Understanding the 'Intelligent Buddy System' (IBS) is important, as every rider needs to do their part to avoid anyone getting lost.

How it Works

PECAM usually employs the IBS for smaller groups of riders. Each ride group will have a designated ‘Ride Leader’ (RL) and a ‘Tail End Charlie’ (TEC). The positions of these two riders will not change throughout the run. They will be introduced to all of the riders in the group at the start of the run, when the leader briefs the group on the ride. Ideally, they will both wear hi-visibility clothing or will be visibly conspicuous from others in some way. Additionally, radio communications between the RL and TEC is an advantage and will be operated if possible.

Each member of the group is responsible to the rider following them, to ensure that they know which way to go. The rider immediately behind is your ‘buddy’. As we will be in smaller groups, knowing who is in your group and what motorcycle they are riding is a distinct advantage as overtaking is allowed during these group rides. If you are in any doubt, then keep the rider behind you in your rear-view mirrors throughout the ride.

If you lose sight of the rider behind you and you arrive at a junction/roundabout, which may cause confusion to the rider behind, then ‘mark’ the junction. You can mark the junction/roundabout by stopping in a position where:

  • It is safe to do so;
  • You do not put yourself at any risk;
  • You do not obstruct any other road users;
  • The rest of the ride group can see them clearly as they approach the direction change.

The ‘Marker’ should clearly indicate the direction taken by the leader, using hands.

You 'Mark' the junction until you are sure that your buddy has seen your route guidance indication, then you can continue with your ride.

Points to be noted:

  • If you are unsure on any aspect of the ride, always ask for advice or clarification. Safety is always paramount.
  • Please arrive with a full tank of petrol and an empty bladder.
  • Inform the RL if you are running low on petrol during the ride; usually at the rest break.
  • If you are unsure that your buddy has seen which way you are going then mark the junction. 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 IBS your buddy will ensure you don’t get lost.
  • With the exception of the RL, all other group riders should keep a safe distance behind the group rider in front.
  • A staggered riding formation may be adopted where appropriate to aid forward visibility and transit through traffic lights, villages etc.
  • Avoid ‘follow my leader’ riding/convoy style riding, which could lull you into unsafe/unaware riding. Ride your own Ride!
  • If you do have to 'Mark' a junction, then hold the position until your buddy arrives, this may take some time if they have run into traffic congestion or some other problem.
  • In extreme circumstances the RL may decide to reverse the route and ‘collect’ all of the 'Markers' back to the point where an incident has occurred. The 'Marker' must mark their junction/roundabout until told by the RL to move and then what is going to happen.
  • If you want to leave the group, inform the RL and TEC at a rest stop. If unavoidable, you may pull into the left in a safe, visible position and wave other riders past; when the TEC arrives he will stop and you can then inform him/her that you are leaving the group and why.
  • Riders are reminded that they must obey all relevant UK road traffic laws. They are to observe the Highway Code 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 RL 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 group rides will be safe and pleasurable.