Ride Guide

The Windy City RATs enjoy riding Triumph and other brand motorcycles together in groups. It’s a great way to get out of the city and enjoy the freedom of the open road on a powerful modern machine with a group of friends. But, let’s face it… nothing spoils a good time more than accidents, injuries and yes, even loss of life!

Anyone is welcome to join us on rides, but we do follow some basic guidelines to make the experience safe and enjoyable for everyone. Here are some resources and recommendations for you to consider as you make plans to join us!

What to Expect

  • We were all beginners at one point. Windy City RATs understand this and welcome riders regardless of level of experience. We’re happy to share what we have learned and help you avoid mistakes we made.
  • There will be a short riders meeting before each ride to familiarize everyone with the planned route, general guidelines, who is leading, and who is the sweeper (in the rear).
  • Depending on the make-up of the group, we may ask less experienced riders to ride near the front of the formation, behind the leader, so that if you have trouble, there are more experienced riders behind you to assist.
  • There will be opportunities at stop lights and intersections to ask questions or hear further instructions from leaders or riding partners.
  • Everyone is encouraged to ride at their own level of comfort and experience. If you need to slow down or make changes in your experience, we ask that you communicate with us so that we can make necessary adjustments. We want your experience to be safe and positive!
  • Over time, you will gain confidence as your experience increases, and with it your level of enjoyment. Don’t give up too soon!

What to Learn

We follow the general group riding guidelines developed by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. Even though it is a bit dated, here is a good overview video:

We follow these guidelines to try to avoid this:

MSF Group Riding Guidelines – We encourage riders to learn to use and understand these hand and body signals: Download PDF – MSF Group Ride Guide

What to Wear

Most of the Windy City RATs adhere to a philosophy called ATTGAT: All The Gear All The Time. However, we don’t require this to participate in our rides. We do ask that everyone follow some minimum standards, the same ones that any motorcycle dealer would require for you to go out on a motorcycle test or demo ride:

  • Helmet
  • Gloves
  • Sturdy boots or shoes that cover your ankles

Most riders (especially those who have gone down in the past) will add:

  • Jacket: leather or modern textiles with armor embedded in the elbows, shoulders and back
  • Pants: Kevlar lined jeans or modern textiles with armor embedded in the knees, hips and tailbone area
  • Rainwear: a good idea to bring along, just in case!

We look forward to meeting you and having you join us on group rides! If you have any questions about this information, please use the Contact Form to send us an email and we will respond!