Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Request for advice: Riding TEC, the fine print...

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by NiteKreeper, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. Yesterday I rode TEC for the first time, and the awesome responsibility of it became clear to me. I'll be doing it again so I want to develop in that area and have some questions. I've done some searching/reading of these boards and stuff that Rob's linked today so here's what I'm still wondering...:

    1. Communication. Quite simply, how do I do it effectively from behind? For eg, if I want to pull the group to the side in a situation such as below...

    2. Faster vehicles. I'm happy to accept we'll be passed by other, faster riders, and it's pretty easy to pick a spot to wave them through, where they can take the WHOLE bunch at once. But here's a scenario: A young fella in a car came up behind us, and his "body language" was impatient. After a few minutes I decided to back off and create some space in front of myself, so that he was able to "hop" over us one-by-one between bends. Instead he decided to take 2 of us at once, and the large gap made it potentially dangerous since it took longer. Should I have tightened up instead? Or just expect the cage to suck it up and sit below the limit?

    I'd appreciate any advice offered.
  2. Interesting question..

    Possibly position yourself in a way that would discourage being overtaken(closer to centreline), until you come to a safe overtaking spot then move back to centre of lane and motion car to overtake.

    If you're on a twisty road and you're TEC of a rather large group and you know there aren't going to be safe overtaking opportunities any time soon, I'd maintain distance between riders in front and stay close to the centreline to discourage being overtaken. The same goes for if the riders in front are simply stuck behind a car and waiting for an overtake. Reason being is that theres no point letting an aggressive driver into the middle of a pack of riders if theres no chance of them getting past the riders at the front anyway.

    For communicating, new riders are often oblivious to what might be happening behind them and getting their attention can be difficult. Best option I've found is simply moving around to the front and using indicator + hand signals from there.
  3. 1: It is difficult especially when shepherding beginner riders who tend to have tunnel vision on only what is ahead. There is another thread on site by an Emergency services vehicle driver who with full lights and sirens got caught behind a group of learner riders who rode on oblivious to his attempts to pass. From the TEC position you can rarely affect the entire group as they will usually be spread out over distance. You can accelerate ahead of the immediate group and start to slow indicating with your arm and indicators a safe place to pull in. Try and get the Ride Leader's Mobile number and SMS them and status changes on the group so that if the Leader doesn't have bluetooth in the helmet at least when they stop they know what is going on.

    2: If someone wants to pass and are insistent try and open the gap so that they will get by, it is dangerous to deliberately hold them up and piss them off. It is a judgment call though, if the person ahead of you is nervous and the place is dangerous to pass then you can hold them off temporarily. I stress this tactic should be used with extreme caution.

    That's my 2cents anyway :) others may disagree. Being the contrary bunch that we are they probably will ;)
  4. Only if you have CB / Helmet to Helmet comms with the leader can you effectively control the group, otherwise, you did the right thing shepherding the group from the impatient driver.

    IMO, keep the bugger out of the pack, especially in the twisties: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=9dd_1295772850
  5. Hey thanks to all 3 of you.
    Yesterday's group was a small one and nobody was exactly "new", so it was no major drama. Definitely made me think about TEC'ing exactly that kind of rider though, and this will help. It's a bit of a balancing act, obviously!
    Thanks again (y)
  6. Any thing other than learners or newbies, You wont have a problem with fast cars up your clacker.

    With learners and P platers, Just sit behind a L plater on the outside, Its obvious your are sheparding an L plater and these fast turkeys are just going to have to be patient,

    As for communicating with riders in front, Just about impossible, You leave your Tec position,
    These clods in cars will get amongst the learners and thats when the shit happens,
    Stay there and keep them out,

    Learners have tunnel vision, They are too busy concentrating on what they are doing to stay upright, Let alone whats behind them, or any where else for that matter.

    The Lead rider and the TEC can be anything up to 10 klms apart on some rides,

    Other faster bikes will just go past as they feel fit to do so, You wont have to worry about them,

    Every couple of miles, stop, plan your stops before you leave, and have a head count,
  7. As robsalvv said, unless you have good bike to bike comms between the lead rider and TEC then you have very little hope of communicating.

    Usually when we have a few inexperienced riders on a ride we stop more frequently, and we try to keep a pace the suits the majority. Until we get to twisty bits then it's every man for himself.

    The other thing we do is put an experienced rider at the back. This is more to give the inexperienced people some sort of confidence that someone is looking out for them than anything else.
  8. This is dependent on the ride you're doing NK.

    It can be important to have a faster experienced rider at the back. One so they can shepherd the tail (not just from cars which are easy, but from other bikes which is harder)

    Two so they can give it a squirt up through the pack if they need to. It doesn't happen very often, but it is handy to have the option.

    The TEC also needs to have good traffic management and leadership skills (for obvious reasons)

    Lastly, the head and the tail should wherever possible hold the inside position on the road, so if anybody wants to pass the pack they are forced to go right out onto the other side rather than cutting across the vacant space left beside the rider. A rule that I ride by is, I have as much right to the same space as a car (including margins for passing) and will claim that space as mine. If a car breaches that space then it's game on. I don't mind other riders breaching it.
  9. More good advice! Thanks Deadman, Mick and Chef.
    This is "my ride" so I feel a responsibility for everyone who comes along; this is why I made myself TEC, but if it grows I'm sure I can share the duty. For now at least though, it's down to me. I have leadership and traffic control experience in other arenas so I think that helps. I also accept that the participants must have some confidence in me.
    It's a one-road affair on purpose and only about 170Km round-trip, but I think the mistake I made was not including any stops at all between start and finish - clearly 1 or 2 pauses to regroup would also give faster traffic the opportunity to pass, so I'll include them next time.
    Again thanks for the advice, I really appreciate it and so will those who come along.
  10. I lead a ride a few years ago that covered about 250klms and part of that was through the black spur. I made sure that when we started the newer riders had the opportunity to buddy up with someone experienced through the spur. We then regrouped on the other side of the spur so everyone could go through at their own pace.

    On my bike I have a gps with phone input and the tec had my mobile so if needed they could call me at any time. Turns out I did get a call as one of the corner markers moved too early so the tec had to chase them down. He was able to call me to let me know of the delay.

    When we left Yea, I had an agreement with one of the other riders that if he felt like it he could tear off up ahead, which he did but he didn't go too far ahead before dropping back with the group.

    Otherwise nobody passes the lead rider and Tec doesn't pass anybody.
  11. Thanks Cambo, this is some of what I gleaned from the "etiquette" threads and other stuff that Rob has posted/linked over time.
    And it's kinda how I came to the comms question: "if TEC never passes, how does he signal" kinda-thing?
    Thanks for sharing your experience with me.
  12. It would seem to me that if you are taking a group of learners on a ride en mass, and are doing below the speed limit,you will upset car drivers and in fact the learners would be safer riding on their own.
    Unless of course there are other reasons for this sort of thing.
  13. Not a group of learners as such Blabber, but I welcome them if they do want to come along.
    Not sure what you're getting at by "other reasons" though?
  14. ask chris (ozyoda) about tecing, hes very experienced :)
  15. Should've thought of that Goz, thanks - I'll pop along to a Homebush session again, introduce myself and get the lowdown. After the 19th ;)
  16. What I'm trying to say is,
    a couple of weeks ago we had the tour down under here.
    Huge groups ( 10,20,30) of cyclists in the hills doing way under the limit,taking up the whole road.

    Car drivers were all over em,and didn't give shit how they passed them.

    Your post about your ride reminded me of just that.
    A learner would be safer ,simply riding on their own.

    And as you may or may not know,I am not a fan of this mentoring rubbish.
    I believe it's more for the mentors ego than the mentoree's benefit.

    But that's subjective I suppose.
  17. Aah gotcha.
    I'm not a mentor by any stretch and don't want to be, frankly. I just want to do more group riding, and figure "hosting" one is better than waiting for rides to pop up on the right days for me. And like I said: being "my ride" I feel a form of responsibility for the whole group. A duty of care, if you will.
    There were no learners on this ride, but one of us I'd class as a "slow rider" - I respect the guy to be honest - y'know, "ride your own ride" and all that...
    And being TEC obviously means I'm going his speed too.

    I recall several groups of bikes whipping past, with most throwing a "thankyou" wave as they went, since we were moving over and letting them go easily.
    There were 2 cars passing us on the way up, but none on the way down and we were actually getting stuck behind the cages a bit. "Slower mate" actually led the overtaking moves a few times...

    Hmmm, am I sounding defensive? Don't mean to be...
  18. If you want to do group riding,you need your head read.
    3-4 bikes of similar power with riders of like thinking.
    Any more is a waste of time.
    TEC is just a joke,ride your own ride mate,you don't need that shit.

    (unless you're secretly hiding your slowness)
  19. I hear ya Blabber.
    This is a once-a-month thing, and for good reason: I also want plenty of riding by myself or in a pair/threesome (oo-er!), so I can hit them twisties hard.
    This one is more of a social event to be perfectly honest...

  20. thats your opinion blabber, others enjoy group rides