Guide to becoming a member of Hogsback Chapter
You need to be a member of H.O.G. UK before you can join the Chapter. Why? Basically because that way you and your pillion are insured through H.O.G. UK for public liability on all Chapter activities. But also because you get a credential respected by the wider biking community.
Find out more about H.O.G. here
Not a H.O.G. member yet? You can join here.
Then join the Chapter !
Chapter membership includes the right to wear our exclusive and very cool Chapter rockers and patches, password access to the Members Area of our website, Quarterly Newsletters*, weekly e-shots, insured participation in an imaginative and varied ride-out programme - in the UK and abroad - throughout the whole year, Chapter parties with live bands and pro discos, safety training, the inside track on all things H.O.G. and a very warm welcome at Club Nights. Above all, a friendly bunch of people with a common interest they will be only too happy to share with you!
* The Quarterley Newsletters are available for download from the Members Area
Download the Chapter membership form
Fill it out and return it to the address at the bottom of the form with the appropriate fee. Signing it entails agreement with the release statement and the Chapter Bylaws (available from this page). Once your application has been processed you will be added to the Membership Register and receive your unique login details for the Members Area.
Download the Large Rocker entitlement form
Completion of this form entitles the Chapter member to purchase a large Hogsback Chapter rocker.
Download the Chapter Mileage form here
The Chapter Needs You to register for the Chapter Mileage Challenge!
Our privacy statement explains how we protect the details you give us.
Chapter Safety Notices
Group Riding Safety Bulletin - May 2015
Hi everyone! Hope you are enjoying the better weather of recent days. I would like to draw your attention to the need for added concentration whilst moving off and slowing down in group riding. Please remember to ensure you are staggered and not in-line directly behind one another. Also consider your distance from the bike in front in relation to your speed. Staggered positioning offers riders the vision to see beyond the bike in front and allows you space by the side of the bike in front should you need it. This will help you avoid a rear end shunt. Everyone knows this, but a few recent incidents have shown that it's easy to forget.
I would like to remind you that on occasion, members of the road crew may want to discuss safety issues with Chapter members. This may mean a private chat to discuss something that may be of concern to the safety of the group as a whole. We want you and everyone else to enjoy your ride. Our aim is simply to offer advice based on years of experience in order to promote best safest group riding practice.
I am always contactable via the Chapter website, just click on my face in the officers section to send me an email about any thoughts or concerns you may have relevant to group riding.
Carl Christensen - Safety Officer
Carl Christensen, the Chapter Safety Officer, has the following advice for all members:
Please ensure you check and adjust your tyre pressures to the correct settings before going back on the road after the winter break. Even a drop of as little as 3 psi can make your bike handle differently and potentially could cause you problems when cornering etc. Salt on the roads also acts a barrier between tarmac and rubber (as does ice) so take caution on bends and junctions. Pre-ride checks are vital for you, your passenger and the group you may be riding in. Roll on the Summer and Safe Riding for 2013 !
Please feel free to contact Carl if you have any questions relating to rider safety. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chapter Standing Notices
Extract from forthcoming Chapter FAQ - May 2015
Q. Can I belong to other Chapters and motorcycling clubs?
Yes. Hogsback is not interested in telling you what you do with your valuable leisure time, nor who you spend it with. But if you accept an appointment as a Hogsback Officer (which includes Road Crew) you will need to discuss any other memberships with the Directors so we can avoid any mutual conflict of interest.
Q. Am I free to do my own thing?
Yes, of course. Belonging to Hogsback does not mean you have to do any of our rides (though we think you will want to!). Likewise, you are free to ride with your own friends wherever, whenever and on whatever you want. Hogsback is full of friends who have found each other through the Chapter and ride with each other informally as much as they do on Chapter rides. However, please note that our Chapter communications channels (website, e-shot or facebook page) cannot be used to promote unofficial rides or events.
Q. I’ve got another make bike as well as my Harley - can I choose which one to ride on a Chapter ride?
No. Hogsback is a H.O.G. Chapter. The clue is in the name. Chapter rides are for Harleys only. There are four reasons for this.
First, the Chapter owes its existence to a sponsoring dealership whose business is …er… Harleys.
Second, Chapter rides are designed for the way people ride Harleys - other bikes are ridden differently and we avoid mutual frustration if we keep the two apart.
Third, our Chapter Public Liability Insurance covers claims against us on the assumption that we are H.O.G. members. We avoid potential insurance complications if we are riding Harleys when we ride as a Chapter. In the case of chops, if it says Harley-Davidson on your V5C, you’re good. If it says something else, it’s not a Harley!
Fourth, H.O.G requires it - and ignoring H.O.G. puts our Chapter’s charter in danger. In case you’re interested, we've checked the policies of our neighbouring chapters and they align closely with Hogsback.
Q. Does this apply to non-Chapter rides I might do to Chapter events - e.g. to Club night, or ‘meet you there’ events?
No. The ‘other make bikes’ rule only applies to organised Chapter rides. Individually, you can ride whatever you want to a Chapter meet - you can even come in your car! However you get there, we’ll be glad to see you.
Q. I’ve got a friend who’s thinking of joining the Chapter - can he come on a ride to see if he likes it?
Yes - once. Hogsback is always delighted in such interest. Our guest policy allows guest riders to join us just the once to check us out. However, they must be on a Harley-Davidson. GH-D will be glad to rent them one. Once should be enough to convince them to delay no longer, buy one and join us!
Pillions: to join or not to join ...? - April 2015
Everyone who is a rider in Hogsback Chapter is required to join as a full member. Membership also means that they may bring along one guest to any and all Chapter rides and events. If pillions wish to join the Chapter as full members themselves, they pay a reduced subscription of £10, although they must first also be a member of H.O.G. in their own right (annual cost for a H.O.G. Associate is £29).
So is there any benefit in pillions joining the Chapter? Well, yes, if they value the following: free Chapter pin (worth £5), entitlement to wear Chapter rockers and LOH patches, eligibility for entry into the “Golden Key” and to stand for Committee positions. It's your choice - but either way we are always pleased to see you!
New members Group Riding Guide - August 2013
Essential reading for all new Chapter members. Get the heads up on how we do it in the Hogsback Chapter! Guide can be found on the Admin page in the Members area.
Who is a Lady of Harley? - May 2012
H.O.G. Chapters are family-friendly organisations and Ladies of Harley (LOH) was started by H.O.G. as a means of encouraging more Chapter events that would appeal to the many women who ride with the Chapter - either on their own bikes or as pillions. So who is eligible to be a LOH? Well, you don't have to have your own bike, but you do have to have your own H.O.G. membership (either Full or Associate) plus you must have completed a Chapter application form in your own right. This entitles you to buy and wear LOH patches which you can obtain from Wendy on Club Nights.
Our own LOH Officer, Ruth Palmer, is busy promoting several activities for the LOH within the Chapter. LOH is not an exclusive club within a club and any full member of the Chapter - male or female - together with their guest - can attend any LOH event. However, some events may be of more interest than others. If you have any LOH suggestions, please email Ruth here.
Hogsback rockers - May 2012
Our Hogsback name is sought after! We are getting increasing numbers of requests for Hogsback rockers from collectors and others who live well outside our area. For this reason our Chapter rules now only permit large Hogsback rockers to be purchased by members who have attended at least 6 Chapter events (Proof of attendance needs to be recorded on this form ). Please help us to keep our name a real benefit of belonging to the Chapter. When qualified to buy our patch, please buy it strictly for your own jacket - thanks!
Hi-vis vests - August 2011
For many years, the Chapter has operated a system of safety for group rides that has proved very successful. This system is well developed and understood by all Road Crew, and depends in part on the wearing of hi-vis vests by Road Crew only. This allows the duty Road Crew to see and respond to each other, and facilitates the smooth, safe pick up of markers who have been dropped by the Ride Leader.
Recently, we have tried to accommodate hi-vis wearing by Chapter members who are not Road Crew. This has not worked well and has produced reports from some members of confusion and (therefore) reduced safety. The Road Crew is clear that their use of hi-vis vests is for identification only and that the only real protection derives from the way you ride - through observation, road positioning and speed. While we will never tell anyone to remove their hi-vis, we would like to continue with the tried and tested system of safety we use on Hogsback rides.
This means asking for your continued agreement that only Road Crew wear hi-vis vests on official group rides. We would ask you to note that cooperating with this request is strictly your decision and it is a signed condition of Chapter membership that you understand and agree that all H.O.G. members and their guests participate voluntarily and at their own risk in all H.O.G. activities and that you assume all risks arising out of the conduct of such activities.
The drop-off system - May 2011
Hogsback rides use the second-man drop-off system to keep the ride together. This involves the ride leader indicating to the rider immediately behind - the 'second man' - to pull over to a position of safety on the exit to a roundabout or at a junction. By doing so, the dropped-off bike indicates to the rest of the ride which way the leader has gone. After safety and visibility, the most important thing is that the drop-off REMAINS IN PLACE - however long it takes - until the tail-end road crew appear.
How do you know who is the tail-end? Because they are in hi-vis vests and will have been identified to you at the ride briefing. The drop-off bike should then be ready to rejoin the ride immediately in front of the tail-ender(s). What happens if the drop-off leaves before the tail-enders appear? The ride breaks and some - possibly many - will not make it to the planned destination.
If the system is new to you, it pays to start off towards the back of the group so you can see it working before it's your turn. You can watch a short video of the system in action by clicking here - thanks to Golly for the footage. There is also an excellent ride guide available for download from the Members Area.
Hogsback Chapter Bylaws - Oct 2010
Ever wondered how Hogsback Committee members get elected? Or how the Road Crew get appointed? Or, more generally, by what principles the Chapter is run? You can find the answers in the Hogsback Chapter Bylaws, available from the Downloads page of this website. Bylaws are not required by H.O.G., and many Chapters don't bother, but at Hogsback we are particularly keen that the Chapter organisation is as transparent as possible. Happy reading!
Important Notice – avoiding back patch troubles Nov 2006
As many of you know, back patches and rockers are taken very seriously by the Clubs that own them. Trouble can be avoided by following this advice from H.O.G.: "Does H.O.G. make a chevron or authorise a chevron to go below the large H.O.G. patch?” The answer is, ‘NO!’ Here’s why...
From the very beginning of the Harley Owners Group, the design and display of the H.O.G. logo and chapter chevron have been given careful consideration, with special attention to motorcycling organisations that may have a structure other than the family-oriented social structure of H.O.G.. Regardless of a member’s intent in displaying a lower chevron, it can put a member in conflict with other, three-patch organisations.
The Harley Owners Group strongly discourages members from altering the look of the H.O.G. patch and chapter chevron combination by adding lower chevrons and patches. Wear your H.O.G. patch and chapter rocker proudly. But please don’t wear a lower chevron. Additionally, and for the same reasons, H.O.G. advises caution in associating country names (eg ‘England’ or ‘Scotland’) with H.O.G. chapter names. With your assistance, the integrity of the H.O.G. organisation will be maintained!”.