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Co-Rider Tips

Co-Rider Tips – by Pam Pearson July 2010
I took my first motorcycle ride as a co-rider in 1979 on a wing purchased from Sally & Will Williams (former CD’s of Chapter D). Twenty-five years passed before I rode again. A lot has changed since then – motorcycles/technology, riding gear and me - realizing how much a co-rider is also instrumental for safe travels.  Some things are common sense and others I’ve gained from gentle reminders from my rider that my conduct isn’t conducive to safety. That being said I’ll share what I’ve learned in my traveling adventures with Rick (along with training as a GWRRA member):
·         Don’t move or act too quickly without the rider knowing you are doing so. i.e. Mounting/dismounting the bike, readjusting your position, waving to a girlfriend alongside the road, looking back at something interesting you’ve just passed. If you see broken roads, road obstructions or steel bridges remain still. Both riders and co-riders should try to cover, move the microphone or at least warn the other party prior to a sneeze, cough or B-U-R-P!
·         Talking to your rider/other riders & co-riders: 
o     Keep talk to a minimum when in congested areas, maneuvering, etc. unless critical to safety.   
o    Do not yell to a friend (or an inconsiderate rider on more than 2 wheels) you see along the roadside – unless you move or turn off your microphone.
o    If you see the rider is busy or not picking up on a safety concerns use your push to talk button to inform other bikes.
·         Learn to read the rider. A rider could be fatigued (or even upset) before they realize it. Even if they say they are ok suggest a rest – or say you need a bathroom stop – whatever it takes!
·         Riders appreciate:
-    Your extra set of eyes.
-    Co-riders being their “bling” on the bike more than chrome, lights or any other “purchased accessory”!!!
-    Shoulder , backrubs /scratches and hugs, and “whispers” between each other when the times are appropriate.
-    Encouragement - like when you have encountered the second nail in your rear tire on another far away trip.
-    Praise when they drive responsibly and safe.
-    Hand motions to those following you on bikes of road hazards. This doesn’t include the universal finger sign to non bikers that are not courteous to us.
-    You keeping your mic turned on (even if you are upset with the rider)!
-    Your help in cleaning the bike.
-    Seeing the pictures you take that they may have missed.
-    Your respect for them and the bike.
-    Gifts for the bike. (i.e. Chrome World, Wingstuff, Honda Direct Line, etc)
-    When you’re single… “Ex” In-Laws introducing you to Co-riders – Rick (and Pam) say thank you Sally and Will!
Now to the most critical part of being a co-rider…………..If a Rider becomes incapacitated - Taken from Wing World Magazine and GWRRA Rider Ed Training. We recently practiced these steps during our “Bi-Tech day” (Chapters T&D).  Thank you to Rick Reardon and John VanDeusen for conducting this very important co-rider scenario. Even the seasoned co-riders were surprised at what they learned when they “acted” this out using a wing while on its center stand. 
Three basic steps for a co-rider to remember: 
1.  Determine the Situation:
·            Can the rider lead you to safety? If so have them pull over to a safe place to stop. If not then:
2.  Get/Gain Control of the Motorcycle:
·            Lean forward with minimal motion over the rider’s shoulders and grasp both handlebars at the SAME TIME without turning the throttle keeping your feet planted and bent at your hips. Activate the kill engine switch; do not try to use the hand brakes;
3.  Prepare for a crash:
·            Look where you want to go; delay the impact as long a possible; stay low; stay on the bike; keep your arms and legs close to the bike; try to avoid being trapped under the bike. Realize the bike will tip over once it comes to a complete stop.
·            Once the bike has stopped and if you are able warn oncoming traffic and assist the rider.   i.e. placing a helmet in the road to warn oncoming traffic of a situation.
From my point of view it’s a privilege, responsibility, fun AND the best seat on the bike being a co-rider!