Drop-Off system of group riding.
This is popular with groups going on long rides.
Understanding the system is important, as every rider needs to do their part to avoid anyone getting lost.
One rider, the leader, will stay at the front and is responsible for navigating the route. Another rider, tail end charlie, will stay at the back in last position. These are the only two riders who maintain their position in the group.
At every junction, the rider immediately behind the leader stops and marks the junction and indicates the route which the other members of the group should follow. All other riders pass the marker except the 'tail end charlie'. The marker then re-joins the group in front of 'tail end charlie'.
This approach involves all the group and the marker gets rotated from front to back and naturally moves up to the front again. The method works provided everyone makes clear, safe markings and doesn't forget they are in the No.2 position, when it is their turn to mark.
Nobody other than the sweeper is allowed to ride last for any reason whatever. If you want to leave the group you should pull in to the left in a safe, visible position and wave other riders past. When the sweeper arrives he will stop and you can then inform him/her that you are leaving the group and why.
1. Please arrive with a full tank of petrol and an empty bladder.
2. Petrol stops will be determined on the lowest tank range of participants. You are advised to fill up at these stops.
3. The leader and sweeper will wear some kind of distinctive vest.
4. A roundabout should be marked by parking in a safe visible position on the exit.
5. When going straight through at a crossroads where you don't have right of way you may mark it if you wish. The default action in such a case is to continue straight through. Therefore if there is no marker when you arrive you should proceed straight on. If you do decide to mark such a junction you should do so by parking in a safe visible position on the far side of the crossroads.
6. When you are marking a junction make sure you park in a position not to obstruct any other road users.
7. If necessary point in the direction that riders arriving at the junction should proceed in.
8. There is no need when using the drop off system to keep the rider behind in your mirrors.
9. There is no need to play catch-up. With the drop off system there will be a marker waiting for you at the next junction.
10. Everyone should keep a safe distance behind the rider in front. Tail gating is frowned on.
11. To avoid unscheduled stops and to be safe please make sure all luggage carried on your machine is secured safely before starting.
12. When you are the marker, wait for the sweeper to arrive, even if this takes a long time. There may be a breakdown further back which you are unaware of. If necessary switch off your engine. If you leave your position everyone behind will suffer and the run will fall apart.
13. If you are unsure as to whether you should mark a junction, then mark it anyway. It is better to mark a junction that doesn't need marking than not to mark one that does.
14. Ride your own ride, don't allow yourself to be pulled or pushed along.
15. Enjoy yourself at your own pace
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