The main goal of our group drives is to have a good time cruising with a bunch of other MINIs over interesting roads. Keep these “Commandments” in mind while on any CIMC driving event.
1. Be on time for the drivers’ meeting. The Rallyemaster will usually have announcements prior to the run essential to the drive. Be sure you are on time to check in and get any instructions prior to starting your engines.
2. Headlights on. With the MINI’s distinctive headlights, it is easier for other cars in the group to see you when your headlights are on, even in the daytime. And be sure your rear fog lights are off.
3. FRS/GMRS Radios. We always have radios for the first and last cars in the group to help navigate through traffic lights and to try to keep everyone together. Bring along a radio to either listen in on the directions and progress, or help out as we get spread out on the drive. Our usual MINI channel is Main Channel 7, Sub Channel 21.
4. Drive in formation. Our group drives are not races. There is no prize for first place. Staying mostly in formation adds to the enjoyment of the drive and looks really cool to onlooking cars and pedestrians, rather than terrorizing traffic by dodging and weaving across multiple traffic lanes. Doubling up at stoplights can help get everyone through the lights quicker as long as everyone ducks back together when it is safe to do so.
5. Watch the car behind you. If everyone makes sure the car behind you makes the turn you just made, no one will get lost. This can get difficult with heavy traffic and multiple stop lights, but if you notice the gap behind you getting larger, ease up a little bit, and hopefully the car ahead of you will do the same. This does not mean you need to come to a complete stop when someone behind you gets stuck at a light, just try to make sure the guy behind sees when you are making the next turn. If enough people have radios, we have a good idea when we are getting too spread out, and will wait up at an appropriate spot.
6. Drive your own ride. This is perhaps the most important tip. Don’t allow the group to override your best judgment. If the pace is too fast for your comfort, slow down. It is better to wave other people around you if you feel you are holding people up rather than to push yourself beyond your comfort zone.
7. Don’t tailgate. Nothing would spoil a fun drive more than a double MINI collision. Be sure to keep a reasonable following distance.
8. Allow extra space in the twisty bits. Give a bit more room as we go ducking into the twistier sections of the drives. This gives you a chance to have a bit more fun through the turns, and allows for a safety margin for unexpected surprises.
9. Obey the Rules of the Road. Driving in a group does not suspend you from following the rules of the road. Speed limits, stop signs, red/yellow lights are YOUR responsibility. Some other drivers may wave us on at stop signs, or move over to allow us to continue as a group, but we do not get special rights as a MINI group.
10. Have fun! Even though there are a few simple rules to follow, the main goal is to have fun and celebrate the MINI and experience great drives with fellow motorers. If you have any questions or issues, your Rallyemaster will be happy to assist you to make your drive more enjoyable.
11. Patience is a virtue. There are three mindsets among motorers. One third of you will wish the whole thing would move faster and wonder why these people are so slow. One third of you will wonder why it’s going so fast and wish the whole thing would just slow down. And the other third will find the whole thing disorganized and wish everyone would just follow the rules. Understanding that you fit into one of these categories and being patient with those who fit into the other two will make your experience more pleasant.
12. Wave! Not only at your fellow motorers, but at those you pass when they look at our group passing by. You just might make someone’s day brighter!
13. Decisions of the Rallyemaster are final!
Our thanks to Jennifer Lane of PhillyMINIs for the original thoughts for this!