| How To Drive A Tour - Supplement|
DEFINITION: A tour is two or more cars traveling in convoy to a predetermined destination.
The first step to having a successful tour is to pick a destination that can be reached by traveling roads known to be paved. It should be chosen keeping in mind traffic conditions, the need for gas stations, and restaurants.
It is best, though not absolutely necessary, to plan a tour well in advance. This gives the tour coordinator time to check the route and also allows time to publicize the upcoming tour in the club’s newsletter or via the phone committee, web, or e-mail.
The announcement should show the time of departure, location of the meeting place, and the name and home/cell phone numbers (including area code) of the tour coordinator. It should include the destination, time and distance of the tour, and the route that is to be followed. If there are stops these should also be shown, thus allowing people who might arrive late to have a place where they can join the tour.
Have a pre-arranged rest stop not more than one hour into the tour. Your fellow club members will thank you.
If the tour is going to some distant destination or another car club's event, include info about the place and event (web links, what's going on, how to sign up, host hotel where rooms are blocked, restaurant recommendations, local things to do, other scheduled activities after arrival, etc.)
Handing out detailed driving directions and/or highlighted maps at the start is a smart idea. Then anyone who gets separated can find their way and catch up. Be sure the instructions make sense! Most on-line navigation services are OK for maps, but useless for route instructions.
If possible, the tour coordinator or a designee should test-run the route a few days in advance. This may not be possible but can head off problems once the tour hits the road.
A short drivers’ meeting should be held before the start of any tour. At this meeting the tour coordinator is responsible for informing each member of the tour of any last minute changes that have been made since the original description of the tour. This also gives each tour member a chance to ask questions and possibly suggest additional ideas for the tour. Now is a good time to ask if someone would act as tour helper. The tour helper would stop to assist any car in the tour should a car have mechanical trouble or other problems. This meeting is also a good time to ask if there is anyone else known to be coming on the tour who hasn’t shown up prior to departure time. Also, if someone is planning to leave the tour enroute, tell everyone NOW; then nobody will panic when this vehicle leaves the group.
Communication between tour participants (while the tour is moving) is always good and can also be fun and very entertaining. A CB - or other means of communication (CdeO has opted to use Motorola hand held radios) between cars can be used to keep the herd together. Now is the time to pick a frequency everybody else isn’t using. This may or may not be successful. As it seems at some point in your trip you will hear voices that do not belong to anyone your tour.
The tour coordinator should go over general tour rules, some of which are listed below:
a. The tour coordinator is typically the tour leader (as in leader of the pack) but does not necessarily have to be so. The tour coordinator can if he/she wish designate someone else to be the first car in the group.
b. People attending the tour should come prepared. Their car should be fueled and mechanically sound and ready to go at the time of departure. Vehicle drive and passenger should also be ready. Go to the bathroom at home or make a stop prior to meeting the group at the designated departure point. Remember the departure point may or may not have restroom facilities. *NOTE to Tour Coordinator. . . . Try to have restroom facilities available at departure point*
c. Tours will obey all speed limits and traffic laws. Drive legally and courteously.
d. Always use turn signals and give enough advance warning.
e. Tours should leave on the pre-determined time or approximately 15 minutes after the publicized departure time.
f. Tour with parking lights, driving lights or fog lights on. This enables the tour coordinator to keep better track of the tour and it also allows other drivers to know there is a group of cars traveling together. (The last car in the group should turn on its headlights and fog lights, to allow the coordinator (as well as all cars ahead of him) to visually see the last car easier).
g. Put "other" cars... at the very back of the tour (behind the last Corvette in the group). Exception: if someone has a tow rig, as for their race car, it can go at the front to set the pace.
h. No racing in the tour.
i. Once you’ve established your position in the tour, don’t jockey position. This not only confuses the coordinator, but other cars in the tour as well.
j. Don’t lag. Keep the tour together. If a car lags, soon the tour coordinator can’t see all the cars and the tour splits into two tours. If you wish to drive extra-slowly, inform the coordinator, and put yourself at the very back.
k. Always travel in the right hand lane except to pass. Don’t everyone change lanes at the same time. Note: if the last car in the tour moves promptly into the new lane, then they will effectively block traffic from behind, and the rest of the tour can change lanes in front of them. This technique is similar to q. below only you are moving.
l. Leave enough room between cars for traffic to move through the tour if it so desires. Remember, a tour attracts attention; the local Police, Sheriff or State Patrol may follow a tour making sure it is being run properly. This is when you really pay attention to g. above.
m. Following too closely is illegal! (see k. above)
n. The tour coordinator must continuously plan in advance. When exiting freeways he/she must get in the correct lane well in advance, allowing all cars to change lanes. This will avoid a frantic two or three lane change and dash for an exit. The more cars in a tour, the more time must be given by the coordinator. The reverse applies when merging onto a freeway or any highway. The coordinator MUST run slowly, about 10 mph under the speed limit, until he/she is SURE all tour cars have caught up.
o. The tour coordinator is in charge of the tour. If anyone is driving in such a manner as to endanger other tour members or other people on the highways, that person will be made to leave the tour.
p. When traveling on a two lane highway, coming upon a slower car, the tour coordinator will pass, moving ahead of the slower car leaving room for the second car in the tour to pass, then slow down and wait for the tour. Each car in turn will pass the slower car. Then when the last car has passed, the tour will resume the tour speed.
q. If a refueling stop is required on a tour it should be planned well in advance by the tour coordinator. Select a location that meets the fuel range of the car that needs to refuel before all others. (This is usually one of the C1, C2 or C3 generation Corvettes) If possible choose a place that offers a selection of different type gas stations in near proximity. When this location is reached the tour should break up for a pre-determined time period (perhaps 15 to 20 minutes), allowing each car to refuel, and then meet at a pre-determined meeting place. Let people know ahead of time where the refueling will take place so no one panics when their fuel supply begins to get low. A good place for pre-arranged refueling is just BEYOND a city or congestion area so anyone who gets stuck in traffic can re-join the tour there. After the stop, the coordinator must make sure all cars start and are running OK before re-starting the tour.
r. To get back on the road after stopping on a highway or freeway shoulder or freeway on-ramp shoulder here is a simple but efficient method:
· When the lead car determines that all cars in the group are in line and ready to roll, he/she radios last car in the car to proceed when ready
· The last car in the group then pulls out first when there is a break in traffic and blocks the road from behind.
· Upon this action this vehicle radios the group to move out
· Everyone else pulls out simultaneously, but stays behind the vehicle in from of them
This type of movement should allow all cars in the group to enter the roadway safely and still keep the group together.
s. A good tour does not have to have a large number of cars. Four or five cars travel easier than 20 or 30 cars. If you have a big group, you might split the tour into two or three sections each with its own group leader, or at least put some cars who know where they are going into the middle.
t. Disabled cars: If you experience car trouble, use your radio to tell the coordinator (or group leader if split into groups), or flash your headlights several times at the car in front of you and pull well off the road. One car (hopefully pre-assigned by the coordinator) will stop to help you. Only one car should stop to render assistance. (If you need to stop, but don't need assistance, actively motion the other cars past you.) If you see someone behind you in the tour flashing their headlights, radio the coordinator or signal the car ahead of you in the same manner, but don't stop. When the tour coordinator is signaled, they will lead the tour off the highway at the next exit, or stop at the first safe place to stop. There the tour will wait for a report from the disabled car and then take appropriate action at that time.