- Lay out your route beforehand and do one or two dry runs - if possible in
the same traffic conditions you'll encounter the day of the event.
- Schedule adequate bathroom breaks - every 1 to 2 hours.
- Be sure to allow extra time over that required for the dry run. A caravan
will always take more time.
- Allow for a gathering place to regroup the cars after going through areas
where the group will probably get broken up.
- Make up written directions and provide copies for all the cars.
- Plan a starting point with ample parking. Restrooms, gas, and food should be
- Make arrangements for larger meals ahead of time and let the restaurant
know how many to expect and when.
- Check prices of meals and any admissions, etc. so we'll know how much
money we need to bring along.
- Get the necessary information to
Lapp so final plans appear in the newsletter. It also helps to get
preliminary info into the newsletter a month earlier.
- Post your cruise info to the
Forum, so others will know where and when you
are going.Ý This will also allow others to ask you questions, and
generally share information about your cruise.Ý After your information is posted, notify
Lapp so your cruise can be linked to your forum post. Don't forget to check
back to the forum after you have posted to see what replies others have left.
- If this is your first time as leader, feel free to call one of the older
members. You won't have much trouble finding somebody who'd love to do a dry
run with you.
Leading on the Big Day
- Communication! Bring your FM radio! This is very strongly recommended. If you
don't have one, get one. They are not expensive, and those with radios make
jokes about those without radios.Ý You don't want us laughing at
- If you end up leading without one, make sure that the car behind
you has a radio and keep checking for a signal from them.
- And More Communication! Make sure the last car in the line has a radio so
you'll know that the end of the line didn't get lost or hung up. It also
helps if the last car is a distinctive color (i.e. not red) so you can make
a quick check in the mirror to see that we're all there. If the group is
large, try to get radios spaced throughout the line.
- If there are more than 20 cars, consider splitting the group in two.
- Watch your speed, especially while the caravan is going through areas
where there are lights and stop signs. It can get like crack the whip. The
end car has to really motor to catch up to the lead car after waiting for 15
cars in front to get through a stop sign. You may have to go under the speed
limit (gasp!) for a while until everyone catches up.
- Keep the group together. Slow down - or pull over - until everyone is back
- Observe all traffic rules and regulations. Be
courteous to other drivers. Don't expect that everyone will let the entire
line go at once. If they don't, that's ok. They don't have to. Don't block
public access or block traffic trying to get the line together.
- If you're in a high traffic area, bite the bullet, accept that your
line will be broken up and regroup at an appropriate location where you can
get back out without creating a traffic hazard.
- Bring your FM radio (Talkabout, FRS, etc). It adds a fun dimension to the trip and really helps keep
everything going smoothly.
- The official FRS radio channel of the WPMC is Channel 12.
- If you don't have a
radio and you have a problem, flash your headlights. The
car in front will pick up the signal and flash their headlights until
someone with a radio gets the message and radios to the leader to stop.
- Check now and then in your rear view mirror to see if the person behind you
is frantically flashing their lights.
- After regrouping along the side of the road, pull out onto the road all at
once. It's important for the cars in the back to pull onto the road while
the line gets under way as quickly as is reasonable.
- Stay together. Don't let large gaps open up between you and the car in
front. This lets a dreaded OTM (Other Than Miata) infiltrate the line which
wrecks the aesthetic effect.
- If you're new to caravanning, get a spot near the front of the line.
- Start the day with a full tank of gas.
- And...start the day with an empty...um...Visit the restroom before you hit
the road. Especially if you've been drinking coffee while socializing for
the last hour!
- Have Fun!!