by Cheryl Knight
Of course, this is my perspective and lessons learned developed over time; I believe holding an effective drivers meeting can lead to a better executed and enjoyable run for your attendees. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
The purpose of the drivers meeting is to ensure everyone knows what to expect and what the accepted club norms are for being part of a run (this varies from club to club). New members, those that haven’t attended a run in a while, as well as regulars, all benefit from this review. In doing so, you ensure people won’t get lost, miss turns or get frustrated with the unexpected.
Gather everyone up around 8 to 10 minutes prior to departure. This will allow enough time after the drivers meeting for last minute restroom run and loading up, radio checks, applying sunscreen, etc. You’ll want to leave on time and it will be appreciated if people don’t have to run to their car and be ready to take off immediately after the conclusion of the meeting.
Here are a few things to cover:
Make sure every car has a run sheet and point out the following:
- Instructions on specific things to watch out for, i.e. water crossings, bumpy cattle guards, super big pot holes, contact information, etc.
- Where your rest stops are, how soon you will arrive at the first one, how long you expect to stop.
- Where the lunch stop is, when you expect to arrive, what we need to know about it, i.e. where to park, are we in a special room, is it order in line or be seated.
Remind people a few times if you want them to reset the TRIP METER to zero before departing. Try as we might, we can never reset the ODOMETER.
Cover which radio channel you intend to use. Our club norm is channel 7, but many clubs use channel 5, so it helps to clarify.
Remind us that when making turns to look out for the car behind you – if you can’t see them, they can’t see where you are turning. Always wait at the corner for the next car. This is especially important if we get a bit of separation between cars. Think of it as the BUDDY SYSTEM or LEAVE NO MAN BEHIND.
Passing – a couple of things to cover here, depending upon your route.
- Generally, passing cars in line is not good etiquette.
- If a driver finds themselves with a lot of separation from the car in front of them, they may be uncomfortable with the speed of the group or just not wanting to drive as fast. In that case, please wave cars behind you to pass if the route allows or when leaving the rest stop.
Doubling up – meaning driving side by side on a divided highway or 4 lane street. When going through a town or in congested areas, it may make sense to double-up to get through the stop lights as a group. The Run Leader makes this call. Be sure to let the group know if there will be a time where you will recommend this during the run.
Announce to the group who will be the sweep and if there is a mid-group person that will relay radio messages.
I find it helpful to create a short list of the things I want to cover – that way I don’t forget in all the excitement. Next month, roles and responsibilities. Until then, enjoy the roads!