|We thought we'd
better put a few points together so that you will know what to expect at
a run-out and will get as much enjoyment out of them as possible. Those
of you who have already enjoyed a run-out or three with us will
appreciate the importance of applying a few basic "rules" to
ensure that everything goes without any hitches or accidents.
It's best to keep together when riding in a convoy and ride closely together to avoid Freddy Volvo and others cutting in between us, but not so close that a mass pileup becomes inevitable. The safest way to do this is to ride in a staggered formation. If the rider in front of you is riding on the near side of the lane you should adopt the off side and vice versa. (See diagram below.) This will provide more stopping distance when you need it. Always leave extra space between the first and second man to give them a little more time to read and react to road signs, etc.
There will always be a "Front Rider" and "Rear Marker". Both will wear high visibility tops and identify themselves before the group sets off. The "Second Rider" will change as the convoy travels along. Should you lose sight of the rider in front of you, assume that the route is straight ahead unless you see a junction marked by another rider indicating the direction or exit off a roundabout.
The front riders job is to lead the convoy and make sure we all get to where we're going without getting lost. They must also regulate the speed of the convoy to make sure everyone stays together. The second rider is the rider behind the front rider. As the convoy approaches a junction the front rider will, if the junction needs to be marked, raise their arm, then point to where they want the second rider to stop and indicate the route to be taken. When the convoy has passed and the second rider sees the rear marker, they should slot in just in front of him - but not before. We don't want to lose the rear marker either! The rear marker will ensure nobody gets left behind in the event of a breakdown and all the riders are collected along the way.
If the second rider doesn't notice the front rider pointing to a junction, and you do, please mark it yourself. Also, if you think a particular junction should have been marked hasn't been, feel free to do so yourself. That way, we all stand a good chance of getting to our destination together! If, however, you don't feel comfortable taking a turn as second rider and would prefer to just enjoy the ride please let the front rider know before we set off.
If you are towards the back of the convoy and the front rider indicates to move into an overtaking lane (e.g. on a motorway) don't automatically pull out at the same time. We can take up a long stretch of road and car drivers can get frustrated and do silly things if they can't get past us. It may be safer to wait until you get closer to the slower moving vehicle ahead before pulling out. Also, remember to leave a good gap between you and the car you have just overtaken when pulling back in. Try to make room for the next bike along if possible.
Slower and more inexperienced riders may wish to go at the front of the convoy as the rear inevitably travels faster due to having to play catch up when held up by traffic. Finally, ride safely and look out for yourself. Adopt the Highway Code - don't take unnecessary risks by just follow the bike in front like a lemon! If we should lose anybody, one or two of us will back track along the route until we find them.
Usual rules apply.......... ie. you and only you are responsible for your own safety. No other member, official or marshal of the VSOC can be held responsible for any accident, mishap or loss.