Group riding



Many of you will know this method of group riding but it may
be new to some riders.


How It Works

Each group will have a designated ‘Ride Leader’ and a ‘Tail End Charlie’ or Sweeper. The positions of these two riders will not change throughout the run.

They will be introduced to all the riders in the group at the start of the ride, when the leader briefs the group on the ride. Ideally, they will both wear hi-visibility clothing or be conspicuous in some other way. 

Whenever or wherever there is a change of direction at junctions, and at all roundabouts, the rider, immediately behind the leader ( referred to as the ‘Marker’) will indicate the direction taken by the leader. The leader may signal that this action is required but the rider in second position should decide whether to stop and mark the junction. If there is any doubt the marking should be done anyway.

He stays as a Marker for all the following bikes.

To do this, the Marker should pull in at the side of the road, in a safe place where he/she will be visible to the rest of the riders, so the direction can be indicated to all the following riders.

It is most important that the Marker stops in a position where -

  • It is safe to do so.
  • They do not put themselves at any risk.
  • They do not obstruct any other road users.
  • The rest of the riders can see them clearly as they approach the direction change.
  • Remember the Marker is only there to show you the direction and when following the direction indicated you must take responsability for your own safety when entering junctions, roundabouts, or crossing traffic etc.  

The Marker should clearly indicate the direction taken by the leader, using hand signals.

When the Sweeper approaches the Marker, the Marker should move off and take up position in front of the the Sweeper. The Sweeper should leave enough space for this to happen. If it is not safe to pull out in front of the The Sweeper, then the Marker should re-join the traffic when possible and overtake the The Sweeper as soon as it is safe to do so.
The rider now in second position behind the leader will now be the next marker.

This approach involves the entire group and the Marker gets rotated from front to back and naturally moves back up to the front until it is once again time for them to mark a junction.

Some points to be noted:

  • If you are unsure on any aspect of the ride, always ask for advice or clarification at the start. Safety is always paramount.
  • If you are unsure as to whether you should mark a junction, then mark it anyway.
  • It is better to mark a junction that doesn’t need marking than not to mark one that does;
  • A roundabout, or crossroads where you do not have priority, should be marked by parking in a safe visible position on the exit.
  • For the avoidance of doubt if a junction or roundabout is not marked, the default action is to continue straight ahead;
  • There is no need to play catch–up. With the drop off system there will be a Marker waiting for you at the next junction for as long as is needed;
  • Everyone should keep a safe distance behind the rider in front;
  • A staggered riding formation should be adopted where appropriate on wider main roads to reduce the length of road taken up by the group. This will aid forward visibility and transit through traffic lights etc. and cause less inconvenience to other road users.
  • When you are the Marker, wait for Tail End Charlie or Sweeper to arrive,even if this takes a long time.
  • There may be a breakdown or delay further back of which you are unaware.
  • If you leave your position everyone behind you will suffer and the group will fall apart.Do not leave your position! until the The Sweeper arrives.
  • Riders are reminded that they must obey all relevant road traffic laws and observe and heed the warnings displayed on roadside signs and signals (e.g. Local and national speed limits);
  • And finally, be sure to listen to your Ride Leader before the start of the ride to ensure he/she has not made any changes to these procedures.
  • Obeying these simple rules will ensure that our ride outs will be safe and enjoyable.

These are general guidelines published by the Motorcycle Safety Federation and it is suggested that we follow their guidelines in order to keep our rides safe and enjoyable.

Most importantly RIDE FOR YOURSELF.  You are of no use to anyone if you end up in a heap worrying about what everyone else is doing.

Have fun, take care and enjoy the ride but remember Portugal has a Zero Tolerance

Policy with regard to  Drinking Alcohol and Driving and any accident caused by drinking would reflect badly on the reputation of all ASB members.


 The organisers, lead riders, markers, and sweepers accept 

 no responsibilty whatsoever for any event or ride.

  All riders and passengers taking part in any event or ride do so entirely 

 at their own risk and take full responsibility for their own safety.

All riders taking part should wear approved safety riding gear

and bikes must be road legal in Portugal.