Ride Captain Duties

It is the Ride Captain's job to do all of the coordination required to pull off the successful mission.

The RC will contact the Funeral Home to coordinate any viewings, parking, LE support for escorts, flag line locations, where they want the bikes in the procession and anything else they and we need to know.   If necessary they will communicate with the CAO/POC to ensure the families wishes are carried out.

They then contact the church and warn them that leather-clad bikers have been invited.  Again to find out where we can park and where they'd prefer we not put the flag lines.

Once they have all the data, they normally need to ride the routes, look for road hazards and any other items that could affect the mission.  They also need to find a Final Rally point and plot the time from there to the location of the viewing and/or service.

Going by the Funeral Home & church to meet the individuals they will work with is always a good thing and highly recommended.  Phone contact is required at a minimum.  They must then formulate the mission plan, check for amenities at the Rally point and final location.  Weather information must be checked and included in the final itinerary as should any reminders for flags, tolls, hydration and any other safety factors.

RCs are responsible for their mission threads once started.  They must write out their final itinerary in the correct format and send an email to the Mods to update the first post in the thread.  They must also send the data to the SC & ASCs for the statewide email to go out.  The last step is usually printing off a sign-in sheet for the mission Riders to sign.  All that is left is to execute the mission that they have planned as safely and respectfully as possible. For KIA Missions when the plaque has been received, presenting the PGR Plaque to the family is also one of the RC's duties.  

Of course it varies from KIA to Vet Missions to Send-Offs to Welcome Homes.  Each mission can be a little different. Some take much more planning and some a little less, but always get our best effort.  We are always flexible to the needs of the families, units & communities.  However, by doing it the way we do, the Ride Captain owns the mission and knows every detail when the time comes.

Ride Captains not the primary on a mission that can attend should set midpoint Rally locations in order to let Riders come in from different directions together.  They should always be ready to assist the Lead RC in any capacity during the mission.  Other than that, like the SC, they are there to hold a flag.

As far as how often?  No more than one can handle.  It is a volunteer position and we always need RCs.  Sometimes they end up running missions on the other end of the State, because no one else is available to run it.  It is all about who is available.  Many of us still work full time jobs.  Being an RC is no different than Rider when it comes to the how often, only what you can do.  Of course having said that, potential RCs are usually noticed because they do show time & time again.  Being able to count on someone is paramount in this job because it is so important.  Happily we have never had to turn down any mission due to the lack of an RC.

It is a lot of work.  But we have a great group of people and you will almost always see multiple Red hats at missions.  There is always someone that will help out.  

Being a Ride Captain is not for everyone.  We have offered it to people in the past and been turned down.  We don't think any less of those individuals and they still ride with us today.  It can be because they don't feel they have the skill set needed or it can be just because they know they don't have the time to do more than ride.    There are no strings and no hard feelings either way.

So if you attend a lot of missions and you feel you can dive into the workload, let the RC know at your next mission.  Or one of them may just come up to you!

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