Ducati Owners Club Victoria

Join a Ride

We are a friendly bunch and are happy for you to come along and join a ride, or even come along to the starting point and have a chat even if you can't join the ride.

Have a look at the Club Events page and register so that we know you'll be coming along. If you're not a member then please use our 'contact us' page and select 'Rides/Itinerary - Club Captain' from the list of contacts there. The Club Captain will receive an email and will know to look out for you at the starting point.

DOCV ride attendance is growing all the time and it is not unusual that we will get 40+ bikes on a ride. This generally leads to a great day out but its a lot of bikes to get from one point to the next in a safe and timely way.  Riders that do not do what is expected or do not have the right skill levels for a ride can cause significant delays and hold the group up for extended periods of time.  Please read the information below so you know what's expected.  

If you're interested in doing a Fun Day (ie. a fun track day) at Phillip Island or Broadford - check out that page too.


BEFORE THE RIDE

If you intend joining a Club ride, here are some guidelines to follow:
 
Check the ride details on www.docv.org and make sure that you allow time to get to the meeting place early and with a full tank. Take note of the route and other details.

Please register on www.docv.org – an idea of numbers makes it easier for the ride leader to plan the ride and to book the right numbers for lunch. If you’re not a club member then please use our 'contact us' page and select 'Rides/Itinerary - Club Captain' from the list of contacts there. In your message, let the Club Captain know you will be joining us, along with some details so we can identify you!

Arrive with a full tank of fuel.

Arrive well before the departure time (half an hour is good). We normally have a coffee and a chat first.

Make sure you introduce yourself to the Club Captain and fill in the Registration form – it’s much easier to track people down if we have their mobile numbers.

Take note of the ride leaders mobile phone number as it will be useful if there is an issue on the ride.  The Club Captains numbers are listed on the top of the ride registration sheet.  If the Captains are not running the ride, ask the nominated ride leader for their contact details.

Listen to the riders’ briefing. It outlines the ride route, coffee and lunch stops, fuel stops and any possible hazards on the route.

Make sure you to know who “Tail End Charlie” is.

Depending on the route and the group size the lead rider may elect to have two corner markers at each corner (rider #2 and rider #3), or just one. The lead rider may indicate where he wants the following rider to stop.

If you intend to leave the ride early then let the ride leader and TEC know beforehand. This saves us waiting/looking for you and potentially holding up the ride.

If you don’t understand something or have questions – ask the lead rider before the group leaves.

UNDERSTAND YOUR PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITIES

Motorcycling can be extremely dangerous. You may be injured or killed. Even worse, your motorcycle may be damaged.

Club rides are designed to be fun, enjoyable rides along interesting motorcycling roads. Please ride within your capabilities and be vigilant of road conditions - some roads are windy and some may be narrow and/or poorly surfaced.

You may experience road kill and other debris; try not to be the cause. Be constantly aware of wild animals, farm equipment, heavy machinery, trucks and idiots. 

Overtake traffic in a safe and courteous manner and NEVER overtake other riders on the left.

ALWAYS ride at your own pace, don’t try to keep up – ever.
(Tail End Charlie will tag along behind regardless of what speed you are riding at).

Riders must be prepared to accept responsibility for themselves and acknowledge that the DOCV is not responsible for their safety or welfare.

The DOCV provides a ride leader, a booking for lunch, companionship and that is it.
We may not notice you have crashed. We may not be aware that you are injured or worse.

We will do all we can as good citizens to assist you, but ultimately you are responsible for your own safety and well-being. Starting the ride is your agreement to this.

THE CORNER MARKING SYSTEM

The corner marking system is used by many motorcycle clubs - it allows all the riders in the group to have a seamless, trouble free ride at a pace that suits them, but without riders having to know the route. It’s follow the leader, and is easy to get right, but also easy to get wrong.

Here’s how it works:

At an intersection where there are two or more options to turn, the lead rider will indicate well before the turn so that the rider directly following the lead rider (the ‘corner marker’) can find a safe place to pull over to indicate the direction of travel to the following riders.

The corner marker must stop where they are clearly visible to riders following, and where it gives riders plenty of time to plan for the turn. The spot needs to be where the corner marker can see the approaching bikes.

In some cases the lead rider may point to the spot he/she wants the corner marker to stop – it may be that it’s not safe to stop later near the corner for example.

The third rider (second ‘corner marker’) may stop around the corner – depending on the corner and the size of the group. The lead rider will cover this during the briefing.

The corner markers should position their bikes to indicate the direction to travel – if their bike is facing the wrong way it can be confusing.

The rest of the group will travel past until the tail rider (Tail End Charlie - usually wearing a fluoro vest) arrives and will nod or beep for the 'corner markers' to continue.

Next corner, we do it all over again and again and again . . .

The idea of having two riders stopped is that if someone heads off down the wrong road (it does happen) then one of the two bikes can go off in pursuit and return them to the flock of ducs. 

If you miss a corner marker and go in the wrong direction (it does happen, no dramas) then you will eventually come to an intersection. If no-one is marking the corner then you should be suspicious. Stop your bike, phone the ride leader and wait. We will find you eventually, but we'd rather not chase you down too many roads.

If you are the corner marker, NEVER leave the corner unattended until Tail End Charlie comes through and gives you a nod or a beep. 
 
ETIQUETTE ON THE ROAD

Ride at your speed, one that you feel comfortable with. Do not try to keep up with faster riders. The quickest way to come unstuck is to try to ride faster than you normally would.

Allow a safe distance between yourself and other riders. Staggering left and right side of a lane increases visibility and rider distance.

If someone catches up to you in the twisties, don't race them on the straight, or accelerate hard when they move to overtake you. Let them past safely. If they caught up to you, they're most likely more skilled anyway.

For members on your first club ride - the easiest place to start the day is towards the back of the pack, regardless of how good a rider you think you are. This will give you idea of what people are doing and how fast they are capable of going. If you are comfortably keeping up, you can slowly move through the pack until you find someone who rides that same pace as you, and generally, this will be a good place to stay.

Slower riders should try to depart in the middle of the group (but not so early they have to mark the first corner), faster riders are encouraged to pass safely as they move through the group for corner marking duties and relieve slower riders from doing this. This helps to keep us moving.

We’ll aim to regroup somewhere on the longer stages (e.g. a photo point) to ensure all are safe and well.

On a big ride with lots of turn-offs the lead rider may pull over to re-group to ensure all are safe and well. Do not take off any gear unless the lead rider does. Be guided by the lead rider - if he/she stays on the bike, helmet, and gloves on, do the same. It usually means that we’ll be continuing shortly.

BE AWARE OF YOUR FUEL REQUIREMENTS

The ride leader will have planned fuel stops for bikes with a shorter range (we don't all have Multis). Fill up (even of it is only a top up) at the planned fuel stops; you don’t want to be the one who runs out of fuel before the next stop.

Be efficient at fuels stops – lots of bikes can flood a servo and annoy other users. Fill up, pay and move your bike out of the way. Keep an eye on the ride leader, if they are kitted up and ready to ride then do the same. Fuels stops are usually just for fuel, not for coffee, cake and a smoke.

LOOK OUT FOR OTHERS

Pay attention and learn from what other riders around you are doing. It takes time to build up trust from other riders within the club, but if you start off on the wrong foot it will take a lot longer.

Most importantly, please keep an eye out for your fellow participants. We have safety in numbers and are all doing this ride for the same reasons - that is, to have fun. Enjoy.

Be patient, ride safely, and arrive home happy.

CHOOSE RIDES THAT SUIT YOUR EXPERIENCE AND SKILL LEVEL

Some rides are longer and/or more difficult than others.  To give you and idea of how challenging each ride is the Club Captain or Ride Leader will grade each ride by adding something like the below to each ride description on the website.  It is your responsibility to use this information to gauge whether the ride is suitable for you.  

Easy rides - This ride is xxxx kms, has some nice corners and is generally suitable for all riding levels.  Please ride within your own limits and be respectful of other members in the group.
 
Moderate rides - This ride is xxx kms and has some challenging sections. We consider this ride suitable for riders with a reasonable level of experience.  Please ride within your own limits and be respectful of other members in the group.
 
Experienced rides - This ride is long at xxx kms  and includes some technical and challenging sections.  We consider this ride suitable for experienced riders.   Please ride within your own limits and be respectful to other members in the group.