DRIVING EVENTS PROCEDURES

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Sally Morgan

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DRIVING EVENTS PROCEDURES
« on: April 03, 2014, 07:18:05 PM »
WHETHER NEW TO THE CLUB OR A MEMBER OF LONG STANDING
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE DRIVING EVENTS:
 
One of the things that makes our club so interesting is the mix of people in the club and their experience driving our fun little sports cars.  Although a wonderful way to see the scenery top down, we must not forget that they are sports cars at heart and our drives are a great way to stretch their wheels and test our own driving skills.
 
Now that Spring has come and the roads are warmer, many of our drivers who have performance tires that are not great in cold temperatures, will be ready and anxious to test the twists and challenging roads that we are so fortunate to have in our area.  Many of our drives will be intended to give the driver the opportunity to stretch their driving skills while providing the passenger with a great view of the countryside.
 
At the beginning of the drives, you will be asked how you prefer to drive.  That is, are you a driver who likes spirited driving that challenges your driving skills, or would you prefer a less spirited pace.  We do this so that those who do enjoy a faster pace can be at the front of the group.  In the past we designated the first group as the “fast five”.   Lining up in an order of driver skills and comfort level makes the drive a fun experience for all. “Sunday drivers” are asked to be in the back of the pack.  The rule of thumb is that the faster drivers will not get too far ahead of the rest of the group and if necessary will stop until the rest of the group catches up, and then we carry on again until we need to catch-up again.  No one is ever asked to drive beyond their comfort level.  However, keeping in somewhat close proximity limits the intrusion of other vehicles into our group, which can sometimes have annoying consequences.  If someone who has been driving behind you asks you at a rest stop if they can drive ahead of you, please don’t take it as an insult.  It may just be a way for them to test themselves a bit more without tailgating.  It’s a lot more fun to to try to stay as close to being in a group as possible.  Nothing is more fun than driving on a bright sunny day as part of a line of cool little sports cars zipping along a country road.  Small towns and highways are always taken with care. 

When in towns, keep as close as possible to keep others from breaking into the line.  If the group gets separated because of traffic lights, the tailgunner will radio to leader and a meetup place will be arranged.   

On highways, it’s often necessary to change lanes.  The tailgunner will block oncoming traffic so that everyone in our group can move over without letting in other traffic.  When you see this in your mirror, move over as quickly as possible to safely keep everyone in line.
 
The lead car will let you know if something is coming your way on the twists, such as a dog at the side of the road, a pedestrian, or anything of which you should be aware .  That’s the main reason we all have the radios.  Keep them on, listen to any warnings and direction changes, drive accordingly so that all are safe.  Chatter is great fun and a great part of the experience, but keep in mind that the main focus for the radios is for safety and directions.  We always have a designated “tail gunner” on every ride.  The role of the tail gunner is to keep the lead driver updated as to the status of the group.  Have you noticed during a ride that the tail gunner will say “zoom zoom” after all cars have cleared an intersection?  Well, that’s the signal the tail gunner uses and when the leader hears that he/she knows the group is all together.  Often the leader cannot see the entire group from their mirror and so the communication between the leader and the tail gunner is essential for the leader to know all that is happening behind him/her.  We do this so that everyone else can enjoy their ride!
 
Which leads me to another Rule of Thumb:
 
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER cross the yellow line.  In many of our twisties it’s easier to make the curves if you just swing out a little -- DON’T.   Unless you have a very clear line of sight, you are taking a very great risk in causing a head-on accident or running someone off the road.  Many places where we drive the twisties have limited or no cell phone service, so in the horrible event that there is an accident, it could be an hour or more before help could arrive. 
 
The ONLY exception of never, never, never cross the yellow line is:
 
BICYCLIST SAFETY.  There is a law that requires a 3 foot space when passing a bicycle.  You MUST give bicycles at least that 3’ of clearance from your car.  Bicycles have EQUAL rights to be on the road so be very sure that you have a clear line of sight before you pass.  If you don’t have a clear line of sight ahead - just wait to go around them.  Remember we will wait for you before the next turn, so you won’t get lost.  And remember, if you find yourself in a situation such as this, use your radio to let the rest of the group know what’s going on. 

Zoom, Zoom!! - and let’s have some great drives!!!
Sally Morgan
White 96 Miata

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Bob Rotar

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Re: DRIVING EVENTS PROCEDURES
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2014, 08:33:13 PM »
Do I need a radio? If yes, what type and where do I buy it.

Thanks
Bob Rotar
1999 Silver NB Miata

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Sally Morgan

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Re: DRIVING EVENTS PROCEDURES
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2014, 09:32:36 PM »
Any 2-way radio will do.  You probably want one with a minimum 3 mile range.  I got my last ones on Amazon but you can buy them most places that have electronic stuff.  Since we usually have several extras at any run (since they usually are sold in pairs, many people have extras) try one out before you decide what you want to buy. 
Sally Morgan
White 96 Miata

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admin

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Re: DRIVING EVENTS PROCEDURES
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2014, 09:54:31 PM »
Ok Bob, you need an FRS Radio type. Here is a picture of the ones Georgiana and I use:



This brand will allow the batteries to be recharged between trips and will also run on (3) AA Batteries if you get caught out on a long weekend trip without your charger.

I bought mine at BestBuy and they do come as a set of 2.

Here is the link to them on BestBuy:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/talkabout-22-channel-frs-gmrs-2-way-radios-pair/9189004.p;jsessionid=E09801AAE13DCAC8E65CBE0D6A84B665.bbolsp-app04-149?id=1218052148086&skuId=9189004&st=FRS&cp=1&lp=1

Oh yes forget about the range in miles. These radios only use low wattage power and in real life you will be lucky to get even 1 mile. That is the reason Georgiana and I switched to a Converted Commercial Transceiver with much higher power and a seperate real antenna on the back trunk of our car.

Anyway, there are lots of brands for sale and there is always an extra radio or 2 around during rides. Just remember to get a FRS type.

PS: the converted Commercial ones are very hard to find as they have to be converted and no company I know of will do it.


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Wendy Havlock

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Re: DRIVING EVENTS PROCEDURES
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2014, 01:27:00 PM »
Just bumping this up so that EVERYONE will re-read these instructions. Sally has written excellent instructions for EVERYONE to follow and you should ALL re-read this as a reminder of the optimal way to drive for any event. If you plan to be a drive leader or tail-gunner you need to know your responsibilities and follow them at all times for the safety and enjoyment of all drive participants. Just sayin'!

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Bob Rotar

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Re: DRIVING EVENTS PROCEDURES
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2014, 10:03:00 PM »
The driving procedures are good to know but may not be practical to follow. The Lynchburg drive is a good case in point. It just wouldn't have been practical for someone to be driving slow, on either the straights or the twists. You had to keep up with the group. There wasn't anyone slowing down.

As a suggestion, you may want to consider some events as moderate where the lead doesn't go faster than 5 mph over the speed limit on the twists or straights and some events where "Katie bar the door" full speed ahead. That way there are events for both types of driving. Just a thought.
Bob Rotar
1999 Silver NB Miata

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Wendy Havlock

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Re: DRIVING EVENTS PROCEDURES
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2014, 08:44:53 PM »
I understand what you are saying Bob but those directions are in place for safety reasons and to hopefully enhance everyone's drive enjoyment. On occasion we do have drives that are slower paced for all. It's imperative to have a driver who has been with the club and knows the safety procedures well to be the tailgunner. We have a tailgunner so nobody gets "left behind" but the real rule is that if you can't see the driver behind you then you slow down until you can see them. That causes everyone in turn to slow down to keep the driver behind them in site too. While members who have been in the club longer know that Scott is one of the faster drivers we sometimes feel obligated to be tailgunner because no one else volunteers to do so. I'm sorry if you felt that we were pushing you but we didn't mean to do that. We thought you did a great job as a "newbie" and hope that your Lynchburg experience won't deter you from joining us on future drives. And you are correct about the speed limits, we should never be exceeding the speed limit by more than 5 mph, ever.

I hope that you didn't think that my above post was directed at you because it absolutely was not. We had not one single criticism of how you drove. I only posted it because I had never read the driving directions before myself and found that they covered everything you really need to know about driving with the club. I think both long time members and new members could use the information.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2014, 09:05:52 PM by Wendy Havlock »

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Sally Morgan

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Re: DRIVING EVENTS PROCEDURES
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2015, 07:41:27 AM »
Now that we are starting a new year of drives, we will have enough diversity in the drives that there will be something to interest everyone in the club to join in at least a couple drives this year.  After all, we are a car club - so let's drive!   Just as a reminder to club members who have been with us for awhile, and ESPECIALLY for new drivers to see what we are all about, please go back to the FIRST entry in this thread and read them all!!  This is a great resource to see what to expect, what we expect of our drivers, leaders and tailgunners.  Safety first, fun for all.
Sally Morgan
White 96 Miata