic coordination on the same CB channel.
Road Captain: a person who devises group riding rules or guidelines for a club or chapter of a motorcycling organization, who communicates these guidelines to the club, and who generally plans and lays out group rides. The Road Captain may or may not ride lead for a particular ride.
Lead Bike: a person who rides in the most forward position in a group and who relays information to all other riders in the group via hand signals and/or CB communications. The Lead Bike determines the group’s direction, speed, choice of lane, and formation. He or she often must make quick navigation decisions in the face of road hazards, changes in road surface conditions, poor signage, construction and other obstacles while maintaining control of his or her bike and communicating to those following. It is the responsibility of the Lead Bike to select a Tail Gunner with whom communications will be coordinated during a ride. If there are three groups on a ride, there will be three Lead Bikes.
Tail Gunner or Sweep: a person who rides in the last position in a group and who relays information to the Lead Bike regarding the other riders in the group, traffic patterns, equipment problems, etc. he or she observes. The TG must secure a lane for the rest of the group during lane changes into faster traffic (move first to block oncoming traffic) and close the door (move to block passing traffic) when a lane is lost in a merging lane situation. Usually this is the most experienced rider in a group, for the TG is the rider who stops to assist a rider who has mechanical trouble, loses control, or drops out of a ride for some other reason. The TG should be prepared to render aid to a downed or disabled rider in a group while communicating the problem to the Lead Bike and others in the group. If at all possible, the TG should be equipped with a CB and, could have a co-rider who can assist with communications or traffic control if a serious problem arises.
Cage: any vehicle that is not a motorcycle, but particularly an automobile.
Four-wheeler: any vehicle that is not a motorcycle except an 18-wheeler, a hack or a trike.
Group Parking: a formation in which all bikes in a group follow the Lead Bike in single file into a parking lot, making a U-turn such that they can all line up next to each other in the space available with the rear of their bikes against the curb or edge of the lot, the front tires pointing outward.
Parade formation: a formation in which all the motorcyclists in a group ride two abreast.
Single file: a formation in which all the motorcyclists in a group ride in one track of a lane.
Slot: any position within a group of riders in the right track of a lane, farthest from oncoming traffic.
Staggered formation: a formation of motorcyclists in a group in which the Lead Bike rides in the left track of a lane, the next bike in the right track or slot, and the next bike in the left track, and so on. Bikes in a group generally maintain a minimum interval of two seconds travel time between bikes in the same track, and one second travel time between each bike in the group. In a staggered formation, a rider still commands and may ride in the entire width of his lane as needed. Group riders may also ride single file or two abreast. The Tail Gunner may ride in the left or right track depending on the number of bikes in the group. It is preferable for the Tail Gunner to ride in the left track, so as to have the same visibility line as the Lead Bike.
Station keeping: maintaining a fixed position and interval within a group of riders but not riding as Lead Bike or Tail Gunner. Riders without a CB usually ride as station keepers in the middle of a group. Positions within a group are initially assigned by the Lead Bike based on the experience level of the rider, particularly his or her group riding experience.
Track: the zone of a lane in which a rider maintains his position in a group. A lane of traffic is divided into five zones: the left track is the second zone from the left, the middle of the lane (generally not used) is the third zone, and the right track is the fourth zone from the left. Two zones on the sides of a lane serve as margins. A rider may vary his path of travel from his normal track as is required by a road hazard or by an incursion into the group’s lane by other vehicles.
Two abreast: a formation in which the members of a group ride adjacent to each other in pairs, used when riding in parade formation. Used after stopping at signs and traffic signals so that riders can get through an intersection quickly and together if possible. When departing from a stop, the rider in the left track normally pulls out before the rider on the right, returning to a staggered formation.

Thank you to The Motorcycle Safety Group for this list of terms.

Got Three Minutes?

Got Three Minutes? 

A quick check to insure your next motorcycle ride is a great one

"What a day for a ride," you think to yourself.

What you should be thinking, though, is "Is my ride ready for the day?"
It's a valid question, no matter how often or infrequent you ride. Either on-the-road usage and vibration or in-the-garage inactivity can take their toll on your bike, potentially degrading safety, control, performance and comfort.
That's why the Motorcycle Safety Foundation recommends a short pre-ride check of your favorite two-wheeler before every ride. To help you remember what to check, the MSF came up with the acronym T-CLOCS, which stands for Tires, Controls, Lights, Oil, Chassis and Sidestand.
These are simple, easy-to-access items that anyone who rides should be able to identify and check. And despite the length of the MSF's list, you can probably check everything in about three minutes. Depending on what you find, that could be the best three minutes you spend all day.

Tires and wheels

Since these are where you and the road meet, they're probably the most important things to look over. A problem can affect handling—sometimes severely.
Are your rims free of dings? Are your spokes tight and straight? Check pressures in both tires. Since most manufacturers specify pressures for cold tires, this is the only accurate way to check them, as they heat up quickly on the road, raising the pressure. Consult your owner's manual or call your tire manufacturer's hotline for the proper pressures for your particular bike.
If you own multiple bikes, it may be difficult to remember all those different tire specs. And since this is one of those critical things you should check often, you may want to make a small card with each tire's recommended pressure, then hang it on your garage wall, or anywhere that's handy.
While you're down there checking the tires, make sure you've got plenty of tread. You should have more than 1/16 of an inch, about the distance between Lincoln's head and the top of a penny. Remove foreign objects that may have lodged in the treads, and make sure there aren't any cuts in the tire. A scuff is nothing to be worried about, but if it's a deep scratch, you might want to have it checked.

Controls and cables

Motorcycle cables A snapped throttle or clutch cable can leave you on the side of the road, so check 'em. Operate anything connected to a cable and make sure that levers and cables feel smooth and don't bind. Apply the front brake and push the bike forward. The brake should feel firm, and the front wheel should not move. Check the rear brake in the same fashion.


Seeing and being seen are two great ways to avoid unwanted incidents on the road, so making sure your lights work is key.
Start by turning on your ignition. Are the headlight's high beam and low beam working? Does the taillight come on? Does the brake light come on when you depress the brake pedal and lever? Check left and right turn signals, front and rear. Remember that the cause of a malfunction here could be a relay or bulb.
Lastly, don't forget to check your horn.

Oil and fuel

Oil & fuel

Running out of gas is a bummer, but since many motorcycles don't have gas gauges, it's a very real possibility. Check the gas level in the tank, and be sure your fuel petcock isn't on "reserve," which could leave you with a nasty surprise if you roll to a stop thinking you've still got gas in reserve. And don't forget to reset the tripmeter every time you fill up.
Running out of gas can be inconvenient, but running out of oil can turn your bike into an inert display of public art. Even some new bikes can use enough oil to be down a quart between oil changes, so check it before every ride.



Though an improperly adjusted suspension may not seem critical, imagine your surprise as your bike behaves differently in the middle of a curve because you forgot to reset it after picking up your friend last night.
SpringSit on the bike and rock it, making sure that everything moves smoothly and relatively slowly. If the front or rear end behaves like a pogo stick, a trip to your trusty mechanic should be in your immediate future.
If you have an adjustable suspension, remember to read your owner's manual and adjust it properly for the load you'll be carrying and the type of riding you'll be doing.

Kickstand and centerstand

The kickstand is a handy little item—it's what keeps your motorcycle off the ground. Make sure it's not cracked or bent. Check the spring or springs. Are they in place, and do they have enough tension to keep the kickstand safely up?
Don't forget to look at the engine cut-out switch or pad, if so equipped.
If everything's in place and operating properly you're done, and you're good to go. Enjoy the day.

 Thanks to the AMA for this check list.


Group Riding Tips

Group Riding: Tips To Ensure Everybody Has A Great Day 

The engine purrs beneath you as a string of motorcycles snakes through the hills in front of you. With a quick look in the mirror, you see your buddy following close behind with a smile on his face that matches yours. The camaraderie forms because, at just this moment, you're all on the same page.
That's what a group ride is all about. It's an opportunity to share the open road and wonderful scenery with other like-minded people. But like most motorcycle experiences, this one is best enjoyed by following a few simple guidelines that keep everyone safe. Here are a few from our friends at the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.

The first thing you want to do is organize the ride. This can be as informal as standing around in a parking lot, or as formal as a special meeting to hand out maps and cellphone numbers.  In our Club Rides this is performed by our Road Captain.

Remember that riding in a group does not mean you surrender any decision-making when it comes to your safety. Ride within your own limits, don't go any faster than you feel comfortable going.

If the group is riding faster than you are comfortable with, let the Road Captain and/or Tail Gunner know you're dropping out and ride at your own pace. So you may reach your destination a few seconds behind the others, but you will get there, and that's what's important. Keep in mind, it's all about fun.

You'll need to communicate while on the ride, so make sure everyone knows the signals you'll use.

While riding, don't fixate on the motorcycle in front of you. Instead, remember your basic training. Look well through the turn to where you want to go.

In group motorcycling, there's no room for showboats or renegades (despite all that leather). Avoid competitions with your group mates, tailgating, or passing other riders.

All riders are also responsible for making sure their motorcycles are mechanically up to the task. Before you even meet up with the group, make sure you've got plenty of fuel in the tank, and that you've taken care of all those maintenance issues. Not sure what to check? Use T-CLOCS. You really don't want to be the reason for stopping the group for something mechanical you could have prevented.

On the road, motorcyclists should have at least a 2-second cushion in front and behind them. If you want to keep the group tight, consider a staggered formation. Leave enough room per lane so each rider can maneuver side-to-side if need be. Avoid side-by-side formations as they shrink your space cushion.

Trikes, sidecars and trailers should stay in the center of the lane, and should be given the same amount of cushion as if they were a car.

As turns get sharper, or as visibility decreases, move back to a single file formation. You'll also want to use single file when entering or exiting a highway, at toll booths, or when roads have a rough or questionable surface.

At intersections where you've come to a stop, tighten the formation to side-by-side to take up less space. As the light turns green, or when traffic opens up, the bike on the left proceeds through the intersection first.

When parking, try to get the group off the roadway as quickly as possible. If you can, arrange in advance to have pull-through parking at your destination, or at the very least, make sure there is ample parking for your size group.

These are only a few basic group ride tips so that you have a safe and happy ride.


Blind Spot - Stay Safe


A blind spot in a vehicle is an area around the vehicle that cannot be directly observed by the driver while at the controls, under existing circumstances.[1] Blind spots exist in a wide range of vehicles: cars, trucks, motorboats, sailboats. and aircraft. Other types of transport have no blind spots at all, such as bicycles, motorcycles and horses. Proper adjustment of mirrors and use of other technical solutions can eliminate or alleviate vehicle blind spots.

Image result for motorcycle riding formation


One of the most dangerous situations that a motorcyclist can find him/ herself in is in a lane that is about to be taken over by a Car, SUV, or Truck. Many riders spend a lot of time in a vehicle’s blind spot not realizing the dangers that they are in, (the area that is not covered by the mirrors on a car or truck). In order to see this area a driver must turn his/ her head to check what is in their blind spot. Unfortunately a lot of drivers out there don't bother to check their blind spots (they only use their mirrors) before making a turn or lane change. And as a motorcycle rider you don't want to be in that space when the driver of a much heaver vehicle wants to be there as well.

The easiest way to tell if you are in a vehicle’s blind spot is to look into the car/ truck mirrors, if you cannot see the driver’s face... Guess what? You are in his or her blind spot. This means that you are invisible to the driver, unless they turn their head and check their blind spot before making a move.

Blind Spot Diagram 2.1 

the next picture shows where the blind spots are located on a large truck. Note that the blind spots on a truck are much larger than that of a car, especially the spot located directly behind the trailer. This area extends approximately 200 feet. You can imagine how easy it would be for something as small as a motorcycle to get lost back there. The best thing for a rider to do is to keep his/ her distance when riding behind a truck. Also if a rider is following too closely behind a truck, how far ahead in traffic can he/ she see? The answer is obviously not very far!  

Blind Spot Diagram 2.2

When you are riding in heavy traffic it is impossible not to be in someone’s blind spot. So then what can you do? When riding beside another vehicle, a rider should position him/ herself either slightly ahead or far enough behind so that he/ she can easily be seen by that driver.  Do not ride in the blind spot any longer than you have to, move ahead or back up if necessary.

This safety note is not a rule but just information that all riders need to be aware of.  We want you to have a safe and happy ride.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Southern Cruisers Ride Schedule 2015


            Southern Cruisers Riding Schedule 2015
Feb 21  -  Annual Bowling night, AMF Lynchburg Lanes, 4643 Murray Pl                   
Lynchburg, VA, Meet at Bowling Alley at 6:30 on calendar.   
April 11 - Blue Ridge Bike Fest, Roanoke Civic Center / Meet at New London Food Lion@ 10:00AM / KSU @ 10:15                                                                                                                                               
April 19 – TBD Graves Mill @ 12:00 / KSU 12:15
May 3 – TBD (possible Spring Fling)
May 17 – Paint Bank Ride KSU @ 10:00 AM KSU 10:15
May 31 – TBD   Graves Mill @ 12:00 KSU 12:15
June 14 – Goshen Pass Ride (Graves Mill 10:00 / KSU @ 10;15  Hill City Chapter picnic.
June 27 – 28 - Virginia SCRC Fun Run (Warrenington, VA) @ 9:30 / KSU 9:45
July 12 – Chateau Morrisette (Graves Mill @ 10:00 / KSU @ 10:15
July 19 – TBD Graves Mill @ 12:00 / KSU 12:15
July 31 – Aug 2 - Virginia SCRC State Rally, Bedford, VA
Aug 14 - 16 – TBD (possible Maggie Valley Summer Rally, Maggie Valley, NC)
Aug 30 – TBD Graves Mill @ 12:00 / KSU 12:15
Sep 13 – TBD   Graves Mill @ 12:00 / KSU 12:15
Oct 11 - TBD   Graves Mill @ 12:00 / KSU 12:15
Oct 25 – TBD   Graves Mill @ 12:00 / KSU 12:15
Dec 6 - Lynchburg Toy Run