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Please take the time to read the guide before coming on a club run
The aim of this guide is (i) to help you, and (ii) make any organised trip more enjoyable for all.
Although many items are the normal rules of good driving, we hope you can spare the time to look over this guide in the hope that you can find either general tips, tips for convoy driving, or organising events, that are of benefit to you.
We hope that this guide will help you all to have a safer and more enjoyable day out.
- General Items
- Rules of the Road
- Tips for an Organiser of an Event
- Lead Car Driver
- Guidelines for Organising an Event
- Final Thoughts
- Arrive at the starting point in plenty of time and with sufficient fuel to complete the route.
- Don't expect the group to be able to stop just for you once it is on the move.
- Please be ready to leave on time.
- If you are going to meet the group en route, please check with the organiser that this is convenient.
- If you are going to leave the group before the end of the trip, please tell the organiser, and others. This is so that the group does not either, wait for you to catch up, or follow you.
- Please try to be courteous to all other road users and follow the Highway Code. Remember, when you are driving in a group with the MX-5 Owners Club, you are acting as representatives for the club.
- If you pass the leader of the group or the lead car, or if you pull over and wave the following cars past, you are effectively on your own. If you suddenly decide to leave the group, pull off the road (if possible) and wave the following cars past you. If you wish to proceed at a slower pace or sightsee, wave the cars behind past, when safe to do so. If you wave the last car past you are on your own.
- Use the radios to inform last car of your intentions. Club radios are available to members who have not yet purchased their own.
- Do not go faster than you feel comfortable driving! If you feel that the cars in front are driving faster than you feel comfortable, please do not try to keep up. It is better that you fall back. You have a route and will catch up at a regroup or organised stop.
Please bear in mind that just because you are following the route does not mean that the car behind you, or the car in front of you is correct! It is very easy to just "Follow the MX-5 in front!". This car may have gone wrong, so it is best to check your own route. Also, if the car behind turns off, this does not mean that you have gone the wrong way! It also may be the car of a driver not a member of the club.
Rules of the Road
- Do not follow too close to the MX-5 in front. Leave plenty of braking space.
- If travelling in a line of cars we should not dominate the road. If other road users are trying to pass the group, please let them do so.
- Always slow down for riders on horses, bicycles, and pedestrians on unpaved roads. Give them plenty of room when overtaking.
- Whenever the group stops, if at all feasible, make sure you try to pull completely off the road.
- Always use your indicators in plenty of time to guide cars in the group, as well as other road users.
- When the group passes through a congested area, it should try to stop as soon as safely practicable to regroup. Pick a place where all cars can safely stop.
- Please do not drive unsafely to keep up with the group. You have been provided with a route.
- Continuous unsafe driving by any member may result in that member being asked to leave the group, or the leader ending the event immediately.
- Overtake only when legal and safe to do so.
- If a member of the group or public wants to overtake you, please let them. Don't close up the gap to the car in front of you and force the overtaking car into a dangerous manoeuvre.
- Always stay within the legal speed limit.
- REDUCE YOUR SPEED if road conditions or the weather warrant it.
- The lead MX-5 should establish a sensible pace for the group, but it is each individual drivers responsibility to drive as they feel safe.
Tips for the Organiser of an Event
- Always aim to arrive at the meeting point at least 15/20 minutes before the start time.
- Have a short meeting with all the drivers before the event begins to explain the general route and destination(s). Please make sure everyone knows where the event finishes and where any stops are in between.
- Hand out route instructions, for people who have not downloaded the route.
- If there are a large number of cars on the event, it is advisable to break it up into two or more formal groups with a Lead Car for each.
- If the event includes reservations at a pub or restaurant, it can help to call the establishment with the final count prior to starting out - just to confirm they are still expecting you.
- If possible have a list of cars on the event. On the larger, or longer events, the ideal would be to have a list of : Car - car colour - Driver - Mobile number, to circulate to all.
- If a car has to stop (Breakdown / Puncture etc) the ideal would be to have a car with a mobile phone stay with it, to keep the group leader informed of progress.
Lead Car Driver
- Be aware of changing weather and road conditions, and try to act accordingly.
- Make regular stops to allow the group to reform.
- If possible, ask for a driver to act as tail for the event. As a general rule it is best for this driver to be in a brightly coloured car or a car with driving lights (Spotlights) fitted. (The yellow of the "California" is ideal for this as it is important to know where the back of the convoy is.) The driver of this car MUST be prepared to stay at the back as chaos can ensue otherwise. It is also best for both the "Lead" car and the "Tail" car to have mobile phones if at all possible and to have any others, with phones, spread throughout the group.
Please bear in mind the current law with regard to use of mobile phones while driving. It is legal to use a Radio, but not a mobile phone, without a hands free kit.
Guidelines for Organising an Event
- Choose a route and destination. Set a meeting location and departure time, then confirm a suitable date with your Area Co-ordinator. If you want any help with planning the event - please ask.
- If the event includes a meal, tour or room reservations, call the establishment to make them. Reconfirm your reservation or booking a week before the event. Make sure the final number is given close to the event if there are late joiners. Some establishments want a food order phoning in on the morning of the event.
- After planning and driving your route, it is recommended you ask another driver to "proof read" the instructions and the route just to confirm that nothing has been missed. Ideally this should be just prior to the event, as roadworks or other changes can cause problems. It is not unknown on country roads for a road on the route to be closed up prior to the event and this can ruin all your hard work and spoil the day.
- If possible have a list of cars on the event. On the larger, or longer events, the ideal would be to have a list of : Car - car Colour - Driver - Mobile number, to circulate to all participants.
- Please try to write simple instructions, (The "Tulip" type are ideal for this) If possible please include the telephone number for the stops on route. Print instructions in the largest font type practical. TomTom route for the run is recommended.
- Please do not try to follow the car in front too closely as the driver may know the road better than you.  Also bear in mind that just because the driver in front has passed safely does not mean you can! Your cars may look the same, but different tyres, or being in a different gear, can have a profound effect on handling.
- If going on a run a long way from home, we suggest you take a spare key, and a spare remote for your alarm. This could save you embarrassment, time, and money!
- On hot days, a small bottle of water can be a useful thing to keep in the cockpit of the car.
- As a final word of advice, PLEASE DO NOT assume that if you are behind an MX-5 that it is one of the Club members. It has been known for cars on "a run" to follow an MX-5, only to find that it is a member of the public that has nothing to do with the event! NOT ALL MX-5 OWNERS ARE MEMBERS of the Club.